Skip to comments.Joni Ernst wins big in Senate primary, DSCC attacks as “the Sarah Palin of Iowa”
Posted on 06/04/2014 12:17:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Joni Ernst only needed 35% of the vote to avoid a convention fight against her four competitors for the Republican nomination to the US Senate. Instead, she gained a clear majority of 56% and put herself in position to consolidate GOP support across all factions to face Rep. Bruce Braley, the uncontested Democratic nominee for the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin:
Joni Ernst, who highlighted her ability to shoot guns and castrate hogs to overcome disinterest in a sleepy primary election, dominated the field to become the first female GOP U.S. Senate nominee in Iowa history.
The 43-year-old farmer’s daughter turned state senator and military commander blew past the 35 percent necessary to claim victory over her four competitors, including retired businessman Mark Jacobs, who tried to overpower the rest of the field by self-funding his campaign with millions from his own wealth. With some precincts still out, Jacobs appeared to have fallen to a disappointing third place. He quickly pledged 100 percent support to Ernst.
Ernst wiped away tears during her victory speech. She stressed the values she learned growing up on a farm in southwest Iowa. “It really is a long way from Red Oak to Washington, but with your help, that journey is just beginning, and it is beginning tonight,” she said to cheers from supporters at her watch party at the Des Moines Social Club.
Ernst got onto the national radar with the fun jab at pork-barrel politics by recalling her hog-castration experience, but she won the state by attracting support from both Tea Party and so-called establishment Republicans in Iowa. Ben Sasse won in neighboring Nebraska using a similar, open-tent strategy, and both are expected to be strong candidates in the general election.
Ernst’s big win certainly has the DSCC worried, which rushed last night to paint her as a Sarah Palin clone:
“Her rigid partisanship and support for the federal government shutdown not only won her the support of Sarah Palin, but proved that Joni Ernst is the Sarah Palin of Iowa who would bring more gridlock and dysfunction to Washington,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter said in an email statement.
Gee, do all Republican women look alike to the DSCC? More seriously, do they expect that a Palin comparison will actually do damage to Ernst at this point, or at all in any context in Iowa? That looks like a boiler-plate Beltway perspective on flyover country that speaks volumes about the problems Democrats face in middle America this November.
Braley may be Exhibit B himself on that score. He also started off his efforts with a splashy video, but not one the Braley team expected. An attendee of a private fundraiser caught Braley insulting Iowa farmers in this now-notorious clip, in which the uncontested Democratic nominee pledged to be the voice of trial lawyers in Washington DC if elected to the Senate:
Stuck with that lemon on the record, Braley’s tried to make lemonade by emphasizing his legal career in campaign ads:
Rep. Bruce Braley is up with a new ad for his Senate bid touting his career as a lawyer a résumé thats caused the Democrat some grief in his bid for the competitive, open seat in Iowa.
In his 30-second spot, the congressman casts his oft-maligned profession as one of fighting for people and helping them solve their problems.
Equal justice under the law is what this country is built upon, is one of the things that motivated me to want to become a lawyer, and fight for people, Braley says in the ad, which shows footage of him talking to a variety of people in Iowa.
And make snide remarks about farmers, too, when he thinks the public won’t find out about it. Up until the primary, Braley still led in the RCP polling average, but only scores a 41.8/36.5 lead over Ernst over the last two months despite having no primary opponent of his own.
National Journal’s Alex Roarty warns Democrats that they’d better worry about Iowa, and their lackluster nominee:
Iowa once looked like one of the great GOP disappointments of 2014. Top-tier recruits like Congressman Tom Latham and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds passed on the open-seat race and left Republicans with a handful of unknowns fighting a messy primary. Democrats, meanwhile, gave four-term Rep. Bruce Braley a free year to prepare for the general election.
But then Braley insulted the state’s most important constituency, the Republican Party discovered Joni Ernst, and suddenly a race rarely mentioned as a midterm battleground has become a legitimate pick-up opportunity for the GOP. Republicans received another break Tuesday, when Ernst, a state senator from Iowa’s rural western-half, won the GOP’s nomination outright. With 18 percent of the vote in, Ernst had captured just over 53 percent support. Not only did she avoid a run-off by cross the 35 percent support threshold, her margin of victory is something few would have imagined possible just a month ago. …
“You might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as next chair of Senate Judiciary Committee,” he said. “Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
The comment went down as one of the worst gaffes of the still-young midterm season, and Braley apologized within hours.
But to Republicans, it provided the frame for Ernst’s entire candidacy: a small-time Iowa farmer (and former veteran) taking on a condescending liberal more at home on either coast. (It also explains why most, if not all, Republican operatives preferred Ernst win the party’s nomination over the millionaire Jacobs, who could self-fund but would struggle to depict himself as a blue-collar champion.) That’s a potentially potent argument in not just a farm-heavy state, but one in which blue-collar white voters made up 56 percent of the electorate in 2010.
“It provides a strong contrast that I think a lot of Republicans in DC are anxious to have,” said Matt Strawn, a former chairman of the Iowa GOP. “Someone who comes from rural Iowa, who has a non-politician feel about her, running against an incumbent member of Congress.”
Keep an eye on this race. We’ll see whether the trial lawyers outnumber the farmers in Iowa.
The leftist a-holes actually think that comparing Joni to Sarah Palin is a bad thing..I think of it as a HUGE compliment..Sarah and Joni are both awesome!
The RATs continue their “war without end” on women....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Yup! Soon to be Senator Ernst!! Can’t wait!
She can join Senators Gardner, Daines, Capito, Sasse, McDaniel, Rounds, Shannon, Tillis, Lynn Land, etc. in a republican senate majority!
Writer error: How do you become a former veteran?
Well, it looks like she’s lost the Muslim vote!
I hope she is another Sarah Palin. Don’t want anymore GOPe in Washingtor or anywhere else for that matter.
Banking on Palin not being popular with the independents and as a lightning rod for their own base I guess. Off year election it's all going to come down to turnout.
Replacing the Commie-Lib Harken with a conservative will be huge!
I'm sure her ad makers can come up with a nice one on this. Just hope she doesn't get too "conservative" in her ads.
Yep...they could be twins, put a pair of glasses on Joni, you couldn’t tell them apart.
sounds like a huge compliment
Anything that twists liberals up into knots is a good thing!
I LOVE this lady.
But expect the Mainstream Media to pull out their long knives and “Republicans” like Bret Hume to assault her like they did Sarah Palin.
Its time to circle the wagons and support this lady with contributions from all over the Country.
Now, did anyone here Rush's stand in today Erik Erickson? It sounds like Thad Cochran is having "issues" if I heard correct. Seems he couldn't remember talking to someone a 1/2 and hr earlier i.e. an interview, see if you can find a replay. I am not reveling in his situation, as many of us have parents or family members with such ailments. But is sounds like the Establishment is covering for him as he will be a reliable vote. IMHO this is so wrong, they are protecting him and I get the impression he won't debate McDaniel, if he is not potentially fit for this, then why put him through this. It is sad and cruel if the Establishment would go that far....
If Rush is living in their heads rent-free, Sarah has leased a 500 acre estate in there.
Liberals continue their war on women. Liberals only allow a woman to have political power if that woman believes exactly as they do; no room for dissent.
Liberals must end their hateful war on woman. This is the year 2014; time to leave their old tired ways behind and move into the future.
That’s right. I’ve been a registered Independent since Bush’s spending spree - or, what I thought of at the time as a spending spree, not knowing what King Obama would do.
There aren’t many Republicans that I’d vote for, but I would absolutely consider voting for Joni if I lived in Iowa.
Haha!! LOVE the picture!
[ You might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as next chair of Senate Judiciary Committee, he said. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ]
I would see that as a definite improvement, there is nothing in the job description of “politician” that require ANYONE to be a Lawyer before running for ANY office!
Except maybe some judge position... But even then... I would take the first 7 names out of a phone book for supreme court priovided they could ready ONLY the consitution and could demonstrate they have a skill for deductive reasoning and would pledge they would uphold the constuitution they just read.
It could be argued that the REASON we have problems with DC is that Lawyers ARE being elected to politcal office.
From the DSCC, that means she won't instantly capitulate to Democrat demands.
Unlike the total flexibility shown by Harry Reid.
In Iowa, the prediction was she’d get 35 percent.
She actually got over 50 percent.
So much for the pundits...
There are about 90,000 farms in Iowa. Figure at least two farmers per farm and you have close to 200,000 farmers. There are about 10,000 members of the Iowa bar. So 20 to 1 farmers to lawyers.
I read on another thread that Thad Cochran really did want to retire, but the GOPe begged him to stay on that they would do the leg work for him. This is hillarious that he actually lost this / had to do a run off.
If we’re lucky, he WILL retire and tell the GOPe to forgetaboutit. GOPe is disgusting.
Watch John Cornyn and what he and his Senatorial Committee will do. Remember what they did for Alaska and Miller who won that primary? argh.
More likely former moderate Democrats and RINOs.
But she had been the prohibitive favorite in the polls for some weeks now. Whoever did her commercials more than earned every penny they charged her. I think they definitely made a difference.
I think that moderates in both Democrats and Republicans have probably left their respective parties. Tea party people I would think would be Republicans, and probably the strongest group of supporters Ernst had.
They Say that like its a bad thing......
I think they should be highlighting that “attack”
I firmly support Joni getting the opportunity to make the Democrats squeal like pigs.