Final look at the 2020 Iowa House landscape, with ratings

Politics watchers from around the country are watching Iowa’s U.S. Senate race today, but arguably the battle for the Iowa House is more important for our state’s future. Democrats need a net gain of four seats for a majority or three seats for a 50-50 chamber that would block the worst excesses of the Republican trifecta.

The 2020 playing field is even larger than usual, in part because Democrats finally have the resources to compete with Republicans in the battleground House districts.

I enclose below a brief final look at each House district, with the latest voter registration figures (as of November 2), absentee ballot totals (as of November 3), campaign spending by both parties, and recent voting history. This post from early October has more background on each campaign, which influenced my ratings.

Democrats have good prospects to win control of the chamber, with many potential targets. If Republicans cling to a majority, it will probably be with only 51 seats.

TOP DEMOCRATIC TARGETS.

House district 37

Republican incumbent John Landon faces Andrea Phillips

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 9,965 Democrats, 11,691 Republicans, 9,857 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 6,718 Democrats, 4,307 Republicans, 3,643 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $518,333.80 on October 19 report, $272,133.33 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $361,374,98 on October 19 report, $213,251.33 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Donald Trump 50.5 percent, Hillary Clinton 42.1 percent

2018 voting for governor: Republican Kim Reynolds 50.6 percent, Democrat Fred Hubbell 47.5 percent

House district 55

Republican incumbent Michael Bergan faces Kayla Koether

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 6,524 Democrats, 7,082 Republicans, 6,235 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,690 Democrats, 4,026 Republicans, 2,643 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $404,651 on October 19 report, $250,566 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $372,068.68 on October 19 report, $202,933.57 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 50.6 percent, Clinton 43.5 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 50.7 percent, Hubbell 46.0 percent

House district 67

Republican-held open seat: Eric Gjerde (D) faces Sally Abbott (R)

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 8,217 Democrats, 7,697 Republicans, 7,445 no-party voters

Absentee ballots requested: 6,153 Democrats, 3,953 Republicans, 3,555 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $241,092 on October 19 report, $76,018 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $10,657.27 on October 19 report, $6,845.83 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 45.7 percent, Clinton 47.2 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 47.3 percent, Hubbell 50.2 percent

House district 82

Republican incumbent Jeff Shipley faces Phil Miller

Rating: tilt Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 6,666 Democrats, 7,638 Republicans, 5,110 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,557 Democrats, 3,379 Republicans, 1,330 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $145,669.63 on October 19 report, $84,149.10 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $96,770.05 on October 19 report, $11,702.24 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 57.8 percent, Clinton 36.5 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 54.4 percent, Hubbell 43.3 percent

House district 94

Republican incumbent Gary Mohr faces Marie Gleason

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 8,226 Democrats, 9,407 Republicans, 9,435 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 6,354 Democrats, 6,094 Republicans, 4,866 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $528,932.81 on October 19 report, $271,781.12 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $477,736.62 on October 19 report, $253,652.68 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 50.1 percent, Clinton 43.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 52.9 percent, Hubbell 45.7 percent

SECOND-TIER DEMOCRATIC TARGETS

House district 16

Republican-held open seat: Jen Pellant (D) faces Brent Siegrist (R)

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 5,845 Democrats, 6,502 Republicans, 5,838 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,611 Democrats, 3,135 Republicans, 1,708 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $291,745 on October 19 report, $214,185 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $343,402.85 on October 19 report, $153,788.19 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 51.8 percent, Clinton 41.8 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 49.8 percent, Hubbell 47.4 percent

House district 73

Republican incumbent Bobby Kaufmann faces Lonny Pulkrabek

Rating: lean Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 7,286 Democrats, 7,295 Republicans, 7,180 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 5,043 Democrats, 3,354 Republicans, 2,380 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $240,806.30 on October 19 report, $367,121 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $156,719.37 on October 19 report, $87,984.63 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 51.2 percent, Clinton 43.3 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 49.6 percent, Hubbell 48.3 percent

House district 91

Republican-held open seat: Kelcey Brackett (D) faces Mark Cisneros (R)

Rating: lean Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 6,354 Democrats, 6,503 Republicans, 6,818 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,750 Democrats, 3,377 Republicans, 2,061 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $128,455.07 on October 19 report, $147,315.45 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $338,068.39 on October 19 report, $196,381.47 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 49.8 percent, Clinton 43.7 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 50.5 percent, Hubbell 47.2 percent

House district 92

Republican incumbent Ross Paustian faces Jennifer Kakert

Rating: lean Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 6,605 Democrats, 6,661 Republicans, 8,377 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,312 Democrats, 3,421 Republicans, 3,073 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $142,130.15 on October 19 report, $251,902.95 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $157,690.08 on October 19 report, $179,414.04 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 51.6 percent, Clinton 42.3 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 52.5 percent, Hubbell 45.6 percent

House district 95

Republican-held open seat: Christian Andrews (D) faces Charlie McClintock (R)

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 7,232 Democrats, 7,326 Republicans, 7,871 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,423 Democrats, 2,707 Republicans, 2,340 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $314,788 on October 19 report, $258,570 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $277,470.35 on October 19 report, $137,741.12 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 51.6 percent, Clinton 41.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 50.9 percent, Hubbell 46.4 percent

THIRD-TIER DEMOCRATIC TARGETS

House district 9

Republican incumbent Ann Meyer faces Charles Clayton

Rating: lean Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 6,390 Democrats, 5,934 Republicans, 6,409 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,802 Democrats, 2,901 Republicans, 1,684 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $68,966.67 on October 19 report, $182,963.54 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $10,525.71 on October 19 report, $14,725.43 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 55.3 percent, Clinton 39.3 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 52.1 percent, Hubbell 46.0 percent

House district 63

Republican incumbent Sandy Salmon faces Carissa Froyum

Rating: likely Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 5,796 Democrats, 7,382 Republicans, 8,382 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,973 Democrats, 3,498 Republicans, 2,878 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $14,423.22 on October 19 report, $19,341.11 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $3,790.82 on October 19 report, $4,983.57 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 55.1 percent, Clinton 39.0 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 55.5 percent, Hubbell 42.4 percent

House district 72

Republican incumbent Dean Fisher faces Christina Blackcloud

Rating: likely Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 5,376 Democrats, 7,240 Republicans, 7,251 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 2,943 Democrats, 2,787 Republicans, 1,641 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: nothing

In-kind spending by Republicans: nothing

2016 voting for president: Trump 59.6 percent, Clinton 34.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 55.8 percent, Hubbell 42.0 percent

House district 76

Republican incumbent David Maxwell faces Sarah Smith (D) and independent candidate Kamal Hammouda

Rating: likely Republican

Current active registered voter totals: 6,689 Democrats, 7,621 Republicans, 7,716 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,182 Democrats, 3,628 Republicans, 2,475 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $12,413.09 on October 19 report, $12,446.58 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $7,327.46 on October 19 report, nothing on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 53.9 percent, Clinton 40.6 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 53.9 percent, Hubbell 44.1 percent

TOP REPUBLICAN TARGETS

House district 26

Democratic incumbent Scott Ourth faces Brooke Boden

Rating: lean Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 7,121 Democrats, 8,120 Republicans, 6,718 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,904 Democrats, 3,855 Republicans, 2,207 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $394,284.30 on October 19 report, $254,073.75 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $255,829.36 on October 19 report, $185,215.30 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 53.5 percent, Clinton 39.6 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 51.8 percent, Hubbell 46.1 percent

House district 58

Democratic incumbent Andy McKean faces Steve Bradley

Rating: lean Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 7,148 Democrats, 6,801 Republicans, 7,831 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,363 Democrats, 3,022 Republicans, 1,999 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $500,980 on October 19 report, $120,217 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $351,809.80 on October 19 report, $176,910.12 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 57.8 percent, Clinton 37.1 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 56.1 percent, Hubbell 41.1 percent

House district 64

Democratic-held open seat: Jodi Grover (D) faces Chad Ingels (R)

Rating: toss-up

Current active registered voter totals: 5,647 Democrats, 5,477 Republicans, 7,644 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,488 Democrats, 2,390 Republicans, 2,082 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $233,053 on October 19 report, $272,325 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $191,717.64 on October 19 report, $194,159.31 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 53.4 percent, Clinton 40.3 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 51.4 percent, Hubbell 45.9 percent

House district 81

Democratic incumbent Mary Gaskill faces Cherielynn Westrich

Rating: lean Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 6,697 Democrats, 5,101 Republicans, 5,428 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,771 Democrats, 2,168 Republicans, 1,412 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $181,804 on October 19 report, $47,591 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $102,920.81 on October 19 report, $11,610.70 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 55.9 percent, Clinton 39.5 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 49.9 percent, Hubbell 48.0 percent

SECOND-TIER REPUBLICAN TARGETS

House district 29

Democratic incumbent Wes Breckenridge faces Jon Dunwell

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 7,499 Democrats, 6,745 Republicans, 7,106 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,639 Democrats, 2,976 Republicans, 1,841 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $24,183.90 on October 19 report, $18,906.77 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: nothing on October 19 report, $16,430.88 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 53.2 percent, Clinton 40.8 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 52.1 percent, Hubbell 46.0 percent

House district 39

Democratic incumbent Karin Derry faces Eddie Andrews

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 9,818 Democrats, 10,415 Republicans, 8,865 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 6,620 Democrats, 3,911 Republicans, 3,111 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $139,010 on October 19 report, $116,668 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $14,869.85 on October 19 report, $12,531.63 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 49.0 percent, Clinton 43.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 49.9 percent, Hubbell 48.4 percent

House district 44

Democratic incumbent Kenan Judge faces Dave Lorenzen (R) and independent Dave Stock

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 11,130 Democrats, 11,631 Republicans, 11,053 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 8,370 Democrats, 6,218 Republicans, 4,638 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $157,905.02 on October 19 report, $79,057.37 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $16,828.38 on October 19 report, nothing on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 47.8 percent, Clinton 45.0 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 48.1 percent, Hubbell 50.3 percent

House district 71

Democratic-held open seat: Sue Cahill (D) faces Tony Reed (R)

Rating: lean Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 6,365 Democrats, 5,138 Republicans, 5,218 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 4,223 Democrats, 3,018 Republicans, 1,684 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $73,849.04 on October 19 report, $43,887.57 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: nothing on October 19 report, $3,721.41 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Clinton 48.0 percent, Trump 46.6 percent

2018 voting for governor: Hubbell 52.6 percent, Reynolds 45.4 percent

THIRD-TIER REPUBLICAN TARGETS

House district 14

Democratic-held open seat: Steve Hansen (D) faces Bob Henderson

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 6,283 Democrats, 4,796 Republicans, 4,629 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,573 Democrats, 2,495 Republicans, 1,161 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $89,395.08 on October 19 report, $93,267.97 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $2,519.52 on October 19 report, $3,436.32 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 47.3 percent, Clinton 47.7 percent

2018 voting for governor: Hubbell 50.7 percent, Reynolds 47.0 percent

House district 15

Democratic incumbent Charlie McConkey faces Sarah Abdouch

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 5,816 Democrats, 5,129 Republicans, 5,952 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,043 Democrats, 2,159 Republicans, 1,524 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $20,681.12 on October 19 report, $3,190.65 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: nothing

2016 voting for president: Trump 51.5 percent, Clinton 41.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Hubbell 48.6 percent, Reynolds 48.0 percent

House district 38

Democratic incumbent Heather Matson faces Garrett Gobble

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 8,526 Democrats, 8,437 Republicans, 7,415 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 5,430 Democrats, 3,006 Republicans, 2,468 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $49,723.10 on October 19 report, $12,622.13 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $13,939,89 on October 19 report, $14,932.29 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 49.8 percent, Clinton 42.9 percent

2018 voting for governor: Hubbell 50.7 percent, Reynolds 47.3 percent

House district 42

Democratic incumbent Kristin Sunde faces Aaron Sewell

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 8,871 Democrats, 6,876 Republicans, 6,045 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 5,867 Democrats, 2,854 Republicans, 2,240 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $22,608.78 on October 19 report, nothing on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $2,485.38 on October 19 report, nothing on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Clinton 51.2 percent, Trump 42.2 percent

2018 voting for governor: Hubbell 56.2 percent, Reynolds 42.1 percent

House district 52

Democratic incumbent Todd Prichard faces Craig Clark

Rating: safe Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 5,764 Democrats, 6,158 Republicans, 7,910 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 3,819 Democrats, 3,113 Republicans, 2,495 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $456,196.21 on October 19 report, $59,163 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: $209,491.27 on October 19 report, $52,680.01 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 56.7 percent, Clinton 37.8 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 55.3 percent, Hubbell 42.5 percent

House district 60

Democratic incumbent Dave Williams faces Ryan Howard

Rating: likely Democratic

Current active registered voter totals: 7,956 Democrats, 7,696 Republicans, 6,878 no-party voters

Absentee ballots returned to county auditor: 5,713 Democrats, 4,161 Republicans, 2,687 no-party voters

In-kind spending by Democrats: $29,598.18 on October 19 report, $15,438.48 on October 30 report

In-kind spending by Republicans: nothing on October 19 report, $4,985.30 on October 30 report

2016 voting for president: Trump 48.8 percent, Clinton 45.2 percent

2018 voting for governor: Reynolds 49.2 percent, Hubbell 49.2 percent

Top image: Photo of the state capitol rotunda by Amanda Johnson, published with permission.

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