Retention Of Iowa Judges A Tossup, Poll Shows

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus asks a question as the Iowa Supreme Court listened to oral arguments in the Varnum v. Brien case, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, in Des Moines, Iowa. The gay marriage debate continued Tuesday as the Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban. (AP Photo/Pool, John Gaps III)

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines Register poll shows the retention election for three Iowa Supreme Court justices is a tossup in the wake of last year's ruling allowing same-sex marriages.

The Iowa Poll in Monday's edition finds 44 percent of Iowans who plan to vote in the election say they'll vote "yes" to all three justices. Forty percent will vote to remove the judges, while 16 percent say they want to retain some.

Justices and judges need a simple majority of "yes" votes to stay on the bench.

No Iowa Supreme Court justice has lost a seat since Iowa adopted a merit-selection and retention system in 1962.

The telephone poll was conducted Sept. 19-22 by Selzer & Co. Inc. of Des Moines of 550 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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