Will Obama's Coattails And A Democratic Landslide In Iowa Drag Down King And Latham?
It wasn't a surprise in 2006 when progressive Democrat Bruce Braley won the open seat in IA-01 (Davenport, Dubuque, Waterloo). Although DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel was unenthusiastic over Braley's unambiguous opposition to the Iraq war, the DCCC gave him the green light and his victory over right-wing loon Bill Whalen was convincing (55-43%). On the other hand, the victory next door, in IA-02 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Burlington), where Dave Loebsack squeaked by 30 year veteran Jim Leach, was one of the political shockers of the cycle. It was a Democratic year and Chet Culver's 100,000 vote margin in the gubernatorial race helped both Braley and Loebsack, each of whom has gone on to distinguish himself as among the better Democrats in the House.
Today's Des Moines Register doesn't mention any House races, let alone IA-04 (Tom Latham vs Becky Greenwald) or IA-05 (Steve King vs Rob Hubler). The Register story is, in a general way, about Mcpain, pointing out that the margin of victory in a brand new local poll shows Obama thumping McCain by 17 points. This morning I heard McCain on TV, delusional, insisting, shrilly, that Iowa is a battleground state he would win. Even if he improves his standing in the next 2 days-- and Palin's scheduled appearance in Dubuque on Monday is likely to do more harm than good for their ticket, it is unlikely he'll get to even 40%.
Obama's lead in the poll is almost three times what his average lead is nationally.
So much for Iowa being a "battleground" or "tossup" state this time.
In fact, the poll indicates a Democratic landslide may be in the offing in Iowa. The poll shows Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin beating his Republican challenger, Christopher Reed, by 57 percent to 31 percent. If Harkin wins by a margin like that - 26 points - it would be his biggest margin in his five general election campaigns for the Senate.
...Such poor numbers threaten to have a demoralizing effect among Republicans and an energizing one among Democrats. If Democrats smell victory and head to the polls while Republicans are in a funk and stay at home (as happened in the 1974 Watergate election), then Obama's landslide could bury other GOP candidates down the ballot.
And who would that be? There are only two Republican House members left in Iowa and both have strong Democratic opponents this year, though neither is on the lists the Cooks & Schnooks & DCCC make up as targets. Iowans, on the other hand, have shown in the past they make their own targets. The Register recommended that voters retire King as an embarrassment to the state and lauds Becky Greenwald's leadership potential as the right choice in IA-04. Iowa polls close late (10pm EST) and the only races we'll be looking at by then are in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California. But if Hubler and Greenwald do manage to dislodge King and Latham, America will have, by then, taken a step towards the real systemic reform to our government that grassroots Democrats want so badly and that Republicans and odious Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party will do all they can to prevent. A short clip from the Register explaining why they think Rob Hubler is the right choice for IA-05... and for America: