Joni Ernst won the GOP’s seventh new Senate seat against Democratic challenger Bruce Braley — cementing the GOP’s control of the Senate.
Braley, who currently serves in the House and is a trial attorney by trade, touted his law degree and criticized sitting Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley for “being a farmer from Iowa.” (RELATED: Iowa Dem Candidates Calls Republican ‘Farmer From Iowa’)
Ernst went the opposite direction, first making headlines when she released an ad featuring her time “castrating hogs” on a farm and promised to “make ’em squeal” in Washington if elected to the Senate. (RELATED: Senate Candidate Says ‘Castrating Hogs’ Good Preparation For Washington)
Braley, who’s running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, received a lot of high-level Democratic support, to some effect. Somehow, the Obamas kept making simple mistakes while supporting him — first getting his name wrong, then his office.
First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Braley in Iowa and managed to call him ‘Bruce Bailey’ seven times. She later sent out a press release promoting his campaign for Iowa Governor, instead of U.S. Senator. (RELATED: Michelle Obama Tries To Correct Braley Slip)
Harkin put his foot in his mouth just last week when trying to support Braley’s slipping campaign, calling for voters not to vote for Ernst because she’s “really attractive and she sounds nice.”
“I don’t care if she’s as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers, but if she votes like Michele Bachmann, she’s wrong for the state of Iowa,” Harkin said at a Story County Democrats barbecue, Buzzfeed reported.
Ernst slammed his comments, arguing it was “sexist” and that Harkin would never have made such remarks about a man. (RELATED: Joni Ernst: Dems Believe ‘Real Women’ Can’t Be Conservative)
Ernst’s campaign was aided by shockingly high Obamacare premium hikes in Iowa, announced just several weeks before the election. Braley voted for the health-care law in the House. Iowa Obamacare customers were hit with premium hikes between 8.7 percent and 19 percent — and those in the private market saw hikes as well. (RELATED: Louisiana, Iowa Obamacare Premiums Rise By Double-Digits)