Some Say Iowa Senate Control Key to State's Future

(PUBLISHED: A view from the balcony shows the Iowa Senate at work at the Capitol in Des Moines in this file photo. GOP leaders said Tuesday that the worsening budget crisis may leave no money for spending increases for schools in the 2003 fiscal year.) A view from the balcony that shows the Senate during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature on Monday, Jan. 14, 2002, at the Capitol in Des Moines.

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By Belinda Yeung

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Most television ads and media coverage has been about the presidential race, but some believe lower profile legislative elections could make the most significant difference to Iowans.

Republicans already control both the House and the governor's office, and with a pickup of two seats they could win a majority in the Iowa Senate. Republicans say their focus would be on improving the state's economy and creating jobs, but Democrats and a political analyst say complete GOP control of state government could lead to passage of laws dealing with other issues, including education and same-sex marriage.

Drake University politics professor Dennis Goldford says Republicans are focused on legislative races. He calls control of the Iowa Senate "at least as important if not more important to them than the presidential race."

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