Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | October 28, 2002

Rep. Leach running against his own party

Iowa is one of the hottest battlegrounds in this coming election. While the governor and senate races appear to be over (despite early GOP efforts to target the Dem guv and Senator), the state's House races may well decide control of that legislative body.

Unlike most states that turn redistricting into a partisan affair, Iowa used a non-partisan body that drew up the districts based on nothing more than population. As a result, every incumbent is threatened, and Dems may well pick up four of Iowa's five House seats.

While one of the interesting targets is Budget Committee Chair Jim Nussle (R), I am particularly intrigued by Rep. Jim Leach (R) given the discussion we all had over the weekend over party switching.

At a recent debate sponsored by the Johnson County League of Women Voters here, Leach offered detailed answers to foreign policy questions, refused to endorse the bid of conservative House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) to become majority leader and bowed to many traditionally liberal ideas. "There is no greater no-brainer in American life" than to raise fuel efficiency standards of automobiles, a favorite cause of environmentalists, Leach told three dozen locals gathered for the 90-minute debate.

While Leach, like moderate incumbents in Connecticut and Maryland, often appears to be running against his own party's theology, GOP leaders and their business allies have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the district defending him on the Medicare and Social Security issues. Leach called his own party's ads "objectionable" and said he asked unsuccessfully that they be pulled.

Leech is running slightly ahead in the polls, but is widely considered to be running an inept campaign in a majority Dem district. If he survives, however, he would seem a prime candidate for a party switch. Any Iowans out there care to speculate?

Posted October 28, 2002 07:25 AM | Comments (16)


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)