Polls are open until 9pm in Davenport, Iowa, for today’s Special Election in Iowa State Senate District #45. The election is being held to replace the late Sen. Dr. Joe Seng (D), a veterinarian who passed away from cancer in mid-September.
Republicans scored big gains in the Iowa Senate in November’s elections, flipping 6 of 25 seats and going from a 24-25 deficit to a 29-19 partisan advantage, with one Independent, who is a former Republican.
In today’s race, the Democratic candidate is State Rep. Jim Lykam, who was re-elected to his 8th term in that body in November. Republicans nominated police sergeant Michael Gonzales, and there is a Libertarian candidate running, Severin B. Gilbert.
Rep. Lykam is strongly favored to hold this seat for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton carried this district by over 4,000 votes (53%-37%) while losing Iowa statewide by over 150,000 votes in November. However, to do that, the party must overcome their recent losing streak in special elections in the state. Republicans have won the last seven state legislative special elections in Iowa, with the last win by Democrats coming in October, 2013.
Here are the results of the all state legislative special elections in Iowa since 2008:
The above chart can also be downloaded as a pdf file here.