Election Results 2012: President Wins Iowa, Split on Congress, Gay Marriage Gets a Boost

Results form the presidential race in Iowa, judicial retention, congressional races and state Senate.

Check back here for live election updates as they come in.

President Barack Obama won Iowa's six electoral votes on Tuesday defeating Republican Mitt Romney in an election that the former Massachusetts governor had spent years campaigning to win.

In Iowa's four Congressional races, Tom Latham and Steve King were the Republican winners; Bruce Braley and David Loebsack won for the Democrats.

On judicial retention, which became a referendum for the future of gay marriage in Iowa, Justice David Wiggins appeared to have the votes necessary to remain in office.

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowans For Freedom committee that spearheaded a campaign to oust Wiggins, conceded defeat late Tuesday, according to the Des Moines Register. However, he said the apparent small margin for retention was “not a great validation for Justice Wiggins.”

Thousands of voters on Tuesday repeated the message sent two years ago that they didn’t want the courts to make law, Vander Plaats told the paper. “I think the courts understand that people of Iowa still have a voice if they chose to go outside their constitutional boundaries.”

Justices Edward Mansfield, Thomas Waterman and Bruce Zager, all facing their first retention votes, were returned to the high court.


     Race         Democratic Candidates Results Republican Candidates Results

U.S. President, Iowa Results


Obama-Biden *

Win Romney-Ryan Loss

U.S. President, National Results

Obama-Biden * Win Romney-Ryan Loss

U.S. Congress, District 1

 (416 of 417 precincts)

Bruce Braley * 57.6 Ben Lange 42.4

U.S. Congress, District 2

 (362 of 401 precincts)

David Loebsack *

56.9 John Archer Jr. 43.1

U.S. Congress, District 3

(378 of 381 precincts)

Leonard Boswell * 45.6 Tom Latham * 54.4

U.S. Congress, District


(467 or 490 precincts)


Christie Vilsack 

44.4 Steven King * 55.6

Iowa Judicial Retention, David Wiggins

(1528 of 1629 precincts)

Retain 608,794 Remove 511,752

* Incumbent


Late Senator Tops in Polk County Votes

The election campaign doesn't end tonight for candidates and voters in Iowa Senate District 22. Pat Ward, a Clive Republican, had been seeking re-election from the district when she died last month from breast cancer. Her opponent is Desmund Adams.

The district includes Waukee, Clive, Windsor Heights and part of West Des Moines. According to unofficial vote totals from the Polk County Auditor's office, Ward won that segment of the district, garnering 8,754 votes to 7,919 for Adams, the Democrat.

Dallas County vote totals are not in yet.

A special election will be held Dec. 11 between Adams and a yet-to-be-chosen Republican candidate. Ward's husband, John, announced last week that he is seeking the nomination to carry on his wife's campaign.

GOP leaders will pick a candidate to face Adams on Thursday.

Highfill Wins Senate District 39

Republican newcomer Jake Highfill of Johnston appears to have won the Senate District 39 seat vacated by Scott Raecker, according to unofficial numbers from the Polk County Auditor's office.

Election returns show Highfill with 9,212 votes to 8,457 for Democrat Kelsey Clark, also a political newcomer.

Highfill, 22, won the Republican primary over incumbent Erik Helland for the newly redistricted House 39 seat, which covers Johnston, Grimes and a portion of rural Polk County west of Saylorville Lake.

"It was a great win," Highfill said after the results came in. "I had one hell of an opponent, she worked her butt off." 

Highfill said he watched results come in with family and friends. 

"I'm really glad we won," he said. "I'm really excited to go to the capital. I'm looking forward to working with the House and I'm really, really excited it's overwhelming." 

Early Voting Draws Many

The Des Moines Register reported almost half of likely voters in Iowa may have voted before Election Day, but lines were reported in various parts of the state after a relatively slow start in the morning.

Obama was holding on to a 3-point lead heading into Election Day, according to an aggregation of 33 polls tracked by The Huffington Post, and a 5-point lead according to the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. In the most recent polls of likely voters, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll put Obama ahead by 5, and Public Policy Polling gave the presdident a 6 point lead.

In Cedar Falls and Black Hawk County, KWWL reported a minimum 90-minute wait at Bethlehem Lutheran Church this evening that some people were leaving without voting.

Lines were reported in Iowa City, too.

Brad Walters, of Iowa City, was in line when polls opened and may have summed up what a lot of Iowans felt this Election Day, namely that voting is the "reward" for putting up with months of politics ads.

Walters is fed up with both parties, which "can't get anything done" in Congress, but he said he will not be devastated if his choice doesn't win.

"I think they are both decent, good men," Walters said.



The only statewide issue on the ballot this time around involves the Iowa Supreme Court, and the outcome could ultimately help decide whether gay marriage remains legal in Iowa.

In that contest, voters will decide whether to retain Justice David Wiggins, who was part of a unanimous 2009 decision that legalized gay marriage in Iowa.

A ban on gay marriage and increased abortion restrictions could become reality if the Iowa Senate shifts in balance to Republicans.

Gov. Terry Branstad has said that if Republicans gain control of the Iowa Legislature, it’s likely they would support a statewide constitutional referendum on same-sex marriage, as well as restrictions on abortion.

Republicans already control the Iowa House, holding 60 seats while Democrats have 40 seats. But Democrats in the Iowa Senate hold a narrow edge of 26-24 over Republicans.

Iowans will also decide four Congressional seats. The race getting the most attention pits Rep. Steve King and former Iowa First .

  • District 1: Bruce Braley v. Ben Lange.
  • District 2: David Loebsack v. John Archer Jr.
  • District 3: Leonard Boswell v. Tom Latham.
  • District 4: Christie Vilsack v. Steven King

See Also: 

Election Guide 2012

Survey: Iowa's Influential Republicans Leery of Romney's Ground Game

Election 2012: Vilsack Knocking Hard on Door of Iowa's 'No Girls Allowed' Club: Will Iowans Answer?

Kurt B. November 06, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Corbin Winters comment was perfect. What a HUGE waste of money all of this has been. The t.v. and radio ads, the robo calls, the regular calls, the enormous travel from all the candidates, and on and on. And, we couldn't even take the time to complete the Farm Bill which has a major portion of it the S N A P program ( food stamps ). We should have just sent everyone a bundle of cash that has now been wasted on signs and junk mail, etc.
Beth Dalbey November 06, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I love the feeling I get when I vote, like I'm part of something bigger, something important. What's voting mean to you?
Kevin M. Ward November 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM
In the end, when all is said and done, Jesus wins! We had better be with Him. Thing is, no one knows when their end is for sure. This world is passing away, but the one who believes in Him shall live forever. All you need is found in Him, not government.


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