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Earlier today (3/25) Steve King (R IA04) told reporters that his odds of running for the open senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin are "a little more than 50-50."

Congressman Bruce Braley (D IA01) has already announced his candidacy. Braley probably has the Democratic nomination locked up. If King runs, polls indicate that he would easily win the GOP nomination. King is popular with the Republican base, especially the Tea Party. A Braley-King race would be a clear contrast between a popular center-left congressman and a leading member of the far-right wing of the House Republicans.

There's more.

Whether King will or will not run is a source of speculation in the state. One person who follows King closely is political reporter Brett Hayworth of the Sioux City Journal. Hayworth rates the odds of King running for senate as 67%. A contrary view has been expressed by desmoinesdem in her blog, Bleeding Heartland. She says flat out, "Steve King is not running." and she make a good case why he would choose not to run.

My take on this: desmoinesdem makes a persuasive case for a rational person. But this is Steve King. His policy positions are based on ideology, frequently in direct contradiction to the evidence. He has to be tempted by the opportunity to move to a bigger stage where he could continue to promote his ideological clap trap and save the country from Obamacare, foreign-speaking immigrants, gun grabbers, and other threats to his neighbors in his Kiron home town. A Public Policy poll shows that Braley would beat King by 11 points. That's evidence. But King is not known for paying attention to evidence.

The one person with the best insight to his decision-making process is King himself. If he says the odds are "a little more than 50-50," I'll take him at his word. One thing about King is that if he makes a statement or takes a position, he sticks with it forever, no matter how stupid or wrong it proves to be.


Will Steve King run for senate?

68%26 votes
15%6 votes
15%6 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  hope he runs so we can get rid of him (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, cooper888, cocinero, Loge, Vatexia, BYw

    A rational republican would know he is a good fit for his wing nut district but unelectable statewide. Hard to say what King will do. I assume he knows he can't win but maybe he is sick of the house and figures why not go for it.

    •  That's pretty much what he said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, Vatexia

      about not wanting to go back and say "woulda coulda shoulda."  He must know he's not going to be in leadership, ever, and a non-Presidential race is probably his best chance.  The NRCC is in a bind, as they need a big name but they also need it to not be Steve King.  If he doesn't run, with Latham, who is close to House leadership, already taking a pass to defend his seat (which dems have a great shot to pick up if he passes on reelection), they have nobody with sufficient stature.  Of course, if Latham runs for Senate and King doesn't, there's still no guarantee the social cons don't back a third candidate, figuring with Branstad on the ticket they need something.  

      All that said, I wouldn't underestimate King in a campaign.  Nobody should start measuring drapes yet.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:08:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bill Northey, IA Secretary of Agriculture (0+ / 0-)

        may be the GOP's best hope. He's been elected state wide, and he doesn't have King's baggage. Northey has support among powerful ag interests. There's also talk about Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. She follows Gov. Branstad around and smiles, but hasn't done anything substantive to show that she's ready for prime time.

        As you say, there's also the possibility of a social conservative or Tea Party or libertarian candidate who could win a primary if King doesn't run. Libertarians are strong in the GOP base. In a GOP primary involving Northey, Reynolds, and a Tea Party dude, I would bet on the dude.

        •  what's Vander Plaats doing? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vatexia, cocinero

          I know these are the names mentioned, but Reynolds is a lightweight (and is tainted by association with Branstad, who is going ridiculous on the Medicare issue but the teanuts seem not to like him).  I don't know much about Northey, but I don't really get the sense that he wants it.  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:37:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Vander Plaats was on local news tonight (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            expressing his opposition to marriage equality as part of a story on the Supreme Court hearings on Prop 8 and DOMA. He was last with 9% in a four-person poll for the GOP nomination for senate. Braley leads Vander Plaats by 51 to 33.

            it's clear that if [Vander Plaats] somehow snagged the nomination it would be a disaster for Republicans.
            and good news for our side.
  •  With numbers like the ones (6+ / 0-)

    desmoinesdem listed, I am getting an itchy hand. I might just need to pick up the phone and beg him to run!

    Run, Steve, run!

  •  Steve King is just what the GOP needs. (3+ / 0-)

    Adding my voice to the joyful clamor above: Run, Steve, run!

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:48:05 PM PDT

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