Setting The Senate Table– Here is the link to our Iowa Senate overview .Â Remember that as tonight starts Democrats already have 13 seats to the Republicans 11.Â Factoring in uncontested races and races heavily favored to one party or the other the tally is R’s-19 and D’s 18.Â Further adding in the 8 seats I see leaning one way or another leaves the count at R’s-24 and D’s21–with 5 seats as complete toss-ups.
A Blown Opportunityâ€”The Republican Party of Iowa has done a great job this cycle by getting a candidate on the ballot in every Senate district statewide.Â That said, regardless of how things turn out tonight, if they fail to take the majority a big lost opportunity will be in Senate District 34.Â It is fair to note the Party really had nothing to do with this debacle and nobody could have predicted Randi Shannonâ€™s melt down , which was the most embarassing episode in Iowa politcs in the last 10 years.Â However you feel about the Ron Paul movement afoot here in Iowa, the Liberty PAC endorsed and supported Shannon and must take a ton of blame here.Â This type of scenario playing out is absolutely unacceptableâ€”if Republicans fall one seat shortâ€¦this will prove haunting.
Differing Campaign Strategiesâ€”As we have discussed here before, one of the interesting things about the hotly contested Iowa Senate races is the opposite ways in which the two Parties have distributed money and resources.
While the Republican Party chose to spread their money around relatively evenly, the Democrats have staked out three races that they deem unacceptable to lose.Â In these three races, combining the October 19th and the just released November 2nd reports, the Democrats have spent $1.01 million dollars.Â The numbers are $381,000 in SD 26 , $358,000 in SD 36 , and $277,000 in SD 48 .
If they donâ€™t win these three seats, and lose a few other close ones they chose not to invest heavily in, this strategy will have been a disaster.
Time For RPI To Deliverâ€”With the changing face of the RPI and the well documented upheavals along the way, perhaps no one has more on the line here in Iowa than the new leadership.Â Many of these new folks have heavy Ron Paul ties and have impressive political accomplishments in the pastâ€”these include Ron Paul finishing a very close 3rd in the Iowa Caucuses and winning numerous Straw Polls in several states.Â Winning elections is far different.
If Republican candidates do well this group can cement themselves, if they do not the battle to remove them will begin in earnest.Â I for one am pulling for them to succeedâ€”a leadership that knows how to win elections is never a bad thing.Â If it turns out they can winÂ elections,Â something tells me that compromising on both sides and co-existing is a real possibility.
What To Watch For
â€¢Â If Ben Lange beats Bruce Braley or even runs within a few points of him, I believe there is over an 80% chance Republicans take the majority in the Iowa Senate.
â€¢Â If Tom Latham is able to carry Polk Countyâ€”and Romney is able to put up a good showing hereâ€”even if Romney loses Iowa I predict he will win the Presidency.
â€¢Â If Tom Latham carries Polk County, 90% chance Dan Charleston is the new sheriff in town.
â€¢Â Any of the following candidates winning will be the sign of a major Republican wave in Iowaâ€”and likely nationally.Â The following are all great candidates and good people who are running in heavily Democratic districts:Â Dave Edwards  (SD 16), Vicki Stogdill  (SD 18), and Patti Branco  (HD 34).
Presidentâ€”Â Mitt Romney wins.Â Besides the enthusiam advantage, this prediction is based on the fact that no president in the history of our Country hasÂ been re-elected with economic numbers this bad and a set of “accomplishments” this unpopular.Â If he wins tonight then a shift has occured in America where results and actual achievements do not matter–I am cynical in general…but don’t believe we’ve reached this point yet.
Iowa Senateâ€”Â Republicans win majority.Â Final count R’s-27 and D’s-23 (Note=this is counting Pat Ward’s Senate 22 seat as a Republican eventuality)
Iowa Houseâ€”Â Republicans hold majority.Â R’s-57 and D’s-43
Iowa Congressional Delegationâ€”Â Victors= King, Latham, Loebsack, and in an upset Lange just beats Braley in the state’s closest contest.Â Lange has a 25,000 voter registrationÂ deficit to make up here, but the district has seen him run both now and in 2010 and I think this history gets him over the hump this time.Â 25,000 is a big number to make up for sure, but keep in mind that he has a pool of 187,000 active Non-party voters to make it up in.
Thanks for following us in the lead-up to tonight, and be sure to check back in the following days for the breakdown of what happened here in Iowa and what it all means for the future of our great state!