Iowa Democrats Fall Further Behind 2012 Ballot Lead

Posted: Oct 17, 2014 10:25 AM

Not only is Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) trailing Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst in the polls and fundraising, but Iowa Democrats are also tens of thousands of ballots behind their 2012 pace.

Last night Ernst dominated Braley in their latest debate, artfully turning a Braley lecture about Iraq into a sober reminder that Ernst knows a lot more about "boots on the ground" then Braley ever will.

But the better news for Ernst came this morning from the Iowa Secretary of State's office. As The Washington Post's Greg Sargent notes, Democrats have turned in far more ballots this year than they did at this same point in 2010, although still far behind their 2012 pace. At this point in 2010, Democrats had 60,156 ballots turned in, in 2012 they had 147,234, and now they have 79,751.

So that is great news for Democrats right!?! They aren't matching their 2012 totals when Obama won they state 52 percent to 46 percent, but they are turning in far more ballots than on 2010, when Republican Gov. Terry Branstad won 53 percent to 43 percent?


Sargent is completely ignoring the other half of the picture: how many ballots Republicans are turning in.

According to Iowa Secretary of State data compiled by Ace of Spades HQ, at this point in 2010 Democrats had a 18,835 ballot lead, compared to 2012 when they had a 55,162 ballot lead. But this year, Republican ballots have surged far more than Democrats, and Republicans only trail Democrats by 5,219.

So while Democrats might have appeared to improve their ability to turn out Democratic voters, it appears Republicans have improved even more.