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Iowa Special Election This Tuesday

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Republican state Senator Marianette Miller-Meeks won the open congressional seat (IA-02) previously held by Democrat Dave Loebsack. It was one of the closest races this cycle-- 196,964 (49.9%) to 196,958 (49.9%)... 6 votes. This Tuesday, Miller-Meeks' state Senate seat (SD-41) will be filled in a special election. The district includes all of Davis and Van Buren counties and portions Wapello and Jefferson counties and is one of those 50-50 districts that could go either way. Ottumwa, Bloomfield and Fairfield are the biggest towns. Jefferson is the bluest county and Van Buren the reddest. But Trump won all 4 counties in November:

  • Van Buren- 75.6% to 23.1%

  • Davis- 74.0% to 24.7%

  • Wapello- 60.9% to 37.3%

  • Jefferson- 49.8% to 48.4%

Joni Ernst won 3 of the 4 counties in her Senate reelection, Jefferson going for Theresa Greenfield:

  • Van Buren- 68.9% to 28.4%

  • Davis- 67.5% to 28.9%

  • Wapello- 55.2% to 41.4%

  • Jefferson- 51.7% (for Greenfield) to 45.6%

Neither party held a primary, the GOP picking anti-choice nut and businessman Adrian Dickey and the Democrats choosing centrist Mary Stewart over the more progressive candidate, Steve Siegel. In 2018 Miller-Meeks narrowly defeated Stewart for the state Senate seat-- 11,460 (51.7%) to 10,652 (48.1%)-- 808 votes.

Blue America isn't endorsing in this race because neither candidate is progressive. Dickey is running as a crazed right-wing imbecile and Stewart as a GOP-light Democratic centrist. She called herself a bridge-builder who can work in a bi-partisan fashion. "During my last campaign and during my career, I've always considered myself to be that kind of person: a bridge-builder, connector, and hopefully I can put those skills to use in the Senate... I think that's so incredibly important; that they know they are represented regardless of political party, political persuasion, or any other factor. That they have a voice in Des Moines, and it's a voice that's looking out for them and for the good of the district as a whole."

Her platform sounds like a great big yawn... stuff like "access," basically what conservatives say when they don't want to deliver anything to working people. The GOP has a huge majority in the state Senate, probably because the Democrats keep running uninspiring candidates like Stewart. There are 31 Republicans and 18 Democrats and this one empty seat. The Democrats controlled the chamber from 2006 until 2016 when the GOP took the majority. They have increased their majority in every consecutive election since then. In November, Iowa Democrats lost another 2 Senate seats.

The Iowa Secretary of State's office reported that as of December 1, the 41st district had 13,370 registered Democrats, 12,903 registered Republicans and 10,800 voters who registered with no part preference. A Democratic candidate needs to motivate the Democratic base and split the independents in order to win. Recently, they haven't been able to because they spend too much time trying to persuade conservatives to vote for them and not enough persuading Democrats its worth turning out on election day. Sorry to say so, but I expect Stewart to lose again.


It should have been a Democratic win... if only the Democrats picked a real Democrat instead of a Republican-lite nominee. Instead, Dickey won with 5,040 votes (55.3%) to Democrat Mary Stewart’s 4,074 votes (44.7%). Will the DLCC learn from their mistake? NOT A CHANCE-- not if they lose a thousand races the same way. They don't want to learn.

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