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Smart Politics Projections: Iowa State House (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 fifth projections in the series are State House races in the State of Iowa.

Iowa: State House.
Balance of power: Democrats (53 to 47)
2006 Results: Democrats +5
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 100
Open seats: Republicans = 9; Democrats = 4
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 38; Democrats = 49
Districts without major party opposition: Republicans = 6; Democrats = 16

Outlook: The Democratic Party is in a much stronger position in House races again in 2008, even if you put aside the "Obama bump some candidates may receive from the top of the ticket. Republicans have to defend more narrow victories from 2006 (11) than do the Democrats (8). Democrats have their best shots at picking up seats in Districts 10, 13, 16, 21, 23, 35, 44, 47, 56, and 60. They also have an outside chance, should Obama win big, in Districts 17, 40, 50, 59, 69, 81, 87, 89, and 99. Republican opportunities to pick up seats are more scarce, but the best chances are in Districts 19, 27, 36, 74, 75, 84, and 92. Democratic Representatives have the opportunity to gain their largest advantage in the House since the 1964 Democratic landslide.

Projection: Democrats +9. Democrats retain control of House.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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