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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

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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