Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Iowa Miscellany

-You can add Iowa to the list of states where voters are not happy with their new Republican Governor and where if they had a chance to do their Gubernatorial election over again things might come out a little bit different. Terry Branstad's approval rating is only 41%, with 45% of voters disapproving of him. The exit poll last fall showed him winning independents by 10 points but now only 35% approve of him to 45% who disapprove, reflecting the trend of indys away from the GOP that we're seeing in our polling all over the country. Also holding down his numbers is that Democrats (77%) are more unified in their unhappiness with him than Republicans (76%) are in their favor.

Branstad trails 48-46 in a hypothetical rematch with Chet Culver. Iowa joins Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Georgia as states where we've found last fall's Democratic nominees now ahead of the Republicans who were actually elected in November. That's partially a function of voters not being happy with what they've seen so far from their new Governors and it's partially a function of the fact that Democratic voters allowed their losses last year to happen by their low voter turnout.

-Iowa's most popular Congressman, in terms of statewide favorability, is Tom Latham. He has a +9 spread at 31/22. Second is Dave Loebsack at +5 (25/20), followed by Bruce Braley at +2 (22/20), and Leonard Boswell at -2 (28/30). Bringing up the rear among the Congressional delegation is Steve King at -7 (27/34). Latham 2014 against Tom Harkin?

-Christie Vilsack is running against King next year and at least statewide she's a lot more popular than he is. Her favorability is a +15 spread at 38/23. That makes her more popular than her husband. Tom Vilsack breaks down at a +12 spread (46/34).

-Charles Grassley remains one of the most popular Senators in the country, with 57% of voters approving of him to 30% who disapprove. That ties him for 12th in net approval out of 85 Senators PPP has polled on in the last two years. Republicans are almost universal in their approval of him but the two things that make his numbers stand out are coming close to break even with Democrats (38/50), and a greater than 2:1 approve/disapprove ratio with independents (55/26).

-Tom Harkin's numbers are slightly above average with 47% of voters approving of him and 38% disapproving. That puts him in a tie for 38th out of the 85 Senators we've polled on. Harkin's standing with Democrats is similar to Grassley's with Republicans but he can't manage to match his senior colleague's crossover support. Only 17% of GOP voters approve of his performance and independents are only narrowly positive towards him, 43/38.

Full results here


Steven Morris said...

The title of your post, "Iowans Favor Gay Marriage," is misleading by your own numbers. 35% is hardly a majority. Throw in the fact that polling on gay-related issues almost always shows greater support than what transpires at the ballot box, and you probably get a 70-30 split of Iowans opposing same-sex marriage.

I think a better questions to ask would be how people would vote on a constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to the traditional one man-one woman definition, since that is likely what will be on the ballot at some point, although probably not for a few years. That vote is the only thing that could actually end gay marriage in Iowa.

If a question like that were on the ballot today, I would say it passes with 65%. If civil unions are targeted as well, 60%. This is also based on similar votes that neighboring states have taken.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"35% is hardly a majority."

No one said it was, but it is a plurality, and combined with the 30% that favor civil unions, you have almost two-thirds in favor of legal domestic partnership equality.

"Throw in the fact that polling on gay-related issues almost always shows greater support than what transpires at the ballot box"

Not in our polling, which because it's automated, tends to show less support than pollsters that use live interviewers. There's less social desirability bias when respondents feel their responses are truly anonymous. We were dead right before the Maine vote 2 years ago. With 2% undecided, it was 51-47 rejecting the gay marriage law, and it actually lost 53-47.

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