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Davis Brown Government Relations Report

Government Relations Report: Election Day Briefing - November 8, 2016

Presidential Race

As of Monday morning, polls are showing a slight lead for Secretary Clinton nationally and a three to seven point lead for Mr. Trump in Iowa. And, if the projections are accurate, Secretary Clinton would win with around 300 electoral votes (the threshold for victory is 270).

With that being said, early voting numbers in key states are currently showing Mr. Trump outperforming Mitt Romney’s 2012 numbers, so it is anyone’s guess. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, as of November 8, over 630,000 Iowans have already cast their ballots. See the below numbers for a breakdown count by political affiliation:

  • Democrat: 260,222
  • No Party: 149,816
  • Other: 2,298
  • Republican: 218,204
  • Grand Total 630,540

In Iowa, the Republicans are trailing the Democrats in submitted absentee ballots but only by about 42,000. In 2012, the vote total after election-day was 1,589,951, so if that number holds, absentees will account for nearly 40% of the vote.

Congressional and Statehouse

In Iowa, the epicenter for this election cycle, both at the Congressional and Statehouse levels, is the First Congressional District. It’s the most competitive Iowa Congressional district with the most contested seats.


U.S. House of Representatives

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the predictions are that the Republicans will stay in control but lose seats.

Iowa Congressional District 1
The most competitive race is in the First Congressional District between freshman Congressman Rod Blum and challenger Monica Vernon. This race has been on the national target list for Democrats to take back (and the registration is strongly in their favor) but Congressman Blum has shown real resiliency making this race easily the most competitive in the state.  

Iowa Congressional District 2
Congressman Loebsack is projected to easily win re-election.


Iowa Congressional District 3
Republican Congressman Young in the Third Congressional District (including Polk County) is trying to defend his seat in his first re-election campaign. The consensus is that he will hold on to his seat but that it could get close. Turnout in Polk County will be critical. If his opponent, Jim Mowrer, does not beat Congressman Young by at least 20,000 votes in Polk County, then Congressman Young will have won. Look for this one to be called early, as soon as Polk County numbers are reported.

Iowa Congressional District 4
Congressman King is projected to easily win re-election.


U.S. Senate

In the U.S. Senate, predictions vary from a Republican hold, to a tie, to a Democratic takeover with a slim margin. We haven’t found a projection that will give the Democrats more than a 51-49 advantage. In Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, Senator Grassley has continued to extend his lead over former Lt. Governor Judge and is predicted to win easily.

Iowa Statehouse

Iowa House of Representatives
In the Iowa Statehouse, most projections have the Republicans maintaining control over the House. However, the Republicans are playing defense on two fronts: marginal districts without incumbents, as a result of Republican retirements this year; and moderate suburban seats in the Des Moines, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids areas where the Democrats have spent a fair amount of resources attempting to capitalize on what they believe will be a negative Trump effect. The Republicans control the House by a 57-43 margin so the Democrats would have to have an extremely good night in order to take back control for the first time since the 2008 elections.

Iowa Senate
In the Iowa Senate, the Republicans believe that 2016 represents an extremely good chance to take outright control of the chamber for the first time since 2006. The Republicans are targeting a number of rural districts with marginal registration numbers currently held by Democratic incumbents. Additionally, the Republicans sense that Majority Leader Gronstal is vulnerable in his district and are committing significant resources to that race.


Election Results

Davis Brown Law Firm will provide election results and analysis later this week.

In December, the government relations team will host a luncheon with a focus on how election results affect Iowa employers, as well as provide an in-depth regulatory update. If you have any questions, please contact your Davis Brown attorney at 515.288.2500.