‘President Trump Is So Unique,’ Iowa Congressman Says of Challenge Ahead

DES MOINES, Iowa–A wave helped sweep Dave Loebsack, a political science professor at Cornell College, into Congress in 2006 when he defeated 15-term incumbent, Republican Jim Leach.

Loebsack, a Democratic Second District Congressman, stopped short Monday of predicting another wave of success for his party this November, but he does sense a promising election.

"President Trump is so unique," Loebsack said following his remarks to a crowd at the Iowa State Fair.

That uniqueness makes 2018 different than 2006 when George W Bush was still President, Loebsack said. And it likely makes it a little more difficult for him to predict that wave that optimistic Democrats crave for November.

In 2016, Trump dominated the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, by more than nine percentage points in the presidential race in 2016 in Iowa. Much of his success came in rural Iowa, an area where Loebsack said Democrats have neglected too often.

"This is something that, quite frankly, our party hasn't talked enough about...rural America," Loebsack said.

Loebsack is Iowa's only Democratic member of Congress and wants his party's candidates to focus on local issues, not just national themes that might play well in places like San Francisco and New York, Loebsack said.

He suggested they push for improvements for the middle class, a bipartisan farm bill in Congress and increased opportunities for renewable fuels.