Friday, January 14, 2011

Iowa Miscellany

Here's the rest of the stuff we found on our Iowa poll:

-Voters in the states aren't real big on their new (and also old) Governor, Terry Branstad. More voters (44%) have an unfavorable opinion of him than a favorable one (40%). Only 64% of Republicans like him, a lower number than you would expect and perhaps an indicator of some residual animosity toward him from his closer than expected primary contest. He unsurprisingly has little support from Democrats, only 18% of whom have a favorable opinion of him, and independents split 45/35 against him as well.

I'm not surprised to see that Iowans aren't exactly in love with Branstad. He led every single independent poll conducted between September of 2009 and September of 2010 by at least 15 points and on one Rasmussen poll over the summer that advantage went as high as 26 points. But voters seemed to sour on Branstad a little bit down the stretch and he won by only 10 points, a healthy margin for sure but not like the ones he had posted for most of the campaign.

-So if voters don't like Branstad that much, you might ask, how did he still win by such a healthy margin? Well they certainly don't think much of outgoing Democrat Chet Culver either. Only 41% of voters approve of the work he did as Governor to 46% who disapprove. Voters who didn't like either Branstad or Culver likely went overwhelmingly for the challenger on the premise that he would at least take things in a different and possibly better direction.

-Iowa likes both of its Senators. Chuck Grassley's +23 approval spread at 54/31 puts him in the top 5 most popular out of more than 60 Senators we've polled on in the last six months. Republicans and independents pretty universally like him- what sets his numbers apart from most Senators is that he nearly breaks even with Democrats, 36% of whom approve him to 48% disapproving. We don't see too many folks with that level of crossover support.

Although he's not in Grassley's class Tom Harkin has above average popularity for a Senator as well, with 48% of voters approving of him and 38% disapproving. Harkin's numbers with Democrats are similar to Grassley's with Republicans and they have pretty comparable levels of popularity with independents as well. But only 18% of Republicans give Harkin good marks, just half the amount of popularity Grassley can muster with Democrats.

-Iowa voters oppose gay marriage- but they also oppose impeaching the judges who made it legal in the state. Only 41% think same sex marriage should be legal, to 52% who think it should be illegal. But at the same time only 38% think the judges who ruled to legalize it should be impeached to 55% who oppose impeachment. There's a significant portion of voters in the state who do oppose same sex marriage but at the same time won't go so far as to say the judges should be removed from office.

This is a microcosm of the sort of slippery slope newly empowered Republicans across the country have to figure out how to deal with. Voters obviously agree with them to a point or they wouldn't have all been elected in November but some GOP officials have a tendency to take their mandate a step or two further than the voters are really comfortable with. Overreaching is a good way to ensure the Democrats bounce right back in 2012, and it's something Republicans are going to have to be careful about.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

"Impeachment" isn't an issue for judges in Iowa since their judges come up for voter view. And those judges who voted for SSM got tossed.

So, I don't think your poll is worth much in that regard.

Anonymous said...

Anon: you are mistaken. Not all who ruled were up for retention. There is a faction, again led by van der Plaats, that wants to impeach the remaining justices, not wait for when they are up for retention vote.

NRH said...

'Republicans' and 'careful' are not terms that go together these days. They 'carefully' chose O'Donnell and Angle, for example, and 'carefully' voted for Joe Miller.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you are not very honest about your opponent and ride a tide of fear as Branstad did. Grassley is a puzzle to me though. He told a whopper with the Kill Granny and there were no political consequences at all

Jonny V said...

I think some voters think GOP ideas are good in theory but when they realize what they really mean in practice... they don't like them so much.

Really if voters paid attention to the practical results of policy... things would be quite different.

The ignorance of the American voter is the #1 problem facing this country.

Anonymous said...

Are you also doing the national poll this weekend and when do you plan to release the results ?

Did you also poll other states besides Texas ?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Are you also doing the national poll this weekend and when do you plan to release the results ?

Did you also poll other states besides Texas ?"

National and Texas, and that's it. Results start Tuesday, just like always.

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