Sabato's Crystal Ball

Iowa (01) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely D

Democratic candidate: Bruce Braley, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Ben Lange

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball


Iowa’s First Congressional District is located East Central Iowa. For much of the country’s history, this was Republican territory, but during the late 60s and early 70s, this area trended Democratic. In 2004, it gave John Kerry 53 percent of the vote.

Bruce Braley was re-elected with 65 percent margin in 2008 over a serious contender. Much of this could be associated with President Obama as he, too, caried the  district with 65 percent of the vote. But Braley’s voting record and the national mood appears to be  hurting him, as some polls have shown him with weak numbers. He starts out as the favorite against Republican attorney Ben Lange, but he’ll have a closer race this time around. Although there could have been more polling, the DCCC has invested $166,000 in this race, with the NRCC following suit. Perhaps the DCCC feels some pressure, but nevertheless, there appears to be a renewed attention on this race.

This race is Likely Democratic.