Terry Branstad's favorability numbers have taken a hit over the course of the Republican primary campaign in Iowa but with Chet Culver's approval numbers among the lowest of any chief executive in the country, the former Governor is still strongly favored to return to his old office this fall.
Branstad leads Culver 52-37. He has a 49-33 advantage among independent voters, and wins 20% of the Democratic vote while losing only 7% of the Republicans to Culver. Branstad's not overwhelmingly popular, with 42% of voters viewing him favorably to 37% with a negative opinion. But more important than the way voters view Branstad may be the way they see Culver, and the current Governor's approval rating is only 28% with 56% of voters giving him bad marks. His approval with independents is 22% and with Republicans it's 4%, and even among Democrats he stands only at 56%.
The general election looks a good deal more competitive if Bob Vander Plaats can somehow upset Branstad in the primary next week. He leads Culver only 43-38. Vander Plaats does worse against Culver largely because he receives less Democratic support.
It's a long way until November but for now Republicans are in pretty good shape in this race. Culver can't get reelected with these approval numbers- he will somehow have to make voters change their minds about him.
Full results here