A staple of the presidential primary season, Iowa has re-emerged as a key state in this year’s general election, with competitive races for President, Senate, and House.
The extent of Iowa’s battleground status is quantified by the Inside Elections Baseline metric, which captures a state or congressional district’s political performance by combining all federal and state election results over the past four election cycles into a single average.
Key Congressional Districts
Control of Iowa’s four-seat congressional delegation swapped hands in 2018, shifting from a 3-1 Republican majority to a 3-1 Democratic majority. Similar competitiveness will likely be the story of 2020 as well: three of Iowa’s four House races (all except the Solid Republican 4th District) are currently rated as Lean Democratic or Tilt Democratic.
The 1st District, with a Baseline of D +1.5, is located in northeast Iowa and contains Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Dubuque. While party control of the district has flipped three times since 2012, its current representative is Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Rod Blum in 2018. This year, Finkenauer faces a formidable Republican challenger in Iowa state Rep. Ashley Hinson. But because this district has trended slightly toward Democrats in statewide elections over the last…