Vote choice and approval are two different things

February 15, 2017 0 Comments

On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register published results from the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showing approval of President Trump in Iowa stands at 42 percent, with 49 percent disapproving.  Jason Noble, the columnist who reported on the poll, tweeted the approval ratings of four previous presidents (Reagan, Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama) taken […]

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Approval of Congress approaches 30 percent!

February 7, 2017 0 Comments

Just a follow up to my previous blog about the possibility of increased polarization of attitudes toward Congress, a Gallup poll released on Tuesday suggests this may in fact be a reality. According to the poll, 50 percent of Republicans approve of Congress compared to just 11 percent of Democrats, a 39-point difference.  Recall from […]

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Views of Congress polarized again?

January 29, 2017 0 Comments

Put simply, the American political system is polarized, from roll call votes in Congress to how the electorate views the presidency, and most recently to how Trump and non-Trump supporters view pictures of inauguration crowds. One area that has been immune to such polarization in recent years has been public opinion toward Congress. As documented by […]

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President Trump’s Inaugural Address

January 21, 2017 0 Comments

President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address deviated from what we’ve come to expect from such speeches in several ways.  Of note was the president’s criticism of the “Washington establishment” while standing in “Washington” surrounded by the “establishment.” Such criticism endeared Trump to voters throughout the campaign but is also grounded in a more general feeling among […]

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Are voters moving away from the two parties?

January 19, 2017 0 Comments

Polls continue to show Americans’ attitudes toward the political system are near record lows, and this extends to all voters.  A Gallup poll released last week showed that approval of Congress is not only low (19%), but also that Democrats and Republicans are equally frustrated as a single percentage point separated the two groups. Is […]

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Early look at 2018 governor’s race

January 7, 2017 0 Comments

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is set to become the next chief executive of state, setting her up to be the incumbent heading into the 2018 gubernatorial election in Iowa. What factors are working in her favor and what could present roadblocks? First and foremost, Lt. Governor Reynolds will be Governor Reynolds in 2018 and incumbency […]

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Voter ID in Iowa?

January 6, 2017 0 Comments

On Thursday, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate held a news conference in part to issue a call to require voter identification in Iowa.  Secretary Pate indicated that such measures are about “protecting the integrity of the vote.”  As a recent report shows, however, Iowa already has a high level of electoral integrity. Political scientist […]

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Has approval of Congress finally reached a floor?

December 15, 2016 0 Comments

Gallup reported on Thursday that congressional approval will now average below 20 percent for the seventh consecutive year.  In fact, looking at monthly ratings, approval has not exceeded 30 percent since September of 2009. Using monthly approval ratings from Gallup from January of 2001 through December of 2016, I reexamined the extent to which the […]

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Branstad to China

December 7, 2016 0 Comments

If confirmed as the next ambassador to China, Governor Terry Branstad will leave behind an enormous political and policy legacy.  Most notably, when Branstad steps aside to assume his new position, it will mean Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will become Iowa’s first female governor. Governor Branstad’s confirmation as ambassador also means the record for the […]

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Does the 1st Congressional District really lean Democratic?

November 22, 2016 0 Comments

In my previous blog I examined county-level votes within the 1st Congressional District, comparing vote totals for the Republican presidential candidates in 2012 and 2016.  The considerable shift observed in that analysis is also evident when looking at the vote for 1st Congressional District candidates in 2014 and 2016. First, in terms of party registration, […]

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