5 hours ago • By Ed Tibbetts
By now, people know the 17th District congressional race is going to be a tough fight.
Now, National Journal has ranked it 16th most likely to flip from one party to the other.
Democrat Cheri Bustos is trying to unseat Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., who is seeking a second term.
This is reminiscent of the 2006 campaign when Iowa’s 1st District was near the top of rankings of most-flippable seats.
That was the year Democrat Bruce Braley defeated Republican Mike Whalen, switching control of the seat from the Republicans to Democrats. The seat became open when incumbent Jim Nussle vacated it to run for governor.
UPDATE: The congressman’s campaign manager, Terry Schilling, said today he has a different take on National Journal’s report. He says he figured the 17th District race would be higher than 16th on the most likely to flip list.
He cites the Cook Political Report’s analysis last month that moved the race from being tilted toward the Democrats to being a tossup.
“That says to me the race is getting less competitive for Cheri,” he says.