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State Government News

Not Quite a Record for Voter Turnout

voting sign
John Pemble / IPR file

Voter turnout Tuesday was not as high as the historic turnout in the 2010 midterm election, but the Secretary of State's office says it came close. 

Spokesman Chance McElhaney says the unofficial total for voter turnout Tuesday is more than 1.1 million, or about 53%.  McElhaney says that’s only about 3,000 fewer than in 2010.

“It is just right below what happened in 2010,” McElhaney says, “which was the high-water mark for a midterm election.

472,000 voters cast absentee ballots, which is a record, even before late-arriving ballots are counted.  

Exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and the television networks reveal for the U.S. Senate race, voters aged 45 and older, as well as white men favored Republican Joni Ernst.   Democrat Bruce Braley finished slightly behind Ernst in support from white women.    

In his reelection, exit polling also shows that Republican Gov. Terry Branstad fared well among both men and women, white voters, and independents.  

Branstad handily beat Democrat Jack Hatch by 22 points, carrying 98 of Iowa's 99 counties.  Johnson County in southeast Iowa went to Hatch. 

Iowa voters also told pollsters their concerns about the economy.   Six in 10 say they’re dissatisfied with the Obama administration, an apparent contributing factor to Joni Ernst’s victory over Bruce Braley.

And lastly in spite of a barrage of television ads and record-breaking outside spending, exit polls show half of Iowa voters didn’t follow this year’s campaigns very closely.