Sunday, November 02, 2008

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:

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At 3:33 PM, Blogger desmoinesdem said...

I certainly hope so!

If enough Obama supporters vote straight ticket, that will pull Greenwald over the line in the fourth district.

Hubler needs an exceptional Democratic turnout, a strong lead among independents, and a depressed Republican turnout to win in the fifth, but I think that's quite possible. Everyone in Iowa knows McCain is done for, and the GOP candidate against Harkin is a joke. I don't think the western Iowa wingnuts will be out in force on Tuesday.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Mason City, Iowa, a strong democratic county represented by Latham.

Here's to getting rid of that deadhead once and for all.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.

I believe Iowa can go blue. Rob and Becky have the wind at their backs, thanks to Obama's GOTV and the unpopularity of the Bush/McCain ideas for the future. I just got back from doorknocking in a rural part of the 4th CD, and I am not finding much McCain support. I have seen no evidence that they are doing GOTV in this northern part of the district.

The trouble with Latham is a lot of people know him and like him because of his seed business. In some ways, it's as uphill for Becky as it is for Rob, but for different reasons. I think depressed GOP turnout could make a difference for both of them. Cross your fingers, Howie. And thanks again.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Pats said...

I can't believe that the Cedar Rapids Gazette endorsed McCranky today. What alternate universe do they live in, that thinks that 4 more years of Republican rule will be any better than the last eight?

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie, thanks so much for the attention. I'm presently finishing a two day blitz of 18 counties north to south. Media centers an GTOV operation. Looks great with Obama having a 7 pt lead in 5th. My Rural America (527) has just blanketed district with full page ads noting Kings voting against GI education bill lack of support of vets. Our polling shows 38-36 with 20% undecided. Most undecided are where we are light on TV. We have $75000 TV/radio up including spanish radio. We are putting up another $7000 TV tomorrow. We need $5000 more. If anyone can give $5, 15, 25 or more contribute at You are correct we can win this race and rid Iowa and the nation of one of the worst Steve King. And get a progressive the will work to move our nation to fairness, preserves our civil rights, rebuild the middle class and gets us out of Iraq. Iowa needs a servant,not a King. Rob Hubler

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Chus said...

Full Obama TV Ad! :)

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awful ad the My Rural America Action Fund did. Just one complete lie.

King was an original cosponsor to the New GI bill until they through in a bunch of junk completely unrelated to veterans.

Then when similar legislation came up he voted for the veterans. The VFW knows that and that is why they endorsed Steve King.

This dishonesty is an insult to Iowa and only lowers the level of society down a few marks.


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