Little Birdie Chirps
By Steve Deace
On the eve of the final presidential debate, and with the election just two weeks away, I had the chance to consult some of my best little birdies in the first in the nation caucus state on the state of the race.
1) Several little birdies said internal Republican Party polling of the presidential race in the state isn’t as optimistic as the media polling that is there.
“Romney is consistently behind by 1-4 points depending on the day,” said one little birdie, who said they haven’t seen quite the movement in the numbers for Romney in Iowa several other states are showing in media polls. “At this point I think there’s a better chance John Archer will upset Dave Loebsack for the 2nd District Congressional seat than Romney will win the state.”
George W. Bush won Iowa by less than 10,000 votes in 2004. Other than that, the state has gone Democrat in every presidential election since 1984.
2) Speaking of Congressional races, little birdies tell me GOP leadership is so confident that Steve King will defeat Christie Vilsack the national party is essentially pulling out of that race to focus resources elsewhere. I’m also told that it’s all over but the shouting for Democrat Leonard Boswell, who looks like he will finally be retired by fellow Congressman Tom Latham (the two were redistricted into the same district). Unfortunately, the news is not so good in the First District, where Democrat Bruce Braley is expected to win big.
“Braley is just too popular over there,” a little birdie said.
3) Little Birdies continue to insist that Democrat Party Boss Mike Gronstal is in serious trouble in his state senate re-election campaign.
“That race remains very tight, and at the very least we’re forcing Gronstal to spend resources over there to save his seat that he can’t spend somewhere else,” one little birdie said.
4) Overall, little birdies are still expecting a Republican takeover of the state senate, but they’re backing off previously bullish claims the GOP could end up with as many as 29 seats in the 50-seat chamber.
“I would say at this point 27 or even 26 is much more likely, but I’m confident we’ll get the majority” one little birdie said.
5) With the GOP expected to retain control of the Iowa House, and already winning the governor’s mansion in 2010, that puts the spotlight on the GOP agenda come January. Little Birdies tell me there is already a lot of in-party saber rattling about a potential gas tax increase.
“A gas tax increase, especially during a recession with gas prices already so high, would be like just handing the legislature right back to the Democrats,” one little birdie said. “The gas tax could actually cost us a marriage amendment, because it has to pass two different two-year sessions before it goes before the people. If the gas tax costs us control of the legislature in 2014, then it will also cost us a marriage amendment. There are just certain things Republicans can’t ever do, and raising taxes – especially regressive ones – is one of them.”
6) Finally, on Wednesday two major Republican Party of Iowa fundraisers will be held in Des Moines and Scott County. However, curiously Romney will appear at neither despite booking a stop in Cedar Rapids on the same day. Why Romney wouldn’t make a final appeal to fire up the home-team troops is anybody’s guess, especially since the head of the Scott County GOP is a long-time Romney acolyte.
“It’s unbelievable that Romney wouldn’t stop in and give a pep talk to fire up the team for the last two weeks,” one little birdie said. “I can’t think of any previous Republican presidential candidate that wouldn’t do that, especially when these are key fundraisers for the party.”
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