The Results Are In (Sort Of)

Trump and Ernst won Iowa, but the presidential race and even some Iowa House Districts have yet to be called


La Della Gallagher and Oliver Klipsch

Yesterday, November 3rd, millions of Americans journeyed to the polls to have their say in this year’s election. 


People were asked to choose between the incumbent presidential team of Donald Trump and Mike Pence (R) and the challenger team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (D), alongside the various elections for local, state, and national representatives and government officials. 


In Scott County, big offices up for grabs were the at large Senate seat held by incumbent Joni Ernst (R) and all four House District seats. 


Ernst was challenged by Theresa Greenfield (D) in an extremely competitive race that, according to analysis firm Advertising Analytics, cost over $241 million and made national history as the second most expensive Senate race ever in the US.


Notably, all general election candidates for House Districts were women, as was the aforementioned Senate race. Scott County falls into House District 2, where Rita Hart (D) and Marienette Miller-Meeks (R) faced off for the seat held by the retiring Dave Loebsack (D). 


In addition to these national offices, Iowa voters were asked to pick representatives for State Congressional Representatives, judges, county officials like sheriff and auditor, and even if they wanted to call a constitutional convention to amend the Iowa constitution. 


People were taking new approaches to voting this year. According to NBC news, over 1,000,000 absentee ballots were sent out, setting a new state record. This was preceded by the situation with the rising COVID-19 cases in Iowa, which were and continue to climb upwards. 


Many people chose to go vote in person, but did so before election day through the early voting process. Between returned absentee votes and early in-person ballots, NBC News reports 983,853 votes were cast even before election day. 


A total of over 1,600,000 votes were cast, as of current estimates.  


The results showed that Donald Trump overwhelmingly won Iowa with over 100,000 votes. The only counties where the Democrats succeeded were Polk (home of Des Moines), Story, Black Hawk, Linn (home of Cedar Rapids), Johnson, and Scott (home to Davenport). In total, that is 6 counties – out of 99. 


Republican Joni Ernst held her seat as a Senator despite a close race against Theresa Greenfield, who outraised Ernst by a 4:1 margin. 


These results are not surprising considering how Iowa voted primarily Republican in the 2016 election.


These results are not without confusion, however.


The Trump campaign filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. The lawsuits demand, “better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and absentee ballot concerns”, according to the Associated Press. These suits could help President Trump contest the election results if they don’t go his way, but may be dismissed if the results of the presidential election are clear. 


In Iowa there was little confusion with regards to recounts. Further, while President Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits against Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, the campaign will not be filing suits here. 


There is, however, potential for recounts in the elections for House Seat 2 and 3. So far, about 50% of the votes cast in House District 2 are for Miller-Meeks, with the other 50% are for Hart. If the results continue to be this close, and mail-in votes continue to be counted through the next few days, there quite possibly could be a recount. 


Stay tuned for updates about this historic process.