Monday, November 1

What I Think Will Happen in Iowa on Tuesday

Prognostication is subject to a lot of skepticism, and rightly so, particularly if there are based on mostly conjecture and a little bit of polling data (in my case, the Des Moines Register's most recent poll for state races and The University of Iowa's Electronic Market).

In Iowa, we are likely to see the Governor's office change hands, as well as at least one court justice be recalled. The key to these two separate votes is the turnout of voters. Regardless of the turnout, Chet Culver and Patty Judge will not receive the vote of confidence they believe they have earned.

We are likely to see a couple of tight races for Congress in the eastern end of the state and the incumbents House members Loebsack and Braley will hold on by a thread--not because they aren't the best candidates, but because they have played political hardball to battle against the millions of dollars of negative ads run against them by both their opponents and the America's Future Fund. Across the state, the usual suspects will keep their seats, including senior Senator Grassley by more comfortable margins.

Despite two very good candidates in the form of Jon Murphy and Francis Thicke, both the incumbent Secretary of Agriculture Northey and State Auditor Vaudt are likely to remain in place, as are the State Treasurer Fitzgerald and the Secretary of State Mauro. There will be a closer race for Attorney General than otherwise should be the case given the inexperience of Republican Brenna Findley, but the incumbent, Tom Miller should continue in the job by less than a 15% margin.

The Iowa House will still have a Democrat majority, but not by more than a handful and the Senate should continue as a Democrat stronghold.

The State Constitutional Convention will likely be voted down and the land and water conservation measure will be approved, but not by much.

On a Johnson County level, the 21-only referendum in Iowa City will be close and may turn out to be a squeaker for rolling back the 21-only ordinance, judging by early voting numbers. Supervisors Janelle Rettig and Sally Stutsman, Senator Joe Bolkcom, Representatives Vicki Lensing and Mary Mascher, Recorder Kim Painter, and Treasurer Tom Kriz will be retained, deservedly, but without opposition. State Senator Bob Dvorsky will also be retained, as will State Representative Dave Jacoby, despite oposition by a pair of Libertarians.

Check back on Wednesday, November 3rd when I recap the election and attempt to justify what actually happened, and whether my predictions prove to be in error.

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