i9 Fact Checker: Ad argues Grassley’s age is a benefit for Iowa

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 7:56 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is running for reelection against Admiral Mike Franken (D). If re-elected, Grassley would be 95-years-old if he completed his 8th term in the United States Senate. 60% of likely voters in a recent Des Moines Register Poll called his age a concern.

Source: The Grassley Commitee, Inc.

According to documents from the Federal Election Commission, The Grassley Committee, Inc. is the name for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s campaign.

The campaign argues the Senator’s age, which Democrats have attacked, is a positive attribute for Iowans through the Senator’s seniority. The ad entitled “99″ also argues the 89-year-old is fit enough to represent Iowans.

Claim #1: “He visits all 99 counties every year,”

Analysis: Chuck Grassley’s Senate website keeps track of his visits to all 99 county’s in 2022. His campaign claims he’s done this for 42 years. The Senator’s critics have argued these meetings aren’t always open to the public in the past or listed locations of those meetings in advance.

Conclusion: This claim just mentions the Senator has visited all 99 counties. It’s why we’re giving this claim an A.

Claim #2: “has the best attendance record in the Senate ever”

Analysis: Sen. Grassley’s campaign said it is referring to his record for the most consecutive votes cast in the Senate.

GovTrack, which tracks numerous data points related to lawmakers including missed votes, shows Sen. Grassley didn’t miss a vote from 1993 to 2020. The streak broke when the Republican senator was diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to data from GovTrack, Sen. Grassley has missed 46 out of 14,428 votes during his entire Senate career. TV9 found data from the same website showing Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has missed 0 votes during her entire career in the Senate, which started in 1997. It’s worth noting, Sen. Collins has had fewer roll call votes because she started in the Senate more than 20 years after Sen. Grassley first entered the legislative body.

Conclusion: The heart of this claim is Sen. Grassley has the best attendance record, which is true at 27 years and why it gets an A.

Claim #3: And if reelected will have the most seniority in the entire senate

Analysis: Sen. Chuck Grassley is currently the second longest-serving Senator, according to the United States Senate Periodical Press Gallary.

The only Senator with more seniority is Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont). He began serving in the United State Senate in 1975, six years before Sen. Grassley joined the legislative body in 1981.

Sen. Leahy isn’t running for reelection in 2022, according to the Associated Press. Therefore, if reelected Chuck Grassley will have the most seniority in the entire Senate.

Conclusion: If Sen. Chuck Grassley’s seniority will help Iowans more than a freshman senator is a political opinion. However, he will have the most seniority in the senate, if reelected. That’s why this gets an A.