The Upset Of The Nation
US House Dist 2
338 of 338 (100 %) Precincts Reporting
* Dave Loebsack (D) 107,097 51 %
Jim Leach (R) (i) 101,386 49 %
Every cycle someone does it. Someone who no one thinks has a chance, in a race that's literally not even on the map
, comes out of nowhere and shocks the country.
Tonight it happened in my town. This is the biggest win I've ever been a small part of.
I remember sitting around living rooms in about February, brainstorming messages, trying to find a way to do the impossible, to beat a 30 year incumbent. I remember a quck spoken genial professor who I've worked with on campaigns successful and not, watching him struggle with telling his story of a difficult youth - I knew him for at least a decade before I heard it - watching him grow into a powerful messenger for change and for Democratic values.
I'm proud to call Dave Loebsack a friend.
Tonight I am proud to call him my congressman.
I knew it would happen at about 10:15, when I saw the numbers from Iowa City precincts coming in 15, 20% higher than they were four years ago. Tonight the Democrats of Johnson County came home and voted like Democrats. That was the difference between the near-misses of Bob Rush and Julie Thomas and tonight's win. We knew all along that if even half of the Leach Democrats came home Dave would win. He carried Johnson County with 60%.
Jim Leach will be named president of the University of Iowa before Christmas. And the moderate House Republican is now officially extinct.
Governor-Elect Culver won 68% here which may be the biggest Democratic margin since, get this, LBJ in 1964. I need to look that up.
It's a turnout record too: just over 44,000 votes.
Mike Mauro wins handily over the Invisible Woman; how long till she goes back to Virginia? Only real tarnish on the night was that Denise O'Brien couldn't get the green bus across the line.
The Dems pick up a state senate seat in Johnson County as well, as Becky Schmitz knocks off Dave Miller to become part of a 30-20 majority. Joe Bolkcom beats the guy with the long name 78-22. On the House side Ro Foege whomped Emma Nemecek 61-39, Mark Nolte made a respectable showing, and Clara Oleson got beat even worse than I did.
Split Your Vote appears to have accomlished little more than venting some Newport Township steam, as the voting patterns in the other 56 precincts seem to follow lines that are explained by other factors. Other than Newport, Curry's best spots were places Republicans usually do well. Sally Stutsman comes in first and is the first four term supervisor in at least a couple generations. Larry Meyers is a close second and the Dems keep the solid 10-0 hold on the courthouse.
Elsewhere in the state Braley overwhelms Whalen but despite the national trend Leonard Boswell only beats Lamberti by six. The wave saved Boswell, who really should announce his retirement now.
I'll take me a day or two to absorb the national scene but I can't wait to see Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid take on the Bushies... Dennis Hastert will return to the back benches before the month is through.
For tonight I'm just enjoying the moment: the giddy staffers at the end of the victory party, the emotional release of the end of this particular long haul. I doubt I'll get any sleep...
Comments from others:The Johnson County Republicans are concise.
Common Iowan and Political Forecast had play by play on results.
In Muscatine, Nathan Reichert is re-elected and the Democrats have taken contol of the Board of Supervisors.