Well my mind is idle over the holiday, so like many I dream about the future. And since I have a political bend, much of my speculation is about the next election. The next general election is 2014 and for us in Iowa it will feature a governor’s race, a senatorial race, the congressional races and the state house races. For some a senatorial campaign will be included.
Two years out is a long time and the radar is hardly clear. Heck, two years ago, Mitt was still a moderate. But that doesn’t stop many of us from trying to get an idea of what lies ahead.
In the Governor’s race we have the never been beaten Terry Branstad probably taking on somebody for the Democrats. In a race like this name recognition means a lot. Some of the names I have heard are Jack Hatch state senator of Des Moines, Congressman Braley from district one, former Governor Chet Culver and former Iowa first Lady and recent congressional candidate Christie Vilsack.
Of this group I would have no current favorite. Sen. Hatch would probably have the hardest row to hoe simply because of lack of name recognition outside of Des Moines. I can speculate that one of the major issues will be how Branstad handles the Medicaid issue. Currently he is opposed to any expansion. I hope he stays that way, because I have a feeling that will be an increasingly unpopular position. I suspect Iowa’s lagging economy will be an issue. After promising some enormous number of new jobs, so far Branstad has not delivered.
Senator Harkin will be up for re-election in 2014. The only two names I have heard even raised so far are Rep. Steve King and Rep. Tom Latham.
Latham is little known outside of his district and is easily the quietest of Iowa’s congressional delegation. King on the other hand is easily the most covered of Iowa’s congressional delegation, often for his outrageous statements. He would carry major baggage – major tea baggage – into a race with Harkin.
The other races are way too early to speculate on, especially since all our congressional races were won fairly handily.