Iowa sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Iowa this year was March 18, 2022. Ten candidates are running for Iowa’s four U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and six Republicans. That’s 2.5 candidates per district, less than the 4.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the four in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Iowa was apportioned four districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 10 candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for Iowa’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 11 candidates filed.
  • All four incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. 
  • The Republican primary in the 3rd district is the only contested primary this year. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2012, when three primaries were contested. There were four contested primaries each year from 2014 to 2020. 
  • No incumbent is facing a primary challenger. That’s the lowest number since 2014, when no incumbent faced a primary challenger either. One incumbent faced a primary challenger in both 2020 and 2018, and two incumbents did in 2016. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all four districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Iowa and six other states — California, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. In Iowa, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast for the office being sought.

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