I expect the GOP establishment may try to persuade Gov. Branstad to run (which means he won’t run for another term as Governor), but he will be 68 and should’ve run against Harkin back in 1990 after he finished his first two terms as Governor. Conservatives will want Congressman Steve King, fresh off a difficult reelection.
Dem side could be a bloodbath, with perhaps both Dem Congressmembers, ex-Govs. Vilsack and Culver all getting in, though I expect there will be pressure to unify behind a single candidate (if I had to guess, probably Vilsack). Still, this should be an excellent pick-up opportunity for us in what should be a good GOP year in 2014.
Sounds good, but Iowa Republicans have no bench.
Beyond Branstad, there’s Steve King and Tom Latham and a big list of wannabes.
I’d pick Matt Shutlz, but he’s probably too young and too ‘divisive’.
With Paultards running the state party while ordinary R voters are ‘moderate’, I expect a disaster and another lib Democrat senator.
Probably our strongest general-election candidate would be Congressman Tom Latham of IA-03. Latham got screwed over in redistricting in both 2000 and 2010, each forcing him to run in a district that was almost entirely new to him and less Republican than the previous one, yet was able to win rather comfortably each time. Over his 15 years or so in the House, he has represented nearly half the state, and his current district is based in Des Moines (the state’s largest city) and was carried by Obama 51.24%-46.97% last year, which was only 0.76% less Democrat than the state as a whole. Latham is an experienced campaigner, has a conservative voting record without being polarizing, and has a history of winning independent and Democrat votes. While I’m a big fan of Congressman Steve King, he has only won in comfortably Republican districts, and I don’t think he’d fare very well running statewide in a state where McCain and Romney only got 44% and 46%, respectively.