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Race Ratings: Competitive Races On Tap in Iowa

File Photo
Iowa insiders have declared the matchup of Rep. Tom Latham (above) versus Rep. Leonard Boswell as the most competitive 2012 race in the state.

Boswell has an advantage in that about half of the new 3rd district is part of his current district. The new district includes less than 20 percent of Latham’s current territory.

But Latham has a strong financial advantage with about $983,500 in the bank at the end of March — compared with just $173,815 for Boswell at the same time.

4th district
Incumbent: Steve King (R)
5th term (66 percent)
Rating: Leans Republican

King might be looking at the first tough general election challenge of his Congressional career. The former first lady of Iowa, Christie Vilsack (D), has announced she’ll run in the newly formed 4th district.

It’s clear that King has an upper hand,  given that almost half of the new district includes portions of the Republican’s current district — territory that has traditionally voted for GOP candidates.

Whether King has a difficult race will depend on how good of a candidate Vilsack turns out to be in the mostly rural northwestern district. Although she is well-known from her husband’s tenure as governor, Vilsack is almost completely untested as a candidate and has never run for office.

The new 4th district is a difficult climb for any Democrat, so Vilsack will have to run a nearly flawless campaign to defeat King.

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