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.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks Disney, book bans at Iowa campaign kickoff

By: - May 31, 2023

CLIVE, Iowa — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis received an energetic welcome at his first Iowa event as a 2024 candidate Tuesday, with crowds cheering as he spoke about bringing his fight against “woke” ideology to the White House. More than 500 people filled the Eternity Church auditorium Tuesday, with people standing along the edges of […]

Mike Pence, Nikki Haley returning to Iowa for Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride

By: - May 16, 2023

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst announced two Republicans from the Trump administration will be special guests at her annual “Roast and Ride” event June 3. Ernst announced Monday that former Vice President Mike Pence will be attending her event. The charity fundraiser has been one of the prominent Iowa caucus stops for Republican presidential candidates since […]

Bill establishing midwife licensing advances through Iowa House

By: - March 22, 2023

Midwives would have a licensing process for the first time in Iowa under legislation approved with bipartisan support Tuesday by the Iowa House. Iowa is one of 15 states that does not have a licensing process for professional midwives. The bill, House File 265, would create a regulatory board to certify midwives and ensure they’ve […]

Vice President Kamala Harris cites Iowa’s role in legal challenges to abortion

By: - March 16, 2023

Vice President Kamala Harris, in Des Moines on Thursday, said Iowa is “on the front lines” of the fight over abortion access. Harris joined a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights with Democratic leaders, health care providers and community advocates at Grand View University in Des Moines. It’s not just lawmakers taking action to strip Americans […]

Trump criticizes DeSantis, calls for national ‘school choice’ at first 2023 Iowa event

By: - March 13, 2023

Davenport, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump, in his first Iowa stop as an official presidential candidate, took aim at a potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump said if DeSantis joins the 2024 presidential race, his track record on ethanol and Social Security could cost him the Iowa caucuses. “I don’t think you’re gonna […]

DeSantis, in Iowa, says GOP stance in culture wars will help win elections

By: - March 10, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Iowa Republicans Friday that standing strong in the culture wars around issues like education, criminal justice and health care in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will help their party win elections. DeSantis, along with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, spoke to more than 600 Iowans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds’ […]

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley: Hold China accountable for COVID-19

By: and - March 10, 2023

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Iowans Friday that China needs to be held accountable by the international community for the spread of COVID-19. “I think we need to go and look at the damages, the financial damages that happened, the life loss that happened, and every country in the world needs to know and […]

Iowa Democrats ask DNC to reconsider caucuses after two states missed deadline

By: - January 6, 2023

The Iowa Democratic Party has renewed calls for the Democratic National Committee to let Iowa keep its first-in-the-nation caucuses after Georgia and New Hampshire missed a key deadline in the process for changing the early state lineup. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee in December granted conditional waivers to South Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia […]

Iowa Democrats say there’s a long road ahead finalizing presidential nominating calendar

By: - December 12, 2022

While many national figures have said the Democratic National Committee’s decision to remove Iowa from its first-in-the-nation position is final, state Democrats say the fight is far from over. Soon after the Democratic National Committee’s Rules & Bylaws committee decided to put South Carolina first in the presidential nomination cycle starting in 2024, Iowa Democratic […]

Former VP Mike Pence talks about FBI, Jan. 6 panel at Iowa State Fair

By: - August 20, 2022

There weren’t many Iowans on the concourse as former Vice President Mike Pence made his way around the Iowa State Fair on Friday. Most visitors were staying indoors during an afternoon downpour that hit Des Moines, but Pence and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley braved the weather. They stopped at favorite fair locations for politicians, including […]

Iowa Democrats say they’ll keep working to keep the state’s caucuses first

By: - August 2, 2022

Iowa Democrats say they will keep fighting for Iowa’s spot as the nation’s first caucus — and now they have more time to make their case. The Democratic National Committee has delayed its decision about the 2024 presidential nominating calendar until after this year’s midterm elections. The DNC Rules and Bylaws committee delayed the decision […]

Abortion patients say current laws posed barriers to care even before Roe’s fall

By: - June 30, 2022

Marcella Peltz decided to have an abortion in November 2017. It was not a choice she wanted to make. Peltz and her then-fiancé had long planned to have a child. They had already decided on a name – Thea Brook – and had a gender reveal party celebrating her pregnancy. But when Peltz went in […]