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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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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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