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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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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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