Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s optimistic it’ll be a very good Election Day for his fellow Republicans and predicts Iowa may send its first two women to Washington, both from the GOP. However, if Republican Joni Ernst loses to Democrat Bruce Braley in the U.S. Senate race, Grassley says he’s hopeful he’ll be able to develop the same type of “friendly relationship” he’s had with retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin for the past 30 years.
“I would think that the precedent that’s been set by Senator Harkin could be easily followed by Bruce Braley, respecting each individual’s philosophy as we try to represent the people of Iowa,” he says. Grassley says he’s confident he and Braley would see eye-to-eye on working together across party lines, especially on legislation that would be of vital importance to Iowa.
“Agriculture would be a big one, maybe some economic development issues, maybe some transportation issues, and particularly natural disasters,” Grassley says. “I think Bruce Baley (sic) would work very closely with me as Senator Harkin did.” Iowa has never elected a woman to the U.S. House or Senate, but Grassley says he’s hopeful Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa will beat incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack of Iowa City in the state’s Second Congressional District.
“We could end up with a congressional delegation in Washington of all Republicans for the first time since 1957,” Grassley says. “I would say Joni Ernst is going to win and, I think in the end, have a comfortable lead.”
Polls show Ernst and Braley locked in a virtual tie. Ernst and Miller-Meeks are two of three women on the ballot in statewide races today. There’s also Democrat Staci Appel of Ackworth facing Republican David Young of Des Moines in the Third Congressional District. Grassley is also predicting a victory tonight for Republican Governor Terry Branstad and he says “without a doubt” Republicans will win their 51st seat and capture a majority in the U.S. Senate.