IOWA

GOP Wave Dooms Dem House Candidates

Alex Brown
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Alex Brown
Nov. 5, 2014, 2:03 a.m.

State Rep. Pat Murphy (D) and former state Sen. Staci Ap­pel (D) couldn’t over­come a hos­tile polit­ic­al cli­mate in their tight Iowa House races Tues­day. 

Busi­ness­man Rob Blum (R) claimed a nar­row vic­tory over Murphy in the state’s 1st Dis­trict. 

“Pat Murphy found him­self go­ing up against a much lar­ger Re­pub­lic­an trend in the state, and he fell vic­tim to that,” said Lor­as Col­lege poll dir­ect­or Chris­toph­er Budzisz. “The en­thu­si­asm gap clearly was present in the First Dis­trict. … And Blum ran an ef­fect­ive cam­paign. He had an act­ive pres­ence in all parts of the dis­trict. Murphy wasn’t as act­ive. And part of polit­ics is tim­ing. The tim­ing wasn’t there for Murphy.”

Blum was also helped by a string of high-pro­file Re­pub­lic­ans who came to the dis­trict to cam­paign and fun­draise with him. Murphy said he has no plans to run for of­fice again. (Tele­graph Her­ald)

Blum said he cap­it­al­ized on anti-Wash­ing­ton sen­ti­ment. “I’m proud not to be a politi­cian,” he said. “I’m a prag­mat­ic busi­ness­man. I’m a prob­lem-solv­er.” (Des Moines Re­gister)

“I don’t have any re­grets,” Murphy said of his run. (Wa­ter­loo-Ce­dar Falls Cour­i­er)

The loss car­ries an ex­tra sting for Demo­crats, as it comes in the dis­trict va­cated by failed Sen­ate can­did­ate Rep. Bruce Bra­ley (D).

Mean­while, former con­gres­sion­al staffer Dav­id Young (R) coas­ted to a 10-point win over Ap­pel in the 3rd Dis­trict, des­pite a cam­paign that struggled to raise money and was per­ceived by many as lackluster. 

“I want you to know I take this awe­some re­spons­ib­il­ity very ser­i­ously … and I will ex­er­cise good judg­ment every day,” Young said, while prais­ing Ap­pel’s pat­ri­ot­ism. (Omaha World-Her­ald)

“While we don’t agree on everything, I will be his con­stitu­ent and wish him well,” Ap­pel said. (Des Moines Re­gister)

Ap­pel’s loss car­ries ad­ded frus­tra­tion for Demo­crats, who had hoped for nearly two years to send the state’s first wo­man to Con­gress. In­stead, they watched un­der­dog Joni Ernst (R) claim that dis­tinc­tion in the Sen­ate race.

Even Rep. Dave Loeb­sack (D) failed to pull away, beat­ing oph­thal­mo­lo­gist Mari­an­nette Miller-Meeks (R) by a scant 5 points in the 2nd Dis­trict. (AP)

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