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Smart Politics Projections: Iowa State House

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Republicans to take advantage of historically thin Democratic field to win back lower chamber

Current partisan split
Democrats: 56
Republicans: 44

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 46
Open Democratic seats: 10
Republican incumbents: 38
Open Republican seats: 6

Unchallenged seats
No Democrat on the ballot: 25
No Republican on the ballot: 8

Analysis
Smart Politics analyzed in early October how Democrats were bracing for a bloodbath in elections for the Iowa House of Representatives.

Democrats are at a disadvantage of maintaining control of the lower chamber on almost every dimension - even putting aside the Republican momentum that is brewing in the Hawkeye State.

Most glaringly, Democrats set a record in 2010 for the largest number of districts in which a major political party has failed to field a House candidate since the lower chamber became a 100-seat body 40 years ago (25).

Meanwhile, Republicans fielded candidates in 92 races - their best showing in 30 years.

Democrats are also having to defend 10 open seats, compared to just six for the Republicans.

All of this adds up to a big day for Republicans, with the real potential of double-digit gains in the House like they enjoyed during the Republican Revolution of 1994.

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +10
Partisan control: GOP takes control

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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