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Latham, an establishment Republican close to Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIt's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him How Republicans can bring order out of the GOP's chaos Republican donor sues GOP for fraud over ObamaCare repeal failure MORE (R-Ohio), would have been a formidable general election candidate for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa) — he's a proven campaigner and a strong fundraiser. But he faced the daunting prospect of running against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a Tea Party favorite who is moving towards a run.

Polls show that Latham would have had a strong chance against Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce BraleyTen years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer Criminal sentencing bill tests McConnell-Grassley relationship MORE (D-Iowa), Democrats' early front-runner — but also show that King would have had a big early lead in the GOP primary.