Iowa's 2nd Congressional District Could Swing Right, 5:04

Apr 15, 2019

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking lawmakers for $15 million from the ending balance of the current year's budget for immediate work on levees and repairs in flooded communities. She's also seeking $10 million from next year's budget to accelerate housing improvements.

Reynolds announced her request Monday, saying federal money often takes months or years to arrive.

The announcement that long-time Congressman Dave Loebsack is retiring is opening up a race in a district thought to be reliably Democratic. But some politicos say that may not remain the case. 

Political news site Roll Call has changed its rating of Iowa’s second congressional district from Solid Democratic to Toss-up. Though southeast Iowa is home to the liberal strongholds of Iowa City and Davenport, voters have been swinging right: President Donald Trump won the district in 2016.

Loebsack’s retirement means the state will have a slate of competitive congressional races, says Central College political scientist Andrew Green.

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“You could potentially see shifts in the number of seats held by the Democratic majority right now.”

He says national party operatives will be watching Iowa.

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“They’re going to be very, very interested in holding districts 1, 2, and 3.”

Democratic wins in Iowa helped flip the U.S. House in 2018, and the districts may help determine control of the chamber in 2020.  He says the outcome in the fourth district in northwest Iowa will depend on the results of a contested Republican primary.