Chrisite Vilsack, an Ames Democrat and Iowa's former first lady said she looked her nine-foot statue of Belle Babb Mansfield, the country's first female attorney, in the eye and dared herself to do something she had never done before --- run for Congress.
Since launching her campaign for Iowa's new 4th District seat she's become Congressman Steve King's first formidable opponent in a decade, but can she actually win?
King, R-Kiron, who has made a name for himself by making outlandish statements and refusing to budge from his conservative stances has a slight lead in the polls, but all are within the margin of error. Real Clear Politics calls the race a toss up and an Election Projection website predicts that King will win by 4.5 percent.
Vilsack's own poll released Oct. 26 showed King with a lead of 48 percent to Vilsack's 46 percent. Another 3 percent were undecided and another 2 percent planned to vote for Martin Monroe, an independent candidate on the ballot.
CREDO Super PAC which formed a Take Down the Tea Party 10 and Take Down King organization in Ames is convinced that King would lose Tuesday.
“Rep. King represents his Tea Party cronies in Congress and not Iowans,” said Alec Johnson, District Director of CREDO superPAC. “Iowans are fed up with King’s extremism and we’re confident they’ll vote him out of office on Election Day. Our volunteers will be working through Election Day to get out the vote against King and ensure he doesn’t return to Congress.”
The organization has spent about $250,000 against King specifically.
CREDO has protested King throughout his campaign and was quick to point out comments he made on the campaign trail including his comparison between legal immigration and picking the best bird dog and his statement that Iowa State University multicultural groups encourage its members to feel like victims.
During King's last appearance in Ames he was joined by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
“He's a very hard worker and he's very smart,” Branstad said of King.
“A lot of liberals thought with a whole lot of money they could come in and buy this district with someone who had a name,” Branstad said.
King told the room that he had the advantage in the race against Vilsack because he was on the right side and mostly talked about why people should vote for Mitt Romney instead of President Barack Obama.
King said choosing Obama over Romney is a turn toward the left and choosing to borrow and spend the way out of the current economy.
Vilsack has come after King on several issues, but pressed his unwillingness to work on the farm bill most often. The country is still without one and King would not sign a discharge petition allowing a vote to take place on the floor.
Vilsack has mentioned that she could become the first woman to represent Iowa in a higher office, but said she doesn't want to be somebody, she just wants to do something.
“Right now we have the most ineffective Congress in my lifetime,” Vilsack said at a recent appearance at Ames High School. “Nothing has gotten done. You can't send the same people back an expect a different (outcome.)”