Democrats are mad and sad about Leonard Boswell. Some say he should have stepped aside and let Christie Vilsack take on Tom Latham, but the aging Democrat wouldn’t budge. So Latham, a Republican incumbent who moved into the district when Iowa lost a seat, did him in. Boswell barely carried Polk County and lost every other county in the district, including those in his old neighborhoods in southern Iowa.But Harkin's not acting like someone who's going away soon:
Vilsack put up a strong fight despite overwhelming registration numbers against her, but she went down to Steve King by eight points. If she couldn’t beat him, no one will be able to, so keep expecting bizarre statements out of the Fourth District. If Vilsack decides to stay in politics — going after Harkin’s seat if he steps down or seeking the governorship in two years — she’ll be formidable. She took one for the party by taking on King; now the party owes her.
West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller and Tom Harkin of Iowa are circulating a letter among their Democratic colleagues that calls on the president to stand firm on revenue, entitlement programs and spending cuts. They’re hoping to get as many as 30 Senate Democrats to sign on, Rockefeller said.Aside: Harkin and Rockefeller are 1984 Senate classmates, and I remember Rockefeller coming to Iowa to fundraise for and with Harkin waaaaay back in 1991. It's Rockefeller, not Harkin, who's being tagged as a possible 2014 retirement in red-trending WVa.
The letter, which was obtained by POLITICO, is dramatic in its policy prescriptions to avert the fiscal cliff. For one, it says the president should insist on $1 in revenue for each $1 in spending cuts.
A few more notes from counting the votes:
I didn't write anyone in for anything this year; if it's frivolous, it's just a wast of time for the poll workers to count. But it does have its merits. Congrats to Paul Deaton, who despite the loss as Dick Schwab's campaign manager came away with a write-in win for township trustee, a small but important job that often goes begging. You get to deal with fire budgets and fence disputes, which can be politically important. Just ask FORMER Senator Merlin Bartz.
Other notable write-ins include an effort for Charles Darwinagainst an unopposed anti-evolution Georgia congressman, and a cat who finished third in the Virginia Senate race. I would have gone for Darwin, but Kaine vs. Allen was close enough that the Feline-American vote could have been decisive.
Speaking of splitters! and I know I'm going to get bashed for this: a list of nine races won by Democrats where the Libertarian vote exceeded the winning margin over the Republican.
And one more look at the all-important Kevin Phillips BONG vote: A national list of precincts where Mitt Romney received zero votes, plus a few where Obama scored an oh-fer. Conspiracy theorists please note that some of these jurisdictions are very, very small, with tallies like Obama 3 Romney 0, and thus are probably geopolitical anomalies. We have one like that, called "Clear Creek North," (.pdf) which is one house. Iowa law doesn't make us report a separate result.