Election day began with a total lunar eclipse at 4:16 a.m. I’ll refrain from obvious puns and wise-cracks. This election should be serious business.
Before the polls open, I’m not hopeful of turnout. Democratic early voting in our county is running behind the results in 2018 and 2020. According to former county party chair Brian Flaherty, Democrats need to turn out voters on election day at 128 percent of what we did in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Based my Sunday door knocks, too many people are blowing off this year’s election, making achievement of that election-day turnout goal more difficult. Mine was a small sample of voters, so maybe the broader trend is different. It is young, married people on my list — millennials and Gen-Z — who are not planning to vote.
This cycle my engagement with the campaigns changed. I found a home with the Kevin Kinney campaign because unlike the two decades of previous contests, the race to represent our precinct in the Iowa Senate was highly competitive. It is one of the most expensive political campaigns for a statehouse seat in the state. It seems clear the Democrat is the better candidate and the campaign is knocking doors until there are no more to knock. They also have a paid campaign manager, which makes a big difference in accessibility, professionalism, and flexibility. In the past, I aligned with the House candidate for campaign activities. This cycle our candidate, Elle Wyant, is running a less conventional campaign, which made it a bit difficult to plug in. The usual political activists in Big Grove did what they could to support her. We remain optimistic that Kinney can win his race. We should know tonight, although it will likely be close.
I began writing political letters to the editor about our congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks in March 2021 after Rita Hart withdrew her election contest. My letters have been regular until my final one appeared last Thursday. I have written on topics other than the congressional race, yet the focus after the nominating period has been on electing Christina Bohannan to the Congress. In every political poll, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks held the lead. This race will be determined by turnout. Bohannan’s name recognition has not been good on the doors, even among people who said they plan to vote for Democrats. The only poll that matters is the one today after the polls close.
Other things I did during the campaign include attending the Iowa County central committee meetings, donating what I could afford to candidates, placing campaign signs at home and in our area, discussing the ballot with friends and family, attending a couple of events, and holding one event at the library. I was more active than I thought I would be.
The eclipse is ongoing as I hit the publish button and head upstairs to shower. I signed up as a poll watcher after no one else in our precinct did. It is going to be a long day. I’m hoping for a quiet day in which I can get a lot of reading done. To conserve battery life, I’ll keep my mobile device mostly turned off.
If you are reading this and haven’t voted, the polls are open Nov. 8 until 8 p.m. in Iowa: go vote.