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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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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