|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Iowa's 2nd district
January 3, 2007
David Wayne Loebsack
December 23, 1952
Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||Iowa State University (BA, MA)|
University of California, Davis (PhD)
David Wayne Loebsack (; born December 23, 1952) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 2nd congressional district since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, he also is an emeritus professor of political science at Cornell College, where he had taught since 1982. The district includes most of Iowa's southeastern quadrant, including Davenport, Bettendorf, Burlington, and Iowa City.
On April 12, 2019, Loebsack announced he would not seek reelection.
Consistently, David Loebsack has voted in line with the Democratic Party. Out of 1,551 total votes, he has voted with the Democratic Party 90% of the time. He has voted consistently to protect legal access to abortion and to pass measures that instill regulations that aim to protect the environment. He strongly believes in Wall Street reform and regulation, is generally in opposition to bailouts, and has stated that his "role in government is to help stick up for the little guy".
David Loebsack's interest group ratings concerning fiscal (economic) issues reinforce his general allegiance to party lines. Regarding the budget, spending, and taxes, he received 4% from the conservative Citizens Against Government Waste (2010), 36% from the National Journal Conservative Economic Policy Score (2011), and 64% from the National Journal Liberal Economic Policy Score (2011). Concerning business and consumers, Loebsack received 100% from the American Council of Engineering Companies (2009-2010), 0% from the conservative Alliance for Worker Freedom (2008), and 66% from the National Small Business Association (2011).
Similar to Loebsack's ratings regarding the economy, his social ratings also adhere to party lines. Regarding civil liberties and civil rights, Loebsack has received 91% from the Human Rights Campaign (2009-2010), 95% from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (2009-2010), and 20% from the Arab American Institute (2009-2010). Loebsack has generally scored high among interest groups involved in civil liberties.
In 2006 Loebsack narrowly defeated 15-term Republican incumbent Jim Leach in one of the biggest upsets of the cycle. Loebsack was nominated by a special convention of the 2nd District after failing to get the required number of signatures to be on the primary ballot. Since there was no one qualified for the ballot, the convention was called to determine the nomination. The 2nd had been trending Democratic for some time (a Republican presidential candidate had not carried it since 1984), and was considered the most Democratic-leaning district in the state. It was taken for granted that Leach would be succeeded by a Democrat once he retired, but he was not considered particularly vulnerable due to his moderate voting record, popularity, and longtime incumbency. Loebsack won largely by running up an 8,395-vote margin in Johnson County, home to Iowa City.
Loebsack was easily reelected in 2008, taking 57 percent of the vote over Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a doctor from Ottumwa and the former president of the state medical society.
Loebsack faced Miller-Meeks again in 2010 and had a much more difficult time of it than he had two years earlier. He prevailed with only 51% of the vote, largely by running up a 13,900-vote margin in Johnson County. Terry Branstad easily carried the district in his successful bid to reclaim the governorship. Chuck Grassley carried every county in the district except Johnson; in fact, Johnson was the only county Grassley lost in his bid for another term.
After redistricting moved Loebsack's longtime home in Mount Vernon to the 1st District of fellow Democrat Bruce Braley, Loebsack moved to Iowa City in the reconfigured 2nd. The redrawn district is less Democratic than its predecessor; it regained Davenport, which had been the anchor of the 2nd and its predecessors for decades before being shifted out of the district in the 2000s round of redistricting.
Loebsack won the election with 55.4% of the vote. His Republican opponent, John Archer, got 42.5%; Alan Aversa, an Independent candidate, received 2.2%. Braley won the 1st district with 56.9% of the vote.
Loebsack beat Miller-Meeks, 52.5% to 47.5%. The 1st district went Republican, leaving Loebsack the only Democratic House member from Iowa.
In October 2016, the Daily Iowan endorsed Loebsack, saying that while he was "not perfect" he displayed a "willingness to work with the other side" and had "maintained some degree of competence in office." Loebsack defeated surgeon Christopher Peters, 54% to 46%. Again, Loebsack was the only Democrat that Iowa sent to the House in 2016. The state was won by Donald Trump by a comfortable margin, and Republican Chuck Grassley was re-elected to the U.S. Senate by a landslide. Despite the Republican swing in Iowa, Loebsack managed to hold his position as a Democrat.
In a rematch of the 2016 election, Loebsack defeated Republican Christopher Peters by a comfortable margin with 54.8% of the vote. Democrats also flipped the 1st and 3rd district house seats in this election cycle, therefore Loebsack was no longer the sole Democratic member of Iowa's congressional delegation.
In November 2017, Loebsack was the only House member from Iowa to vote against tax reform, claiming the "tax plan that was rushed through the House of Representatives will hurt everyday Iowans."
In September 2017, Loebsack told Ottumwa voters that he supports "Dreamers". He said, "We've got to do everything we can to protect them."
Ahead of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses, Loebsack endorsed former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg for President of the United States. After Buttigieg withdrew from the primaries, he endorsed candidate and eventual Democratic nominee Joe Biden on March 12, 2020.
|Republican||James A. Leach (incumbent)||101,707||48.53|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||175,218||57.19|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||115,839||50.99|
|Libertarian||Gary Joseph Sicard||4,356||1.92|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||211,863||55.57|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||143,431||52.48|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||198,571||53.66|
|Democratic||Dave Loebsack (incumbent)||171,446||54.8|