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Branstad says GOP faces ‘uphill battle’ in Iowa’s SD 18 election

Gov. Terry Branstad says the Republican candidate in a Nov. 8 Iowa Senate special election faces “an uphill battle” and cautioned that special elections “are not much an indicator” for the mood of the electorate as whole.

Branstad said there’s been a short window in the special election, which has hurt Republican Cindy Golding and helped Democrat Liz Mathis. Branstad set the date for the special election on Sept. 16.

“I believe that the Republican candidate, Cindy Golding, has a great background and great business experience and is a hard worker, but also I think she has a considerable name recognition disadvantage,” Branstad said. Mathis is a former television news anchor.

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/mathis_150-99x150.jpgLiz Mathis

A poll released Sunday evening showed Mathis with 52 percent support and Golding with 46 percent. The margin of error of the survey is plus or minus 3.3 percent.

Mathis has outraised and outspent Golding in the district, according to campaign finance reports. Branstad also noted the Iowa Democratic Party has vastly outspent the Republican Party of Iowa in the district, pouring more than $200,000 into the race in recent weeks.

The race will determine control of the Iowa Senate, and has attracted interest from national social conservative groups like the National Organization for Marriage.

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/golding_150-99x150.jpgCindy Golding

Democrats hold a slim 25-24 advantage in the Senate, and last year succeeded in blocking controversial legislation — like a ban on same-sex marriage and increased abortion restrictions – from the Republican-dominated Iowa House.

But despite the national interest, unusually large spending and political implications of the election, Branstad said not too much should be read into the results.

“When you look at special elections, they are not much of an indicator … they’re an indicator of that particular district at that point in time,” he said. “So I don’t think people should read too much into it but obviously we’ll see.”

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