Tuesday, November 4, 2008

State Legislative Predictions

I apologize for not posting my State House predictions yesterday afternoon as I said I would. I was pulled away from the office and couldn’t get them posted.

Just like the presidential race here in Iowa, predicting the outcome of the races for the Iowa House of Representatives is a tossup. The media and most Democrats tell us there is another blue wave coming, and Republican insiders really believe they have a chance at taking the majority in the House.

I’ve studied at these House races and I see some very promising things, and then find some races that are equally disturbing. I’ll be up front from the start, I can get Republicans to 49 seats in the House but I don’t know how realistic I’m being in that scenario. I think the more likely outcome is that the Republican’s return in January with 46 or 47 seats.

Open Seats

Republicans have to defend 9 open seats and the Democrats have to defend 4. For Republicans to take the majority they need to be perfect, and I think that’s a tall order in this election cycle. Here are the Republican open seats.

I believe that Republicans will win the following of their open seats.
HD 60 where Peter Cownie is running in Libby Jacobs’ seat in Polk County. Republican Hold
HD 13 where Scott Thornquist is running for Bill Shickel’s seat in Mason City. Republican Hold
HD 55 where Jason Schultz is running for Clarence Hoffman’s seat in Western Iowa. Republican Hold
HD 69 where Eric Helland is running for Walt Tomenga’s seat in Johnston. Republican Hold
HD 70 where Kevin Koester is running for Carmen Boal’s seat in Ankeny. Republican Hold

While that’s good news, I believe we will lose 4 Republican seats that should be solidly Republican. Three of these seats are clear targets where the Iowa Democrats are playing on offense. They are outspending Republican candidates by a large margin.

HD 59 where Chris Hagenow is running to fill Dan Clute’s seat. Clute won the seat in 2006 easily, but the Dems have put on a full court press. They have a big lead in absentees, and have out spent Hagenow by a huge margin. Chris is a great candidate, but the party just couldn’t afford to match the nearly $350k the Dems have dumped in to that race. Plus Jerry Sullivan’s ads are really good. Republican Loss

HD 89 where Jared Klein is running to fill Sandy Greiner’s seat. This should be a seat we hold, and many people tell me that we will. I’m sorry to rain on the parade but I don’t see it. Now Jared is a nice guy so don’t take this the wrong way, but his opponent is running an ad where he lists his resume which is impressive, then it lists Klein’s which it only states that he worked for George W. Bush. Is the ad fair to Klein? Probably not, but it’s deadly in this political environment. Klein’s opponent is also outspending him 2 to 1. Republican Loss

HD 44 where Annette Sweeney is running to fill Polly Granzow’s seat in Hardin County. Now this is a seat that I could be wrong about, but once again the Democrats have poured in tons of money and have a good shot of picking up this seat. Republican Loss.

The fourth open seat I have down for a loss is Chuck Gipp’s seat (HD 16) in Decorah. I really go back and fourth on this one, but the reason I have it as a loss is because there is also a hotly contested state senate race up there and that really hurts our chances in my opinion. While the Dems have spent more money on their candidate, the difference isn’t as vast as the races mentioned above. Republican Loss.

Democrat Open Seats
HD 29 (Foege), HD 27 (Jochum), and HD 92 (Wise) are all easy holds for the Democrats. The only seat they need to defend is HD 36 which was held by Rep. Dandekar who is running for the State Senate. The Republicans have a strong candidate in Nick Wagner who I think will win this seat. Republican Gain

So that means out of the 13 open seats Republican win 6 and Democrats win 7. This basically makes it impossible for Republicans to take back the majority as they would 5 challengers to win and all incumbents to be reelected. Now it is possible for Republicans to do better than my projections, but they also have incumbents with some feisty competition.

Most notably is Dan Rasmussen of Independence. Rasmussen always has a close reelection but this time he’s got his hands full. Also Jamie Van Fossen in Bettendorf is facing a well funded challenge, and we also need to keep an eye on Dawn Pettengill and Tami Wiencek.

On the bright side we do have some good challengers who could knock off some Democrat incumbents.
Jamie Johnson in HD 9 has run a great race against Rep. McKinley Bailey. Republican Gain
Ross Paustian in HD 84 is a great candidate and Rep. Elesha Gayman stepped in it when she brought up a family matter in one of her attack ads. Republican Gain

After the two mentioned above our chances to knock off a Democrat incumbent drop.

Renee Schulte HD 37 has a chance to knock off Rep. Art Staed in Cedar Rapids. Possible Pick Up.
Scott Belt HD 100 won on Election Day in 2006 but I fear he may suffer the same fate against Rep. Paul Shomshor. Possible Pick Up.
Jeremy Taylor HD 1 has a chance to beat Wes Whitead but it all depends on the mood of the moderates in both parties in Sioux City. Possible Pick Up.

Rick Bertrand HD 2 - loss vs Rep. Roger Wendt.
Austin Lorenzen HD 18 – loss vs Rep. Andrew Wenthe
Danny Carroll HD 75 – sadly a loss vs Rep. Eric Palmer
Steven Richards HD 8 – loss vs Rep. Dolores Mertz
Carlin Hageman HD 19 – loss vs Bob Kressig

So here is how I get to or 46 Republican seats in the house.
38 Republican Incumbent Wins
6 Open Seat Victories
2 Challenger Victories

Now, the number might stay the same but how we get there could change. For example it wouldn’t surprise me to see a Republican incumbent lose and a challenger like Schulte and Belt win. That said I just don’t see State House Republicans winning 9 open seats, 4 challenger races, and reelecting all 38 incumbents in this environment.

State Senate

I’m not going to break it down like the House but I think they come back with 17 Republican Seats. Now before you freak out on me, I’m excited about what type of Senators those 17 are. Gone are Mulder, Lundby, Putney, and Angelo. And while we will not hold all of those seats the new Republican Senators will give us solid foundation to build on in two years.


  1. Hagenow will win HD 59. And even if he doesn't, he's could win it in 2010.

    Chris has a great political future in Iowa. He's one to watch.

  2. Chris Hagenow is a virtual lock in his race. Let's go down the checklist:

    1) He's running in a traditionally conservative Republican district
    2) Jerry Sullivan is a charlatan
    3) He's dreamy.

    You can take it to the bank.

  3. I just voted straight R ticket in Ankeny, which is something I have rarely done. Why? To stick it to the media. I am so done with them. I have watched them gloss over every Obama misstep or outright lie. They have lost all credibility (not that they had much left). So, I voted straight R and it felt good!

  4. Another prediction for you Krusty.

    After today, when the polls are closed.

    Becky Greenwald will still be fat.

  5. I agree. Hagenow is a strong candidate and I don’t see that district swinging against him. I’m also not sure how Hoy beats Sweeny. I also holding out hope for Klein but the campaign money is defiantly against him.

  6. Find this post on another site. It really tells the story of what will happen to our businesses.

    Employees just in case as of November 5, 2008, if Obama is officially elected to office, our company will install a few new policies which are in keeping with his new, inspiring issues of change and fairness:

    1. All salespeople will be pooling their sales bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of you. This will serve to give those of who are underachieving a 'fair shake.'

    2. All low level workers will be pooling their wages, including overtime, into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst yourselves. This will help those who are 'too busy for overtime' to reap the rewards from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.

    3. All top management will now be referred to as 'the government.' We will not participate in this 'pooling' experience because the law doesn't apply to us.

    4. The 'government' will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging it's workers to continue to work hard 'for the good of all.'

    5. The employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it's 'good to spread the wealth.' Those of you who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity; those of you who have worked hard and had success will feel more 'patriotic.'

  7. I think klein wins by the skin of his teeth. He worked hard for this seat. Marek acted lkike the appointed one from the start and did almost nothing to earn the seat. I think Krusty is wrong on this one.

  8. I really hope Danny Carroll wins.

  9. I think tami Weincek will win her race.I live in her district which is heavily democratic but Kerry burt has run many times locally and gotten blown out.All her years at KWWL are an asset for her.She should win by a close but comfortable margin.

  10. Hey Krusty Krackpipe,

    What happened to the "scenario" you suggested for House Republicans to take the majority? You must have been inhaling.....

  11. Wow, your creds went into the crapper given the MMM results.
    She needs to run for statewide office, as she will never get anywhere in that district.

  12. Now is the time for us to begin the process of rebuilding our CONSERVATIVE Republican Party. We have seen what happens when we support the RINOs b/c we think they can win. It's our turn to point out everything the majority does wrong and we will get TONS of opportunities to do it. We can't relent, America needs to learn from its mistake of voting for the most liberal ticket in American history. The fight starts NOW! Don't relent!

  13. Yeah your rep took a beating with the 3M pick. Not that I did much better. I have to side with IDA, she is a RINO, she lost by 20.

    But we did fairly well in the state legislation. Surprisingly well.

  14. Crap - MMM did about as well as Reed did. That's a pretty brutal slapdown.

    When does the GOP purge begin? Are the footsoldiers going to get their pitchforks and torches and drive out Kim Lehman later this week?

  15. Too bad we lost Tami Weincek. May be forever before we pick up that blue district again.

  16. calling MMM a RINO gives you about a 20% Party.

    good luck with that.

    I hope she runs again. The Republican party has to stop eating its own. Has happened in the GOV races for years.

  17. Krusty,

    Your comment about Senators Putney, Lundby, Angelo and Mulder was pathetic. But, it's nothing new as evidenced by you prior postings. It's really what you didn't say and why you chose to highlight them that shows how out of touch you are with the larger body politic and why (at least in one small part) the GOP continues to suffer at the ballot-box. I think you chose those to single out those four Senators because they supported the Equal Rights Bill a year ago. Legislation, which I will remind you, was supported by business groups and the Chamber of Commerce. Krusty, we judge people on merit, not their private lives. You keep trying to make our GOP smaller and more "pure", and a hearty band of us will work to expand our Party. I fear, if you and your ilk have their way, the GOP could have their next convention in a phone booth.