The leaders of Iowa’s two major political parties are examining the returns from Tuesday’s election to chart moves for future campaigns. Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Republian Party of Iowa, says one of the keys for G.O.P. victories was the party’s embrace of so-called “early” voting before Election Day.
“Many of the races we won yesterday that were Democrat held, we actually had absentee and early-vote leads going into them which is something that the party hadn’t focused on in cycles past,” Strawn says. “And I think because we had more volunteer enthusiasm it gave us another outlet to put those volunteers into boosting early turnout for Republicans, because I think we were up about 75 percent on early vote returns when you compare Republican numbers — raw numbers — from ’06 to 2010.”
Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky says Democrats are ready to stand in “firm, but respectful” opposition to some of the proposals Republicans who won last night plan to advance. “It was an interesting night. It’s going to be an interesting time moving forward and I’m tempted to quote Betty Davis: ‘Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride,'” Dvorsky told reporters earlier today. “…It’s a lot of challenge and that offers a lot of opportunity.”
Dvorsky says Democrats knew a “wave” was coming and Dvorsky credits her party’s “early” voting efforts for the reelection of Iowa’s three Democratic congressmen. “Iowa is the only state in the country that reelected all of its incumbent Democratic congressionals. That’s astonishing,” Dvorsky says. “And it is because we set out in June to make sure that we contacted the people who would not typically have voted…had we not done that effort.”
Strawn, the Iowa G.O.P.’s chairman, says the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee at the national level didn’t choose to target the three Democratic congressmen. “I think if you look where their margins were, certainly there’s no question that they were much more vulnerable — especially Loebsack and Braley — than many folks thought even three four weeks ago, but (our Republican challengers) just came up a little short,” Strawn says.
Strawn has been chairman of the Iowa Republican Party since January of 2009. Dvorsky became the chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party this past June after when the former chairman resigned for health reasons. She intends to ask the party’s state central committee to elect her to a full, two-year term when the panel meets in December.
See pictures from Republican election night headquarters below:
Photos from Democrat party headquarters on election night: