ia-03

In Iowa, Heartland Democrats Ask ‘What About the Economy, Stupid?’
But candidates are divided on how populist their messages need to be

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan talks with Heather Ryan (no relation), a Democratic candidate in Iowa’s 3rd District, during a steak fry in Des Moines on Sept. 30. (Charlie Neibergall/AP File Photo)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Democrats in the Midwest know that the way to win back voters in states like Iowa is to talk about the economy, but they’re debating how exactly to do it.

As a state that can make or break presidential campaignsand one that had regularly sent liberal Democrats to Washington, Iowa now serves as a test of whether Democrats can win back white voters who have swung toward the Republican Party over the last decade.

Ratings Changes in 12 Competitive House Races
6 races shift toward Democrats but 6 improve for Republicans

Iowa Rep. David Young's' re-election contest in the state's 3rd District moves from Tossup to Tilts Republican, according to The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call's latest race rating. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With five weeks to go before Election Day, Democrats are still waiting for Donald Trump to create the nationwide swell that would be necessary to put the Republicans’ House majority into play. House races are often late to engage but, thus far, the developments have been a mixed bag for Democrats, keeping sizable gains out of reach.

The lack of vulnerable Democrats — and the resiliency of many Republican incumbents in the face of an unpopular presidential nominee — could amount to a historic election in the House, but not in the way one might think. The cycle could produce the fewest number of House seats to flip party control in 60 years.