Lefty political Twitter was aflame today about Sarah Trone Garriott moving from her lefty enclave of Woke-sor Heights into the relatively competitive Dallas County suburbs of West Des Moines. In the new district, she would face Senate President Jake Chapman.
Democrats’ narrative, having ceded the entirety of rural Iowa to the House and Senate GOP, is their comeback starts in the suburbs. Let’s examine that claim a bit. Gov Reynolds won this seat by 2% in 2018, the most difficult GOP year in a decade. Senator Ernst won this seat by 3% in 2020, overperforming President Trump.
Meanwhile, in SD 22, the seat Trone Garriott narrowly won by 0.4%, Joe Biden won by 11.2%. Trone Garriott underperformed the top of the ticket by 10.8%. It’s challenging and uncommon for down-ticket candidates to perform more than 10% worse than the top of the ticket.
All of this performance history is relevant, and as a whole, it doesn’t particularly bode well for Sarah Trone Garriott. But let’s look at the most pertinent data—a hypothetical matchup between Trone Garriott and Chapman in 2020 since they were both on the ballot.
In the SD 22 part of the new SD 14, Trone Garriott lost to her Republican opponent by 1630 votes. In the SD 10 part, currently represented by Chapman, he defeated his Democrat opponent by 2,224 votes. Combined, the Republican Senate candidates received 3,854 more votes than the Democrat Senate candidates in 2020. Democrats only won 4 of the 19 precincts and didn’t run up significant margins in any of them. Chapman’s margin in Adel 2 alone was more than the total margin Trone Garriott had in those four precincts. By any rational measure, 2022 will be much more difficult for Democrats than 2020.
Trone Garriott is a good fundraiser and will likely improve on her performance last year, but so will Chapman. He’s now Senate President and will enjoy the fundraising boost that position carries with it.
Lefty Twitter has tried to establish that Chapman is not an ideal fit for a suburban district, but let’s briefly look at Trone Garriott’s politics. Trone Garriott is one of the most liberal members of the Iowa Senate. She’s pro-open borders, anti-tax cuts, and thinks welfare fraud is economic development. She’s fully embraced the Biden inflation agenda and will wear his 31-33% approval rating around her neck next fall. But, like all liberals, she’s also a colossal mask hypocrite, demanding you and your kids wear them, and she’ll wear them when she wants.
If Trone Garriott wanted a career in Iowa politics, she should move to the open Des Moines Senate seat, ask Janet Peterson if she’ll retire, or run against Claire Celsi. All of those seats are better fits for her brand of politics than SD 14. But, when you’re down by a touchdown’s worth of seats, the only play is a Hail Mary.