Is Iowa all in as a Republican state?

September 28, 2016 0 Comments

This week’s edition of “The Crystal Ball” by Larry J. Sabato and his colleagues has Iowa trending Republican in the race for the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and the third congressional district.  I have no reason to doubt these rankings, but if they are an accurate reading of public opinion in the state, do the […]

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Debate recap: Reassuring supporters

September 26, 2016 0 Comments

Several articles have been written in recent days making clear the political science research showing the minimal effects presidential debates have on the race for the presidency.  An excellent summary, provided by John Sides of The Washington Post, goes over the reasons for the non-effects, including: unreliable or irregularly timed polls, other events, “non-differential response rates,” […]

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Where have you gone, Cal Ripken?

September 16, 2016 0 Comments

In 1995, many sportswriters at the time wrote about how Cal Ripken, Jr. “saved baseball” (following the disastrous 1994 strike) when he graciously broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played.  Recent data suggests faith in the political system is in desperate need of being saved. According to the American National Election Studies, the percentage […]

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Why the 1st District is so competitive

September 14, 2016 0 Comments

It is no secret that the race for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is competitive.  Roll Call recently ranked Republican Rod Blum as the second most vulnerable incumbent in the country.  The source of that vulnerability can be traced to three factors: 1) The district is Democratically-independent.  What does that mean?  According to the September numbers […]

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Undecided or reluctant voters?

September 12, 2016 0 Comments

Independents, or “persuadable” or “swing” voters, are looked to as the group of voters who will decide the presidential election.  Given the structure of the Electoral College, it is really just undecided voters in a handful of states, including Iowa. But are voters undecided or just reluctant? Polling data at times seems to overestimate the […]

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Don’t forget about the Iowa Senate

September 9, 2016 0 Comments

While the presidential race has captured most of the attention, 25 seats in the 50 seat chamber that is the Iowa Senate will once again be on the ballot this November. Since January of 2011, Democrats in the Iowa Senate have held a narrow 26 to 24 majority, withstanding the differential ebbs and flows that […]

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Why dueling speeches?

September 1, 2016 0 Comments

By most accounts, Donald Trump gave two very different looking and sounding speeches yesterday in Mexico City and Phoenix.  The first speech, a presser with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, was considered “more presidential,” while the second speech seemed more like a campaign rally for GOP party activists. But elections are about winning more […]

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Is Iowa becoming a “red” state?

August 29, 2016 0 Comments

A colleague called my attention to an interesting article by Ben Jacobs of The Guardian on the potentially shifting nature of Iowa’s political culture.  Among other reasons mentioned, the author pointed to party registration numbers as evidence of the state becoming more Republican and, as a byproduct, more amenable to a Trump candidacy than other […]

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Turnout makes Iowa hard to predict

August 26, 2016 0 Comments

Recent polls have shown Iowa to be among the most competitive of the so-called “battleground” states.  As I noted in a previous blog, while some of these states have seen a separation in the polls between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (with Clinton leading), along with an improvement in President Obama’s approval rating, that is […]

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Iowa shaping up to be biggest “battleground”

August 17, 2016 0 Comments

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday shows Hillary Clinton with sizeable leads in Colorado and Virginia, but still within the margin of error in Iowa.  These results mirror the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist battleground state polls released last week. Unlike other battleground states where favorable ratings for President Obama coincided with considerable […]

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