Cindy Axne Hangs On During Iowa Red Wave

Photo by Julie Fleming

Congresswoman Cindy Axne narrowly kept Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District blue today with a win — for the second time in a row — over Republican candidate David Young.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Axne leads Young 49% to 47.6%, according to unofficial election results.

“I am grateful that the voters of central and southwest Iowa have chosen me to represent them in Congress again next year,” Axne said on a Zoom call with supporters, acknowledging her victory was “one of the only bright stars in Iowa tonight.”

“Having the reaffirmed trust of Iowans to be their voice in Washington renews my commitment to fight for them in the weeks, months, and years ahead,” the congresswoman said.

Axne, along with Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District, is one of 44 “frontline” Democrats who flipped a red seat blue in 2018 and put Democrats on the path to a majority in the U.S. House. Finkenauer’s race against Ashley Hinson has not been called yet, though Hinson has pulled ahead of the incumbent.

Republicans came out to vote in force today, surprising Democrats with massive numbers of new voters. It cost Democrats unexpected seats in the Iowa Legislature, but Axne was able to hold on in her Des Moines metro-based district. Rita Hart’s race is also extremely close at the moment.

Young lost to Axne in 2018 by 2 percentage points and trails her on Tuesday night by about 1.4 percentage points. He conceded tonight at about 11:30 p.m.

The 3rd District includes Iowa’s most populous county, Polk, with 56% of the district’s voters, but it also is home to reliably red counties in the southwest part of the state. As in 2018, Axne only carried Polk County tonight.

Iowa’s election results are unofficial until ballot canvasses are conducted. County officials must hold canvasses in all 99 counties by Nov. 10. The statewide canvass will be completed by Nov. 30 and then the Iowa Executive Council certifies the results. Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by noon Nov. 9 will be counted.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 11/3/20

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