When Democrats took control of the Iowa House last November, it marked a rarity in Iowa politics that had not occurred in more than 40 years: concurrent Democratic control of the Governor’s office, Senate, and House.
The last time Democrats were elected to sole control of both the executive and legislative branches of government in the Hawkeye State, Harold Hughes was in his second term of Governor way back in 1964. While divided government is the norm in Iowa, the Republican Party has managed to hold unified control of both branches 7 times during the past 24 legislative sessions (1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1978, 1980, and 1996).
Democrats picked up 5 seats to win the Iowa House in 2006 to gain a 54-49 advantage. The last time Democrats won the Iowa House was back in Election 1990. In 2006, Democrats also increased their biggest advantage in the Iowa Senate (10 seats, 30-20) since the 1988 Election. This 10-seat advantage is tied for the largest they’ve enjoyed since 1960.