General Election Season Begins - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

General Election Season Begins

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The primaries are over, but the fight is on for the general election. Advertisements are already on the air. Not even 12 hours after the win, a commercial hit the airwaves for Governor Branstad. Candidates are also already hitting the campaign trail, stopping Wednesday in Davenport at the grand opening for the Scott County republican headquarters.

"I love Scott County," Gov. Branstad said. "This is the best big county in Iowa. I've never lost in Scott County."

The event allowed nominees to talk to and thank republican supporters.

"I think there's a whole new energy in the Republican Party," one Scott County resident said.

Democratic US Senate nominee, Bruce Braley, has also started campaigning. He released an advertisement attacking republican nominee Joni Ersnt. Political analyst Dr. Christopher Whitt says negative campaigns are part of the strategy, and have been proven effective.

"As much as people try to rally against it, all the research shows that, to a certain extent, it works," he said.

He says there is a lot at stake for the Iowa seat, which is open for the first time in 40 years. It has been held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat.

"Let's take this seat back for Republicans in the fall, and restore some fiscal sanity to the United States of America," Ernst said.

"The Republicans, on a national level, they have a feeling that they may be able to try to take the Senate," Dr Whitt said. "The closer that they can get to having a majority, the better for them."

He says Republicans nationally will be putting in a lot of money toward the campaigns, but Democrats too recognize the importance of this seat.

"Even if they end up not being able to match the Republicans dollar for dollar, they have a history of a very strong ground game, and they have a lot of people that they'll be able to organize," he said.

With more people in the area, he says local businesses will profit.

"It's a big deal," he said. "So people are going to be buying hotels, they're going to need transportation, they're going to buy TV ads, radio ads."

He says the national attention Iowa is getting now will continue into the 2016 presidential elections, and early 2015 will be an important time. He anticipates large political players to come through the Quad Cities Area even before formal debates and campaigns begin.

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