2018 backlash? Maybe not

September 21, 2017 0 Comments

There has been a lot of speculation about whether the actions of Republican state legislators in 2017 will cause backlash for the party in the 2018 elections.  The argument goes something like this: the agenda Republicans pushed through in 2017 was “too extreme” for the average voter (repeal of collective bargaining rights being the most […]

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Reelection prospects driving policy discussions

September 13, 2017 0 Comments

Time to rejoice!  Big policy discussions are happening on tax reform and healthcare…right? Wrong. Last night, the president had dinner with six U.S. senators, three of whom are Democratic, to discuss the possibility of tax reform.  The three Democratic senators, Sen. Donnelly from Indiana, Sen. Heitkamp from North Dakota, and Sen. Manchin from West Virginia, […]

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Where does the polarization end?

September 12, 2017 0 Comments

The inverse relationship between trust in government and scale of government has been well documented.  As one moves up in scale (from local to state to federal government), trust in government goes down. Why? The public abhors the bickering, constant disagreement, and slow-moving pace that goes along with partisan politics, all of which is on […]

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Will issues finally matter?

September 2, 2017 0 Comments

Political scientists have long known that when it comes to vote choice, voters are less issue-oriented and more focused on the personal appeal of individual candidates.  The 2016 election is a perfect example. Despite all the speculation about Republican voters abandoning their nominee for holding less than consistently conservative positions, in the end, they “fell […]

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20 on 4

August 24, 2017 0 Comments

As pointed out in a recent post on Bleeding Heartland, “More Democrats are running for Iowa’s statewide and federal offices than at any other time in at least four decades.”  More specifically, according to various sources, twenty candidates are running for governor or one of the three U.S. House seats in Iowa currently held by […]

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Should we care about presidential approval?

August 9, 2017 0 Comments

Why do pundits and political scientists seem to have a mutual obsession with presidential approval?  At least for political scientists, as a variable, presidential approval has proven to be a strong predictor of election outcomes, not only for presidential and congressional elections, but also for gubernatorial elections. This in part explains why the media remains […]

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Will health care affect the 2018 election?

July 30, 2017 0 Comments

It didn’t take long for pollsters and pundits to talk about the “fallout” the Republican Party will face in the 2018 elections following this week’s failure on health care reform.  To be sure, some voters will remain frustrated for months, but research suggests the so called “fallout” may be less than expected. First, there is […]

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Which path will Governor Reynolds follow?

July 18, 2017 0 Comments
Which path will Governor Reynolds follow?

Last Saturday, the Des Moines Register released the first Mediacom/Iowa Poll containing approval numbers for Governor Kim Reynolds.  According to the poll, 46 percent of Iowans approve of the job she is doing, 24 percent disapprove, and 30 percent are not sure.  That equates to a “popularity” rating of 65.71 (% approve/(% approve + % […]

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Three variables for 2018

July 16, 2017 0 Comments

Ten days ago, Alan Abramowitz, an elections expert and prominent political scientist, posted an essay showing how three variables can predict with considerable precision the outcome of midterm congressional elections.  The party that controls the White House, the number of seats held by each party prior to the election, and the difference in the “generic […]

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What should Senator Ernst do?

July 3, 2017 0 Comments

An article posted on Politico this morning referenced a new poll of Iowa voters from Public Policy Polling.  Before getting into the data, the poll was commissioned by Save My Care, “a progressive group dedicated to defeating repeal attempts” on the current health care debate.  The article cites Public Policy Polling as a “Democratic firm,” […]

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