A small slice of Iowa voters took time out today to stop at a polling place and cast ballots in the Republican and Democratic Party primaries. On the statewide ballot, Republicans were choosing among three candidates who hope to face off against Democrat Senator Tom Harkin in the fall.
The polls closed at nine o’clock, and the outcome of key races is unknown at this hour. One detail to consider: a primary candidate must secure his or her party’s nomination with at least 35 percent of the vote. In some primaries, that may not happen tonight. In those instances, the party must schedule a special nominating convention to select a nominee. The last time that happened was in 2002 in Iowa’s fifth congressional district. Steve King was the victor in a special Republican district convention held in Denison, and he went on to win the district in the fall election.
There were contested primaries in three of Iowa’s five congressional districts today. Four Democrats were on the ballot in the fourth congressional district, hoping to face Republican Congressman Tom Latham in November. Three Republicans were on the ballot in the third congressional district, hoping to face first-term Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, in the fall. And in Iowa’s third congressional district, Congressman Leonard Boswell faced a challenge from within his own party as 2006 gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon was on this primary ballot, hoping to best Boswell today.
In presidential news tonight, Barack Obama has secured the number of delegates necessary to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, partly put over the top with Iowa delegates who had been committed to John Edwards but who have switched their allegiance to Obama today.