Iowa Press

General Election Candidate Criteria

A candidate for federal office will be invited to participate in an Iowa PBS debate or forum produced and broadcast by Iowa PBS for the 2022 general election if the candidate can demonstrate that:

  1. Candidate has been qualified by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office for a place on the general election ballot.
  2. Candidate meets at least four (4) of the following five (5) criteria:
    • The candidate is the nominee of a political party recognized under state law, as determined by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office;
    • The candidate has made public position statements on at least three (3) issues, substantially in the form of press releases, campaign brochures, speeches or similar statements made publicly or on a campaign website;
    • The candidate has accepted at least $50,000 in cash contributions for the current election, as filed with and documented by the appropriate agency for campaign finance disclosure information for candidates for federal office;
    • The candidate has received more than incidental press coverage, in at least five (5) bona fide print, online, radio, television, or cable TV news stories that identify him/her as a candidate for the current election); and/or,
    • The candidate has been named in a public opinion survey professionally conducted after the primary for the current election by an independent pollster the candidate has received a minimum of ten percent (10%) support, not including any margin of error. For the purposes of these criteria, “independent” shall mean the poll has not been commissioned or paid for by a candidate, campaign, political party, political action committee or any person or entity that financially supports the candidate’s campaign.

The deadline for candidates to demonstrate they meet Iowa PBS’s criteria for a debate or forum is 4 p.m. CT on that day that is twenty-one (21) calendar days prior to the day of the scheduled debate or forum. Iowa PBS has sole discretion in determining the political races for which it will produce and broadcast a debate or forum. Iowa PBS reserves the right to cancel any scheduled program. For more information about Iowa PBS’s candidate criteria, please contact

About the Show

Since its inaugural broadcast in 1971, Iowa Press has engaged the best local journalists to interview experts, political and other newsworthy figures while exploring issues of state and national interest. Each week, Iowa Press invites newsmakers, policy makers and elected officials to join capitol reporters in a weekly discussion.