Faculty Publications

Three of a Kind: Iowa’s Unique Congressional Competitiveness

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Roads to Congress 2022: Controversies and Competing Visions for America's Future

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Only a fraction of congressional elections are competitive in any given election year. In Iowa, however, three of the four congressional districts typically fit into the competitive category. We show why this is the case, drawing on numerous data sources, including the sharp rural-urban split that exists in these districts. While the predicted “red wave” did not materialize nationally in 2022, there was a red ripple in Iowa, with the margins for Republicans exceeding pre-election expectations. The built-in forces surrounding redistricting, electoral history, as well as shifts in party registration, however, suggest Iowa is by no means a “red” state, but rather a state where three-fourths of its House districts are capable of switching hands in any given election cycle.


Department of Political Science

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DOI of published version