Joni Ernst/Bruce Braley

Jonie Ernst and Bruce Braley

WATERLOO | Over and over, Black Hawk County Republicans at the annual Lincoln Day dinner fundraiser were implored to do “one more thing” in the next 44 days to ensure a Republican victory Nov. 4.

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst epitomized the request and its desired outcome during her time Sunday night on stage in front of about 200 Republicans filling the Electric Park Ballroom.

“We’ve had some phenomenal success in this campaign. Eight-year Congressman Bruce Braley has found himself in a very difficult position. He is tied with a little known southwest Iowa farm girl, and he did not anticipate that,” Ernst said.

She pointed to a recent poll showing her ahead 6 points.

If that poll could be seen as a sign of momentum shifting to a Republican victory, her announcement at the event that it was the start of a 99-county tour in the next 44 days was her vow to do “one more thing.”

“We’re not going to count the ones that we did in the primary. We’re starting all over tonight, right here in Black Hawk County,” Ernst said. “We are going out to every single county, from Polk County, one of our largest counties, all the way down to Adams County … which has a population of 4,000 votes.”

Republican 1st District candidate Rod Blum followed a speech by the ultimate down-but-never-out character, boxer Rocky Balboa telling his son about the importance of taking hits and continuing to move forward.

Blum’s speech echoed that sentiment when he took pride in the fact his business background is the subject of a recent attack advertisement.

“The question is why is (Democratic candidate) Pat Murphy attacking the American dream,” Blum said. “So we’re tight in these polls. It’s a sure sign that it’s going to be close if they’re running attack ads against us already. But we like the direction this is going.”

He pointed out that the 1st District leans Democratic but recent polls have shown a close race between Blum and Murphy.

But like the candidates who came before and after him, Blum said it’s going to take work in the next 44 days. He said they did not want to wake up on Nov. 5 with a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” attitude and asked them to do more to ensure they wake up after the election to a Sen.-elect Ernst and Rep.-elect Blum.

Even though Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is not on the ballot this November, he’s doing his “one more thing” by getting out and campaigning hard nonetheless. He added his name to list of Blum’s endorsements by announcing it from the crowd.

And Iowa’s senior senator showed his commitment to the ticket by spending nearly three hours at the Electric Park Ballroom just to introduce Ernst.

“I’ll tell you apologetically, I’ve never been man enough to castrate hogs, so we’re going to have one tough hombre in the United States Senate,” Grassley said, referring to Ernst’s famous advertisement, to cheers and laughter before turning to the earnest reasons to support the state senator from Red Oak.

Grassley said the stakes in this election are high.

He painted a picture of what a Republican majority would look like if Ernst helped tip the balance of power in the Senate. Grassley said a Republican leadership would move forward with bipartisan legislation and allow for debate on the Senate floor on issues.

“We’ve got to work hard now in the next few days — 44 days, I guess — it isn’t a case of just electing Joni Ernst. It’s a question that our country is under siege right now because of a president who does not want to follow the Constitution, and we get this back on track in a constitutional way by electing Joni Ernst, but the goal has got to be to save America, not just elect Joni Ernst,” Grassley said before welcoming Ernst to the stage as the “next senator from the state of Iowa.”

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