Election could shift balance of power in Iowa legislature - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Election could shift balance of power in Iowa legislature

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Voters will go to the polls Nov. 4 to decide several important elections.

You've heard a lot about the U.S. Senate and Congressional races but some other races you're not hearing a lot about may change control of the state legislature..

It may hinge on just a few races.

Currently, Republicans hold a 6-seat advantage in the Iowa House.

If Democrats flip 4 seats, they would control the House.

In the Iowa Senate, Democrats have the advantage by 2 seats.

If Republicans flip those seats, maintain control of the House and the Governor's mansion, they would control all branches of state government.

At Black Hawk County Democrat headquarters, campaign workers are manning the phones hoping to get more volunteers or more financial commitments.

Across town at Republican headquarters, it's much the same.

Both sides working to get out the vote for their side.

But while much of the focus has been on big names - Branstad, Braley, Ernst, and Murphy, it's the races for state House and Senate which also hold importance.

"They're fighting for attention, they're fighting for news coverage. In some cases, they're fighting to get ads on. They're obviously struggling to raise money," said Roger White of the Black Hawk County Democrats.

Republicans agree - to a point.

They say their big names are helping the sometimes lesser known names on the ballot.

"At almost all their events, there are local candidates with them, they are promoting them. This is pretty much a top of the ticket down. We're hoping when Republicans turn out for Joni and Branstad, the local candidates are going to benefit from that," said Josh Wilson of the Black Hawk County Republicans.

Every House district will be on the ballot and half the Senate districts.

Democrats say a balance of power is needed.

"The 2 parties with the governor were able to negotiate an implementation of the health care law in Iowa. It's not Medicaid expansion but it's close and that's only because the Senate was controlled by Democrats," said White.

Republicans say if they have control, more will get done.

"If we can flip control to Republican hands, we feel we can accomplish a lot more for the state. All the federal races show we should take Iowa's philosophies to Washington, D.C." said Wilson.

Both sides are encouraging people to vote absentee.

So far, the Iowa Secretary of State's office says 221,000 absentee ballots have been requested.

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