Why Dave Loebsack's retirement makes IA-02 a toss-up race

All four Iowa Congressional districts will likely be competitive in 2020. Republicans were already targeting the first and third districts, where Representatives Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne defeated GOP incumbents last November. Democrats could make a play for IA-04, if Representative Steve King wins the GOP nomination again (as I expect).

Representative Dave Loebsack announced on April 12 that he will retire from Congress after completing his seventh term, rather than running for re-election in the second district. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report immediately changed their ratings on IA-02 from “likely Democrat” to “toss-up.”

A close look at Loebsack’s last two elections shows why that’s the right call.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional fundraising 1Q news roundup (updated)

April 15 was the deadline for Congressional candidates to file reports on their fundraising and expenditures for the first quarter of 2013. Details on all of the Iowa incumbents and some other declared candidates are after the jump. At this writing, not every report has been posted on the Federal Elections Commission website. I will update this post as more information becomes available.

Continue Reading...

Comparing voter registration numbers and election results by county

The latest voter registration numbers in all 99 Iowa counties are out, and I wanted to do one final update on the registration totals in each county, grouped by Congressional district. Statewide, Republicans had led Democrats in voter registrations since April, but that lead was almost gone by the beginning of November. Late GOTV and election-day registrants helped put Democrats a little ahead again. As of December 3, Iowa had 640,776 active registered Democrats, 636,315 Republicans, and 722,348 no-party voters.

In the tables below, I also added vote totals for President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and the major-party Congressional candidates in each county, to show which candidates outpolled or underperformed their party’s presidential nominee. I’m not convinced that Christie Vilsack could have beaten Tom Latham in IA-03, but Leonard Boswell finished noticeably behind the president in this district, especially in Polk County.  

Continue Reading...

Final IA-02 news roundup: Little suspense for Loebsack

Going into election day two years ago, Representative Dave Loebsack appeared to be in real danger of losing his seat in Congress. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was running attack ads against Republican challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who had loaned her campaign about a half-million dollars in the absence of major financial support from the National Republican Congressional Committee. The American Future Fund was bashing Loebsack on television. Loebsack ended up winning re-election by only about 11,500 votes in what should have been a safe Democratic district. If not for the Iowa Democrats’ early voting program, Loebsack might have been swept up by the wave.

This year’s campaign in Iowa’s second Congressional district is winding up without the suspense of 2010. A final review of Loebsack’s race against Republican John Archer is after the jump.

Continue Reading...
View More...