I am very thankful for the broad participation of voters in last night’s election. There was a record turnout in Iowa for a midterm election - over 1,300,000 voters - according to the Iowa Secretary of State. It is much easier to accept the results - whatever they are - when more people vote.
Beyond reporting results, which can be found elsewhere, here are a few anecdotal observations about the 2018 midterm election in my corner of Iowa:
1. People do not vote because of the number of yard signs. (Thankfully, overall, but “my” candidate did have the vast majority of signs, and lost.) Yard signs tell you who is for a particular candidate, but do not in any way sway voters, it appears.
2. People vote by party, either by values (more often Republicans or Libertarians) or identity (more often Democrats, who seem to vote for their party because of the party, not on moral principles, because they have drifted so far away from what they stood for in the past, and don’t even know it). The winner is whichever party mobilizes their voters. That's it. There is little convincing or changing of minds.
3. Third party candidates help only when there are only two parties running. Otherwise, third-party candidates (who leaned conservative this round) have a negative impact on outcomes and may have made the difference in the Congressional 3rd District Loss of David Young. Out of 346,518 votes cast, Young lost by only 5,230. “Other” votes cast included 11,976, of which 7,005 were for the conservative-leaning Libertarian candidate and 1,271 for the conservative, unaffiliated Joe Granadette. It does not take a great deal of math to consider this race would likely have turned out differently if those two candidates had not run, garnering 8,276 votes between them, enough to have changed the District 3 vote.
4. The liberal population centers drag everything else with them. Of the 18 counties representing the Congressional District 3, 17 counties all voted overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate. Polk County gave the liberal candidate the slight edge and effectively overruled the 17 other counties.
5. People are more excited about gender in elections than principles and morality. What gain is it if two women are sent to the US House from Iowa for the first time if the party they represent embraces the killing of unborn children and the abandonment of any real definition of marriage (both relatively recent developments for the Democrat party)? No one seems to notice or to care.
6. Irony, not logic, rules. If reporting is correct, candidates ran and won by pushing health care, all while ignoring the most basic healthcare need of the unborn – life.
Though nothing earth-shattering happened last night nationally or locally, our trend is away from our historical Constitutional and conservative moors. Most races were closely contested, which shows you just how far we have fallen, and how greatly we are divided as a nation.