Democratic Representative Bruce Braley is leaving Iowa’s First Congressional District to run for United States Senate. Despite having a couple of foot-in-mouth moments as of late, Representative Braley is currently leading all Republican opposition by double-digit margins in D+1 Iowa — margins that are likely to tighten getting closer to November.
Mr. Braley is exiting a D+5, which is likely to stay Democratic even in a likely difficult upcoming midterm election for Democrats. Much can happen in six months, but Republicans currently only hold one D+5 district [CA-31] — and even that was only won due to California’s terrible ‘top-two‘ primary system.
The Democratic primary for Iowa’s 1st is currently five candidates long: Former State Senator Swati Dandekar, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, State Representative Pat Murphy, Attorney David O’Brien, and City Council Member Monica Vernon.
In a somewhat interesting twist, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee recently endorsed Pat Murphy, citing bold progressivism:
PCCC said it was endorsing Murphy because coming from the Warren wing of the Democratic Party he supports expanding Social Security benefits, holding Wall Street accountable and the Massachusetts senator’s economic populist agenda.
“He successfully led the fight to raise the minimum wage in Iowa, and is leading it again,” the PCCC said. “He also created universal pre-K in Iowa.”
There is a mild surprise here, solely because State Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic has anecdotally been referred to as the likely most progressive candidate since entering the race. But PCCC’s progressive bonafides and endorsement of Murphy will likely have activists qualifying their former assessments.
The most recent polling in the IA-01 Democratic primary was a poll commissioned by Murphy showing him with a wide 23-point lead over his nearest opponents, Kajtazovic and Dandekar. Any internal polling should be taken with a grain of salt as the results are likely meant to show the candidate commissioning the poll with a wide lead — but when it’s as big as 23 points, even with a slightly bigger +/- 4.9% margin of error, it’s safe to assume Murphy has a fairly sizable lead two months before the Iowa primary on June 3rd.