Friday, November 10, 2006

Let's let the voters decide:

State 29 produced an almost obscenity-free post yesterday in response to my claim that Dave Loebsack's win was among the biggest upsets of my lifetime and the biggest turnaround I've ever seen.

State made a fair point: Vilsack's 1998 win was also a pretty major upset.

I'd have to say that Tom Vilsack's defeat of former Iowa Supreme Court justice Mark McCormick in the 1998 Democratic goobernatorial primary (52% to 48%) was huge. McCormick had a 20 point lead in the polls just a couple weeks before the primary.

Couple that victory with Vilsack's come-from-behind-and-ass-slapping defeat of two-time loser Jim Ross Lightfoot in the general election later that year and this particular double-shot multi-orgasm has to qualify as the biggest political turnaround in Iowa that I've ever seen.

I'll try to narrow this down to bullet points:

Vilsack (1998):
Overcame double digit deficits in the polls in two different elections.
Won with no coordinated campaign and an Iowa Democratic Party that was bankrupt.
Defeated a Republican with high statewide name recognition due to previous runs for office and a former Iowa Supreme Court justice.

Loebsack (2006):
Overcame a failure to gather enough signatures to appear on the primary ballot.
Was only seen as the third-best Democratic prospect in his own state.
Defeated a 30-year incumbent.

Which upset was bigger? I don't know. I think I'll let you decide. Here's the poll:

Which was the bigger upset?
Vilsack (1998)
Loebsack (2006)
Free polls from

I'll post something on the results eventually.



Anonymous said...

Leach has had nothing but close calls since moving to Iowa City. Without his Scott County base, it was just a matter of time until the winds blew him loose.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Leach won nearly 60% of the vote in 2004, not exactly a close call. Virtually everyone considered the seat safe Republican, except the Loebsack campaign!

Chelsea said...

I think your poll options pose a false dichotomy. Plus, can you really trust The People with an important decision like this one?

I'm casting an honorary vote for "tie."

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