Through November 3rd, Smart Politics will be running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The fifth projections in the series are State House races in the State of Iowa.

Iowa: State House.
Balance of power: Democrats (53 to 47)
2006 Results: Democrats +5
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 100
Open seats: Republicans = 9; Democrats = 4
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 38; Democrats = 49
Districts without major party opposition: Republicans = 6; Democrats = 16

Outlook: The Democratic Party is in a much stronger position in House races again in 2008, even if you put aside the “Obama bump some candidates may receive from the top of the ticket. Republicans have to defend more narrow victories from 2006 (11) than do the Democrats (8). Democrats have their best shots at picking up seats in Districts 10, 13, 16, 21, 23, 35, 44, 47, 56, and 60. They also have an outside chance, should Obama win big, in Districts 17, 40, 50, 59, 69, 81, 87, 89, and 99. Republican opportunities to pick up seats are more scarce, but the best chances are in Districts 19, 27, 36, 74, 75, 84, and 92. Democratic Representatives have the opportunity to gain their largest advantage in the House since the 1964 Democratic landslide.

Projection: Democrats +9. Democrats retain control of House.