How Republicans Overcame the ‘Cynicism’ of Marc Elias in Iowa’s Second District

Mariannette Miller-Meeks in a campaign ad during her run for Congress (Screenshot via YouTube)

Last November, Mariannette Miller-Meeks didn’t know if she had won the open House seat in Iowa’s second congressional district.

In fact, as her campaign lawyer Alan Ostergren recalls, the first week or so after Election Night was a “crazy sequence of events.”

Miller-Meeks, a Republican making her fourth congressional bid, thought she was ahead by 282 votes over Democrat Rita Hart after the initial returns.

A couple days later, the district convened its special absentee precinct board — “a totally routine thing,” Ostergren says, considering that absentee ballots can come in late and still count, as long as they are mailed the day

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