The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Poweshiek county voters lend their support to Trump, Ernst in crucial federal elections

The HSSC outdoor blackboard hosts numerous conflicting political messages on the morning of the 2020 general election. Photo by Kaya Matsuura.

Poweshiek County voters threw their support behind President Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election, with 56% of voters supporting him over former Vice President Joe Biden, according to unofficial results.

Trump currently leads in Iowa with 99% of precincts reporting. Recent polls have shown Trump with an edge in the state, but Biden had been seen as a competitor.

Iowa is not a must-win state for either of the two men, but Iowa’s six electoral college votes would still help them obtain the requisite 270 votes they need to win. With that in mind, and with their eyes on Iowa’s competitive U.S. Senate race, both Trump and Biden visited Iowa last week to energize supporters before election day.

On Friday, Biden made his first appearance in Iowa since the caucuses, campaigning in Des Moines. He highlighted Iowa’s surging COVID-19 numbers as evidence of Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic. And, as he has done throughout the campaign, he cast the election as a “battle for the soul of our nation.”

That characterization rang true for some Grinnell voters. 27-year old Jacob Ferguson, a Grinnell College employee, said he voted for Joe Biden. “It’s just about character, … who we are as a state and as a country,” he said.

Trump, on the other hand, argued Biden would turn America into a “socialist nation” at a rally in Dubuque on Sunday, while also claiming without evidence that a coronavirus vaccine would be available within weeks.

On Monday, Poweshiek County Republicans held a “Trump Parade” to demonstrate their support for the president. Poweshiek County Republicans Co-Chair Tom Cooper said there was “no question” that Trump would win the election. “Trump has got this thing in the bag,” he said.

Trump won Iowa handily in 2016 – the first Republican to do so since 2004. And Poweshiek County voters supported Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton then as well, 50% to 43%. In Grinnell, however, Trump won only 32% of the vote to Clinton’s 61%.

Nationally, the race remains too close to call, and it may be days before Americans know the results. Trump claimed a major victory in Florida early in the night, but he still hasn’t reached the 270-vote threshold, and Biden remains in the hunt.

While the presidential election was top of mind for many Poweshiek County voters, Iowa’s U.S. Senate race was considered crucial in determining who will control the Senate come January. Democrats need to pick up four seats to obtain the majority, and Democrat Theresa Greenfield, a real estate executive who has not held elected office before, has given incumbent Republican Joni Ernst a tough fight.

At the end of the night, however, Ernst looks like she’s pulled ahead, and multiple outlets have called the election in her favor, with a 6.6 point lead over Greenfield, according to unofficial results from the Iowa Secretary of State.

In Poweshiek County, Ernst garnered 53% of the vote to Greenfield’s 44%. Those numbers are similar to Ernst’s margin of victory during her first election in 2014, when she narrowly beat out Democrat Bruce Braley to win Poweshiek County 49% to 46%.

Also on the ballot was the race for Iowa’s First District U.S. House seat between Democrat Abby Finkenauer and Republican Ashley Hinson. Finkenauer, fighting to return to Washington after her first term, was defeated on Tuesday night in a surprise victory by Hinson, 51.3% to 48.7%, according to unofficial results.

In 2018, Finkenauer lost Poweshiek County by less than 100 votes. This time, she lost by almost 1,000.

Nadia Langley contributed reporting.




Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *