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Smart Politics Projections: Iowa U.S. House

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Competitive elections in Democratic districts may not result in ousting of any incumbents

Current delegation partisan split
Democrats: 3
Republicans: 2

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 3
Republican incumbents: 2
Open seats: 0

Analysis
Expected (and substantial) Republican victories up and down the ballot In Iowa's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests on one side and in the state legislature on the other, would suggest that one or more of the three Democratic U.S. House seats on the ballot sandwiched in between are vulnerable in 2010.

Despite their vulnerability, there are reasons to suspect Bruce Braley
(IA-01), David Loebsack (IA-02), and perennial GOP target Leonard Boswell (IA-03) all may survive on Election Day.

Braley's and Loebsack's districts probably have enough of a Democratic partisan tilt to see them through, while Boswell has been in this position several times over his previous seven campaigns - always managing to find a way to win.

If one or more of these districts should flip to the Republicans, the somewhat aggressive state legislative shift to the GOP projected by Smart Politics in the State House and State Senate may be on the low end.

Projections
IA-01. Bruce Braley (Democratic hold)
IA-02. David Loebsack (Democratic hold)
IA-03. Leonard Boswell (Democratic hold)
IA-04. Tom Latham (GOP hold)
IA-05. Steve King (GOP hold)

Partisan shift: No change

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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