Iowa Overview

Redistricting Process: Iowa has a unique process for
redistricting, using an independent government agency to draft legislative and congressional plans. The plans are drawn by the advisory Legislative Services Agency, and submitted as part of a single bill including legislative and congressional districts. The LSA is a support agency to the state legislature, performing a variety of services, such as technical assistance and research support.

The LSA’s plan is created in cooperation with the state legislature’s Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, which acts as a liaison to the public. The LSA develops plans with a focus on are equal population, integrity of political subdivisions (both counties and cities), contiguity, and reasonable compactness. The Iowa Constitution provides strict formulas by which compactness is to be computed. No political data, such as the homes of incumbents or party registration statistics, may be used by the LSA in the redistricting process, though the legislature may use such data when reviewing the plans drawn by the LSA.

The LSA’s plan is submitted to the legislature for approval. If the legislature does not pass the plan, or if the plan is vetoed, the LSA is tasked with creating a new plan. If three consecutive plans drawn by the LSA are rejected by the legislature, the legislature can amend and then adopt the third LSA plan, subject to the governor’s veto.

Governor: Republican Terry Branstad

Legislature: Democrats control the State Senate and Republicans control the House.

Number of Congressional Seats in 2011: 4 (-1 since 2010)

2011 Ideal District Population: 609,271

Link to Iowa Legislative Guide to Redistricting

Current District by District Politics and Demographics

1st District– Democrat Bruce Braley

2010 Congressional Results: Braley 49.5%

2008 Congressional Results: Braley 65%

2006 Congressional Results: Braley 55%

2004 Congressional Results: Jim Nussle (R) 55%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 41% Obama 58%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 46% Kerry 53%

District Population: 596,443

Over/Under Populated by: 12,828 (Iowa is losing a seat)

White Population: 531,539

African American Population: 27,634

Hispanic Population: 19,084

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 1st District.

2nd District– Democrat Dave Loebsack

2010 Congressional Results: Loebsack 51%

2008 Congressional Results: Loebsack 57%

2006 Congressional Results: Loebsack 51%

2004 Congressional Results: James Leach (R) 59%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 39% Obama 60%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 44% Kerry 55%

District Population: 620,856

Over/Under Populated by: 11,585 (Iowa is losing a seat)

White Population: 546,569

African American Population: 19,386

Hispanic Population: 28,721

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 2nd District.

3rd District– Democrat Leonard Boswell

2010 Congressional Results: Boswell 50.7%

2008 Congressional Results: Boswell 56%

2006 Congressional Results: Boswell 52%

2004 Congressional Results: Boswell 55%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 45% Obama 54%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 49.7% Kerry 49.6%

District Population: 642,116

Over/Under Populated by: 32,845 (Iowa is losing a seat)

White Population: 548,727

African American Population: 26,801

Hispanic Population: 36,903

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 3rd District.

4th District– Republican Tom Latham

2010 Congressional Results: Latham 66%

2008 Congressional Results: Latham 61%

2006 Congressional Results: Latham 57%

2004 Congressional Results: Latham 61%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 46% Obama 53%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 51% Kerry 48%

District Population: 609,487

Over/Under Populated by: 216 (Iowa is losing a seat)

White Population: 557,413

African American Population: 7,317

Hispanic Population: 27,250

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 4th District.

5th District– Republican Steve King

2010 Congressional Results: King 66%

2008 Congressional Results: King 60%

2006 Congressional Results: King 59%

2004 Congressional Results: King 63%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 55% Obama 44%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 60% Kerry 39%

District Population: 577,453

Over/Under Populated by: 31,818 (Iowa is losing a seat)

White Population: 516,875

African American Population: 5,768

Hispanic Population: 39,586

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 5th District.

*In some browsers, the link to the 2010 Census page may link to a table of demographics for several states as opposed to the districts for the specific state.  If this occurs, click the “Back to Search” link at the top of the page and then click on the arrow next to “Geographies” in the left column.  Select “All Congressional Districts within Iowa” and then close the box.  Click on the link for “Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age and Housing Occupancy: 2010” and the correct table should appear.

Redistricting Process taken from Rose Institute study “Redistricting in America.”