Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Legislative Primary Results Help Dems

The preview never did get done so let's just jump straight to the postmortem.

In general, incumbents won their seats and ideologues won the open seats. Surprised that only one of the dozen House Republicans with a primary, Erik Helland, lost. Ideology was a factor, but I think the dustup over Helland offering opponent Jake Highfill a job in exchange for dropping out was a bigger factor.

So how does all this affect Democratic chances in the fall?

Leaving aside blowouts, expected primary outcomes, races between two solid candidates, and uncontested or safe seats on both sides, here's how I see the primary results rippling into the general election.

Helps Dems

2nd Congressional District: In the days before Varnum-Brien, the typicaan judicial retention victory margin was about 80 percent to 20. 20 percent of people just automatically vote No. And that was Loebsack's margin ove Joe Seng, 81 to 19, putting to lie the imagined "weakness" of the three term congressman in his new counties. Here in his new home, the People's Republic, Loebsack won 91 to 9.

Senate District 4: Teapartyish Dennis Guth defeated former Senator Jim "Back In" Black. Bob Jennings looks like the kind of Democrat who can win on rural turf.

Senate District 6: Queer-bashing buffoon Mark Segebart beat Terry Branstad's recruit, Carroll mayor Adam Schweers. Democrat Mary Bruner is a strong candidate with family connections to Mike Gronstal.

Senate District 36: Marshalltown area Republicans chose a two-time state House loser, Jane Jech, over a former state senator who nearly got elected to Congress, Larry McKibben. Freshman Democrat Steve Sodders can breathe a little easier.

Senate District 46: Shawn Hamerlinck's defeat of co-incumbent Jim Hahn puts the friends and neighbors effect into play for November, as Scott-based Hamerlinck faces Democrat Chris Brase of Muscatine, which was Hahn's base.

House District 30: Hard-right Jim Carley beat Carol Miller in the race to replace Kim Pearson, and Democrat Joe Riding has won city-wide in Altoona. Caveat: Pearson won.

House District 73: David Johnson, frankly, was running a weak campaign before Solon school board member Dick Schwab was recruited, and this R held D leaning seat is a must win for both sides.

Johnson carried his Cedar County turf, sure. But other than a couple of die-hard Schwab haters (who are in Johnson County anyway) the support will shift.

Hurts Dems

Senate District 22: I really though Jeff Mullen was going to knock off Pat Ward. Desmund Adams is a great Democratic candidate, but this is the seventh or eighth most Republican seat in the state. For all his hard work, Adams will have a tougher time against Ward.

House District 50: Pat Grassley beats Annette Sweeney in the lone two incumbent House race. It's not about this seat, as no Democrat is running. But it would have been advantageous if Grandson Grassley's career had been derailed before he turns 30 next year and becomes eligible to run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

House District 72: Highly touted tribal official Christina Blackcloud-Garcia was a surprise loser to Nathan Wrage in this Tama-centric district, the open Lance Horbach seat. On paper he looks like a weaker contender against Republican Dean Fisher, and I'm not sure what happened here.

House District 34: Republican Patty Branco appears sane, which is more than can be said for Dave Leach, who likes to defend doctor murderers. So she might get a couple extra points in her inevitable loss to Democrat Bruce Hunter.


puttputtputttt said...

John - your legislative primary results for Senate 22 is incorrect. The right-wing republican is "Jeff Mullen", not Rick Mullen.

I am Rick Mullin (with an i) and I am as far-from ultra right wing as you can get. I almost won the 2010 race for Iowa Senate Dist 1 in Sioux City. I would appreciate a correction to the post - I don't want anyone to start thinking that I've gone goofy in my old age!

John said...

Woops. Blame sleep deprivation. Fixed. Too bad you both lost, bit not for the same reasons.