Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Iowa Congressional Seats

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November 1, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Iowa's Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
No 4 2 (3rd & 4th)

DES MOINES: Iowa: Iowa has four U.S. House seats on the ballot in 2012. All four congressional districts have at least two candidates on the ballot in the general election.

Three of the four Congressional seats are held by Democratic incumbents with the other being held by a Republican incumbent.

According to the New York Times race ratings in October 2012, the 3rd and 4th districts are considered to be in play.[1]

Iowa's 3rd Congressional District is considered to be a toss-up according to the New York Times race ratings. Due to redistricting, incumbent Leonard Boswell (D) will face off against fellow incumbent Tom Latham (R) in the general election. They are vying for election in a district that is made up of nearly the same number of Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters.[1]

Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Iowa's 3rd Congressional District has a PVI of R+1. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 53-47 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 53-47 percent over John Kerry (D).[2]

Iowa's 4th Congressional District is considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Republican incumbent Steve King faces Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack.[1]

Some of the organizations that have filed reports for campaign spending directed against incumbent Steve King include the SEIU and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and AFL-CIO. SEIU reportedly spent more than $30,000 on advertisements against King, while AFSCME reportedly spent $26,000.[3][4]

Iowa's 4th District has been included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identifies districts that the organization has specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[5]

When comparing fundraising efforts between King and Democratic opponent Christie Vilsack, King has the upperhand by roughly $400,000.[6]

In Iowa, all polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM Central time, one of the longest polling periods in the nation.[7]

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012) Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Iowa:

District General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
1st Democratic Party Bruce Braley
Republican Party Ben Lange
IndependentGregory Hughes
IndependentGeorge Todd Krail II
Bruce Braley Pending Pending
2nd Democratic Party Dave Loebsack
Republican Party John Archer
Dave Loebsack Pending Pending
3rd Democratic Party Leonard Boswell
Republican Party Tom Latham
IndependentDavid Rosenfeld
IndependentScott G. Batcher
Leonard Boswell Pending Pending
4th Democratic Party Christie Vilsack
Republican Party Steve King
IndependentMartin James Monroe
Tom Latham Pending Pending
5th District Removed in Redistricting Steve King N/A N/A
Members of the U.S. House from Iowa -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 3 2
     Republican Party 2 2
Total 5 4
 Congressional Redistricting Map, approved April 2011 

For more information, view Redistricting in Iowa.


See also