Tuesday’s primary elections set the stage for two of the nation’s most competitive congressional campaigns. In Eastern Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Cedar Rapids Democrat Monica Vernon seeks to replace first-term Republican Rod Blum of Dubuque.
University of Northern Iowa political scientist Donna Hoffman says Vernon’s success depends voter turn-out.
“The First District of Iowa is the most Democratic-leaning district,” she said Wednesday, on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River program. “Blum won that in a mid-term election. This is a presidential election. Democratic turnout tends to go up in those elections.”
In Southwest Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Des Moines and Council Bluffs, Iowa State University political scientist Steffen Schmidt says freshman Republican Congressman David Young straddles diversity in fending off Democratic nominee Jim Mowrer.
“Young is very worried because he does have a district that is very odd,” Schmidt says. “It’s got a conservative sort of area going westward, and suburban and much more moderate. He’s tried to walk that fine line. Mowrer has not been a great campaigner. When he ran in the 4th District, he ran a really terrible campaign. Maybe he’s got a better team now.”