Steve King in the Senate?

With the retirement of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, people are lining up to vie for his seat in 2014. According to the first poll, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination to replace him is Rep. Steve King, the prom king of Wingnuttia High School (Michele Bachmann is the queen, of course).

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is the favorite among Iowa Republicans to run in next year’s contest to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), according to the latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. The poll showed 41 percent of usual GOP primary voters in the state identifying King as their preferred candidate over three other Republicans. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) was a distant second with 22 percent support among Hawkeye State Republicans. Neither King nor Latham so far has declared an intention to run.

Some conservatives, including a new group backed by political operative Karl Rove, have warned recently that nominating King would put Republicans in the same bind they found themselves in the previous two cycles, when the party squandered prime pick-up opportunities in Senate races by fielding candidates who turned out to be too extreme for voters.

King is completely bugnutty. The good news is that the same poll shows he would lose to a top Democrat:

PPP’s findings suggested that King could face the same fate in a general election as Akin. In four hypothetical matchups tested by PPP, King trailed by seven to 11 points against notable Democrats, including a 10-point deficit to former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D). The poll indicated that Latham would fare much better in a general election.

While 63 percent of Republicans in Iowa have a favorable opinion of King, only 32 percent of all registered voters feel the same way. Forty-one percent of Iowa voters have an unfavorable opinion of King (compared with just 12 percent of GOP voters), while more than a quarter of all voters said they have no opinion of the conservative firebrand.

I’d like extra butter on my popcorn, please.

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  • slc1

    Well, Harkin is a little nutty himself, being responsible for setting up the alternative medicine studies at NIH.

  • baal

    32/41 fav / unfav with 25% undecided…He should submarine his views as much as possible and could still win. Were I his opposition, I’d start advertising Steve King’s anti-science & anti-women views as fast as possible.

  • howardhershey

    Well, if I were a likely Democratic opponent, it might well pay to start advertising King’s anti-science and and anti-women views both because it might make him more likely to win the Republican primary and also less likely for him to win the general election.

  • If I were his opponent, I would just air his YouTube video where he says it’s legal to rape a little girl and them take her across state lines to give her an abortion. Just put it on a loop.

  • When I saw this a few days ago, I knew it would make your day, Ed. Even more amusing. perhaps, will be the war between the teabaggers and the billionaires.

  • Bruce Braley is also a likely Democratic replacement. Steve King can only win elections because his district is Sioux City and surround rural areas. his chances of winning statewide are quite low since the saner, more populous Eastern Iowa participates in those elections. Running will likely get him out of the House. This could be a good thing.

  • D. C. Sessions

    King has his work cut out for him. Rumor has it that he’s under intense competition from other potential candidates who allege that he’s not a True Conservative.

  • BRamsey

    Bruce Braley officially announced yesterday, the 7th. What I’m hoping is that the Democrats will just shut up and not challenge him. I’m all for open primaries and challenging people, but not when there is a sliver of a chance that Steve King could be a senator.

    I had hopes that King would get voted out in the last election. When the districts were re-drawn after the 2010 census, Story county was added to King’s district. Ames, with Iowa State University, is in Story, so I hoped that the college crowd would out vote the rural nutjobs. Alas, that was not to be. I didn’t find a rundown to see how Ames performed, but all of the incumbent Democrats in Story won re-election.

    Yes, Harking has a blind spot for woo. If that’s the worse you can say about him, that’s not too bad. I would say the ADA balances that out. Harkin was one of the big supporters and architects of the ADA, so as things go, that’s not too bad. We put Grassley in, so we could and have done a lot worse.

  • frog

    Strange to be agreeing with Karl Rove. Though of course I consider this phenomenon a feature, not a bug.

    I have every confidence that Steve King–and possibly Tom Latham, if it comes to him–will manage to say something completely bugfuck during the regular campaign and vault their opponent to a “Well, at least s/he’s not a raving nutball” victory.

  • edmundog

    Definitely a good thing. On a larger stage, he’ll say something dumb on camera, kill his career, and make the GOP look bad on top of it. Win win.

  • abb3w

    Given your recent cardiac problems, I’d suggest you try olive oil with some garlic instead of butter for your popcorn. Healthier, y’know.