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Iowa (Open Seat)

Outlook: Leans Democratic


November 8, 2006 Update:

Chet Culver (D) defeated Jim Nussle (R) with 54% of the vote.

June 1, 2006 Update:

Secretary of State Chet Culver has become the frontrunner to win the Democratic nomination, and the general election with Congressman Jim Nussle is still considered to be very close.

Update:

There is still no favorite in this exceptionally close race, in a state that has become known for its cliff-hangers


Background

Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack apparently means it when he says he is stopping at two terms, so the 2006 contest in this “Purple” state (a state closely divided between Republican Red and Democratic Blue) will be exceptionally competitive. The Republican nominee will be well-known Congressman Jim Nussle, who faced an early challenge from 2002 GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Bob Vander Plaats, who withdrew from the race and joined Nussle as his running mate in February.

The Democratic nomination will come from a field of candidates that is currently quite crowded, including Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver–son of a former Iowa U.S. senator, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge, Economic Development Dept. Director Mike Blouin and state house member Ed Fallon.

The November match-up will be a barnburner in the cornfields of this highly political state.

Candidates

Chet Culver – Democrat – current Iowa Secretary of State and former high school teacher
Website

Jim Nussle – Republican – current U.S. Congressman and former Deleware County Attorney
Website