Iowa's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

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Iowa's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Dave Loebsack Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Dave Loebsack Democratic Party
David Loebsack.jpg

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

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Iowa.png
The 2nd Congressional District of Iowa held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Dave Loebsack won the election.[1]

This is the 2nd 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 none of Iowa's current members of Congress resided in the newly-drawn 2nd District. Dave Loebsack (D) moved from Linn County to Johnson County in order to avoid a primary against Bruce Braley and continue representing the 2nd Congressional District.[5]

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Iowa's 2nd Congressional District generally covers most of the southeastern part of the state including Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Decatur, Wayne, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren, Lee, Henry, Des Moines, Louisa, Muscatine, Cedar, Johnson, Cedar, Scott, Clinton, Washington, Keokuk, Mahaska, Marion and Jasper counties are included in this district.[6]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Dave LoebsackGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party John Archer

May 8, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Note: Richard Gates intended to run, but withdrew from the race on March 11, 2012.[12]

Election results

General election

U.S. House, Iowa District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDave Loebsack Incumbent 55.6% 211,863
     Republican John Archer 42.5% 161,977
     Independent Alan Aversa 1.9% 7,112
Total Votes 380,952
Source: Iowa Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Primary Results

Democratic Primary

U.S. House, Iowa District 2 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDave Loebsack Incumbent 81.7% 17,467
Joe Seng 18.3% 3,913
Total Votes 21,380

Republican Primary

U.S. House, Iowa District 2 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Archer 60.6% 16,604
Dan Dolan 39.4% 10,775
Total Votes 27,379

Race background

Republican challenger John Archer 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.[13]


Dave Loebsack v. John Archer

Dave Loebsack vs. John Archer
Poll Dave Loebsack (D) John Archer (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Des Moines Register
(June 25-27, 2012)

Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Iowa

The 2nd District has become slightly more favorable to Republicans as a result of the inclusion of Scott County, but retains Democratic-leaning Johnson County.[14] The new 2nd District includes Davenport and Iowa City.[15]

The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[16][17]

Registration statistics

As of October 24, 2012, District 2 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Iowa Secretary of State:

Iowa Congressional District 2[18]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 2 474,023 165,136 138,989 169,898 Democratic 18.81% -24.51%
"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 2nd District became less Democratic because of redistricting.[19]

  • 2012: 54D / 46R
  • 2010: 57D / 43R

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 2nd Congressional District has a PVI of D+4, which is the 153rd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 58-42 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 47-53 percent over George W. Bush (R).[20]



Below are two campaign ads released by incumbent Dave Loebsack and challenger John Archer. Dave Loebsack

Dave Loebsack, "The Problem"[21]

John Archer

John Archer, "The Next Generation"[22]

Campaign donors


Dave Loebsack (2012)[23] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[24]April 15, 2012$451,960.55$210,300.97$(39,949.38)$622,312.14
Pre-Primary[25]May 24, 2012$622,312.14$113,399.99$(35,385.74)$700,326.39
Running totals
John Archer (2012)[26] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[27]April 15, 2012$73,388.59$71,233.42$(17,415.12)$127,206.89
Pre-Primary[28]May 24, 2012$127,206.89$37,980.78$(10,333.28)$61,854.39
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, Dave Loebsack won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R), Gary Sicard (L) and Jon Tack (C) in the general election.[29]

U.S. House, Iowa District 2 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDave Loebsack Incumbent 51% 115,839
     Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks 45.9% 104,319
     Libertarian Gary Sicard 1.9% 4,356
     Constitution Jon Tack 1.1% 2,463
     Independent Write-In 0.1% 198
Total Votes 227,175

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. 5.0 5.1 The Iowa Independent, "Loebsack makes re-election hopes in new 2nd District official" accessed December 16, 2011
  6. Iowa Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed July 24, 2012
  7. KCCI "June 5 Iowa State Primary Results" accessed June 5, 2012
  8. Iowa Secretary of State "Primary Candidate List" accessed March 19, 2012
  9. The Gazette "Quad Cities attorney to challenge Loebsack" accessed December 16, 2011
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named elections
  11. The Quad City Times "Dolan is Loebsack's first GOP challenger" accessed December 16, 2011
  12. Gates for Congress "Lost and Found" accessed March 19, 2012
  13. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  14. Roll Call, "Race Ratings: Competitive Races On Tap in Iowa" accessed February 29, 2012
  15. Des Moines Register, "Filing deadline makes official big battles in Iowa's 3rd, 4th Districts" accessed March 19, 2012
  16. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Iowa's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  17. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  18. Iowa Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," July 2, 2012
  19. , "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Iowa," September 2012
  20. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  21. YouTube channel
  22. YouTube channel
  23. FEC Reports, "Dave Loebsack Summary Reports" accessed July 14, 2012
  24. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly" accessed July 13, 2012
  25. FEC Reports, "Pre-Primary" accessed July 13, 2012
  26. FEC Reports, "John Archer Summary Reports" accessed July 13, 2012
  27. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly" accessed July 13, 2012
  28. FEC Reports, "Pre-Primary" accessed July 13, 2012
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013 accessed November 5, 2011