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Nesselhuf Helping Mowrer Score Campaign Cash, Still Facing Uphill Fight

Ben Nesselhuf is doing good work in Iowa. The former South Dakota Democratic Party boss left last summer to run Jim Mowrer's campaign to unseat Republican Congressman Steve King in Iowa's Fourth District, around Sioux City and the northwest corner of the state. Since then, he's helped Mowrer post some good fundraising numbers. According to the FEC, Mowrer for House has raised $125K (17%) more than the Rick Weiland for Senate campaign in South Dakota.

Roll Call's Stuart Rothernberg looks at King's 2012 victory against former Iowa First Lady Christine Vilsack and says Mowrer is still a longshot:

King drives Democrats nuts, so it isn’t surprising they hope his impolitic statements — whether about his pay during the government shutdown last year or about immigration — will cause some GOP voters and independents who have supported him in the past to cross over and support Mowrer.

But that’s unlikely. After all, King has been a controversial figure for years, and the likely 2014 midterm dynamic should help the Republican on turnout, as well as interject President Barack Obama into voters’ decision-making process.

Party registration figures from the Iowa secretary of state’s office show about a 52,000 Republican registration advantage in the 4th District. As long as Republicans vote like Republicans, it’s difficult to imagine Mowrer defeating King. Extremely difficult [Stuart Rothenberg, "Should Republicans Think the Unthinkable about Iowa's 4th District?" Roll Call: Rothenblog, 2014.06.17].

It's good to see Nesselhuf is helping Mowrer post numbers that at least get some attention. We miss your skills in our uphill battle, Ben!


  1. lesliengland 2014.06.17

    isnt the critical race in iowa in the senate?

  2. Rorschach 2014.06.17

    Without some kind of a scandal that race is unwinnable. The best chance of winning would be to create some anti-incumbent, anti-Washington backlash against Rep. King personally. This can be done against any incumbent congress member, but it requires some labor-intensive opposition research with boots on the ground in DC. That costs money. Hopefully Ben Nesselhuf is working that angle. He has a good candidate, and this race can be won if Rep. King's DC activities become noem, I mean known, back home.

  3. mike from iowa 2014.06.17

    King is the super low intelligence,loose cannon,bomb thrower that teabaggers admire so much. This district used to be represented by Berkley Bedell of fishing tackle fame and then we got Fred "Gopher" Grandy of Love Boat shame and then doofus King.

  4. Rorschach 2014.06.17

    Gopher wasn't so bad. After him you got Tom Latham before the districts changed.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.06.17

    Latham was never my congresscritter. But he wasn't the total nutjob King has become.

  6. Joe 2014.06.24

    Its probably more helping for 2-4 years out as the district keeps getting more liberal, old people die, young minorities keep showing up in Sioux City area.

    But Vilsak wasn't the greatest candidate in the world, for that district, she did struggle down the end a bit, and I thought she did very poorly in the last debate. Its probably not winnable, but if you are within 10 points 2 weeks before you have a shot.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.25

    Joe, do you think Nesselhuf can push Mowrer to that 10% threshold? Is there any magic formula for Ben to follow?

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