Iowa Archive:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

IA-01: Braley (D) is Looking Good

Posted by James L.

From a Des Moines Register poll (likely voters):

Bruce Braley (D): 44
Mike Whalen (R): 37
Undecided: 17
MoE: ±4.7%

This is an open seat race in a district that John Kerry won by a 53-46 margin against Bush in 2004. Incumbent Republican Rep. Jim Nussle, who had a lock on this seat since 1990 (facing only one close call in 1992 against incumbent Democratic Rep. Dave Nagle in a redistricting match-up), is making a run for Governor, and it looks like this seat is trending back to its natural condition of leaning Democratic:

The Iowa Poll also tested the overall strength of the two parties' candidates in the state's four other congressional districts.

While not identifying candidates by name, the poll asked whether likely voters would cast their ballots for the Democrat or Republican nominated for the seat in their district. Forty-three percent said they would vote Democratic if the election were held now, and 36 percent said they would vote Republican.

Having the popular Nussle at the top of the ticket is a plus for Whalen, but I'm finding it doubtful that he'll overcome this district's natural Democratic edge in a year like this.

Posted at 04:52 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Iowa | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Iowa and Montana Results Open Thread

Posted by James L.

Here we go.

MT-SEN, 0% 2.42% 10.73% 33.22% 75.78% of Precincts reporting:

John Morrison (D): 1,140 (52.41) 2,631 (34.73) 6,463 (33.10) 15,932 (34.86) 27,735 (36.04)
Jon Tester (D): 969 (44.55) 4,801 (63.37) 12,588 (64.48) 8,657 (62.70) 46,517 (60.44)

These numbers (the 2.42% update) are from Cascade County, which is the Great Falls area. This is fantastic news for Tester, since Matt Singer wrote that "This is one of the few towns where a number of legislators have stayed neutral or are supporting John Morrison, so expect it to be a bit closer here."

Conrad Burns (R-Inc.): 1,500 (69.64) 4,814 (71.36) 10,027 (71.71) 24,746 (70.32)

Bob Keenan (R): 527 (24.47) 1,541 (22.84) 3,150 (22.53) 8,543 (24.28)

IA-GOV, 10.34% 48.67% 58.53% 67.11% 99.47% Precincts Reporting:

Mike Blouin (D): 4,771 (62.50) 29,758 (34.40) 33,084 (34.18) 37,066 (34.30) 49,900 (34.02)
Chet Culver (D): 1,597 (20.92) 31,527 (36.45) 35,995 (37.19) 40,816 (37.76) 57,178 (38.98)
Ed Fallon (D): 1,143 (14.97) 24,064 (27.82) 26,495 (27.37) 28,835 (26.68) 37,795 (25.77)

IA-01 (see IA-Gov link), 0.3% 42.81% 70.06% 100.00% Precincts Reporting:

Rick Dickinson (D): 900 (61.73) 6,274 (44.30) 7,158 (33.29) 9,937 (33.82)
Bill Gluba (D): 323 (22.15) 2,902 (20.49) 6,003 (27.92) 7,496 (25.51)
Braley, Bruce (D): 207 (14.20) 4,545 (32.10) 7,487 (34.82) 10,797 (36.74)

Bill Dix (R): 123 (41.84) 2,309 (40.11) 4,472 (28.29) 8,504 (37.53)
Mike Whalen (R): 113 (38.44) 2,424 (42.11) 8,930 (56.49) 10,985 (48.47)
Brian Kennedy (R): 58 (19.73) 1,024 (17.79) 2,407 (15.23) 3,173 (14.00)

Posted at 10:15 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa, Montana | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Other Races to Watch on June 6

Posted by James L.

Earlier in the week, we gave you the rundown of all the hot primary races in California and Montana. Lost in the shuffle is the fact that primaries are being held in six other states, as well: Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Here's what you should be keeping your eye on:

AL-Gov: This is one race that sure didn't live up to its billing. Last year, it looked like former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (of "Ten Commandments" fame) might knock off unpopular Alabama Gov. Bob Riley in the Republican primary on the strength of the religious right, setting up the Democratic nominee with a chance to pick up the votes of, well, the sane faction of Alabama's Republican Party. But a year is a long time in politics, and Riley has looked stronger than ever since his performance during Hurricane Katrina boosted his popularity. The latest SUSA poll shows Moore tanking, so all the action is on the Democratic side, where former Gov. Don Siegelman's ongoing corruption trial is turning the primary against Lt-Gov. Lucy Baxley into a bit of a gong show, especially since Siegelman has been running neck-and-neck with Baxley in the polls for much of the campaign. Fortunately, Baxley has been surging ahead lately in the polls as Siegelman's trial has been dominating the local headlines. The only hope for Siegelman is that he can force a run-off, and in the meantime, find himself miraculously acquitted and get a boost from voters who may just buy into his assertion that the corruption/bribery charges were all a "political plot". But let's be real here: if Baxley can't win outright on Tuesday against this indicted punching bag, she's going to be destroyed by the much more formidable Riley this November.

IA-Gov: Given the importance of Iowa in Presidential elections, you'd think that there'd be more ink spilled on the national blogs over this race; Tom Vilsack is retiring, and other potential White House contenders would love to have a friend in the Iowa Governor's mansion during the next campaign season. The Republicans have already settled on IA-01 Rep. Jim Nussle for the nod, a deft politician who survived a decade of tough campaigns in a Democratic district. The Democratic field looks to be a two or three-way race between Secretary of State Chet Culver, former Rep. Mike Blouin, and State Senator Ed Fallon. The National Journal has a good summary of the field. Blouin, who hasn't run for elected office since losing his congressional seat in 1978, seems to be the establishment choice, and has racked up a huge amount of endorsements from major party players. Still, Culver is seen as the front-runner, and he was the only Democrat to lead Nussle in the most recent round of Rasmussen polls. Fallon is running a Wellstone-inspired outsider campaign.

MS-02: Of the four Democratic House incumbents facing moderate-to-serious primary challenges this Tuesday (the other two being CA-06's Lynn Woolsey, CA-36's Jane Harman and CA-51's Bob Filner), perhaps the most competitive is State Rep. Chuck Espy's challenge to seven-term Rep. Bennie Thompson. Espy's uncle, Mike Espy, is the former Congressman of the same district--and his election in 1986 made him the first black Congressman in Mississippi since Reconstruction. Mike Espy later went on to be Clinton's Agriculture Secretary and retains some popularity in the district, so the family connection gives his nephew a lift at the polls. I don't have a moose in this race, but for what it's worth, Thompson has sharply criticized Espy for being the beneficiary of a Republican-linked PAC that's hoping to topple Thompson by flooding the Democratic primary with Republican voters. Mississippi has an open primary system and no official party registration, but some establishment Democrats hoped to tighten the primary election rules by filing an unsuccessful lawsuit on the issue (a move apparently orchestrated to help protect Thompson.) Larry Sabato put this race in the top five primary challenges to watch back in February, and ranked the race as "Leans Thompson", but that was before Espy's fundraising kicked into gear. This AP article gives a decent overview of the race, for further information.

SD-Gov: Former State Representative and current South Dakota Democratic Party Vice-Chair Jack Billion is squaring off with former SD Farmers Union president Dennis Wiese for the chance to face Gov. Mike Rounds in the general election this November. Rounds, as you may recall, signed a horrendously restrictive abortion ban in March, and SD Democrats have the opportunity to make this an interesting race. As DavidNYC wrote, this isn't necessarily about defeating Rounds, but rather, this is about bruising him badly enough so that he'll be less formidable should he choose to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson for his seat in 2008. It's about thinking two moves ahead.

I realize that I'm missing the IA-01 rundown, but sleep is the imperative right now. I'll post an update tomorrow.

Posted at 04:34 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, South Dakota | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 10, 2005

2008: Western Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has written before of the need to let western states be involved with Presidental politics. However, tomorrow's breaking announcement about a 2008 "Western States" presidential primary could change everyone's calculations.

There is a DNC Commission that wants to let two states front-load with Iowa and New Hampshire. But what if instead of two "states" -- it were two elections, including a Western States Primary.

In discussing the new plan to diffuse the early strength, Jerome Armstrong suggests:

So I'd bet that the states that will be added in between, and if I had to guess, I'd go with New Mexico and Nevada as being the two states leading for the southwestern slot, and South Carolina and Alabama for the southern slot.

Solid analysis, but what if the "southwestern spot" was actually one big Western Primary?

Something to think about considerring the following announcement (via email):

Governor Richardson, Utah Governor Huntsman to Make Announcement Concerning Western Primary TUESDAY

SANTA FE – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman will hold a press conference at 11:30 am, Tuesday, October 11th, in the Governor’s cabinet room to discuss bipartisan Western Governor’s support for creating a “Western States” Presidential Primary in 2008.

Governor Huntsman is leading a bipartisan delegation of Utah legislators and party leaders to Santa Fe. Accompanying Governor Huntsman are Utah Senate President John Valentine, Utah Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, Utah House Majority Leader Jeff Alexander, Utah House Minority Leader Ralph Becker, Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland, Utah Republican Party Chair Joe Cannon.

The Utah delegation will meet with their New Mexico counterparts to discuss the Western Primary and immigration issues.

The Utah delegation will depart Santa Fe in the afternoon.

These two events could come together in a way that would turn conventional wisdom about presidential primaries on it's head.

I'm a big fan of some the Western Strategy: straight talk, bold action, populist, and authentic. In short, four qualities we were missing in 2004.

Could a western primary help bridge this gap? What about the talk of a western 2008 Democratic National Convention? What about both?

Posted at 04:38 PM in 2008 Election - President, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tom DeLay Scandal: Reps. Blunt, Nussle, and Gerlach hit with ads

Posted by Bob Brigham

Press Release:

Public Campaign, a nonpartisan money and politics watchdog group, will launch television advertisements in three congressional districts tomorrow to build pressure on Republican members of Congress to demand Majority Leader Tom DeLay's resignation. The ads will run in:

-- The 7th Congressional District of Missouri, currently represented by Majority Whip Roy Blunt

-- The 6th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, currently represented by Rep. Jim Gerlach

-- The 1st Congressional District of Iowa, currently represented by Rep. Jim Nussle

"With Rep. Chris Shays' courageous statement yesterday calling on Tom DeLay to step down, we are turning up the heat on Republican members to join him," said David Donnelly, National Campaigns director of Public Campaign. "DeLay's big money scandals and cash-and-carry politics should be repudiated by elected officials everywhere."

Posted at 06:25 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

IA-1: 2006 Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

With Congressman Nussle running for Iowa Governor, the first congressional district will be an Open Seat that Democrats can win. If they don't screw it up. Blogfather Jerome Armstrong has the details.

Posted at 09:10 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Iowa, Open Seats | Technorati

Friday, February 11, 2005

Harkin to abandon the Senate?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Iowa: With Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack stepping down, the rumor mill has begun to churn for the 2006 open election. Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA) has already declared that he is going to chase the seat. Now, rumors of a potential heavyweight showdown between Nussle and Tom Harkin have begun to surface.

Harkin, a Democrat in his fourth term, was asked Thursday in a conference call with Iowa reporters about rumors he may make a bid for the chief executive post back home in Iowa.

The governor's seat will be open in 2006, when Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack has said he will step down after two terms. Several Democrats are considering runs, but the only announced Democratic candidate is state Rep. Ed Fallon of Des Moines.

"I don't know - that just went all over the darn place and I don't know what's all behind that," Harkin said of the rumors.

In fairness, the tone and tenor of the article kind of leads you to the conclusion that Harkin will stick around in the Senate, and thank God for that. I suppose that is easy for me to say, being from Chicago and living in Pennsylvania. The piece concludes:

Harkin does appear to be ready to tackle a fifth Senate term in 2008. "I love my job," he told reporters.

Posted at 09:46 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa | Technorati

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Jim Nussle surfaces for Governor, IA-01 Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Des Moines Register:

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle became the first Iowa Republican to take formal steps toward running for governor next year, filing documents Thursday announcing his intent to seek the 2006 Republican nomination. [...] At the end of 2004, Nussle had a combined total of roughly $450,000 in his congressional campaign fund and an account connected to a political action committee he formed in part to curry favor with legislative Republicans.

Ryan said Nussle had transferred none of that money to his gubernatorial campaign, although Iowa and federal law allows such transfers.

As Laddy on MyDD points out:

This will likely to mean he'll vacate his seat in what should be friendly Democratic turf. The seat has potential to be a pickup, as Gore won the district 52-45, and Kerry won 53-46.

The Gazette reports, "Nussle said he benefited from the many visits by President George Bush...Nussle has collected more than $1.6 million for his campaign. Gluba has collected $368,000."

An incumbent needed multiple visits from the President and a 4:1 financial advantage to hold on to this Democratic seat. The battle for IA-01 could be very interesting.

Posted at 03:12 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - State, Iowa | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Iowa Absentee Ballots

Posted by DavidNYC

On the NYT's front page right now is a story by Johnny Apple about Iowa's absentee ballots. Specifically, the number of Dems requesting such ballots is far outstripping GOP requests. This story is almost like slo-mo, Big Media blogging - and bad blogging, at that. The date on the byline is Sept. 26th - two days ago - and the whole story just rips off a piece that appeared in the Des Moines Register that appeared five days ago. All the NYT really does is add a few quotes (I guess Tom Vilsack returns Apple's calls) and try to hype the story into something big. At least they gave the Register its due - usually the NYT steals from the little guys without so much as a thank you.

Anyhow, I'm ragging on the Times because I don't think there's much to see here. You should really contrast the story with the Register article, which leads with the idea of early voting in general. The part about the Dem advantage only comes later. The Times pumps up this aspect, but it just doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. Yes, more Dems have asked for absentee ballots than Republicans, but in the last two elections, more Republicans have shown up at the voting booths. And yes, there's a 3-to-1 advantage in absentee ballot requests right now, but the ratio of absentee voting in the 2000 election was much narrower - 140K Gore to 130K Bush.

The Register story quotes a GOP politician who says that the Dems are just shifting voting habits, not increasing turnout. This analysis may well be right. Let me just say that I'm not going to stake my Iowa hopes on mail-in ballots.

Posted at 05:01 PM in Iowa | Comments (49) | Technorati

Monday, August 02, 2004

ARG Polls Taken During the Convention

Posted by DavidNYC

ARG profiled Iowa from July 26-28, which, it should be noted, was before John Kerry spoke on Thursday night at the convention. The results (likely voters, mid-April in parens):

Kerry: 47 (48)
Bush: 47 (47)
Undecided: 6 (5)
(MoE: ��4%)

Bush & Kerry have almost identical favorability ratings: 49-45 for Bush and 50-44 for Kerry. Bush has remained pretty much constant, but Kerry was at 42-34 in April, suggesting that he's been able to increase his positives at the same time that Bush has driven up his negatives. If these numbers hold until election day - ie, essentially tied across the board - I'd say Iowa is ours.

ARG also looked at West Virginia during the same time-frame. The deltas are equally unexciting (likely voters, mid-June in parens):

Kerry: 48 (48)
Bush: 44 (45)
Undecided: 8 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Somewhat to my surprise, Kerry is doing a lot better here on favorability than I would have expected. I'd have figured that Bush's exploitation of Kerry's socially liberal record would have badly hurt Kerry, as it did with Gore. But the challenger stands at 53-37, while Bush is at 44-50. At least according to ARG, it looks like Bush is in serious trouble here. It was only in March that his numbers were 61-37. That's a pretty precipitous drop, if you ask me. So maybe WV is ready to return to the Democratic fold.

I'm not aware of any other state polls that were taken after the convention. (Do pollsters not work on weekends?) But if you know of any, or hear about any, please let us know.

Posted at 01:28 AM in Iowa, West Virginia | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, May 28, 2004

Quick Poll Roundup: AZ, IA, PA

Posted by DavidNYC

Arizona, ASU/KAET-TV (4/23 - 4/26 in parens):

Kerry: 38 (38)
Bush: 43 (41)
Nader: 2 (3)
Undecided: 17 (18)
(MoE: ��5.1%)

What minor moves there are here are all well within the MoE. However, Bush's overall approval rating stayed the same at 48-47. The last poll on that front was taken all the way back in February, so it seems like all the bad news for the Bushies hasn't hurt him much in this state. The big number of undecideds could wind up tilting our way, though. (CW says that undecideds break for the challenger in the end.)

Iowa, Research 2000 for KCCI-TV (January in parens):

Kerry: 48 (42)
Bush: 43 (49)
Undecided: 9 (9)

Kerry: 46
Bush: 42
Nader: 3
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ��4%)

No trendlines when the poll includes Nader. We should definitely win here.

Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac (mid-April in parens):

Kerry: 45 (42)
Bush: 42 (46)
Undecided: 9 (7)

Kerry: 44 (39)
Bush: 41 (45)
Nader: 6 (8)
Undecided: 9 (8)
(MoE: ��3.7%)

Definitely looking a lot better than last time around, but I think we still need to fight hard here.

Posted at 02:05 AM in Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

High Iowa Turnout a Good Sign

Posted by DavidNYC

While all eyes are on the surprising results out of Iowa, there's one important detail we shouldn't miss: Turnout was very high. The total number of participants appears to be about 122,000. This is a record-breaking amount. (As Tom Schaller at DKos noted the other day, the oft-repeated figure of 125,000 participants in 1988 is in all likelihood quite off the mark - it was probably closer to 95,000.) And reports from individual caucus-goers, which helpfully fill in the inevitable gaps in mainstream media coverage, provide some colorful details.

Furthermore, an entrance poll says that 55% of attendees were first-timers, a very heartening statistic. Some recent posts around the blogosphere have been critical of the idea that Democrats can win by bringing in new voters. I agree that one should view such claims skeptically - but at least, in the case of Iowa, we have some actual empirical evidence that this is taking place.

We won Iowa by just a handful of votes in 2000, and it is likely to be very close once again this time around. So I take the fact that so many Democrats felt motivated to make their voices heard and participate in the (often grueling) caucus experience as a very good sign. With the right message and encouragement, these folks will be ready to come back out in force for our guy in November, regardless of whom they supported last night. We are definitely going to go toe-to-toe with the Bush/Rove machine in the Hawkeye State - and then some.

Posted at 01:33 AM in Iowa | Comments (1) | Technorati

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