[Author: Will Rogers, 11.2016 | Keywords: Election]
As the dust begins to settle on what may go down as one of the most unpredictable elections ever, political pundits and reporters have been busy unpacking and processing the outcome of the Presidential race. And while Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th President of the United States, Iowans also experienced a sizable political shift of our own.
Recapping the 2016 Election
Very few people went into election night thinking that Donald Trump was going to lose Iowa. But what they didn’t expect was what would happen in the Iowa Senate races. Not only did Republicans win, they won big.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, who was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992, was defeated by Republican challenger Dan Dawson, an Army Reservist who works for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. In addition, five other incumbent Democratic Senators lost in Iowa, giving the Republicans a 29 seat majority in the Iowa Senate. Not only is this the largest majority Republicans have experienced since 2004, it also ends a nearly 20 year drought in the minority.
In the Iowa House, Republicans managed to pick up two additional seats and further padded their majority. Speaker Linda Upmeyer and Majority Leader Chris Hagenow are expected to return to their leadership positions this upcoming session.
In addition, in the State Senate and Senate House races, Senate Grassley won by a comfortable margin and all of the current Iowa members of Congress will return to Washington, D.C.
What does this mean?
There are two takeaways from this year’s election.
This was accomplished by Republican leadership, organization, fundraising, recruiting competitive candidates and hard work. The second take-away is that Republicans now have to get something done. The victories of election night will be short-lived if Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate decide to fight amongst themselves or pursue other political ambitions. The voters have spoken, but will they listen?
About the Author
For more than nine years, Will has advocated for our members on both the state and national legislative fronts and has led I-NEDA’s educational efforts. In his free time, Will enjoys “dabbling” in politics, gardening, spending time with his wife and daughter, and managing his ever-growing collections (U.S. postage stamps, beer cans, comic books…).