Democrat Incumbent Has Enormous Financial Edge in NRCC Targeted Iowa 3rd Congressional District Race

Cindy Axne

Democrat U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-West Des Moines) has a substantial fundraising lead in the race for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional seat, outraising the entire Republican field by nearly two million dollars.

As of the December 31, 2022 FEC report, Axne has raised$2,768,815.89 for 2022 her re-election efforts and $2,104,780.81 is on hand, available to spend.

On the Republican side, FEC records show State Senator Zach Nunn (R-Altoona) has raised $456,074.26 with $270,522.00 cash on hand, while Nicole Hasso has raised $339,971.73 with $133,567.93 on hand. The Republican primary is scheduled for June 7, 2022. Former Iowa State Representative Mary Ann Hanusa has been running, but she withdrew to run for Iowa State Auditor.

According to Roll Call, the National Republican Congressional Committee has listed Iowa’s 3rd district as a targeted race for Democrat defeat. If polling is favorable, significant resources and funding could be brought to the race by the NRCC and other outside sources.

The Cook Political Report rates IA-03 race as a toss-up. According to Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight, redistricting didn’t change the partisan makeup of the district, as they rated it an R+2 both prior to and after redistricting.

Axne has represented the 3rd district since 2019. In the 2018 midterm elections, she defeated then-incumbent U.S. Representative David Young by just over two percentage points, 49.3 to 47.1 percent.

Axne is a reliable vote in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Biden administration agenda. As of January 20, 2022, Axne is reported by Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight as voting with the Biden administration 100% of the time. In the 2022 midterm elections, the Republicans will likely seek to use that data in their messaging.

The realclearpolitics average of Biden’s approval rating shows him underwater nationally, with 41 percent approving and 53.1 percent disapproving. That is a net national average of a -11. percent approval rating.

Iowans for Tax Relief in conjunction with Cygnal conducted a poll of 600 likely voters in October of 2021 that showed Trump beating Biden 54.1 percent to 40.5percent in a 2024 hypothetical matchup. The same poll showed that 58 percent disapproved of Biden’s job performance while just 40 percent approved.

A November 2021 Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted by Selzer & Co. of 810 Iowa adults, including 658 likely voters, found that 62 percent disapprove of Biden’s job performance, while 33 percent approve. That shows Biden with a -29 percent approval rating. That poll also shows Trump defeating Biden in a hypothetical matchup, 51 percent to 40 percent. In 2020, Trump carried Iowa 53.2 percent to 45 percent.

While neither Trump nor Biden will be on the ballot this November, the Biden administration’s policies may seem to be. Midterm elections have very often been a referendum on a sitting president’s performance, perceived or otherwise, in office.

Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District consists of the counties of Adair, Adams, Appanoose, Cass, Clarke, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Greene, Guthrie, Lucas, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Page, Polk, Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Wapello, and Wayne.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Iowa Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]


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