Election 2014: How Johnson County voted

Democrat Dave Loebsack will go on to serve his fifth term representing Iowa's second district. -- photo by Gregory Hauenstein
Democrat Dave Loebsack defeated Republican challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks last night, and will go on to serve a fifth term representing Iowa’s second district. — photo by Gregory Hauenstein

Huzzah! The 2014 election is over, and we can finally move on with the real business at hand: complaining and/or celebrating about the results while we dread the oncoming Iowa caucuses (only about 14 months away, friends!). Needless to say, Iowa Democrats had a very bad day yesterday, losing every congressional contest with the exception of U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, who once again defeated Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks (in her third straight attempt) and will go on to represent Iowa’s second district for a fifth term.

And all the while, the world watched with fascination (and mild derision):

Republican Joni Ernst snagged the vacant senate seat left by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin, defeating Democrat Bruce Braley 584,133 to 489,250 in the popular vote. With Ernst’s victory, alongside several additional Republican victories in Senate contests across the country, Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in January. Furthermore, Republicans will control both the U.S. House and Senate during President Obama’s final two years in office.

Iowa Republicans set a few records yesterday, as well. With Governor Terry Branstad’s victory over Democrat Jack Hatch, Branstad will become the longest serving governor in U.S. history. The Republican won handily with 661,704 votes to Hatch’s 417,177. Poor Hatch.

On the congressional side of things, meanwhile, Ernst’s Senate victory makes her the first woman elected to congress by the state of Iowa.

Meanwhile, in Johnson County…

But enough about state-wide election results. What did Johnson County’s voters have to say? Well, a lot, it seems: Out of Johnson County’s 89,532 registered voters, 52,336 (58.5 percent) showed up to vote. And sure enough, Democrats had a very good turnout in what is typically a true-blue county. Adding to the turnout may have been a couple of divisive down-ballot items — the Johnson County Courthouse annex and Local Option Sales Tax.

The courthouse expansion project failed to receive the 60 percent “yes” vote it needed to pass, with 56.9 percent voting in favor. This marks the third time Johnson County residents have voted down such an expansion, despite revisions to the proposal.

The proposed local option sales tax also struggled to garner support in Johnson County. The measure, which allowed Johnson County’s respective cities to specify how such funds would be used, received only 46 percent approval (50 percent required) in the contiguous Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Tiffin and University Heights precincts. A number of smaller towns within Johnson County passed the measure, however, with Hills, Lone Tree, Solon, Swisher and West Branch precincts showing majority approval.

View the full results below:

Johnson County Voting results

U.S. Senate

Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Bruce Braley (D) 33,597 65%
Joni Ernst (R) 16,652 32%
Bob Quast (TL) 240 0%
Rick Stewart (Ind) 762 1%
Douglas Butzier (L) 374 1%
Ruth Smith 146 0%
Write-in 58 0%

U.S. House of Representatives

Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Dave Loebsack (D) 35,319 69%
Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) 16,139 31%
Write-in 99 0%

Governor and Lt. Governor

Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Jack Hatch (D) 30,220 59%
Terry Branstad (R) 19,652 38%
Jonathan R. Narcisse (IA) 415 1%
Lee Deakins Hieb (L) 803 2%
Jim Hennager (NIPI) 475 1%
Write-in 64 0%

Johnson County Courthouse Annex (60% required)

Voting choice Total Votes Percentage
Yes 26,956 56.9%
No 20,394 43.1%

Local Option Sales Tax (Data for IC, Coralville, North Liberty, Tiffin, U. Heights only)

Voting choice Total Votes Percentage
Yes 16,651 46%
No 19,374 54%

Voting data via the Johnson County Auditor’s Office and the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

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