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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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