COMMENTARY: Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (MMM) already had an edge in name recognition before officially entering the congressional race on March 3. Her campaign has come out of the starting blocks in a big way with a number of campaign announcements and a 24 county tour of Iowa’s second congressional District GOP conventions the weekend of March 8. She’s steps ahead of her Republican primary opponent Mark Lofgren who announced his candidacy way back in June 2013.
To be fair, Lofgren made the GOP county convention rounds too – covering 21 of the 24 in District 2 – but he hasn’t fed the press and only casually mentioned his convention stops on Twitter. If voters aren’t following Lofgren on Twitter, they don’t know what he’s up to. He’s not messaging to the masses like Miller-Meeks is.
Miller-Meeks can campaign full time, having recently resigned from her position as the state’s health guru . Lofgren on the other hand, runs an investment business and is a member of the Iowa State House . But as previously mentioned, Lofgren announced his campaign back in June 2013. Even on a part-time basis, he’s had some time over the last eight months to really develop a solid campaign and get his message spread throughout the second district…. but hasn’t. He’s good in Muscatine County and the surrounding area, but in the rest of Iowa’s second district, not so much.
This race has quickly become one for MMM to lose. The only thing that might prevent a victory for her is if some voters are tired of her brand, coupled with Lofgren kicking things up a notch. This is MMM’s third attempt to defeat liberal incumbent Dave Loebsack .
If Miller-Meeks runs away with a victory in the GOP primary race on June 3rd, it will be something the Loebsack campaign can’t take likely, especially given the short campaign window she’s got. November could get very interesting, the saying “Third time is a charm,” comes to mind.