Steve King’s recorded voice greeted me when I picked up the phone at about 6:30 pm today. He asked if I was registered to vote; I said yes. He wanted to ask a few questions about a very important issue. Did I support the "total repeal of Obamacare"? Not thinking like a blogger, I gave the "wrong" answer to this question (no), so King’s voice thanked me for my time and ended the phone call. He said the call was paid for by the King for Congress committee and gave a 712 area code phone number (my phone showed that the call came from the Washington, DC area).
I live in Polk County, and the only voters in my household are registered Democrats. At least one household I know of, containing only Democrats in Dallas County, received the same robocall. I don’t know whether King is calling district-wide or just in the IA-03 counties he hasn’t represented before. The proposed third district (map) contains 12 counties King currently represents: Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Cass, Montgomery, Page, Adair, Adams, Taylor, Union, Ringgold, and Guthrie. It also contains three counties Republican Tom Latham currently represents: Warren, Madison and Dallas. Democrat Leonard Boswell represents the largest county in the district, Polk, containing Des Moines and most of its suburbs.
A request for Bleeding Heartland readers who get King’s call: please let me know what questions follow if you answer yes, you support the total repeal of Obamacare. Also, it would be helpful to know what county you live in and whether your household includes registered Democrats only, or also no-party voters and Republicans. You can either post a comment in this thread or e-mail me confidentially: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.
If King is trying to identify Democrats in IA-03 who share his stance on health care reform, then presumably he has not ruled out moving to this district to avoid a GOP primary against Latham in the new IA-04. The new fourth district has a Republican tilt, whereas the new third district is almost evenly balanced politically. The proposed IA-03 voted 51.9 percent Obama, 45.8 percent McCain in 2008, and 47.1 percent Kerry, 52.1 percent Bush in 2004. The proposed IA-04 voted 48.1 percent Obama, 49.8 percent McCain in 2008, and 44.2 percent Kerry, 55.0 percent Bush in 2004.
I believe it would be foolish for King to run in IA-03; my hunch is that a lot of Polk County independents and even Republicans would vote for Latham but not King. Then again, Latham would be unbeatable in the new IA-04, where he has represented 35 of the 39 counties. King would be strongly favored in IA-04 but perhaps vulnerable against the right Democratic candidate, especially in a presidential year.
UPDATE: In the comments, Bleeding Heartland user rurallib describes the rest of this phone call, as heard way over in eastern Iowa (Muscatine County). King obviously isn’t thinking about running for Congress in the second district, so perhaps he is robocalling statewide to identify and raise money from health care reform-haters.