Iowa is usually known for a few things, such as agriculture, its crazy weather and so on. But politics? From the caucus to deciding between an incumbent or a former governor, Iowa is unique in its politics, and this year’s gubernatorial election doesn’t fail to please.
In an election year with an anti-incumbent atmosphere, Iowa has taken a different approach by pitting current Democratic Governor Chet Culver against former Republican Governor Terry Branstad.
The economy and jobs take the spotlight as the most prominent issue for voters this year. For his part, Culver signed into law the I-Jobs program, costing $875 million and will be paid without raising taxes.
According to Culver, his policies are working, noting that Forbes named Des Moines the number one city in America for businesses and careers” according to www.chetculver.com.
He also boasts of his work in the renewable energy field, which has helped make Iowa the second largest producer of wind energy in America with 2534 turbines established, as recorded online at www.energy.iastate.edu.
Branstad has built up considerable experience, already having served sixteen years as governor. He claims to have had a positive influence on the economy in stating that “when he (Branstad) left office in January 1999 the unemployment rate had dropped to 2.5%.” He proposes a reduction of commercial property taxes and slicing corporate income tax rates in half.
He also stresses the importance of encouraging growth in Iowa’s agricultural economy and exports, mainly by creating an Expanded Trade Agency.
Branstad sees South Korea as an underutilized trade partner under current tariff policies enforced by our government and wants to increase our pork exports there. See his website www.governorbranstad2010.com for more information.
According to Rasmussenreports.com, Branstad has a strong 55% support, compared to Culver’s 37%.
“Branstad reflects the mood that we want a competent government that is taking good care of their tax dollars,” Jeff VanDerWerff, Political Science Professor at Northwestern stated. “People don’t see Culver as an effective administrator,” he said.
Political Science major Robert Bogdanffy commented that Democrats are less united in this year’s elections and are more likely to split from party lines. With the current political and economic situations, there are many echoes of the 1994 elections, when the Republicans took back the majority in Congress.
Bogdanffy summed it up, saying, “Bottom line, it’s a bad year to be a Democrat.”
With the intensity of politics today, it’s easy to get carried away in public opinion and party line voting.
Bogdanffy stressed the importance of voting, but warned, “Don’t vote single mindedly; look at the issues. Be informed voters.”