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Smart Politics Projections: Iowa State Senate (2008)

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Through November 3rd, Smart Politics will be running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The fourth projections in the series are State Senate races in the State of Iowa.

Iowa: State Senate.
Balance of power: Democrats (30 to 20)
2006 Results: Democrats, net 5 seats
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 25
Districts to defend: Republicans = 14 of 20 (70 percent); Democrats = 11 of 30 (37 percent)
Open seats: Republicans = 6; Democrats = 1
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 8; Democrats = 10
Districts without major party opposition: Republicans = 5; Democrats = 1

Outlook: The best opportunities for Democratic pick-ups will be in open Districts 18, 20, and 22 and perhaps District 24 (against GOP incumbent Jerry Behn). The open race in District 48 presents another opportunity. Given their limited options, the Republican's best chances to steal seats come in Districts 38, 42, and 46. However, Democrats are running incumbents in all these districts, so, given the current political environment, this will be no easy task.

Projection: Democrats +3. Democrats retain control of Senate.

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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.


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