Tags: Tom Latham

Rep. Steve King Most Popular Among Iowa Republicans


The good folks at the Citizens United Victory Fund commissioned a poll of likely Iowa Republican primary voters.

The Wenzel Strategies survey of likely Republican Primary Election voters statewide in Iowa shows that Rep. Steve King is well-regarded by GOP primary voters and leads a field of many candidates by a wide margin.  In a prospective 8-person contest for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate, King wins 34% support, compared to 19% for Rep. Tom Latham, who comes in second place.  Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds comes in a distant third place, winning 10% support.  Another 20% of respondents were undecided in the race.

The Citizens United PAC has supported both congressmen in past cycles; the group spent $2.8 million last cycle.

Of course, I’d really like to see how these candidates look in a general election — both in terms of name ID and favorability, not to mention how they match up with the potential Democratic Senate options…

Tags: Kim Reynolds , Steve King , Tom Latham

Iowans Prepare for a Long-Forgotten Ancient Ritual: Open-Seat Senate Race


Over the weekend, Iowa Democratic senator Tom Harkin, 73, announced he will retire, after a mere five terms in the U.S. Senate. His departure creates the first open Senate seat in Iowa since 1974.

The speculation about his replacement is focusing on three members of the U.S. House from Iowa — one Democrat and two Republicans:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley said Sunday that he is considering running for Harkin’s seat because supporters statewide have encouraged him to do so.

The Republican speculation is likely to focus on U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King.

Latham, of Clive, is a veteran member of the House Appropriations Committee who has won 10 consecutive elections. Latham’s office didn’t rule out a run for the Senate on Sunday.

“No decision has been made at this time. All doors remain open at this point,” said James Carstensen, Latham’s chief of staff.

Rep. Steve King, of Kiron, won a sixth term last fall by beating Iowa’s Democratic former first lady Christie Vilsack. King said in a statement that the retirement announcement was a surprise, and he congratulated Harkin on his long career.

“Iowans now have a real opportunity to elect a true constitutional conservative to help lead us out of our crisis of debt and deficit,” said King, who didn’t address whether he might run.

Latham has served in Congress since 1995; in 2012, under redrawn district lines, he beat a Democratic incumbent, Rep. Leonard Boswell, 52.2 percent to 43.5 percent. Latham’s district is made up of Iowa’s southwestern counties, and he carried all of them except Polk County.

Last year, King beat Christie Vilsack, wife of former governor and U.S. secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, 52.9 percent to 44.8 percent. King’s district is made up of Iowa’s northwestern counties.

USA Today looks at the map of 2014 Senate races and notes that with Harkin and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia retiring,

Democrats must try to hang onto two open seats in addition to defending 18 incumbents — and seven of the 20 races are in states that voted Republican in the presidential election. The red-state Senators on the 2014 ballot include Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Max Baucus of Montana, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Republicans will have 13 senators up for re-election, all but one — Susan Collins of Maine — from red states.

Tags: Bruce Braley , Steve King , Tom Harkin , Tom Latham

Redistricting Headaches for Carnahan and Four Iowa Incumbents


Several bits of redistricting news out today. First the good news for the GOP in Missouri, where incumbent Democrat Russ Carnahan appears to member left standing during the district-line version of musical chairs:

U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan’s congressional district would be carved up, with parts going to four colleagues’ districts under a preliminary redistricting plan unveiled Wednesday evening.

The map, drafted by Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, represents the Legislature’s first attempt to redraw the boundaries to eliminate one of the state’s nine congressional districts to reflect the 2010 census.

Iowa’s redistricting is making life difficult for several incumbents in each party; these guys may decide the simpler solution is to just move:

So it turns out moving to Ames wasn’t quite far enough away for Republican Rep. Tom Latham to escape from being paired with fellow Republican Steve King.

The new, proposed map also tosses Democrats Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack together. That’s a more predictable outcome, because with growing eastern-Iowa populations it seemed likely that Johnson and Linn counties would be split up. Should this map be approved, Loebsack could move just a few miles away from his Mount Vernon home to get into Johnson or Cedar counties in the 2nd District.

I wonder if the National Association of Realtors lobbies for complicated redistricting maps, just to stir up the housing market by making lawmakers move a few miles to stay within their new district lines.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, they have to carve out a new seat out of a state that is already heavily Republican:

Over the next several months, one of the busiest spots in the capital will be the map room, where much of the work is done. Speculation has already begun as to which area of the state will get the new congressional district. Early discussion has centered on the Grand Strand because of its rapid growth, but the Rock Hill area, south of Charlotte, has been part of the conversation, too, along with the upstate cities of Spartanburg and Greenville.

Although McConnell told the Associated Press he worked hard to put together a balanced subcommittee, it’s widely expected that the new congressional district will be yet another Republican-controlled district. Five of the state’s current congressmen are Republicans.

Tags: Bruce Braley , Dave Loebsack , Redistricting , Russ Carnahan , Steve King , Tom Latham

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