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How Iowa Republicans are feeling about 2024 following Trump announcement

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Experts join host Ben Kieffer to break down the week's news, including the forever chemicals found in Iowa's water, programs to support housing insecure people in cold weather and Iowans' thoughts on national politics.

Former President Donald Trump's announcing his candidacy for 2024 comes after Republicans underperformed in the midterm elections nationally, but performed well within Iowa. On this Newsbuzz edition of River to River, Brianne Pfannenstiel from the Des Moines Register discusses how Iowa Republicans feel about Trump and how they have received other potential Republican candidates. She also unpacks Iowa senators' split on a vote that would codify same-sex and interracial marriages.

Forever chemicals were detected in Sioux City water. IPR’s Kendall Crawford details what these chemicals are and the health risks they pose. Then, Axios reporter Linh Ta shares her reporting on rising STI rates and on childcare funding across Iowa. Later in the hour, how people facing housing insecurities stay warm in the winter months through Polk County’s extreme weather plan, and another edition of What Dennis Found in the Basement to celebrate a century of radio at IPR. Lastly, Studio One host Mark Simmet joins with music to groove into the weekend.


  • Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register chief political reporter
  • Kendall Crawford, IPR western Iowa reporter
  • Linh Ta, reporter with Axios Des Moines
  • DeAnne Sesker, Polk County emergency management agency program assistant
  • Dennis Reese, retired IPR midday host and historian 
  • Tim Walch, historian 
  • Mark Simmet, Studio One host
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.