The best chance for Democrats to stop President Donald Trump’s agenda is to retake the U.S. House in 2018. To do that they’ll have to pick up about two dozen seats, as well as not lose any. Here in Iowa, a top priority will be protecting Iowa’s 2nd District and Congressman Dave Loebsack. If Democrats can’t hold onto well-known legislators like Loebsack, they’ll have little hope for a national take-back.
The six-term Democrat was named this week to the DCCC’s Frontline program, their short list of the Democrats’ top defend districts heading into 2018.
“This program gives Democratic members additional resources to respond to Republican attacks,” Loebsack’s campaign said in a press release. “Loebsack is one of the Democratic members who has already come under Republican Super PAC attack for standing up against their attempts to rip health care away from over 200,000 Iowans.”
With the Republicans’ unveiling of their plan to gut major sections of the Affordable Care Act, Loebsack’s votes and defense of the program will likely come under attack from outside conservative spending groups soon.
Loebsack has fended off several strong challenges in the past, and won his 2016 race by 53.7% to 46.2%. That victory came despite Trump carrying the 2nd District by four points – Loebsack outperformed Hillary Clinton by 11 points.
Part of that stems from Loebsack’s relentless focus on jobs and working class issues, as well as traveling his district extensively and making sure to visit many small towns outside the population centers. He’ll need to repeat that appeal with the blue collar voters who moved away from Democrats in Southeast Iowa in 2016.
“[This] announcement will ensure that our team has the tools necessary to fight the negative ads that have already begun attacking the work we have accomplished,” Loebsack said in the release. “I remain committed to fighting for Iowa’s hard-working men and women and being a voice for all Iowans.”
Many of the state’s activists and donors focused their energies and discussion on Iowa’s three other districts in 2016. They had some extra leeway to do so as Loebsack’s opponent wasn’t as strong last year. But heading into 2018 the party’s base will need to put an extra emphasis on ensuring Loebsack is in as strong a position as possible for his next reelection campaign.
by Pat Rynard