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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Iowa Progress: IA Senate Pickup Opportunities In 2008

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
... Although the Democrats picked up seats in 2004 to reach a 25-25 tie in the Senate, the Republicans will still be defending 15 seats in 2008, 5 more than the Democrats. ... Here are a list of the three most vulnerable seats that the divided Republican caucus will have to defend in 2008: 1. Larry McKibben (Marshall and Hardin Counties). McKibben represents a district that Chet Culver won by nearly 1500 votes in 2006. It consists of Marshall County, a traditionally strong Democratic county and Hardin, a mildly Republican leaning county. In 2004, McKibben edged out the Democratic candidate, Wayne Sawtelle, a labor activist, by less than 800 votes. McKibben owed his victory to piling up a huge lead in Hardin County, despite running significantly behind George Bush in Marshall County. ... 2. James Hahn (Cedar, most of Muscatine and a little of Johnson counties). ... The 2004 Democratic candidate for U.S. House, long-shot Dave Franker will be replaced on the ticket by incumbent Representative Dave Loebsack. This means there will be a whole lot more resources available in Muscatine County, a county which isn't that important in a statewide race but is a crucial swing county in the 2nd Congressional District. ... 3. Mary Lundby (Linn) ... Her socially moderate views make her a good fit for a State Senate district that has about 12,000 Democrats, 12,000 Republicans and 17,000 Independents in the suburbs of Cedar Rapids that she won with nearly 60% of the vote in 2004. However, it does not make her a good fit in the Republican Party of Iowa which is dominated by social conservatives.

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