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Iowa House Democrats Eye to Expand Advantage in '08

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Iowa Democrats seek to retain control of the House of Representatives in back-to-back elections for the first time since 1988/1990. Democrats won control of the House in 2006 with a 5-seat gain (as projected by Smart Politics), ending a 14-year reign by the GOP.

In 2008, Democrats take a 53 to 47-seat advantage into November’s elections. While third party candidates and those nominated by petition can still file for a few more days with the Secretary of State, the major party candidates have already been determined.

There are several reasons to expect Democrats will expand their lead in the state’s lower legislative chamber:

· Democrats will run 49 incumbents, compared to just 38 for the Republicans. That means Republicans will be defending 9 open seats compared to just 4 for the Democrats.

· Republicans will also have to defend 11 of the 19 districts that were competitive in 2006 – those decided by 10 points or less.

· Democrats also enjoy the advantage of running more than three times as many candidates in districts unchallenged by the GOP (17) as Republicans running in districts without Democratic candidates (5).

Overall, the Democratic and Republican parties did a better job fielding candidates for House races in 2008, compared to 2006. In 2006 there were 41 contests without major party challengers out of 100 races. That number dropped to 30 this year – a healthier sign of electoral competitiveness and democracy at work in the Hawkeye State.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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