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Final ballots could signal trouble for state Republicans

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate released the final list of certified candidates in the 2018 statehouse races. Mirroring a similar trend on the national level, Democrats appear to be competing in more races while fewer Republicans are choosing to hold their seats at the statehouse.

According to ballot filings, 23 Iowa House races, or nearly a quarter of all seats, will not feature a Republican candidate. Just five house races feature no Democrat on the ballot. Four Republicans in the House and Senate also face a primary challenge in June. And more than double the number of incumbent Democrats have decided against running for a another term. Some are choosing instead to end their public service while others are seeking a different position.

The numbers appear to match a pattern in national Congressional races where many incumbent Republicans are choosing to vacate their seats. Meanwhile, Democrats are competing in more races nationwide than in the past few election cycles.

What it all indicates is Democrat voters are expected to be more enthused about turning out for midterm races, which could tip the balance of power on Capitol Hill. As for the Iowa Statehouse, it's hard to say if either chamber could switch control, but after two years of Republican dominance, any changes could drastically alter the type of legislation Iowans can expect to see coming from their lawmakers in 2019.

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