Republicans also elected a new minority whip. Senator Brad Zaun was selected to replace Senator Steve Kettering, who, like McKinley, stepped down and is also not seeking re-election in 2012.First I'd heard of that. Kettering was fairly lucky in redistricting; Senate District 6 keeps four whole counties in a five-plus county seat. Buena Vista, Sac, and Carroll counties stay intact, and the eastern Crawford shunk is similar. The district adds tiny Audubon County and keeps a pretty similar solid GOP registration edge (2187 in April).
Newt plans on opening offices in Des Moines and Iowa City (???) soon … A GOP campaign office in Iowa City makes about as much sense as Christie Vilsack opening a headquarters in Sioux Center. Or thinking she can beat Steve King.Au contraire, my conservative colleague. The mistake with an Iowa City HQ isn't Iowa City per se. Johnson is one of the top 10 GOP counties in the state based on sheer number of registrations and voters, which is how Republicans count their caucus votes. (Democratic caucus results end up weighting the counties by size and party strength based on general election results.) Johnson is lousy for the GOP in terms of percentage, but even 20% of registration in a big metro county is quite a few.
But the mistake in an Iowa City effort is the timing. A January 3 date in a campus county is deadly. I'd have put the eastern Iowa office in the QC or Cedar Rapids. But then, it's not my job to give Newt advice.