CQ Politics has come out with their U.S. House elections ratings map. In looking at Iowa, they’ve made the same mistake most media has by claiming Congressman Latham’s district is winnable for Democrats. It seems every year Latham is targeted by Democrats only to crush them mightily on Election Day. There are a few pros and cons of having them make this same mistake every election cycle.
Congressman Latham represents Iowa very well. He’s a low key conservative compared to Congressman King. He votes right almost every time while putting his fingerprints on good legislation. His reward for this, easy wins every two years.
So why is it Democrats continue to waste their support on his opponents? I’ve never been able to figure that out. Last summer the media, along with Democrats, were building up Becky Greenwald while trying to tear down Latham. Many reports had Greenwald within striking distance of taking out Latham. Since I learn from history (something Democrats and the media don’t do), I predicted Latham would win easily over Greenwald with a 14 percent margin of victory. He outperformed my prediction by almost 4 percent and outpaced the media’s guess by over 10 percent. But Democrats continue to believe they can beat Latham. CQ’s report states, “Democrats now are searching for a candidate who might make a stronger race of it in 2010.” If you remember, Greenwald was supposed to be a very strong candidate. She was just no match for Congressman Latham – nobody would be in that district.
Unfortunately for Latham, I do think this works in our favor. They continue to spend a lot of money in his district which only makes it harder for them to win in other districts across the country. As long as Latham can take the heat, which he does very well, I’m alright with them running hard against him. I know it isn’t an ideal situation for Latham but it does bode well for other Republicans.
Their persistence also influences the media to focus more on his race. In doing so, it takes the focus off of other races potentially more viable for a Democrat victory. With the media’s focus, Democrat volunteers ramp up their efforts, in many cases coming from other districts to do so.
So in other words, it is a win, win for Republicans and a lose, lose for Democrats. I like those scenarios every time.
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