Campaign 2010

Nov 13, 2013

With One Year to Go, Anti-Washington Wave Poised to Sweep Out Rep. Tom Latham

With less than a year until the 2014 election, the anti-incumbent wave building across the country is threatening to sweep Congressman Tom Latham out of office. In the wake of Congressman Latham’s vote for the government shutdown both national and local polling – and Congressman Latham’s own words – reveal that by voting with the Tea Party, he’s shown his true colors and become vulnerable heading into 2014.

National Polling Creating Major Headwind for Latham in an Obama District

Poll after national poll shows that voters are holding Republican members of Congress responsible for the Republican government shutdown. In a recent CNN poll, three quarters (75 percent) of voters say that most Congressional Republicans don’t deserve to be reelected—and that number grows to 79 percent among Independents. And in a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, voters soured on their own incumbent member of Congress. By 24 points, voters say Republicans are responsible for the government shutdown (53 percent to 29 percent).

And in the poll, the approval of “your own” Member of Congress is negative for the first time (43 percent approval – 47 percent disapproval) and 66 percent of voters are willing to look around for someone else in 2014 while only 24 percent are inclined to re-elect their Member.

Iowa Polling Shows Latham Trailing Appel

In a district won by President Obama last year with 52 percent of the vote, the shutdown spells real trouble for Latham. A recent PPP poll found Latham trailing a generic Democratic opponent by 3 points. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the DCCC found that challenger Staci Appel leads by the same 3-point margin (42% to 39%), among all likely voters. Among Independent voters this margin expands to an impressive 7 points (43% to 36%). Less than a quarter of the electorate (22%) plans to vote to reelect Latham in the 2014 election, while 78% of voters (and 91% of Independents) say they are open to considering another candidate.

Video: Latham’s Own Words on Shutdown Will Haunt Him

Congressman Tom Latham tied himself inextricably to creating a shutdown purely to score political points. In fact, Congressman Latham was caught on film during a Town Hall saying he wouldn’t support a shutdown “for any reason.” But barely a month later, he voted anyway to shut down the government – and then voted an additional 16 times to block reopening the government.

After saying one thing and doing another, voters will rightly question Congressman Latham’s motives and refusal to stand by his word. Inevitably, his alliance with Speaker John Boehner – and his desire to stick with the embattled Speaker in the Washington-driven fight – is part of the equation. Sticking with Speaker Boehner (who according to a recent CNN/ORC poll has a 27/55 fav/unfav rating) means the 18-year incumbent has become part of the problem in the eyes of Iowa voters, tied to an unpopular Speaker, working for a deeply unpopular Congress.

It’s clear that Congressman Latham is so desperate to hit his 20-year anniversary in Washington that he has become part of the problem of reckless behavior that is hurting hardworking families’ lives. Perhaps Congressman Latham should consider the advice he offered a resident earlier this year who was concerned that Latham broke his promise on term limits: “Tell us to quit.”