At 8:50 p.m., 10 minutes before the Iowa polls closed, the 60 people gathered at the Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center for Republican Congressional candidate Ben Lange had turned subdued after the national TV networks had called the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire for President Obama. At the same time, U.S. Senate races in Wisconsin and Massachusetts had been projected as Democratic victories.
The group paid particular attention when John Boehner spoke on television, celebrating the news that the Republicans would retain control of the House of Representatives. After all, the gathering’s central focus now is on what is to come: the results of Lange’s race with three-term incumbent Rep. Bruce Braley. Lange’s spokesman, Jason Flohrs, said that the Lange campaign will be looking to see how close they are in the big cities in the district, Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown. Flohrs noted that Lange won the urban county of Scott County, home to Davenport, in 2010. Davenport is now in the 2nd Congressional District.
At 9:05 p.m., Lange appeared for a live TV interview. He called himself a small-town guy and said Job Number 1 was to control the national debt.