Political Animal


March 27, 2013 10:43 AM Political Junkies Hold Breath As King Mulls Senate Bid

By Ed Kilgore

Those of us who as a hobby or as a professional obligation are already thinking ahead to 2014 remain on tenterhooks as the protagonist of what would be a marquee (and wildly fun!) contest, U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), publicly mulls a Senate bid. With the only intraparty competitor who might have actually challenged King, his House colleague Tom Latham, having taken himself out of the running, the wily radical is now assessing the odds of a Senate race at “a little more than 50-50.” Sioux City Journal political writer Bret Hayworth, who maintains a “King Meter” to measure the congressman’s inclinations to run for the Senate, has now raised the probability to 67%.

The stakes here go beyond the impact on Tom Harkin’s Senate seat, though that’s a pretty big deal given early polls showing Democratic congressman Bruce Braley leading King by a healthy margin. If King’s running, anyone who wants to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 will be expected to spend serious time in Iowa next year thumping the tubs for Michele Bachmann’s (and Tom Tancredo’s, back in the day) best friend in the House. So much for “rebranding” the GOP before the 2016 contest, eh?

If King decides not to run, early speculation is that Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds or state Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey might run for the Senate. Neither has Latham’s strong popular standing or King’s ideological street cred—much less his entertainment value.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Peter C on March 27, 2013 11:35 AM:

    I think if House members intend to run for Senate, they need to show their commitment by resigning their House seats. Otherwise, they will be spending too much of their time trying for a new job instead of doing their current one.

  • c u n d gulag on March 27, 2013 12:06 PM:

    That sociopath has an ego and ocean wide, and an intellect as deep as the imprint a snowflake makes landing on the ground.

    Of course he'll run.
    Jesus will tell him to!

    FSM forbid that he wins, but it will be entertaining no matter what the result will be.

  • Th on March 27, 2013 12:12 PM:

    Ed, since you are hanging out in Georgia for a few days and thinking about Senate races, would you please get Cathy Cox to come down from the mountains and run for Senate against the crazies? Please

  • bluestatedon on March 27, 2013 12:19 PM:

    Obama should immediately issue a press release stating his strong support for Reynolds and Northey, and how much he looks forward to working with either one of them in the Senate. Heh heh heh...

  • cwolf on March 27, 2013 1:15 PM:

    Stevie's just Akin to get in the race !!!

    In an interview with the Des Moines Register on Monday, King hinted that he might be leaning towards a 2014 Senate bid, saying that he wouldn’t want to “be the guy who looked back and said, ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda.’” http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/26/gop-rep-steve-king-compares-us-border-fence-to-great-wall-of-china/