Politics

Clinton Super PAC Steps Into Iowa House Race

In first House ad, Priorities USA ties Rod Blum to Donald Trump

The super PAC aligned with Hillary Clinton is entering a House race for the first time, targeting Iowa Rep. Rod Blum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For much of this year, Iowa 1st District Rep. Rod Blum was at the top of Roll Call’s list of the most vulnerable House incumbents. Until earlier this month, when he wasn’t

Now the super PAC aligned with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is setting its sights on the Republican freshman in its first foray into a House race, The Washington Post’s Paul Kane first reported Wednesday morning. 

Priorities USA is going up with a 30-second ad in the Cedar Rapids media market that ties Blum to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The ad opens with footage of Trump mocking a disabled reporter and audio of his 2005 comments about groping women. It then cuts to footage of Blum at a campaign rally saying, “Send me back to Congress, and you send Donald Trump to the White House.”

Rod Blum still supports Trump today and even attacked Republicans who spoke out against Trump,” the narrator says.

As a member of the House Freedom Caucus in a district that President Barack Obama twice carried by double digits, Blum was an early top target for Democrats in a seat the party thought would be relatively easy to pick off. Monica Vernon is his Democratic challenger.

Blum has had a tenuous relationship with GOP leadership, and he wasn’t included on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program for vulnerable members until fairly late in the cycle. 

[The House: 10 Most Vulnerable]

But with Trump doing better than expected this fall in this heavily white district, Blum slipped from No. 2 to No. 9 in Roll Call’s most vulnerable House members list, compiled before polling captured the aftermath of the release of the 2005 Trump recording.

A poll conducted for the House Majority PAC after the video release showed Blum leading Vernon, 45 to 44 percent, among likely voters, with 11 percent undecided. Internal polling from Blum’s campaign earlier in the month gave him a 16-point advantage, an edge that even Republicans conceded was likely too high.

But in a district that’s 90 percent white, it is still unclear whether Trump will be a big enough drag on Blum to help knock him off. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call recently shifted this seat’s rating from Tilts Democrat to Tossup

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