Iowa gubernatorial election, 2010

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The Iowa gubernatorial election of 2010 will be held on November 2, 2010 following a primary election on June 8, 2010.[1] Polling hours on all election day are 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, local time.

The deadline for submission of nominating signatures to qualify for the primary ballot was March 19, 2010.

The gubernatorial election will itself be a battle of the governors as Democratic incumbent Chet Culver takes on former Republican governor Terry E. Branstad.

Iowa law requires a 35% plurality in the primaries for a candidate to win the nomination via balloting. If a party primary gives no candidate plurality, the respective party's nominating convention will choose a candidate to advance to the general election.

The Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010 ranks the race as "Toss up" as of June 2010.[2]

The Cook Political Report ranks the race as "Toss up" as of June 17.[3]

One indication of the competitiveness of this year's gubernatorial election is the surge in GOP voter registration. Iowa had been shifting to a blue state prior to the primaries. During the 2008 cycle, Democrats enjoyed a six figure lead in registered voters; that fall, Barack Obama carried the state by ten points. However, on July 6, 2010, Secretary of State Mike Mauro (D) announced that June saw Republicans gain 37,000 registered voters while the Democrats lost 10,000 - effectively halving the latter's voter lead going into the general elections. Unaffiliated voters fell by approximately 23,000 while the total change in all registered voters inched up slightly, hovering just below 4,000. This would seem to indicate a shift in the partisan sympathies of Hawkeye voters.[4]

The November Ballot – Who's Made It? Iowa Governor[5]
Nominee Affiliation
Chet Culver, with Patty Judge Democrat
Terry E. Branstad, with Kim Reynolds Republican
Jonathan Narcisse, with Richard Marlar Iowa Party
Eric Cooper, with Nick Weltha Libertarian
Dave Rosenfeld, with Helen Meyers Socialist Workers Party
Gregory James Hughes, with Robin Prior-Calef (nominated by petition)
This lists candidates who won their state's primary or convention, or who were unopposed, and who have since been officially certified for the November ballot by their state's election authority.

Race ratings

See also: Gubernatorial elections 2010, Race tracking

2010 Race Rankings Iowa
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[6] Likely Republican
Congressional Quarterly Politics[7] Toss-up
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[8] Likely Republican
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[9] Solid GOP
The Rothenberg Political Report[10] Republican Favored
Overall Call Republican


3. Cook moves race from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican" on October 29th.

2. Cook moves race from "Likely Republican" to "Safe Republican" as of October 24th.

1. Cook Political Report changes race from "Toss-up" to "Likely Republican" in September 30th ratings.



  • Rick Phillips, who is running a campaign focused on socially conservative values, is also gathering signatures to petition on to the ballot.


  • Chester John 'Chet' Culver, the incumbent, was unopposed in the primary season. He served as the Secretary of State before winning election to the governorship in 2006.


  • Jonathan Narcissee, a Democrat, announced he would run as an Independent on March 18, 2010, citing voter desire to see a non-partisan candidate. He is opting to petition on to the November ballot.


  • Eric Cooper, who has previously run for the Iowa legislature, is a cognitive psychologist specializing in visual perception.


  • Former governor Terry E. Branstad holds Iowa's record for the longest serving governor. Before assuming office, he was Lt. Gov. and served three term on the State House. He assumed the Presidency of Des Moines University after leaving the governor's office.
  • Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful 2002 candidate for governor, is managing partner of a leadership development firm and COO of a foundation dedicated to working with sufferers of spinal cord injuries.
  • Former State Representative Rob A. Roberts[11]

Socialist Worker's Party

  • David Rosenfeld

June 8, 2010 primary

Iowa's Secretary of State certified results and released the official vote counts on July 1, 2010.[12]

2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary [13]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Chet Culver (D) 100.00%
Total votes 56,293
2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary [14]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpgTerry E. Branstad (R) 50.33%
Rod Roberts 8.75%
Bob Vander Plaats (R) 40.92%
(write-in) 0.0%
Total votes 227,404


General election polling

2010 Race for Iowa Governor - Rasmussen Reports
Date Reported Branstad (R) Culver (D) Other Don't Know
September 23, 2010[15] 55% 37% 4% 4%
August 4, 2010[16] 52% 36% 8% 4%
June 14, 2010[17] 57% 31% 6% 6%
(Sample)[18] n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05



Iowa is among the few state where the National Rile Association has made a gubernatorial endorsement in favor of the Democrat, officially backing Chet Culver.[19]

Gubernatorial electoral history

1998 Gubernatorial Results[20]
Candidates Percentage
Vilsack (D) 52.30%
Lightfoot (R) 46.51%
Henneger (REF) 0.59%
Schaefer (NL) 0.33%
Kennis (petition) 0.21%
Total votes 956,415
2002 Gubernatorial Results[21]
Candidates Percentage
Tom Vilsack (D) 52.69%
Doug Gross (R) 44.53%
Jay Robinson (G) 1.43%
Clyde Cleveland (L) 1.28%
Total votes 1,205,802
2006 Gubernatorial Results[22]
Candidates Percentage
Chet Culver (D) 53.75%
Nussle (R) 44.14%
Barth (G) 0.74%
Litten (L) 0.55%
Martin (SW) 0.19%
Total votes 1,059,064

Presidential electoral history

2000 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 48.2%
Al Gore (D) 48.5%
2004 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 49.9%
John Kerry (D) 49.2%
2008 Presidential Results[23]
Candidates Percentage
John McCain (R) 4%4.4
Barack Obama (D) 53.9%

1992 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George H.W. Bush (R) 37.3%
Bill Clinton (D) 43.3%
1996 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Dole (R) 39.9%
Bill Clinton (D) 50.3%

See also

External links

Candidate pages


  1. The Green Papers, "2010 Gubernatorial Primaries at a Glance"
  2. CQ Politics, "Race Ratings Chart 2010: Governor"
  3. Cook Political Report, "Gubernatorial races 2010
  4. Iowa Secretary of State, "Primary Election Impacts Voter Registration Landscape", July 6, 2010
  5. Iowa Secretary of State, “Candidate Listing by Office, November 2, 2010 General Election”, certifed August 13, 2010
  6. The Cook Political, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  7. CQ Politics, “2010 Race Ratings: Governors”
  8. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2010 Governor Ratings”
  9. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  10. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  11. Iowa General Assembly
  12. Iowa Secretary of State Official Canvas by County, July 1, 2010
  13. Iowa Secretary of State Primary Election Results, accessed July 20 2010
  14. Iowa Secretary of State Primary Election Results, accessed July 20 2010
  15. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Iowa Governor: Branstad (R) Remains Well Ahead of Culver (D)”, September 27, 2010
  16. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Iowa Governor: Branstad (R) 52%, Culver (D) 36%”, August 9, 2010
  17. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Iowa Governor: Branstad (R) 57%, Culver (D) 31%”, June 16, 2010
  18. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at]
  19. Washington Post, "NRA backs Democrats in key races, frustrating GOP", October 6, 2010
  20. Iowa Secretary of State, “IOWA GENERAL ELECTION - NOVEMBER 3, 1998”, certified November 20, 1998
  21. 'Iowa Secretary of State, “2002 General Election (11/5/2002) FINAL”, certified January 13,2003
  22. 'Iowa Secretary of State, “2006 General Election (11/7/2006) FINAL”, certified April 16, 2008
  23. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections', accessed July 28, 2010