Living in Society

Midterms Home Stretch

We had already entered the fall campaigns after Labor Day. Seven days of summer remain and there are 53 days until the midterm election when a lot rides on the outcome. Will it be a fair election? We hope so.

In Iowa, where Republicans dominate the political landscape, Secretary of State Paul Pate prides himself on following election rules. As long as Republicans win, I don’t anticipate any funny business counting votes. Lately, especially after the recruitment of church-going folk to register and vote, Republicans tend to turn out.

Four congressional seats plus one U.S. Senate seat are on Iowa ballots. Most voters are interested in federal races. Pollsters and political prognosticators I read show Iowa favoring Republicans. Democratic candidates in these races have other ideas. It is conceivable there will be close races, yet Democrats are all playing catch-up.

After the Democratic build up to the 2016 and 2018 elections, and the subsequent deflating when Republicans won by a lot, I’m not hopeful. In 2020, my precinct in Johnson County turned solidly Republican. Iowa is returning to its Republican roots, although it is not the same Republican party as it was when Robert Ray held the governorship for 14 years.

My main volunteer work this cycle have been writing letters to the editors of newspapers and financial donations from a limited budget. I do not attend a lot of fund raisers because my funds are spent the day after my pension hits the bank. I wrote post cards to voters a couple of times. I attend meetings of the Johnson and Iowa County Democratic central committees. I am getting too old for door knocking and telephone canvassing. I stay busy with politics, but it’s different from when I re-activated after the 2004 Iowa Precinct caucuses. As a septuagenarian, I slowed down.

As we head into the home stretch, a large majority of voters have made up their minds and are simply waiting to vote. The rest of the campaign involves finding those who haven’t decided and persuading them to vote for our candidate. Candidates who do a good job of that have a chance to win. If they aren’t organized to do so, they don’t. It’s pretty cut and dried.

I retain hope Democrats will win some races. Some of the local races have Democrats running unopposed: County Attorney, County Treasurer, and County Recorder. It’s time to do what good we can before polls close on Nov. 8.