Politics

King getting closer to Senate run, but will ‘battle’ with Karl Rove first

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Iowa Rep. Steve King, a Republican, looks like he’s preparing to jump into the race for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

King had previously told The Iowa Republican that the chances of him running were “fifty-fifty.” Now King says “that needle has gone over fifty percent, and each day that goes by, on balance, it’s more likely rather than less likely.”

The announcement by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin that he would retire after this term has set the stage for a fierce battle for the seat.

King contended that, despite naysayers like the Karl Rove-backed Conservative Victory Fund, who believe he would not fare well in a statewide general election, that he was in a very good position to do exactly that.

“You know, if you can’t win the primary, you don’t need to speculate on the general election. And, so of all the polling that I’ve seen, I would have a significant lead in a primary contest for U.S. Senate. That’s the first cut. Analyze that,” he said, “and then take a look at the general election side.”

King also noted that he has been historically underestimated by “the powers that be,” who have told him ever since his first run for office 17 years ago that he had taken on an “impossible mission” and could not win, predictions he repeatedly proved wrong.

In terms of policy, he said, his time in congress had left him well positioned to compete in 2014. He pointed specifically to his vocal opposition to Obamacare, and his exhortations to fix the national debt and deficit.

“Those are the two top things I ran on in this election; those will be the two most important things in the 2014 election. That puts me, I think, in the best spot to win a general election,” he said. “We’re gonna look at the numbers too, but that’s the policy that i think provides momentum.”

King also emphasized the important role that input from Iowans would play in any decision he made.

But, King said, before he could make any decision at all, he had to battle with Karl Rove.