NEWTON - Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack and Republican challenger John Archer debated Tuesday night at the Des Moines Area Community College Conference Center. The political foes debated right before President Obama and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney debated.
Normally, Archer and Loebsack would be watching the debate at home. However, each candidate says it is hard to take a break with the election just three weeks away.
"I'm paying very close attention as you might imagine as a member of Congress," Loebsack said. "It does matter to me who becomes President of the United States."
Real Clear Politics had President Obama up two points in Iowa before Tuesday night's presidential debate. Because of that, both candidates are trying to carry any sort of momentum they can from President Obama and Governor Romney.
"We're keeping an eye on the presidential election," Archer said.
Archer and Loebsack say it may be hard to pick up a large amount of momentum from either Presidential candidate though. Both Archer and Loebsack have to prepare for their respective Presidential candidates losing on November 6th.
"If necessary, we have a strategy in place that we can withstand a Romney-Ryan loss in the second district," Archer said. "But certainly, we would prefer to have a Romney-Ryan win in Eastern Iowa."
Loebsack has a similar plan to Archer's. He says he can't rely on President Obama's debate performance to help him out tremendously in the second congressional district.
"To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure the presidential race is going to have too much of an impact on our ending," Loebsack said.
Archer also says that Iowa voters aren't the type to just vote straight down the ticket because of party affiliation. He did say his base has been more enthusiastic though because of Romney's recent surge.
"There's real excitement now that's going through the Republican side because of the performance that Governor Romney put on last week," Archer said.
Real Clear Politics says Iowa's new second congressional district still leans toward the left. Archer, a Bettendorf native, has tried to motivate his base especially in Scott County. Scott County is new to the congressional district.
Both candidates have their last debate before the election on Saturday, October 20th at 7 p.m. St. Ambrose University will house the event.