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

Iowa: State Senate.
Balance of power: Democrats (30 to 20)
2006 Results: Democrats, net 5 seats
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 25
Districts to defend: Republicans = 14 of 20 (70 percent); Democrats = 11 of 30 (37 percent)
Open seats: Republicans = 6; Democrats = 1
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 8; Democrats = 10
Districts without major party opposition: Republicans = 5; Democrats = 1

Outlook: The best opportunities for Democratic pick-ups will be in open Districts 18, 20, and 22 and perhaps District 24 (against GOP incumbent Jerry Behn). The open race in District 48 presents another opportunity. Given their limited options, the Republican’s best chances to steal seats come in Districts 38, 42, and 46. However, Democrats are running incumbents in all these districts, so, given the current political environment, this will be no easy task.

Projection: Democrats +3. Democrats retain control of Senate.