Economic clashes

September 29, 2014 0 Comments

Iowans going to the polls face the prospect of voting for several competitive elected offices this November.  The big unknown is what voters will be thinking about as they move down the ballot.  Political science research tells us that voters think about the president and federal economy (i.e. federal unemployment rate) when voting for federal […]

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Presidential drag

September 21, 2014 0 Comments

The gubernatorial race in Iowa appears all but over.  The most recent Quinnipiac Poll has incumbent Terry Branstad ahead by 23 percentage points over his challenger, State Senator Jack Hatch.  There was little movement in the polls following the first debate between the two candidates, and as Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register reports […]

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Branstad pulling away

August 30, 2014 0 Comments

Polls released this week by Public Policy Polling (PPP) and Suffolk University/USA Today show Governor Branstad to be in a strong position for November.  In a previous blog, I noted that his approval rating has been trending upward since 2011, and that the polling source significantly affects such ratings.  To recap, based on 25 polls, […]

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U.S. Senate race coming down to the wire

August 29, 2014 0 Comments

In July of last year, I showed how Congressman Braley was at a significant vote share advantage for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin.  This advantage was based on past election results from counties Braley has and is representing in the 1st Congressional District, as well as likely margins of victory […]

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Branstad looking solid 3 months to go

August 8, 2014 0 Comments

Governor Branstad is trending in the right direction the final three months of his reelection campaign.  By my count, 25 measures of approval have been taken of the governor since 2011 from three different polling sources: Public Policy Polling (PPP), Quinnipiac Polling, and the Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. Plugging those approval numbers into a […]

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Republicans trending upward

July 16, 2014 0 Comments

The results of an NBC/Marist poll released this morning (available here) provide good news for both State Senator Joni Ernst and Governor Terry Branstad. Regarding the U.S. Senate race, the poll finds Ernst to be tied with her opponent, Congressman Bruce Braley.  The 43-43 split is significant for two reasons. First, it is based on […]

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Too soon to think about 2020?

July 1, 2014 0 Comments

Politics is always about the next election.  In the case of the open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa, competition between Republicans and Democrats is particularly fierce because a win in 2014 may make a win in 2020 more or less likely. According to, a website run by the Center for Responsive Politics, the reelection […]

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1 + 26 = Ernst victory?

June 25, 2014 0 Comments

Two numbers hidden within a recent Quinnipiac Poll of Iowa voters could spell trouble for Congressman Bruce Braley in his pursuit of Senator Tom Harkin’s seat. The first number comes from the approval rating for Senator Charles Grassley.  While it is not surprising that his overall approval remains above 60 percent (62 to be exact), […]

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Oh well, Congress doesn’t work

June 22, 2014 0 Comments

Despite abysmal approval numbers for Congress (16 percent according to Gallup), don’t expect Iowa’s two congressional incumbents (Dave Loebsack in the 2nd Congressional District and Steve King in the 4th Congressional District) to lose this November.  Both candidates are in strong positions for two reasons. First, both Loebsack and King are in safe districts.  The […]

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Members of Congress look out

June 19, 2014 0 Comments

At first glance, any incumbent running for reelection in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate would seem to be in trouble.  A Gallup Poll released today showed that just 7 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress as an institution. This number is shockingly low. While we […]

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