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Is There Any Hope of Beating White Nationalist Steve King in Iowa?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 18, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 18, 2018 |


Iowa’s Steve King is the worst Congressman in America. Steve King proudly displays Confederate flags in his office (Iowa fought for the Union in the Civil War). He’s said that white people are the superior culture. He retweets neo-Nazis. He said that illegal immigrants should be replaced by robots; he compared Mexican immigrants to dogs. He thinks the border fence should be electrified. He opposes interracial marriage because he wants “an America so homogeneous that we look the same.” He supports racial profiling. He thinks that Muslims should not work in meat-packing plants. He supports right-wing populist candidates in other countries.

In fact, yesterday Steve King endorsed a fringe white-nationalist candidate for mayor of Toronto.

Goldy, like Steve King, believes that immigration will lead to “white genocide.”

And yet, hardly anyone in the Republican party calls Steve King out. He is brazen about his racism. He doesn’t seem to give a sh*t about how it might affect his re-election chances in Iowa, where he has served as a Congressman since 2003.

But how does he get away with this in a state that’s not exactly red (Iowa’s voting record matches that of the country, which is to say: They’ve voted for Democrats in four out of the last seven Presidential elections, but they also voted for Trump). It’s because Steve King happens to come from the most Republican district in the state. But is there any chance in hell that he loses in three weeks?

Yeah, well. Maybe.

Steve King is running against Democrat J.D. Scholten. He’s a 5th generation Iowan, and a former professional baseball player who played a couple of years for the Sioux City AA team. He’s very Catholic. He’s very white. And as far as fundraising goes, he’s kicking the sh*t out of Steve King, having outraised King over the last four quarters, including quadrupling Steve King’s fundraising efforts in the fourth quarter.

But it’s still a very Republican district — there are 190,000 Republicans compared to only 120,000 Democrats.

But … there are also 172,000 Independents.

Polls show King with a fairly commanding lead, but this will come down to turnout. Scholten is going to have to get all 120,000 Democrats to the polls, hope that some of King’s voters will be turned off by his racism. That’s not entirely out of the question. Christie Vilsack managed to get 43 percent of the vote in 2012, and Scholten has outraised her by quite a bit.

Nate Silver says that there are always one or two wildcard races in every House election, where a candidate comes out of nowhere and pulls off a huge upset. As far as House races go, this is the one where I’m hoping most for an upset. This is the Beto O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz of the House, and Scholten is playing smart, running positive ads and not trying to define Steve King, who is already well defined in a district he’s been Congressman for 16 years. The question is: Are they tired of making national news because of a white nationalist Representative?

Header Image Source: Getty