Terry BranstadResults: Branstad – 51% (109,805), Vander Plaats – 41% (87,955), Roberts – 9% (19,211)

Congratulations to Governor Terry Branstad for his victory tonight.  Even though I disagreed with some of his positions I did appreciate the positive tone of his campaign.  Several factors contributed to his win: name recognition, his executive experience and record (it can be nitpicked, but it’s also an asset), the “known” factor (people didn’t have to wonder about how he’ll govern), a superb political organization, excellent retail politics, and fundraising ability .  It’s hard to beat that.

While he was not my first choice in the primary, he will be my choice in November.

I was proud to support Rod Roberts, and enjoyed spending some time at his event tonight.  I ran into Representatives Jason Schultz and Annette Sweeny.  I also finally met Bill Schickel of, I appreciated the link I got from him yesterday on one of my From The Right Posts at The Des Moines Register.  I also spoke with Brenna Findley who is Iowa’s next Attorney General – she was stopping by all of the Gubernatorial parties.  I also was privileged to meet his wife Trish and son Brett (whom my kids already met when he dropped the yard sign by).

I’ve come to appreciate Rod Roberts as the campaign wore on.  Had we had moreRod Roberts time, perhaps the outcome would have been different.  He is a class act, and he will be missed in the Iowa House.  I believe this race with his positive tone has positioned him well for a future Gubernatorial run.  Ticket talk will likely begin tomorrow today, but I think he’ll be on the short list or could play some part in the Branstad Administration.  What he lacked this time around is name recognition and the money to help improve that.  He was a diligent campaigner would win over a lot of people who would meet him face to face.  He was also very fiscally disciplined which allowed him to stay in the race until the end.  Thank you very much Rod for sticking it out and giving me and others a third choice.

Bob Vander Plaats certainly did better than what the KCCI and The Des Moines Register polls indicated.  He also campaigned hard going all over the state, and I’m sure that had much to do with his support.  Perhaps he pulled in more independent turned Republican  Tea Party vote, which was a real wild card in Bob Vander Plaatsthis primary.  Maybe undecided voters trended toward Vander Plaats, as the Register indicated 60% said they could still change their vote, so perhaps there was that dynamic.  Also perhaps some Roberts support changed to Vander Plaats buying into the meme that “a vote for Roberts is a vote for Branstad.”  Clearly not the case because even if all of Roberts votes went to Vander Plaats he still would have lost.

Bryan English of the Iowa Family Policy Center tweeted tonight that Vander Plaats was not endorsing Branstad, but was going to sit down with him to discuss differences.  Perhaps an endorsement will come later.  Perhaps he’ll run as an independent (there has been that buzz since Branstad got in and the Iowa Family PAC refused to endorse Branstad).  Maybe he’ll throw his support behind Jonathan Narcisse because he’d be the only other alternative.

I hope he doesn’t run as an independent as that would likely guarantee a Culver win in November.  I don’t think earning 41% of the Republican vote should embolden him to do that.  I find it highly unlikely that he’d draw any Democrats from Culver.  He would basically be running a sabotage campaign.  Also I think he’ll look like a sore loser who couldn’t accept the will of the people.

It’s time to perhaps mend some bridges he burned in the debates and while stumping.  That doesn’t mean give up your convictions, but perhaps be able to be in a position where you can influence – after all, Branstad can’t win without the 41% who voted for Vander Plaats.

As far as his political future – I hope, I hope, I hope that he will realize that Terrace Hill has been closed.  This is his third time running and his third loss.  I don’t think a fourth time is the charm.  I do hope he will consider a run for U.S. Senate – I always thought he’d make a better Senate candidate since he is very passionate about federal issues.  I believe he’d make a strong challenger for Senator Tom Harkin if he runs for re-election in 2014.

Looking forward to November, and hope to see the end of conservative on conservative bloodshed.

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  1. Another victory for the party elite socialist arm of the Republican party.

    Conservatives in Iowa will stay home in Nov.

    1. No I won’t. I am not going to let other people make this decision for me. I have a constitutional right to vote and I’m going to exercise it. I suppose I’m no longer a conservative huh? I personally know numerous conservatives and evangelicals who supported Branstad, so don’t presume there will be a ton of conservatives who would rather see Culver stay in for four more years in order to prove a point.

      Branstad may be a lot of things, but he isn’t a socialist, give me a break. Can we ratchet down the rhetoric just a tad. My candidate didn’t win either.

  2. Great post, Shane. I agree that Vander Plaats running as a third party candidate or independent would be detrimental to the cause. It’d prove that trusting the people to vote (like on the Marriage Issue) is more about polling than conviction.

  3. “Maybe he’ll throw his support behind Jonathan Narcisse because he’d be the only other alternative.”

    That would be interesting. BVP will end up endorsing TB, he has shown in his previous runs to fall in line with the party. No independent run, no third party, no Narcisse, just fall in line with the party leaders.

    There is one other alternative that may get some of the small government vote, Eric Cooper.

  4. Thank you for this post – it has a gracious tone and is complementary to all involved. It’s almost like politics is about the spirit one carries oneself with, instead of winners and losers merely. Whoever ends up governing us represents us all.

    Your last sentence about conservative on conservative bloodshed has me wondering. I do agree there’s a lot of angry, at times very hateful and divisive wrangling, and I’m thinking it may have come too early in the election cycle to guarantee voter anger at Democrats and unions will be at peak.

  5. Initially I was for BVP. Then I was going to vote for Roberts, but the more I looked into it the more I thought what was at first straightforward talk turned into (to my mind) a lack of answers on Roberts’ part. So I went back to BVP. Regardless, what I noted the next morning was that as is often the case, that third candidate throws a monkey wrench into the machinery in terms of numbers. It would have been a very tight race without Roberts in there.

    1. Well, we’ll agree to disagree on Roberts. Regarding the outcome without Roberts, it really depends on how many Roberts supporters would go for Branstad, I think there was a good number, probably not a majority, but we can’t assume they all would go for BVP.

      Looking at the county by county polling, I think if it hadn’t been for WHO Radio blasting Branstad day in and day out (Steve Deace) Vander Plaats would have lost by more. He was competitive in Central Iowa. Every where else, including Western Iowa, BVP was defeated handily. Which really surprised me, I thought BVP would be more competitive in his own backyard.

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