Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

GOP presidential hopefuls tear into each other and absent Trump at second debate

By: and - September 28, 2023

The candidates polling from second to eighth in the race for the Republican nomination for president largely agreed on policy, fought over their records and took aim at former President Donald Trump at their second debate of the year Wednesday night. Trump, who leads polls of the race by substantial margins, skipped the event at […]

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ husband diagnosed with lung cancer

By: - September 22, 2023

Iowa first gentleman Kevin Reynolds, husband of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The governor’s office shared the medical diagnosis Thursday, along with a statement from Gov. Reynolds about her spouse’s plans for treatment. “We’re grateful to the incredible medical team caring for Kevin,” she said in a statement. “Our doctor […]

GOP presidential candidates focus on abortion, Israel, parental rights at evangelical event

By: and - September 17, 2023

Republican presidential candidates emphasized their support for abortion restrictions, parental rights and Israel while working Saturday night to win over evangelical Iowa caucusgoers. More than 1,000 people gathered in Des Moines for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition annual fall banquet. The conservative Christian organization has played an influential role in the Republican presidential race […]

Democratic challengers to President Joe Biden speak at Iowa State Fair

By: and - August 12, 2023

While much of the political attention at the Iowa State Fair was focused on the Republican 2024 presidential contenders, two Democratic challengers to President Joe Biden also took the stage Saturday at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox. Democrats Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who are running for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, […]

Republican presidential candidates kick off Iowa State Fair events

By: - August 11, 2023

Several Republican presidential candidates spoke to Iowans at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Thursday, holding events with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox. It was the first day of the 10-day long event that historically brings presidential candidates out to directly interact with Iowa caucusgoers and show their […]

GOP presidential candidates rally at Iowa fundraiser

By: and - August 7, 2023

In the wake of former President Donald Trump’s most recent indictments, his opponents in the campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination railed against the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice at a fundraising event Sunday for U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson. More than 300 people attended Hinson’s BBQ Bash at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids. […]

Vilsack announces grants to help small, mid-sized food producers

By: - June 30, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide $115 million in federal grants to smaller meat and poultry processors as part of their effort to fight industry consolidation, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday. Vilsack held a roundtable with producers and businesses in Des Moines. He announced 15 awards in 17 states (Nebraska was not among […]

Iowa district court approves settlement in open records lawsuit against Gov. Kim Reynolds

By: - June 26, 2023

The Polk County District Court approved an agreement between the Iowa governor’s office and three Iowa journalists and their media organizations following the Supreme Court’s decision allowing an open records lawsuit to proceed in April. The Polk County Clerk of Court on Friday entered a court order on the agreement, reached earlier this month and […]

ND Gov. Doug Burgum launches campaign ads in Iowa, New Hampshire

By: - June 12, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum released two ads Monday that will air in Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign announced. The $3 million ad campaign will air on TV stations in the first two states to hold nominating contests — the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary — in 2024. Burgum, the governor of North […]

Former VP Mike Pence launches 2024 bid, criticizes Trump’s Jan. 6 actions

By: - June 7, 2023

ANKENY, Iowa — Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his candidacy for president Wednesday to a crowd at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, focusing on the differences between him and former President Donald Trump, who is also running again in 2024. While Pence praised the conservative successes he and Trump achieved in office, […]

GOP candidates compete for Iowans’ support at Sen. Joni Ernst’s ‘Roast and Ride’

By: - June 3, 2023

Des Moines — Presidential candidates worked to balance promoting their ability to unify the country while highlighting their fight against the “woke” left while speaking to Iowans gathered Saturday for U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his wife, Casey, took their children to […]

Former President Donald Trump comes after DeSantis on Iowa campaign trail

By: - June 2, 2023

URBANDALE, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump said Thursday in Urbandale he was confident he will continue to hold his lead in Iowa. “There’s no way I can lose Iowa,” Trump told the crowd. “We’re going to have to do some really bad things to lose at this point.” Trump spoke to a packed room […]