Barnes & Noblead



1998 Primaries

 1998 State Primary Special

Stuart Rothenberg

 1998 Gubernatorial Ratings
8-10, 7-20, 6-30, 6-8, 5-19, 4-29, 4-6, 3-16, 2-24, 2-2

 1998 House Ratings
9-1, 8-5, 7-3, 6-23, 6-2, 5-13, 4-21, 3-30, 2-12

 1998 Senate Ratings
8-26, 7-28, 7-6, 6-15, 5-27, 5-5, 4-13, 3-24, 3-3, 2-9

 GOP Sees Arkansas' 2nd C.D. As An Opportunity (9-1-98)

 A Crowded Field In Massaschusetts's 8th C.D. (8-26-98)

 Republicans Upbeat About Indiana's 10th C.D. (8-10-98)

 'Carpetbagger' Label Could Hurt Maine Challenger (8-5-98)

 GOP Looks For A Beachhead In Massachusetts (7-28-98)

 A Surprising Challenger For Minnesota's Rep. Luther (7-20-98)

 Dems Target Rep. White In Washington's 1st C.D. (7-13-98)

 More Rothenberg reports for 1998
7-6, 6-30, 6-23, 6-15, 6-8, 6-2, 5-27, 5-19, 5-13, 5-7, 5-5, 4-29, 4-21, 4-13, 4-6, 3-30, 3-24, 3-16, 3-3, 2-24, 2-16, 2-9, 2-2, 1-29


Rothenberg One of the nation's top political analysts, Stuart Rothenberg, dissects politics at the congressional and statewide levels.

An Opening For Democrats In Wisconsin's 1st C.D.

In Iowa, GOP looks to hold on to governor's chair

By Stuart Rothenberg

Wisconsin 1 Republican Mark Neumann's retirement gives the Democrats a chance to pick up a seat they lost in 1994. Lydia Spottswood (D), who came within 4,260 votes of defeating Neumann two years ago, is back again, and this time she'll likely face a less experienced GOP opponent, Paul Ryan.

 Rothenberg's 1998 Senate Ratings

Located in the southeast corner of the state, the 1st C.D. is politically competitive. Bill Clinton won it by six points in 1992 and by a dozen points four years later, and all things being equal, a Democrat probably has a slight advantage in the district.

Kenosha City Councilwoman Spottswood, 47, currently serving her eighth term, is the likely Democratic nominee. She is a native of New York City and was a practicing nurse for many years.

Spottswood spent about $760,000 in her race against Neumann, and "outside" groups ranging from organized labor to environmental groups spent at least another $300,000 on her behalf. This time, Spottswood has raised more than $500,000 for November and has about $400,000 on hand. The candidate will put as much as $250,000 of her own money into the race.

Spottswood has been endorsed by a number of unions and women's groups, and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to the district for a fund-raising event for her.

Ryan, the likely GOP nominee, is just 28. He worked as a staffer for Sen. Bob Kasten (R-WI) on the Senate Small Business Committee before moving to the conservative Alexis DeToqueville Institute in 1993. Later that year, Jack Kemp, who was on the Institute's board, hired him as an economist and speech writer at Empower America.

In 1995, Ryan went to work for Kansas Cong. Sam Brownback, serving as his chief of staff and then as his Senate legislative director. In 1997, Ryan returned to Wisconsin.

Ryan has raised about $330,000 and has about $220,000 on hand. He has been endorsed by a number of business groups. The GOP hopeful thinks he will be aided by the top of the GOP ticket this year, including popular Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is seeking re-election, and Senate nominee Mark Neumann.

Spottswood alludes to Ryan's youth by talking about her experience, while Ryan prefers to portray the race as a sharp contrast between a liberal and a conservative. The candidate who wins the debate about how voters should approach the contest will have the advantage. Until that becomes clear, the race looks like a toss-up.

In Iowa, GOP looks to hold on to governor's chair

Iowa Governor Iowa has a reputation for strong parties and political competitiveness.

While the Republicans have majorities in both houses of the Legislature and hold five of the state's six congressional districts, Iowa's two U.S. senators belong to different parties and the state has gone Democratic in the last three presidential contests, including in 1988, when Michael Dukakis carried the state 55-44 percent against George Bush.

But when it comes to the governorship, the GOP has had a lock. Democrats thought they could finally regain the state's top position this year, since incumbent Gov. Terry Branstad wasn't seeking re-election. But instead, they find themselves with a decidedly uphill battle. The last Democrat to win the governorship was Harold Hughes, who was elected to a two-year term in 1966.

The GOP nominee this year is former congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot, who distinguished himself in a losing Senate race two years ago. Lightfoot, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1984 and served there until 1996, easily brushed off two primary challengers last month.

The Democratic nominee is state Sen. Tom Vilsack, who began as the underdog but nosed out former state Supreme Court justice Mark McCormick 52-48 percent for his party's nomination. Vilsack, 46, had the support of most of organized labor in the primary, and he has already earned the backing of the Iowa State Education Association for the general election.

A late June Des Moines Register survey showed the former congressman holding a 20-point lead over Vilsak and regarded by more voters as better able to deal with a number of problems facing the state.

Lightfoot clearly is benefiting from the public's satisfaction with the status quo and the Democrats' inability to get a well known, established political figure into the race. And his selection of an African American for lieutenant governor has helped him as well.

Republicans have been on something of a roll in Iowa in recent years, and there is little sign of division in GOP ranks in the gubernatorial contest. And as long as Independents remain behind Lightfoot, Vilsak won't be able to overcome the deficit.

In Other News

Monday, July 6, 1998

'Notch Babies' Seek Social Security Payment Increase
President Focuses On Ambitious Domestic Agenda
Clinton To Meet With Yeltsin In Russia In September

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