SIGNING UP: Why Branstad Needs Fewer Signatures

Tuesday morning, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad turned in a stack of papers to the secretary of state’s office. Branstad said they contained 10,745 signatures on his paperwork for his re-election candidacy.

“I’ve always felt the way you win elections is, you don’t take anything for granted. And you work hard everywhere,” Branstad said.

Branstad’s Democratic challengers will have to work a little harder than he does. And it’s because of the success of President Barack Obama in 2012.

The secretary of state uses a formula that determines how many signatures a candidate must get to qualify to appear on the ballot. During the presidential election, Obama earned 822,544 votes in Iowa. The secretary of state’s office takes that figure and multiplies it by .05%. That means Democratic gubernatorial candidates in 2014 have to collect 4,113 signatures.

Branstad, on other hand, only has to base his required figures on the losing 2012 Republican effort of Mitt Romney’s campaign. Romney earned just 730,617 votes in Iowa. So by the secretary of state’s formula, that means Branstad had to come up with 3,654 signatures.

The difference between the two sides would be 459 votes, a total not expected to be a problem for the most known Democratic candidate, Des Moines State Senator Jack Hatch.

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