Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


IA-3: GOP Has Sights Set On Boswell

Bookmark and Share

As Election Day draws nearer, the importance of US House races in the Upper Midwest will be seen through an increased number television advertisements, more money injected into the campaigns by political parties and campaign committees, and more public polling.

Since most of the Upper Midwest's 22 districts have historically not been competitive, attention and resources will hone in on a handful of races. Today's focus is on Iowa's 3rd District—perhaps the only seat of the 10 held by the democrats in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin that is potentially vulnerable in November. (Iowa's 3rd Congressional District comprises twelve counties in central Iowa: Benton, Grundy, Iowa, Jasper, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Polk, Poweshiek, and Tama).

Iowa is neither a red nor a blue state, although for the past generation the GOP has thoroughly dominated the democrats in US House races, winning more than 75% of these elections since 1984 (45 to 14).

Leonard Boswell has been the state's only democratic voice in its delegation to Congress since he entered office in 1996. Boswell earned his seat in the House of Representatives that year when he won a close open-seat race against Republican Mike Mahaffey by 1.8 points. This broke a Republican stronghold of 5 out of 5 delegates representing the state in the House in 1994. Boswell is the only democrat to have won a House race in Iowa since: he won convincingly in 1998 (15.8 points) and 2000 (29.1 points), but had a closer call against Republican nominee Stan Thompson in 2002 (8.4 points) and 2004 (10.5 points).

This year Boswell squares off against republican Iowa State Senator Jeff Lamberti. Lamberti is the GOP's best shot at stealing a seat from the democrats in the Upper Midwest this year, but it will be an uphill climb for him to unseat the 5-term incumbent.

A recent KCCI Research 2000 Poll found Boswell with a 52-41 lead, with just 7% of the district undecided. This 11-point lead suggests Boswell is basically holding onto his supporters from 2002 and 2004, but not turning many new heads in his favor. Boswell's has run a safe campaign in 2006 focused on education, the economy (fiscal responsibility), and Medicare—all uncontroversial issues that will unlikely rally more troops to (nor cause defections from) his camp.

Lamberti is not exactly rocking the boat either—focusing on many of these same issues in his campaign. Lamberti's campaign website highlights his stated accomplishments in the Iowa state senate to improve education, shrink the size of government, help the economy grow, improve Social Security, and fight against crime.

It will be interesting to see how much money Lamberti raises in the coming weeks—will the GOP try to keep him afloat, or sink all their resources into protecting their much-coveted (open) 1st District? Come back tomorrow for a discussion on that race.

Previous post: MN Senate: Klobuchar Opens Up Remarkable Lead In 'Controversial' New MN Poll
Next post: IA-1: Dems Best Chance for a Pick-Up in Upper Midwest

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting