As Election Day approaches, western Iowa political scientist expects intense campaigns

Oct 12, 2012

A Buena Vista University political scientist says redistricting has made Iowa’s Congressional races much more competitive---and negative.

The 2010 Census and subsequent redistricting resulted in the loss of Iowa’s Fifth Congressional District. Western Iowa was split among the newly redrawn Third and Fourth Districts.

Brad Best, associate professor of political science at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, says redistricting changed the campaigns’ messages and strategy. He says it also changed the demographics of the Congressional Districts.

Current Fifth District Congressman Steve King is running against Democratic candidate Christie Vilsack in the Fourth District race. In the Third District, incumbent Rep. Leonard Boswell is running against current Fourth District Congressman Tom Latham.

Best says voters in the Third and Fourth Congressional Districts should expect an “intense” campaign leading up to the November 6 election. And he says Iowa remains an important battleground state in the Presidential election, with the winner getting all six of the state’s electoral votes.