Sabato's Crystal Ball

Iowa (02) House 2010

 

Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely D

Democratic candidate: Dave Loebsack, Incumbent Senator

Republican candidate: Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Physician

Recent Updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 5th, 2010

Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack followed up a narrow 2006 victory over 15-term Republican congressman Jim Leach with a decisive 2008 victory over Mariannette Miller-Meeks, but 2010 brings a more toxic national atmosphere for Democrats. The district is Democratic in presidential years, but without Obama on ballot and his luster fading anyway, Miller-Meeks faces an opportunity she did not have in 2008. This race was a low profile race then, with neither candidate spending even $1 million. That will not be the case this year, as Republicans scour the country for possible upset victories. With this race falling into that category, the Crystal Ball rating shifts from Safe D to Likely D.

Background:

Two-term incumbent Dave Loebsack (D) faces a reelection campaign against familiar contender Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. Miller-Meeks, who faced and lost to Loebsack in 2008, is back in the mix and this time is betting that Republican voter enthusiasm will sweep her to Washington.

However, Miller-Meeks and her campaign are not without controversy. Recently, she has argued for “staggered enrollment” in Medicare and Social Security, citing that Americans are living far longer than they did when the two government programs were first established. This, though, is risky as the large baby boomer population in Cedar Rapids may be unwilling to wait two extra years. However, regardless of Social Security and Medicare, what has taken center stage in this race are taxes. Rep. Loebsack has released campaign ads stating that he is fighting for the taxpayers of Linn County and Cedar Rapids and consistent with dialogue throughout the nation, is shedding blame on Wall Street.

This, fortunately, has been a strong strategy for Loebsack as he leads in numerous Republican-supported polls by up to 8 points. This race is Likely Democrat.