Polls closed at 9 pm across Iowa. Any comments about today’s primary elections are welcome in this thread. Anecdotally, I heard reports of low turnout from various parts of the state all day long. I will be updating this post throughout the evening. For statewide results, check the Iowa Secretary of State’s results page. The Polk County Elections Office is posting results here.
Follow me after the jump for updates. The Des Moines Register posted the video of Patty Judge’s victory speech, because our local CBS affiliate cut away from it, and the NBC and ABC affiliates had ended their election coverage before then.
Jim Mowrer leads the early returns in Polk County, where about two-thirds of the Democrats in Iowa’s third Congressional district live.
9:45 update: Hillary Clinton gave a fantastic speech to supporters. It was mostly positive, but she had some excellent lines about Donald Trump. “Make America great again” is code for let’s take America backwards.
10:00 pm update: The Associated Press called the fourth Congressional district primary for Representative Steve King. No surprise there–he had most of the Republican establishment behind him.
Patty Judge leads Rob Hogg by only about 2 percent in the early returns. So far Tom Fiegen has just under 8 percent and Bob Krause just under 6 percent.
Nate Boulton defeated Pam Dearden Conner by about 5 percent in the hard-fought Iowa Senate district 16 primary.
State Representative Brian Meyer easily beat his primary challenger Jim Addy with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
10:15 pm update: The AP called the first Congressional district race for Monica Vernon. She was runner-up to Pat Murphy in the five-way IA-01 race last time around, but she had much more establishment support this year and was able to outspend Murphy substantially on television.
10:30 update: There’s no way Mike Sherzan will catch up to Jim Mowrer in IA-03. With about two-thirds of the precincts counted, Mowrer has nearly 50 percent of the vote, Sherzan 36.6 percent, and Desmund Adams just under 14 percent. Incumbent Representative David Young has issued a statement congratulating Mowrer.
Appearing on ABC 5 news, Craig Robinson was analyzing the latest Donald Trump controversy a few minutes ago. As usual, he did not disclose that his direct-mail company did work for the Trump campaign last year.
10:45 update: KCCI TV called the U.S. Senate primary for Judge. Hogg is delivering a concession speech in Cedar Rapids. It looks like the the combined vote for Fiegen and Krause will be greater than the margin between Hogg and Judge. Interestingly, Krause is barely running behind Fiegen, with just under 7 percent of the vote for each. The pro-Fiegen echo chamber on social media was very loud, thanks to Fiegen hitching his wagon to Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy.
I wish Judge luck in her general election campaign. She will need to run a much more active race against Senator Chuck Grassley than she did in the Democratic primary.
I’ll be interested to see whether the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spends a significant amount of money on Judge’s behalf this fall. The DSCC recruited Judge and endorsed her, but they won’t allocate resources to Iowa unless polling shows a real opening against Grassley.
In her victory speech, Judge thanked her supporters, her family, and Hogg before pivoting to bashing Grassley’s obstructionism. She also criticized Trump, but unfortunately, KCCI TV cut away at that point.
Vernon took more than two-thirds of the vote in IA-01. I didn’t hear anyone predict she would beat Murphy by such a huge margin.
Incredibly, her margin of victory in IA-01 is larger at this writing than King’s lead over State Senator Rick Bertrand in the IA-04 GOP primary.
Midnight update: Some turnout numbers should concern Democrats. Fewer than 100,000 people cast ballots in the U.S. Senate primary. Although Republicans had no statewide competitive primary this year, while Democrats did, substantially more Republicans cast ballots in the IA-04 GOP contest than in the IA-01 or IA-03 Democratic primaries.
Kelley will be the only Iowa legislative incumbent to lose his party’s nomination this year. House Democrats Oldson, Meyer, and Gaskill all easily defeated their primary challengers, as did House Republicans Jake Highfill, Kevin Koester, Stan Gustafson, Jarad Klein, and Greg Forristall.
Former State Senator Andy McKean won the three-way GOP primary to represent the open Iowa House district 58. That seat is a strong pickup opportunity for Democrats, but as an experienced candidate, McKean should be able to run a strong race.
In the three-way Democratic primary for House district 63, newcomer Eric Stromberg defeated 2014 Democratic candidate Teresa Meyer by just 16 votes according to unofficial returns. The winner will challenge two-term State Representative Sandy Salmon. CORRECTION: The numbers were corrected to show Meyer winning by 38 votes. She was Salmon’s opponent in 2014, but a presidential year should bring out a more favorable electorate for Democrats.
Molly Donahue defeated Sam Gray in the Democratic primary to represent House district 68 and will face first-term State Representative Ken Rizer.
Having won his primary, Nathan Wrage will have another shot at House district 72, a seat Democrats did not target (but arguably could have won) in 2012. Incumbent State Representative Dean Fisher may be vulnerable this year.
Amy Nielsen won the Democratic primary in the open Iowa House district 77 and will be favored to hold the seat against Royce Phillips, the winner of the GOP primary.