# Tom Hoefling

Iowa primary election results thread

Polls close at 9 pm, and I'll be updating this post regularly with primary election results. Rumor has it that turnout was relatively low, even on the Republican side where there are hard-fought primaries for U.S. Senate and the third Congressional district. According to the Polk County Auditor's office, as of this afternoon only 1,506 absentee ballots had been requested and 1,350 absentee ballots received for today's GOP primary. Keep in mind that roughly half of all Republican voters in IA-03 live in Polk County, and six campaigns were competing for their votes. Not to mention that five U.S. Senate candidates should have been locking in early votes in Iowa's largest county.

By comparison, 2,883 Democratic primary absentee ballots were requested in Polk County, and 2,296 of those returned by today. The lion's share were from Iowa Senate district 17 in Des Moines, where three candidates are seeking to replace Jack Hatch (2,475 absentee ballots requested and 1,950 returned). Democratic campaigns have long pushed early voting more than Republicans, but still--that's a shocking failure to GOTV by the various Republican campaigns.

Share any comments about any Iowa campaigns in this thread, as well as any interesting anecdotes from voting today.

UPDATE: Polls are now closed and updates will continue after the jump.

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Enter Bleeding Heartland's 2014 Iowa primary election prediction contest

I forgot to put up this year's primary election prediction contest earlier this week, but better late than never. To enter, post your answers to the twelve questions after the jump as a comment in this thread sometime before 7 am central time on Tuesday, June 3. It's fine to change your mind about some or all of your answers, as long as you post a comment with your new predictions before the deadline.  

Only comments posted in this thread will be valid contest entries. Predictions submitted by e-mail or twitter will not be considered. Please try to answer every question, even if it's just a wild guess. We're all guessing anyway, since few polls have been published about these races.

The winner receives no cash or other prizes--just bragging rights in the Bleeding Heartland community. Can someone stop ModerateIADem from "three-peating"? He won both the 2010 and the 2012 primary election prediction contests.  

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IA-Gov: Terry Branstad has primary challenger, Jack Hatch does not

Governor Terry Branstad’s Republican challenger, Tom Hoefling, has qualified for the primary ballot after submitting his nominating petitions on March 14, the final day. I don’t see any way Hoefling could win a primary, but it will be interesting to see how large the conservative protest vote is against Branstad. GOP turnout should be larger than usual on June 3, because of competitive primaries for the U.S. Senate seat and the first, second, and third Congressional districts.

Last night the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicated that Jonathan Narcisse filed papers to run for governor as a Democrat. However, his petitions must not have had enough valid signatures, because his name does not appear on the full candidate list (pdf). The other long-shot Democratic hopeful, Paul Dahl, apparently never filed petitions. That leaves State Senator Jack Hatch as the lone Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

In other statewide candidate news, no Republicans stepped up to run against Attorney General Tom Miller or State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald. By this time in 2010, Brenna Findley was already campaigning around the state against Miller, and two Republicans were running for treasurer.

As expected, Sherrie Taha is the Democratic candidate for secretary of agriculture; she will face GOP incumbent Bill Northey. Jon Neiderbach is the Democratic candidate for state auditor; he will face GOP incumbent Mary Mosiman, whom Branstad appointed last year. The secretary of state’s race pits Democrat Brad Anderson against Republican Paul Pate. 2010 Libertarian nominee Jake Porter also plans to register for the ballot this summer.

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IA-Gov: PPP finds Branstad ahead of competition

Public Policy Polling’s latest Iowa survey suggests that Governor Terry Branstad will have little trouble dispatching his primary challenger and goes into the general election as a favorite, despite an approval rating below 50 percent. This pdf file contains full results from PPP’s poll of 869 Iowa voters, including 283 Republican primary voters, between February 20 and 23. Respondents approved of Branstad’s job performance by a 45 margin to 40 percent margin; only 15 percent of respondents were unsure. The leading Democratic candidate for governor, State Senator Jack Hatch, is less well-known, with 16 percent approval, 15 percent disapproval, and 69 percent of respondents not sure. Branstad led Hatch by 48 percent to 36 percent, the same margin PPP found when it last polled Iowa in July 2013.

Anything below 50 percent approval is sometimes considered a “danger zone” for an incumbent. Paradoxically, Branstad may be comforted to know that among the Republican subsample in PPP’s survey, his approval was just 72 percent with 16 percent disapproving of his job performance and 12 percent unsure. A chart further down shows that 21 percent of “somewhat conservative” and 11 percent of “very conservative” respondents disapprove of Branstad. These voters may not be happy with the incumbent, but they are also not likely to gravitate toward a Democratic candidate for governor. A more worrying sign for Branstad would be that his approval is underwater with self-identified moderates in the poll (35 percent/43 percent).

Tom Hoefling, a former third-party presidential candidate who is challenging Branstad in the GOP primary, had extremely low name recognition among Republican respondents: 3 percent favorable, 9 percent unfavorable, 88 percent not sure. In a ballot test, 70 percent of Republicans picked Branstad and 11 percent Hoefling. Discontent among conservatives suggests that Hoefling can go higher, but I would be surprised if the protest vote in the June primary exceeded 25 percent.

Any comments about the governor’s race are welcome in this thread.  

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IA-Gov: Tom Hoefling to challenge Branstad in GOP primary

Via Radio Iowa I learned that Tom Hoefling is collecting signatures to run for Iowa governor as a Republican. Looking on his campaign's website, I see he announced his candidacy in early December. I've posted some background on Hoefling after the jump. This guy seems drawn to hopeless causes; he is a former supporter of Alan Keyes for president, but he appears to have become disenchanted with the Republican Party sometime during the last decade. In 2008 Hoefling and "many stalwart Reagan conservatives from across the country" founded the "America's Party." He ran for president in 2012 as the America's Party nominee.

It's anyone's guess whether Hoefling will manage to qualify for the GOP primary ballot. He needs to submit nominating petitions with at least 3,654 valid signatures, spread across at least ten Iowa counties, by the end of business on March 14.

If Hoefling becomes a candidate for governor, we all know he has no chance of beating Terry Branstad. Even he acknowledges that. I will be interested to see how much traction he can gain from bashing what he calls "crony capitalism" and "economic 'happy talk' coming from the governor" that doesn't reflect "the real world for the people that I know."

Hoefling highlights some other issues that are important to many social conservatives, on which the Branstad administration and elected Iowa Republicans are perceived to be lacking. He wants GOP leaders to fight against the "Common Core" curriculum for Iowa schools and take action to reverse "the abortion holocaust" and "the homosexual agenda which is destroying marriage and the natural family."

Republican turnout statewide should be higher than average on June 3 because of the crowded U.S. Senate primary and the competitive races for the GOP nomination in Iowa's first, second and third Congressional districts. How large is the potential protest vote against Branstad? Spin your own scenarios in this thread.

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