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Iowa's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

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Iowa's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Bruce Braley Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Bruce Braley Democratic Party
Bruce Braley.jpg

Iowa U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Iowa.png
The 1st Congressional District of Iowa held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Bruce Braley won the election.[1]
This is the 1st Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 16, 2012
June 5, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Iowa has a mostly closed primary system: voters must be registered with the Democratic or Republican party in order to vote in the primary, but they may switch their party affiliation on election day.[2]

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by May 26.[2] For the general election, the voter pre-registration deadline was October 27,[3] but voters could also register at the polls on Election Day, provided they brought proper documentation.[4]

See also: Iowa elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Bruce Braley (D), who was first elected in 2006.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Iowa's 1st Congressional District covers the northeastern part of the state. The district includes Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Bremer, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson, Jones, Linn, Benton, Iowa, Poweshiek, Marshall and Tama counties.[5]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Bruce BraleyGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Ben Lange
Independent Gregory Hughes
Independent George Todd Krail II

May 8, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

U.S. House, Iowa District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Braley Incumbent 56.9% 222,422
     Republican Ben Lange 41.6% 162,465
     Independent Gregory Hughes 1.2% 4,772
     Independent George Todd Krail II 0.2% 931
Total Votes 390,590
Source: Iowa Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Iowa District 1 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Lange 53.4% 13,217
Rod Blum 46.6% 11,551
Total Votes 24,768

Race background

Ben Lange was defeated by Bruce Braley in the 2010 general election. Lange lost by approximately 2% of the vote.[10]

On August 1, 2012, Ben Lange filed an ethics complaint against Bruce Braley, on the grounds that he had used government resources to aid his campaign by inviting voters to "Deficit Workshops." John Davis, Bradley's Chief of Staff, described the claim as "without merit."[11]

Republican challenger Ben Lange was included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[12]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Iowa

The 1st District became more favorable to Democrats with the inclusion of Linn County and its loss of Scott County,[13] and centers around Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[14]

The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[15][16]

Registration statistics

As of October 24, 2012, District 1 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Iowa Secretary of State:

Iowa Congressional District 1[17]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 1 472,809 157,307 136,877 178,565 Democratic 14.93% -16.36%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Iowa's 1st District saw no change in partisanship due to redistricting.[18]

  • 2012: 55D / 45R
  • 2010: 55D / 45R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, 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 1st Congressional District has a PVI of D+5, which is the 145th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 59-41 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 53-47 percent over George W. Bush (R).[19]



The following are two campaign ads released by incumbent Bruce Braley and challenger Ben Lange. Bruce Braley

Ben Lange, "Brooklyn, Iowa"[20]

Ben Lange

Ben Lange, "Ad: Braley's Broken Promises"[21]

Campaign donors


Bruce Braley (2012)[22] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[23]April 15, 2012$627,426.33$323,998.11$(122,891.66)$828,532.78
Pre-Primary[24]May 24, 2012$828,532.78$101,027.64$(125,442.43)$804,117.99
July Quarterly[25]July 15, 2012$804,117.99$342,675.48$(51,407.16)$1,095,386.31
October Quarterly[26]October 15, 2012$1,095,386.31$481,099.13$(1,001,700.88)$574,784.56
Pre-General[27]October 25, 2012$574,784.56$104,369.86$(302,451.42)$376,703.00
Running totals
Ben Lange (2012)[28] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[29]April 15, 2012$120,311.66$110,574.22$(43,319.97)$187,565.91
Pre-Primary[30]May 24, 2012$187,565.91$58,175.36$(77,080.03)$168,661.24
July Quarterly[31]July 15, 2012$168,661.24$131,238.09$(49,966.35)$249,932.98
October Quarterly[32]October 15, 2012$249,932.98$422,203.59$(471,843.67)$200,292.90
Pre-General[33]October 25, 2012$200,292.90$87,551.74$(227,923.84)$59,920.80
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Bruce Braley won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Benjamin M. Lange (R), Rob J. Petsche (L) and Jason A. Faulkner (I) in the general election.[34]

U.S. House, Iowa District 1 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Braley Incumbent 49.5% 104,428
     Republican Benjamin M. Lange 47.5% 100,219
     Libertarian Rob J. Petsche 1.9% 4,087
     Independent Jason A. Faulkner 1% 2,092
     Independent Write-In 0% 76
Total Votes 210,902

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Iowa Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Election," accessed July 24, 2012
  3. Iowa Secretary of State, "Voter Pre-Registration," accessed July 24, 2012
  4. Iowa Secretary of State, "Election Day Registration," accessed July 24, 2012
  5. Iowa Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed July 24, 2012
  6. The Iowa Republican "Ben Lange Prepares to make another run at Braley" December 16, 2011
  7. Des Moines Register "Dubuque businessman to challenge Braley" accessed December 16, 2011
  8. Eastern Iowa "Lange: Rematch with Braley in Iowa 1st like an open seat race" accessed December 16, 2011
  9. KCCI "June 5 Iowa State Primary Results" accessed June 5, 2012
  10. WCF Courier, "Lange wins GOP nomination and rematch with Braley"
  11. Des Moines Register, "1st District challenger Ben Lange announces complaint against incumbent Bruce Braley"
  12. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  13. Roll Call, "Race Ratings: Competitive Races On Tap in Iowa" accessed February 29, 2012
  14. Des Moines Register, "Filing deadline makes official big battles in Iowa's 3rd, 4th Districts" accessed March 19, 2012
  15. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Iowa's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  16. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  17. Iowa Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," July 2, 2012
  18. , "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Iowa," September 2012
  19. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  20. YouTube channel
  21. YouTube channel
  22. FEC Reports, "Bruce Braley Summary Reports" accessed July 13, 2012
  23. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly," accessed July 13, 2012
  24. FEC Reports, "Pre-Primary," accessed July 13, 2012
  25. FEC Reports, "July Quarterly," accessed October 31, 2012
  26. FEC Reports, "October Quarterly," accessed October 31, 2012
  27. FEC Reports, "Pre-General" accessed October 31, 2012
  28. FEC Reports, "Ben Lange Summary Reports" accessed July 13, 2012
  29. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly," accessed July 13, 2012
  30. FEC Reports, "Pre-Primary," accessed July 13, 2012
  31. FEC Reports, "July Quarterly," accessed October 31, 2012
  32. FEC Reports, "October Quarterly," accessed October 31, 2012
  33. FEC Reports, "Pre-General," accessed October 31, 2012
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013 accessed November 5, 2011