Chuck Grassley's never had a serious fight to keep his seat since he was first elected to the Senate and that doesn't look like it's going to change in 2010. He leads his opponents for reelection by 26-30 points.
Grassley's approval numbers are less than stellar, with 46% of voters approving of him and 37% disapproving. But for now voters don't see any of his potential Democratic opponents as viable alternatives. Roxanne Conlin, the likely nominee, is an unknown to 53% of voters in the state. With those who do know her, her poll numbers leave something to be desired. Republicans are stronger in their unfavorable (43%) feelings toward her than Democrats are in their positive (38%) ones. Independents also see her unfavorably by a nearly 2:1 margin.
In a head to head Grassley leads Conlin 57-31. He has his party almost completely unified around him, getting 88% of the Republican vote. He also continues to win 25% of the Democratic vote, an unusually high and impressive amount of crossover support in a year where we generally find that partisan preferences have really hardened. Grassley's up 57-27 with independents as well.
Grassley has even larger leads against the other two Democrats in the race- 56-28 over Tom Fiegen and 56-26 over Bob Krause. This race will probably tighten a little bit in the general election since Conlin is so unknown right now and there are more undecided Democrats than Republicans. But our polling suggests Democrats have better chances to knock off Republican incumbents in North Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina, and Georgia than they do here and in a year where they're having to play a lot of defense it's hard to see Iowa getting a lot of play in the long run.
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