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5 things to know about the 2012 General Election

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 5:00 am •  Published: November 6, 2012

Four justices are up for retention votes in this election, but attention has been focused on Justice David Wiggins, who was part of a unanimous 2009 ruling that found a state law limiting marriage to between a man and woman violated the Iowa Constitution. In 2010, voters removed three other justices who ruled in that case.

Those supporting Wiggins argue that the retention system is meant to remove judges deemed incompetent or unethical, not because voters don't like a specific ruling. They say that if voters remove Wiggins, Iowa's justice system will be tainted as justices may focus more on the political consequences of their rulings.

Those seeking to remove Wiggins counter that he and other justices who ruled in the 2009 case let politics influence their decision, leading them to make a change that should have been left to legislators.

— In Iowa, Tuesday's election isn't only the end of a long presidential race, it's the beginning of the next one. Who should we expect to see campaigning in Iowa as the 2016 caucus nears?

If President Barack Obama wins re-election, speculation on his successor will begin immediately. With former President Bill Clinton openly supporting and campaigning for Obama, some have assumed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make another run for the White House — though she's sounded reluctant.

Vice President Joe Biden also hasn't ruled out a run, though he'd be a record-setting 74 years old when sworn in. Others mentioned have included New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, now the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, may jump in; his 2008 attempt ended quickly.

A Mitt Romney victory would mean any Republican newcomers likely would need to wait until 2020. If Romney loses, possible candidates likely would include 2012 vice presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.