Iowa Democrats disappointed, but optimistic for future - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Democrats disappointed, but optimistic for future

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

It was a resounding defeat for Democrats in Iowa on Election Night.

Many of the candidates say they're grateful for the support and are hoping the young people who helped their campaigns don't get discouraged.

It was a tough night for Democrats across Iowa. That made for a somber mood on Election Night at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.

In a race called shortly after the polls closed, Jack Hatch said he fought the good fight to give Governor Terry Branstad a good challenge.

"I did call the Governor. I did congratulate him on his victory," said Hatch. "We need to know that there are a lot of people out there that feel disappointed. I just want to say to you, it's now your time to step up."

About an hour and a half later, outgoing Senator Tom Harkin accompanied the man he wanted to replace him, Bruce Braley.

But it wasn't to be.

Braley told the crowd the result was disappointing, but encouraging for future years.

"I leave here tonight filled with hope and optimism," Braley said. "That's why I called Joni Ernst to congratulate her on winning this race and wish her the best, because Iowans know that the only way forward is by having optimism in the future."

Democrats in Iowa caught up in the Republican wave across the nation. Now, many will shift their focus to the next big event -- the 2016 caucuses, about 15 months away. 

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