At 89, Sen. Grassley says he’s still in tune with 20-something voters

Statewide Iowa — A Pew Research Center study finds this is the oldest-ever U.S. Senate, with a median age of 65 years, versus the average age of the U.S. population at 39. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is 89 and is the second-oldest member of the chamber. A Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial on Monday refers to the U.S. Senate as a “senior living community,” but Grassley says he feels he’s doing a good job of staying in touch with 20-somethings and teens, as well as everyday Iowans.

The Republican from New Hartford says he meets with “a few thousand people face to face every year,” but stays in contact with thousands more through email, the U.S. mail and phone conversations. Grassley, who’s about five months younger than the oldest serving senator, Dianne Feinstein, says he’s working to stay in shape with a daily exercise regimen and he meets frequently with young people.

The editorial bemoans a potential presidential matchup next year between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump who, by then, will be 81 and 78. Grassley says he’s dedicated to listening to — and serving — Iowans.

Grassley chuckles as he recalls the comment then-73-year-old President Ronald Reagan made during a debate in 1984 after being questioned about his age: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit — for political purposes – my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

To read the editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, click here.

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