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3rd District Voter Map

Jason Mrachina
Skyline of Des Moines, Polk County's largest city and the capitol of Iowa. Polk County is the 3rd Congressional District's most populous county. It is also the only county in the district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans.

Iowa's 3rd Congressional District contains 16 counties in the southwest quadrant of the state. Its largest population centers are Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

Polling shows Democrat Staci Appel and Republican David Young, neck-and-neck for the open race. Republican Tom Latham is stepping down after 10 terms in Congress. 

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa Secretary of State’s Office Click on a county to see population and voter registration information. Counties in red have more Republican voters than Democrats or independents, blue have more Democrats and yellow more independents. 

click to enlarge

Republican strategist David Kochel  and Democratic strategist Jeff Link agree the 3rd District is trending Republican.

Both say through email that since the 3rd's rural counties are solidly Republican, and because the district's largest city, Des Moines, skews Democratic, the race between Young and Appel comes down to voters in fast-growing, suburban counties.

"Dallas County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country," writes Kochel. "It’s becoming solidly red in recent elections."

Jeff Link says that Appel holds out a chance since there are a large number of registered independents in the 3rd district. "Swing suburban voters are the key," he writes.

View maps of Iowa's 1st, 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts.