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2020 election preview: Democrats look to win back Iowa House

Republicans control both chambers of the Iowa Legislature, but Democrats are looking to take the majority in the House.

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Republicans in the Iowa Legislature have maintained the majority in both the House and Senate, but Democrats are hoping to change the makeup under the "Golden Dome" ahead of the next session.

Eight Republicans state representatives and seven Senate Republicans are retiring, while two Democrat representatives are retiring. 

None are stepping down in the senate.

That's important when looking at the current balance of power in the Iowa Senate—a 32-to-18 Republican advantage—and Iowa House, where Republicans hold 53 seats and Democrats 47.

"I think it's kind of a degree all-in moment for [Democrats] in the House. It's available," said GOP strategist Craig Robinson. "You've had this leadership change between [Linda] Upmeyer and [Pat] Grassley and I feel like if there's ever a time for them to take control, they better do it this cycle."

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Robinson is focusing on 10-15 races that could give Democrats the boost they need to take control of the Iowa House for the first time in 14 years, plus roughly five Senate races. 

That would not be enough to flip control, but it would build momentum.

"There's only 18 Democrats over there," Robinson said. "So the change to 21 is very symbolic because then the majority, 25 or 26, is in reach the next time around. So I really think that if they can gain three, they would be ecstatic."

Another factor Robinson says candidates should have considered: the recent migration of Iowans from rural to urban areas, meaning incumbents better make sure they got their message across to new voters during the campaign moving to the big city

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