Tuesday’s election was historic for Iowa. Citizens across Iowa set a new record in terms of voter participation. “Iowa is a red state,” proclaimed Governor Kim Reynolds as she celebrated the Republican victories in Iowa. The outcome of the presidential election is still uncertain, but what is certain is the fact that Iowans voted to affirm a policy of fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. Overall, the elections both in Iowa and across the nation demonstrate that Americans rejected radical ideas while supporting conservative values.
Iowa was considered a swing state, and massive amounts of money poured into the state. Democrats were not only hoping that Vice President Joe Biden would win the state, but Senator Joni Ernst would be defeated, and a suburban wave would help Democrats regain control of the Iowa House.
As I traveled the state over the past four months talking with Iowans, I could feel a shift to common sense among Iowans, rejecting mainstream media and polls to support President Trump and Senator Ernst. The election demonstrated that not only do Iowans think for themselves, but the state is shifting in a Republican direction.
Republicans won the United States Senate race, and they also won the first, second, and fourth congressional districts. The election was especially close in the first and second congressional districts, including the third district where Republican former Representative David Young lost to Representative Cindy Axne.
The state legislature continues to be controlled by Republicans. The state Senate will maintain its 32-18 Republican majority, while the Republicans expanded their majority 59-41 in the House. This includes increasing the House’s diversity with the election of Eddie Andrews, an African American, Mark Cisneros, a Latino American, and Henry Stone, an Asian American. It was the Iowa House that Democrats were hoping to regain, but Democrats fell short despite massive amounts of out-of-state dollars. This included in the suburbs where Democrats outspent Republicans. The “Blue” Democrat wave did not even get a ripple.
A reason for the success of Republican state legislative victories was the hard work and positive agenda of legislative candidates. It was also an endorsement for the fiscal conservatism record of Governor Reynolds and the Republican legislature. Governor Reynolds and the legislature have not only kept Iowa’s fiscal house in order during the pandemic, but they have also been advancing an agenda of freedom and liberty through tax relief, creating new economic opportunities through occupational licensing reform, and other pro-growth economic policies.
The COVID-19 pandemic was another major issue that factored into the election. During my travels, many Iowans shared with me their belief that although COVID-19 is serious, Iowans should not be locked down and Governor Reynolds and Republicans have been balancing safety without the draconian actions taken by other states such as our neighbors in Illinois.
The 2020 election results sent a signal that Iowans do not want to change ships. Iowans want to stay the course with conservative values and pro-growth economic policies. This election demonstrates that smaller government and smarter solutions are working for Iowa.