With only a week to go before Friday's filing deadline, Iowa's U.S. Senate race and five congressional contests remain two-way races. Announced independent candidates in the 2nd and 4th districts have not yet filed.
The big news in the second week of filing with the Secretary of State was Ralph Nader's fourth consecutive appearance on the Iowa ballot. Nader joined a half dozen state legislative candidates filing last week:
Last week's filing leaves 31 legislative races still officially uncontested.
Independent and third parties need 50 signatures to file for a House seat and 100 for a Senate seat. Democrats and Republicans need to hold conventions to nominate late candidates. Time is running out for such conventions, and with Democratic party rules requiring a week's notice, it may already be too late.
Candidates nominated by convention are rarely successful, but there are exceptions. Democrats had to nominate by convention in the 2nd Congressional District in 2006 after their nominee fell short on signatures to get on the primary ballot. That failure was just one more reason a lot of observers wrote off that candidate -- but that race turned out OK for Dave Loebsack.