Democrats make gains in US Midwest in midterm elections

World Today

Julie Brown (C) and Kathy Schooley (L), both of Des Moines, react as early results come in showing Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Axne leading incumbent Rep. David Young during a midterm election night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 6, 2018. (REUTERS/Scott Morgan)

In a hotly contested campaign in the Midwest, Democrats won three of four congressional seats in the state of Iowa. But Republicans also had a reason to celebrate.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.

Voters in Iowa turned out in record numbers at this midterm election, and there was plenty at stake.

Ahead of the vote, the governorship and three of the four House seats were all Republican. The polls suggested change, with Democrats tipped to make significant gains. However, the polls were wrong two years ago, and Republican supporters were hopeful of causing a similar shock.

Healthcare was a key issue in Iowa on the campaign trail, another was trade. The ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China has led soybean prices to drop below the cost of production. Despite putting pressure on Iowa’s agricultural industry, it was unclear whether it would be a factor at the polls.

At the Democratic election party, the early signs suggested a blue wave was possible. In the end, Democrat candidate Fred Hubbell’s bid for Governor fell short in Iowa, with Republican Kim Reynolds just holding on.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell concedes to incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds and thanks supporters while speaking at a midterm election night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 6, 2018. (REUTERS/Scott Morgan)

“Although tonight didn’t turn out the way we would have liked, the energy and the support that we received along the way is proof that a lot of Iowan’s know we need change,” Hubbell said.

The Democrats may have missed out the Governorship but there was still plenty for their supporters to celebrate. Two flipped seats means it is now the Democrats who control three out of four congressional seats.

Among the Democrat winners, Cindy Axne, who claimed Iowa’s third congressional seat.

Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Axne reacts while appearing at her midterm election night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 6, 2018. (REUTERS/Scott Morgan)

“It just goes to show that those democratic values, those Iowa values, those values of hard work, of family, of helping others in our communities, and those messages resonated with the people of Iowa and they wanted to elect people that they know would stand up for those values,” Axne said.

Despite those gains for the Democrats, the Republicans will continue to run Iowa’s government. In the end, it was a night of mixed emotions for both parties in the state.

Split decision for Democratic, Republican parties in Iowa

The Democratic Party was hoping to make big gains In the U.S. state of Iowa. While they did pick up some seats, they failed to capture the biggest prize: the governor’s mansion. CGTN’s Dan Williams filed this report.