Polls close at 9 pm, but I decided to post this thread early in case anyone wants to chat before results start coming in.
I’ll update later with returns in the key Iowa races. For now, share any anecdotes about voting or political talk today. I ran into a friend who was a Republican for most of her life, even voting twice for George W. Bush. She voted for Chet Culver in 2006 and plans to volunteer for his campaign this year, mostly because she doesn’t want Republicans to cut preschool funding and other social services for kids.
9:15 pm UPDATE: 9 percent of precincts reporting, Terry Branstad 47 percent, Bob Vander Plaats 46 percent, Rod Roberts 7 percent. I have no idea which part of the state has reported–if those are from northwest Iowa counties, Branstad probably doesn’t have anything to worry about, but if that’s from central or eastern Iowa, this could be a lot closer than I expected.
Brad Zaun leads the early returns in IA-03, but it seems like Polk County is coming in early.
9:40 pm UPDATE. The Associated Press has called the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate for Roxanne Conlin. She has about 80 percent of the vote in the early returns; Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen have about 10 percent each.
Branstad is opening up a lead on Vander Plaats, about 51-41.
Zaun is dominating the IA-03 primary with over 50 percent of the vote (about half the precincts counted).
10 pm UPDATE: Zaun is being called the winner in the IA-03 primary. He has about half the vote with about two-thirds of the precincts reporting.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads the IA-02 GOP primary in the early returns.
Matt Campbell leads Mike Denklau in the early returns for the IA-05 Democratic primary.
Conlin just finished giving her victory speech to her supporters.
Ako Abdul-Samad won the Democratic primary in Iowa House district 66 with about 75 percent of the vote.
10:35 pm UPDATE: The AP has called the gubernatorial primary for Branstad, who has 51 percent of the vote with about three quarters of the precincts counted. Matt Campbell won the fifth district Democratic primary.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks looks smart for not wasting money on tv ads in the IA-02 primary. She has been called the winner with 50 percent of the vote in a four-way race. The NRCC’s favored candidate, Rob Gettemy, may actually finish dead last.
Matt Schultz has a pretty big lead in the GOP secretary of state primary, about 47 percent so far. The big surprise to me is that Chris Sanger (who hardly raised any money) has almost as many votes as George Eichhorn, who had quite a few endorsements and has been active in Iowa politics for a long time.
Tea party candidate Tom Shaw has a narrow lead in the Republican primary in Iowa House district 8, but it’s too early to know if that lead will hold up.
11:25 pm UPDATE: It’s official, Gettemy finished dead last in IA-02. Miller-Meeks won that four-way primary with an impressive 51 percent of the vote. Will Republicans unite behind her?
Zaun is sitting at about 43 percent with most of the IA-03 votes counted.
Branstad is still leading with 51 percent of the vote, to 40 percent for Vander Plaats. If the Club for Growth had invested $1 million in Vander Plaats, this could have been a nail-biter.
Matt Schultz did win the secretary of state primary with 47 percent of the vote. Political veteran George Eichhorn got 27 percent, and Chris Sanger got 26 percent despite spending almost no money.
Dave Jamison easily won the GOP primary for state treasurer with about 67 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Jim Heavens.
Campbell has a very big lead in the IA-05 Democratic primary, with about 76 percent of votes counted so far.
In Iowa Senate district 13, Tod Bowman easily won the four-way Democratic primary with more than 60 percent of the vote. He had key union endorsements. This should be an easy hold for us in November.
Anesa Kajtazovic won the House district 21 Democratic primary with more than 90 percent of the vote (Kerry Burt dropped out of the race this spring).
Democratic incumbents Chuck Isenhart, Dave Jacoby and Mary Gaskill easily held off primary challenges in House districts 27, 30 and 93, respectively. All won more than 80 percent of the vote.
In Iowa House district 8, tea partier Tom Shaw is officially the Republican primary winner over Stephen Richards, who almost beat Dolores Mertz in the 2008 election. I like our chances of holding a seat that should have been the GOP’s best pickup opportunity in the Iowa House.
Check the AP’s page for results in the other statehouse primaries (mostly GOP).
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to mention the results in Senate district 41. State Senator Dave Hartsuch, who defeated incumbent Maggie Tinsman in the 2006 GOP primary, got a taste of his own medicine when he lost the Republican primary to Roby Smith by a 52-48 margin. Rich Clewell won the Democratic primary with 56 percent to 44 percent for Republican-turned-Democrat Dave Thede. Scott County readers, do you think these results improve our chances of winning this district? It has historically been Republican, but registration numbers have been trending toward Democrats, evening things out.