Living in Society

After the 2018 Midterms

Big Salad for Dinner the Day After the Election

According to a screen time app my mobile device addiction moved from obsessed to habitual after the election. That sounds somewhat better, although I am not fully recovered now that voting is done.

I was coughing like a fiend during the days leading up to Nov. 6 and could hardly speak. Because of this, my role on election day was to knock doors of people I know who hadn’t voted Tuesday morning, drive people who needed a ride to the polls, and run between our call center and the two nearby polling places for Solon and Big Grove precincts.

An hour before the polls closed our team gathered and determined every call that needed to be made had been.

I’m waiting for the canvassed results of the election before analyzing my precinct but wanted to mention the campaign to which I devoted many hours this cycle. 5,265 Johnson County voters cast ballots in the House District 73 race between incumbent Bobby Kaufmann and challenger Jodi Clemens. This compares with 3,821 ballots cast in 2016 when Kaufmann ran unopposed and many voters, presumably Democrats or Democratic leaning no party voters, skipped the race. Clemens won Johnson County 2,832 to 2,430. Sadly she lost the district 6,330 to Kaufmann’s 7,992. For now I’ll say we fought the good fight with Jodi Clemens.

The Iowa Secretary of State lists all the race results here until the official canvass. I have a couple of comments before getting ready for my shift at the home, farm and auto supply store.

Iowa flipped two congressional districts electing Democrat Abby Finkenauer in the first, and Democrat Cindy Axne in the third. Democrat Dave Loebsack was elected for a seventh term in the second as well. At the same time voters picked three Democrats in four races for the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Fred Hubbell lost his race for governor. On the surface, this doesn’t make sense. My reaction is that voters delivered a nuanced message, repudiating the 45th president by helping Democrats take control of the House, while maintaining much of the outlook that turned Iowa into a red state in 2016. Like many first impressions, I may change my mind about this after a deeper dive. I may not. There is a difference between “swing voters” and a “nuanced message.” The more I engage in politics, the latter looks like the future of politics, especially at the local level.

Iowa Republicans maintained control of the statehouse. The mix of senators and representatives changed but Republicans will write the agenda. I expect the 88th Iowa General Assembly to be another barn burner. However, one has to believe they got many of the major tasks on their agenda accomplished in the 87th. Our district elected an outstanding new senator in Zach Wahls. I’m confident he will work with colleagues in the general assembly, including Mr. Kaufmann, to accomplish what good we can and hold back extremism Republicans demonstrated last session. We knew the consequences before the election. Failure to win the governor’s office or one of the two legislative chambers will make life more difficult in the coming two years.

Our work will continue.

There are countless analyses of the election available. Thanks for stopping by On Our Own for mine.