Two Heartland House Races: Iowa 03 and Illinois 10

David YoungToday, we head to the heartland. On the docket are races in two Congressional districts: Iowa 03 and Illinois 10. Both of these districts are considered toss ups by The Cook Political Report.

Iowa 03: Playing it Safe

Iowa’s incumbent is Republican David Young. He has only been in office since 2014. Iowa has a strange system where a convention is held if no one in the primary gets more than 35% of the vote. David Young came in 5th out of six candidates, but surprisingly won at the convention. He then went on to win the general election by over 10 percentage points against Democratic challenger Staci Appel.

A former chief of staff to Senator Chuck Grassley, David Young has played it very safe since being elected. Mainly, he is known for showing up — having not missed a single vote.  Then again, with the low number of days the Republican House works, how hard is that?

His opponent this year is a second time candidate named Jim Mowrer. He’s an Iraq War veteran who made some locals uneasy about his run. However, he won decisively in his primary.

Neither candidate stands out, although Jim Mowrer has support from high powered people like Joe Biden (who’s son served with Mowrer in Iraq). That said, Young surprisingly voted for a bill that supported the President’s efforts on anti-discrimination for the LGBT community. So he may be trying to be somewhat less of a typical Republican. Or he may have a personal reason. (See: Rob Portman Affected By Gay Bigotry.) It is unclear.

Right now the polling favors David Young by a large amount. So do the registration numbers (pdf). But that doesn’t mean that things won’t change as we enter the final stretch.

This race doesn’t look too hopeful for Jim Mowrer. But David Young is not distancing himself from the Orange Disaster at the top of the ticket. And if Patty Judge manages to defeat Chuck Grassley for Senate, Mowrer might ride her coattails into the House.

Illinois 10: Routine Rematch

Illinois 10 is represented by Republican Robert Dold. And he is facing Brad Schneider this year. And if that sounds familiar, then you’re a political freak who pays way more attention than your doctor would likely recommend. But there is something very familiar about this race. In 2014, the same two candidates ran against each other. In the end, Dold beat Schnider 51% to 49%. But there’s more! In 2012 Brad Schneider defeated Robert Dold 51% to 49%. This district just cannot make up its mind. (Actually, it’s all about turnout.) Both are part of the major fundraising initiatives from the two national congressional committees and are hotly contesting the seat.

Brad SchneiderIn a surprising twist, Dold not only rejected Trump but was pretty nasty about it. Which may mean that of the Republicans running, he has the least adverse effect of the Trump disaster brewing at the top of the ticket. So the attempts from Schneider to attach Trump to Dold are not going to work (there may be residual disgust in general against Republicans).

The two actually agree on a lot of things, which may not be a surprise with a Republican in a Democratic leaning district.  Dold even supports some gun control!  Not anything created by a Democrat, but it is still very surprising. And it shows he is serious about keeping his seat since that is usually a total poison pill for any Republican.

But this is a Democratic leaning district and so the polling reflects a likely win by Schneider.

Final Thoughts

I have little idea on how Iowa 03 will turn out. It looks like it is David Young’s race to lose. He is a very quiet Representative, who votes cautiously and consistently middle of the road. But we will see.

Illinois 10 looks like a Democratic pickup. But it will be a razor thin margin since Schneider isn’t very popular.

Odd Words: Borborygmus

BorborygmusI thought I might not find anything I didn’t know on Page 30 of The New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced Words: Revised Edition. But there was a medical word that is actually useful: borborygmus.

Beyond Borborygmus

Again with the repetition: botulin, botulinus, and botulism. To make matters worse, the definition of the first is “the toxin produced by botulinus, the cause of botulism.” So the first word defined the two that followed it. I want to pull my hair out.

There was also “boondoggle” and “boondocks.” These are wonderfully fun sounding words. Plus, it’s an excuse to listen to Billy Joe Royal doing Joe South’s “Down in the Boondocks.” South is best known for his song “Games People Play.” He also wrote “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden.” Yes, he was one of the greats.

Okay, enough about Joe South. Here’s borborygmus:

Bor·bo·ryg·mus  noun  \bȯr-bə-‘rig-məs\

1. the technical word for rumbling or gurgling in the stomach, a natural sound.

Date: early 18th century.

Origin: Latin, from the Greek γουργουρητό, meaning “rumbling.”

Example: Wind is like the human breath, rain like secretions, and thunder like borborygmusCh’ung Wang