Happy election day to the Bleeding Heartland community. The weather forecast looks good for most parts of Iowa. Polls are open everywhere from 7 am to 9 pm. It's too late to mail absentee ballots, but you can still hand-deliver completed absentee ballots to your county auditor's office, or "surrender" you ballot at your regular polling place, then vote with an ordinary ballot.
Three new polls of the U.S. Senate race came out on Monday. Quinnipiac found Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst tied at 47 percent. (That pollster's previous Iowa survey had Ernst leading by 49 percent to 45 percent.) Fox News found Ernst ahead by 45 percent to 44 percent. Public Policy Polling found Ernst ahead by 48 percent to 45 percent.
All three polls confirmed my belief that the Des Moines Register's Iowa poll by Selzer & Co was an outlier. No other survey has found Ernst above 50 percent or ahead by such a large margin. If she does win the IA-Sen race by 7 points, I will declare Ann Selzer a polling genius.
Incidentally, the new polls also found Governor Terry Branstad ahead of Democratic challenger Jack Hatch by a smaller margin than in the Register's final Iowa poll. Quinnipiac found Branstad ahead by 52 percent to 41 percent. That was similar to Public Policy Polling's finding of Branstad at 54 percent and Hatch at 43 percent. Fox News found a bigger lead for the governor: 53 percent to 36 percent.
PPP has been the only firm to consistently poll down-ballot statewide races in Iowa this year. Its final poll found Democrat Brad Anderson ahead in the secretary of state race, with 44 percent support to 38 percent to Paul Pate and 3 percent each for Jake Porter and Spencer Highland. (Porter, a Libertarian, received about 3 percent of the statewide vote in the 2010 secretary of state race.)
PPP found State Auditor Mary Mosiman leading her Democratic challenger by 46 percent to 41 percent. State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald is ahead of his Republican challenger Sam Clovis by 48 percent to 38 percent, with Libertarian Keith Laube pulling 5 percent. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has a comfortable 51 percent to 33 percent lead over Democrat Sherrie Taha, with a minor-party candidate pulling 5 percent. Finally, Attorney General Tom Miller leads Republican Adam Gregg by 55 percent to 36 percent.
While canvassing in Windsor Heights and Clive on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I didn't see any Republicans knocking on doors, nor did I see Republican campaign literature on doorknobs or front porches. Another Democratic canvasser in a different part of the state had a similar experience. I would like to hear from Bleeding Heartland readers about what you've seen of the Republican "ground game" during the final days. As far as I can tell, the GOP has relied mainly on robocalls and perhaps live-caller phone-banking. Republicans paid for many robocalls in the final days.
Speaking of robocalls, many Democratic households in the third Congressional district (including mine) received a call Monday evening recorded by Senator Chuck Grassley, making the case for David Young.
Any comments related to today's election are welcome in this thread.
P.S. - A testy exchange with a reporter about how President Barack Obama has handled the ebola outbreak underscored why Joni Ernst's handlers didn't want her sitting down with most Iowa newspaper editorial boards.
I was at work yesterday and two folks came up to me to ask directions. They were doing GOTV for the Dems here on the west side of Davenport (which is pretty split D/R). I gave them directions. I have seen no gotv effort by the republicans here. Which is good I suppose. I got a total of 7 people who have never voted in a midterm to vote in the past few weeks here in Davenport and Bettendorf, and this was just people I asked that I know. The Dems have had multiple door knockers come to the area where I live also, so that's good. As far as actual ground game goes, the dems are way ahead.
Jennifer Jacobs really disgraced herself on Lawrence Odonnell last night, suggesting that Braley needs "a miracle" to win.
If she said that, it's incredibly irresponsible. Polling averages indicate Ernst is favored to win, but not overwhelmingly so. And polls have many potential sources of error. In all seven tossup Senate races from 2010, polls understated the Democratic candidate's support.
Jennifer Jacobs is such a partisan!
She is such a gushing sycophant for Republicans I imagine she acts like a groupie around their candidates and events. The Register's political team is really lacking and has given Ernst a HUGE pass on so many of her radical ideas....how is someone like Jacobs allowed to put herself off as a subjective writer?
Dickinson and Clay counties.
I worked in Dickinson county and this weekend I went south to Clay county to help out. There were 3 shifts of canvassers on Saturday and I was "ballot chasing" meaning I was going to addresses and asking them if they put their ballot in the mail. Did not see a single Republican working and stevieking (bigot) has an office across the street in Spencer? He is such an arrogant bastard, my guy Jim Mowrer deserved better. My windy point is that we worked hard in an area where we knew that our CD was a loser. So Bruce had a lot of help from an unexpected place. I like his chances.
Our educators were phone banking over the past several days and we had a big absentee ballot push as well. For educators the state legislative races are critical or we could see public employees rights to collective bargaining on the chopping block ala Wisconsin. Hoping that all these ground games negate the usual off year election drop offs enough to make the difference!
Dem ground game
We had a canvasser on a bicycle come by in late September, either the 20th or 27th, to give us applications. We mailed them, got our ballots and they were received by the county auditor October 3. So I haven't seen much lately, but maybe that's because we got them in. That had never happened before -- the last few elections, I had gone down to the county office to vote early in person -- so I was somewhat impressed. Also, I have been getting update emails from Sarah Benzing and she claims there were 350,000 contacts made this weekend. I am hoping against hope (and experience) at this point that turnout may pull Braley and Appel across the finish line.