Republican Nunn Outperforms Axne, Flipping Iowa District A voter marks his ballot at a polling place in Dennis Wilkening's shed in Richland, Iowa. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
By Brian Pfail | Wednesday, 09 November 2022 06:39 PM EST
Republican Zach Nunn is projected to defeat Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, flipping a seat that GOP leaders have viewed as one of their best pickups this election cycle.
The Associated Press called the race at 3:25 p.m. Wednesday.
Iowa's 3rd Congressional District includes the heavily blue Des Moines, but that was not enough for Axne to avoid voters' economic anxieties, particularly inflation.
Nunn made inflation his central issue, accusing President Biden and Democrats of exacerbating inflationary trends through massive federal spending, including the pandemic response from the administration.
Nunn said he would fight inflation, cut spending, and slash taxes.
Axne was first elected in 2018 as part of the blue wave that gave Democrats the House majority. She attempted to counter Nunn's attacks by listing proposals to bolster the country's infrastructure, elevate domestic manufacturing, expand access to health care, and assist businesses through the pandemic.
Axne played up the Supreme Court's decision to eliminate federal protections for abortion, noting Nunn supported an abortion ban without exceptions.
Typically, the party that controls the White House suffers losses in the president's first midterm cycle. Add to that Biden's poor approval rating and the redrawing of the congressional map tossed the 3rd District several rural counties in the southern part of Iowa.
Nunn also raised $6.6 million to his opponent’s $2.3 million, according to OpenSecrets, with outside spending pouring into the district and pushing Nunn to victory.