|Poll||Date||Sample||Braley (D)||Lange (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||49.5||47.5||Braley +2.0|
|Voter/Consumer Res/AFF (R)||8/31 - 9/3||300 RV||50||39||Braley +11|
|2008: Braley (D) 65%, Hartsuch (R) 35%||2008: Obama (D) 58%, McCan (R) 41%
|2006: Braley (D) 55%, Whalen (R) 43%||2004: Kerry (D) 53%, Bush (R) 46%
|2004: Nussle (R) 55%, Gluba (D) 43%||2000: Gore (D) 52%, Bush (R) 45%|
10/27/10 -- We could use some more polling here, but the only real indication that Braley could be in serious trouble is that the DCCC is investing $166,000 here. The NRCC hasn't responded in kind, so this could just be a head fake.
The 1st Congressional District is East Central Iowa. For much of the country’s history, this was Republican territory – the Democratic Party of Iowa, such as it was, was concentrated in the west. But during the Vietnam War and the Nixon years, this area slowly trended Democratic. In 2004, it gave John Kerry 53 percent of the vote.
During the 1990s and 2000s, the district elected Jim Nussle to Congress. A conservative Republican, he survived a series of relatively close contests before running for governor. He lost the governor’s race, badly, and a Democrat was easily elected to take his place.
Bruce Braley was re-elected with a massive 65 percent margin in 2008 over token opposition, as President Obama was carrying his district with 65 percent of the vote. But his fairly liberal voting record and the national mood seems to be dragging him downward, as some polls have shown him with weak numbers. He starts out as the favorite against Republican attorney Ben Lange, but he’ll have a closer race this time around.