Emily Cahn reported for Roll Call last night that the National Republican Congressional Committee will add ten-term Representative Tom Latham to its “Patriot” program for vulnerable incumbents today. Latham is among nine new “Patriots,” bringing to 20 the number of House GOP members the NRCC will focus on protecting during next year’s campaign. In 2012, the NRCC spent money defending both Latham in IA-03 against Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell and Representative Steve King in IA-04 against challenger Christie Vilsack.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has indicated that Latham will be one of its targets next year. It has already paid for some robocalls, online ads and a paid twitter campaign in IA-03 since last December. Democrats need a net gain of at least 17 seats to win back control of the U.S. House in 2014. Most analysts consider that an uphill battle.
Latham has a big financial advantage over his two declared challengers, former State Senator Staci Appel and Gabriel De La Cerda. Many Democrats believe Appel can raise enough money to run a competitive race against Latham. She has already hired consultants to help craft a campaign message. De La Cerda described his “work boots clocking in” approach on the Fallon Forum webcast last week.