The proposed new political lines for Statehouse and federal representation in Iowa unveiled this morning would toss two long-term Republican congressmen, Steve King of Kiron and Tom Latham of Ames, into a new sweeping 4th U.S. House District.

Meanwhile, Carroll’s current two representatives in the Statehouse — State Sen. Steve Kettering, R-Lake View, and State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla — would remain in districts that include Carroll, under the Legislative Services Agency’s first proposal released this morning in the wake of the 2010 Census.

The proposed map slices off the bottom three-county tier of King’s current 5th District in extending a planned 4th District from the Missouri River east to include all of Story, Grundy, Butler and Chickasaw counties.

As expected, the proposal knocks Iowa’s congresnal district count down from five to four, creating a host of scenarios — should the map be embraced by state legislators, which is far from a sure thing.

“The likelihood that this particular map will survive is small, as most observers predict it will ultimately be rejected,” said Jason Hancock, editor of Iowa Independent. “However, lawmakers did approve the first plan back in 1991. In 2001, the LSA’s second plan was enacted.”

In an interview this morning, veteran Iowa State University political science professor Steffen Schmidt said the fascinating question for western and central Iowans is what will happen if King and Latham both remain in the same district, which as of the LSA’s planning, would have 761,571 people.

Latham, who had represented Carroll, moved to Ames in 2001 and avoided the district King has represented since 2003.

Schmidt thinks Latham, an insider who has proven he can deliver for communities with transportation and other funding and with close ties to U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, should remain in the district, setting up an intriguing primary with King, a darling of the GOP right with national profile and fund-raising potential.

“If I were Latham, I would say, ‘Let the best man win,’” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said a primary could bolster GOP turnout in 2012 in the district, which could have up-ticket and down-ticket benefits.

“Why should Latham just quit?” Schmidt said. “He’s been very successful. Why should he not challenge Steve King in a primary?”

On the Democratic side, the new 4th District would open the potential for a campaign by former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, who has made no secret of her ambitions to seek federal office. She could conceivably establish residency in Ames.

“Sometimes, other contenders move into the districts,” Schmidt said.

As for the Statehouse, the proposal creates a Senate District 6 that includes Carroll, Sac, Buena Vista, Audubon counties and the eastern part of Crawford County. Kettering, a Lake View banker, could continue to represent Carroll should he seek re-election and  win another four-year term.

On the Iowa House side, a proposed District 12 would include Carroll and Audubon counties and the eastern part of Crawford County, including, apparently, Manilla, which would allow Muhlbauer, who has a cattle operation in that area, to continue representing Carroll should he run and win in 2012.