|Poll||Date||Sample||MoE||Blum (R)||Murphy (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||--||51.2||48.8||Blum +2.4|
|Loras College||10/21 - 10/24||282 LV||5.9||44||42||Blum +2|
|Loras College||9/2 - 9/5||300 LV||5.6||33||35||Murphy +2|
The 1st Congressional District is northeastern 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 in 2006. He lost the governor’s race, badly, and Democrat Bruce Braley was easily elected to take his place in Congress. Braley was re-elected by a wide margin in 2008 over token opposition, as President Obama was carrying his district with 65 percent of the vote. In 2010 the race was much closer; Braley won by two points.
Braley is running for Senate this year, which in theory should be helping out the Democrat, state Rep. Pat Murphy, against GOP candidate Rod Blum, who does not hold elected office. But the polling shows a close race, which is confirmed by the parties’ actions. This is a real tossup.