Monday, June 4, 2007

Iowa Revealed

In reviewing our results from the Iowa presidential caucus survey last week, which was released today, a few things jumped out at me. The first was the large lead enjoyed by both Edwards and Romney. Both have 31% support. The fact that Edwards is ahead of both Clinton and Obama by 14 points isn’t really that surprising to me because he has virtually been camped out in Iowa for the past couple years. I don’t know how well that strategy will work for him, though. It seems as if he’s banking on winning Iowa and then gaining enough momentum to grab the public’s attention in other battleground states. The fact that 17% of Iowans are still undecided doesn’t bode well for him though. Plus there is a lot of time between now and January. We’ll see, I suppose.

As for Romney, I’m also not really that surprised. His next closest challenger is Fred Thompson with just 15%. Romney has been ahead in Iowa for a while and has a well-established campaign in the state. People in Iowa really support him for some reason. The interesting thing is that he not a national frontrunner by any means. He has consistently trailed Giuliani and McCain in national polls and is not as widely recognized as either of them. Does he intend to implement a similar strategy to Edwards? I think he needs to do more to get himself known on a national stage because simply winning in Iowa probably won’t be enough.

The other results are also somewhat expected. An overwhelming majority, 82%, of people responded yes when asked if the country was willing to elect a woman or minority as president. This seemed very high, especially in a state where Edwards, a white male, is way ahead, but I guess it speaks to the fact that most Democrats think Obama or Clinton are electable on a national stage. However, I do know that in races involving women and minority candidates, people tend to say they will vote for minorities at a higher rate in polls than what is actually reflected at the ballot box. It seems like some people fell bad saying they won’t support a minority, which might explain why our numbers are so high. On the Republican side it makes sense that 69% say a Mormon can be elected because Romney is leading. I’m sure that figure would not apply on a national stage, where Romney’s support is not as strong.

In terms of Iraq, Democrats seem to really be fed up with the issue and want the war to end. Eighty-three percent of people said Congress should try harder to end the war, which is what they voted the Democrats into office to do. On one hand, it’s understandable that people are angry that the war continues to drag on with no end in sight. However, Congress can’t do much when President Bush continues to push the same ridiculous policies unwaveringly and threatens a veto for every bill they present. I predict that if major steps haven’t been made by fall, there will be a revolt in Congress and President Bush will be forced to change course. The Republican response was the mirror image of the Democratic one, with 73% of people saying Republicans should support Bush on Iraq and only 16% saying they should not. The majority of McCain and Giuliani supports don’t support Bush, though, and in McCain’s case twice as many don’t support Bush on Iraq as do. This is further evidence that Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Bush on Iraq because they know that supporting him is political suicide. I hope that translates into actual legislative change and not just spin.

Lastly, there’s immigration. I don’t fully understand the new bill proposed last week, so I won’t pretend to. All I know is that I haven’t seen a piece of legislations that has seen such vehement opposition from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for a long time. That opposition (and lack of understanding) is echoed in the numbers. On the Democratic side, 31% of those polled support it, 39% oppose it, and 29% don’t know. That’s a pretty even split. I think the simple fact is that the majority of people really don’t know what the bill has to offer and most Democrats don’t know what to think of it. Republican opposition to the bill is understandable, with 57% opposing and 25% supporting it. Most Republicans have always opposed a guest worker program and I don’t see that sentiment changing anytime soon.

1 comment:

Will Cubbison said...

It would have been interesting to see where independents stand in Iowa. From what I have seen, most have views on the war much closer to Democrats.

PS- Welcome to the world of blogging.

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