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June 5th, 2012
 

Lange Wins 1st District Primary – Sets Up Rematch With Braley

The 1st District Congressional race in Iowa will be a rematch between Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican challenger Ben Lange this fall.  On Tuesday, Lange won the Republican primary over Dubuque businessman Rod Blum.  Lange defeated Blum 53 percent to 47 percent.

Lange enters the 2012 general election in much better shape than he did two years ago when he was still relatively unknown and financial resources were scarce.  Lange has already raised nearly $300,000 for his 2012 race, while at the same time in 2010 he only had raised $59,000.  More importantly is that Lange was able to win the primary without spending most of the money he was able to raise.

In 2010, Braley defeated Lange by only 2 percent in one of the closest congressional contests in the nation.  While Lange will get another shot at unseating Braley, the district has changed with redistricting.  Voter registration statistics in the new 1st Congressional District are more favorable to Lange that the old district was.  More importantly, if you do a county-by-county examination, Republican congressional candidates have outperformed Democratic candidates by nearly 5 points in competitive congressional elections during presidential cycles in the new District.

Redistricting also means that the congressional ground game in the 1st District will be more akin to an open-seat than a challenger race. This is especially the case in Linn County, an area that Braley has never represented before.  In 2010, Lange showed the ability to run well in areas that Braley didn’t have strong connections to when he won Scott County, the largest county in the district.

Lange provides Iowa Republicans with a strong, aggressive candidate to run against Braley in the fall.  While Lange benefitted by having both Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley on the ballot with him in 2010, this time Mitt Romney will be at the top of the ballot.  Romney’s strength in Iowa is probably the strongest in the 1st District.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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