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Hello from Clive. We are inside the 7 Flags Event Center, the site of what Terry Branstad’s campaign expects to be a victory party in his primary bid for governor. It’s about 7:08pm and the doors just opened a few minutes ago for the guests. I did see a few early arrivals around 5:30. Must have heard about the free food, which smells really good now:) Sure am glad the boss sent us some dinners here from Palmer’s Deli, so I’m not drooling all over myself.

Branstad began his day before 8am at the public library in Boone, where he and his wife, Chris, cast their vote. His Director of Communications, Tim Albrecht, said Branstad then worked the phones, along with his two sons and even his in-laws. He also worked in some radio and tv interviews. Tonight, he shared a private dinner at Sam & Gabes Italian Bistro in Urbandale, with his inner circle. Branstad’s held the gathering since he ran the first time back in 1982. I can’t seem to find many other things he does as a ritual…you know, like a lucky tie, a traditional pre-results meal, a special drink…anything like that. I will keep checking. I mean, what else can we do as we wait for the results?

Branstad is expected to arrive here 15 minutes after the Associated Press calls the race. There are some surprises planned, I’m told. Stay tuned on that. But I do know he is coming out to the song, “Jump”. That got me fired up and nostalgic for the old Van Halen days. I already started growing my hair long again. But, to my surprise, they are not using Van Halen’s version of the song. Probably a good thing…my wife would immediately leave me (and with good reason) if my hair got that long again:) Apparently, the cast of Glee has a version of “Jump”, too. Who knew? O.K., maybe a lot of people knew. Perhaps, I’m the only one who doesn’t watch that show.