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Historically low turnout primaries and their impact on Iowa elections

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Early voting for this year's primary election will run until Election Day June 7. Sit down with a panel of reporters and a political scientist as we dig into the particularities of Iowa's 2022 primary.

More than two-thirds of primary voters are over the age of 50. They tend to be women. And they are concentrated in urban and suburban areas. That has a big impact on who bears the standard for the Republican or Democratic parties in November.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Laura Belin of Bleeding Heartland about her work looking a demographic trends in primary elections. UNI's Chris Larimer joins to offer perspective on what research shows moves the dial on these voters.

Also, IPR's Grant Gerlock and Clay Masters join to talk about their reporting on the race for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District and U.S. Senate respectively.


  • Grant Gerlock, covers central Iowa for IPR
  • Laura Belin, publisher and primary writer for Bleeding Heartland
  • Chris Larimer, political scientist at the University of Northern Iowa
  • Clay Masters, lead political reporter for IPR and host of IPR's Morning Edition
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa