Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Iowa's 1st Congressional District

Bookmark and Share

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of Upper Midwestern congressional races leading up to the November 2nd elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The first profile in the series is Iowa's 1st Congressional District race.

Candidates:
Democrat: Bruce Braley (2-term incumbent)
Republican: Benjamin M. Lange
Libertarian: Rob J. Petsche
Nominated by Petition: Jason A. Faulkner

District Geography:
Iowa's 1st Congressional District comprises twelve eastern counties: Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Jackson, Jones, and Scott.

History:
Braley, an attorney, turned a Congressional district that had voted Republican by double-digit margins in 2004 (11.9 points) and 2002 (14.6) into a double-digit Democratic pick-up in 2006 (11.9 points). His victory helped bring about the first Democratic majority in Iowa's delegation to the U.S. House since 1976 that year.

Braley followed that up with a 29.2-point thumping of GOPer David Hartusch in 2008, in a district Barack Obama carried by 17 points.

Braley serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee this session. During his first term he served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Small Business.

Braley's GOP opponent, Ben Lange, is a political newcomer who runs a small law practice in Independence, Iowa.

Libertarian candidate Rob Petsche is a former Co-Chair of the Republican Central Committee in Dubuque County. Independent Jason Faulkner is another political newcomer who is a former Army Reservist and works as a gem cutter. The largest showing for any third party candidate in the 1st CD since redistricting in 2002 is a 1.1-point performance by James Hill of the Pirate Party in 2006.

Outlook:
Iowa's First Congressional District has a +5 Democrat Partisan Voting Index. Not only did the district vote for Obama by 17 points, but John Kerry carried it by seven points in 2004 when George W. Bush won the Hawkeye State. Although the district has only been in the Democratic column for two consecutive election cycles (won during Democratic waves), it is not one of the many vulnerable Democratic U.S. House seats in the Midwest this cycle.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Female Candidates to Shatter Records Across the Country on Election Day
Next post: Third Party U.S. House Candidates Spike to Largest Midterm Election Mark Since 1934

Leave a comment


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.


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