Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Iowa's 3rd Congressional District (2008)

Bookmark and Share

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The fifth profile in the series is Iowa's 3rd Congressional District race.

Candidates:
Democrat: Leonard L. Boswell (6-term incumbent)
Republican: Kim Schmett
Socialist Workers: Frank V. Forrestal

District Geography:

Iowa's 3rd Congressional District comprises twelve counties in central Iowa: Benton, Grundy, Iowa, Jasper, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Polk, Poweshiek, and Tama.

History:
Six-term Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell is one of three fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats from the Upper Midwest in the U.S. House.

Boswell earned a seat in the House of Representatives in 1996 when he won a close open-seat race against Republican Mike Mahaffey by 1.8 points. This broke the Republican monopoly of the Iowan congressional delegation - all of the state's five congressional seats were held by Republicans in 1994. Boswell was the only Democrat to have won a House race in Iowa from 1996 through 2004: 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 - winning by just 8.4 points. Boswell won a rematch against Thompson by 10.5 points in 2004 and defeated Jeff Lamberti by 5.3 points in 2006.

Boswell - a Vietnam War veteran and farmer - is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Republican Kim Schmett, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, is an attorney, former chief administrative law judge, former Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and former executive director for the Coalition for Family and Children's Services in Iowa. Schmett is running on a platform of ensuring good jobs in a competitive international economy, keeping America free and safe, and maintaining a quality life for all Americans especially the elderly and most vulnerable.

Also on the ballot is Socialist Workers Party candidate Frank V. Forrestal.

Outlook:
Boswell had to fend off a primary challenge in 2008 - defeating Ed Fallon by 20 points - and has emerged victorious in three straight fairly competitive general election matchups. The 3rd District split its presidential vote 50-50 in 2004 and will likely lean Obama in 2008.

Having captured and held the 3rd Congressional District during the height of the Republican Party's popularity in the Hawkeye State in the mid- and late 1990s, Boswell will do his part in the current Democratic-friendly political environment to insure Iowa will send a Democratic majority-led congressional delegation back to D.C. for a second consecutive session.

Previous post: Election Profile: Iowa's 2nd Congressional District (2008)
Next post: Election Profile: Iowa's 4th Congressional District (2008)

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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