In contrast to the political chaos in Mississippi, the Iowa GOP contest was a model of political decorum. Iowa Republicans chose a consensus candidate acceptable to both establishment and Tea Party Republicans in their effort to fill a seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
Joni Ernst, an Iraq War veteran and state senator, won Iowa’s five-way Republican Senate primary, easily surpassing the 35 percent threshold needed to avoid a convention nomination fight. She will face Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the fall election
Ernst got off to a weak start in the crowded field. But she turned things around after airing her first television ad, and her testimonial that “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” and would apply that skill to “make ’em squeal” in Washington. Ernst sewed up her primary election with the help of a disparate array of political endorsements – including from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
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