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20 Iowa House races to watch tonight

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Nov 04, 2014 at 19:12:11 PM CST

Thanks to Iowa's non-partisan redistricting process, we have an unusually large number of competitive state legislative districts. In any given general election, depending on candidate recruitment, between one dozen and two dozen of the 100 Iowa House districts could be up for grabs. Democrats and Republicans spend big money on a much smaller number of districts; this year, only seven Iowa House races involved a large amount of television advertising. But the parties and candidates invest in direct mail and/or radio commercials in many more places than that.

Republicans go into election day favored to hold their Iowa House majority, which now stands at 53 seats to 47. Carolyn Fiddler has pegged seven "districts to watch" at her Statehouse Action blog, and in September, the Des Moines Register's Jason Noble discussed five districts he viewed as "key to Iowa House chamber control." I see the playing field as much larger.

Follow me after the jump to review 20 Iowa House seats that will determine control of the chamber for the next two years.

Caveat: most years, there's at least one shocking result in an Iowa House district neither party had their eye on. I'm thinking about Tami Weincek defeating a longtime Democratic incumbent in Waterloo in 2006, Kent Sorenson defeating a Democratic incumbent in Warren County in 2008, three Democratic state representatives who had run unopposed in 2008 losing in 2010, and Democrat Daniel Lundby taking out the seemingly safe Republican Nick Wagner in the Linn County suburbs in 2012. Wagner had run unopposed in the previous election.

So, while I don't expect any of the "favored" seats discussed below to change hands, I would not rule out a surprise or two. That would be excellent news for the stealth challenger's party.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 3902 words in story)

Highlights from latest Iowa campaign stops by Ryan and Biden

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 06:55:00 AM CDT

Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan campaigned in Des Moines yesterday, while Vice President Joe Biden kicked off a two-day swing through Iowa in Burlington. I've enclosed highlights from both men's speeches after the jump. I'll update this post later with clips from Biden's events today in Ottumwa and Grinnell.
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First look at the Obama and Romney ground games in Iowa

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:45:00 AM CDT

At this time four years ago, Barack Obama's campaign had about 30 field offices up and running in Iowa, compared to six offices for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Obama's campaign has had eight Iowa field offices open this summer and is rolling out another 26 offices around Iowa this weekend. So far, Mitt Romney's campaign has ten Iowa field offices, in addition to the unified Republican headquarters in Urbandale.

After the jump, I compare the field office locations for each presidential campaign, grouped by Iowa Congressional district. Where relevant, I've also noted competitive Iowa House and Senate districts near the Obama and Romney field offices, although I doubt either presidential campaign will do much for down-ticket Democratic or Republican candidates.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 1966 words in story)

Iowa primary election results thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 21:18:02 PM CDT

Polls closed across Iowa at 9 pm, and I will update this post periodically as results come in from around the states. Any comments related to today's elections are welcome in this thread.

P.S.- As expected, Wisconsin Democrats fell short in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.

UPDATE: Results are after the jump.  

There's More... :: (42 Comments, 1483 words in story)

First look at Democratic prospects for Iowa House gains

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 06:15:00 AM CDT

The redistricting process and several Republican retirements have created many pickup opportunities for Iowa House Democrats. The devastating 2010 election left them nowhere to go but up in the lower chamber, where Republicans currently enjoy a 60 to 40 majority. Relatively few sitting House Democrats represent vulnerable districts.

Speaking to activists at the Polk County Democratic convention on March 10, I heard lots of optimism about the House races. After the jump I've posted some early thoughts on the seats up for grabs.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1619 words in story)

Competitive Democratic primary coming in Iowa Senate district 38

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 14:04:10 PM CDT

NOTE: A third Democrat, Nick Volk, filed nominating papers in this district on March 15.

Shelley Parbs announced today that she will run for Iowa Senate district 38. She is the second declared Democratic candidate in this district; the winner of the June primary will face first-term Republican Tim Kapucian, a Senate minority leader and ranking member of the Transportation Committee. Background on Parbs is after the jump, along with election-related developments in the two Iowa House seats that make up Senate district 38.

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Iowa Senate district 38 preview: Tim Kapucian vs LaForest Sherman

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:22:38 AM CST

NOTE: On March 12, Democrat Shelley Parbs announced her candidacy in this district, and a third Democrat, Nick Volk, filed nominating papers on March 15.

Iowa Senate Democrats finally announced their challenger to first-term Republican Tim Kapucian last week, setting up a potentially competitive race in the new Iowa Senate district 38.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1620 words in story)

David Maxwell is new Iowa House district 76 Republican candidate

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 10:47:52 AM CDT

Republican business owner David Maxwell is running to represent the new Iowa House district 76. Previously declared GOP candidate Mark Dix dropped out of the race yesterday. A map of this swing district and background on Maxwell are after the jump.
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Iowa House district 76 preview: Rachel Bly vs Mark Dix

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:00:00 PM CDT

UPDATE: Dix quit the race in November 2011, shortly after Republican David Maxwell declared his candidacy in House district 76.

Iowa's new map of political boundaries created several competitive state House and Senate districts lacking an incumbent. Democrat Rachel Bly and Republican Mark Dix recently announced their candidacies in Iowa House district 76, covering Poweshiek County and most of Iowa County.  

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