What candidates will be saying

April 16, 2014 0 Comments

We are less than 2 months from primary elections and 7 months from the general election.  What can we expect from candidates running for office? For challengers, the time-honored tradition of “running against Washington” or as a “Washington outsider” will continue.  The latest approval ratings from Gallup show approval of Congress at just 13 percent.  […]

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25 percent about right

March 24, 2014 0 Comments

Nate Silver, renowned political statistician, released his forecast for the midterm elections over the weekend.  In it, he projected the GOP has a 60 percent chance of retaking the United States Senate. Silver calculated a probability of each Senate race going Republican, including a 25 percent chance for the seat in Iowa.  This contrasts sharply […]

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55 percent chance of victory?

March 14, 2014 0 Comments

Poll numbers released by Quinnipiac University on Thursday show Congressman Bruce Braley with sizeable leads over potential Republican opponents in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.  In fact, the only GOP candidate within 10 percentage points is Mark Jacobs.  Braley’s plus 17 favorability rating is notable given the subpar ratings for President […]

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State politics is the place to be

March 10, 2014 0 Comments

The irony of politics was on full display again on Monday: While Congress continues to be held in low regard by the American public, several members of the Iowa legislature seem eager to join its ranks. As expected, Gallup’s measure of public approval of Congress stands at less than 20 percent with just 15 percent […]

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1st Congressional District still a “tossup”

February 15, 2014 0 Comments

According to the latest party registration numbers from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, the 1st Congressional District remains the most interesting (and perhaps most competitive) federal race in the state.  As of February 3, 2014, active voters in the district were divided as follows: 27.5 percent Republican, 32.7 percent Democrat, and 39.6 percent No […]

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Peaking at the right time?

February 10, 2014 0 Comments

There has been some question about whether the controversy surrounding the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo will affect Governor Branstad’s chances for reelection this fall.  A quick look at his approval numbers suggests he may be peaking at just the right time. Since Branstad began his fifth term as Iowa’s governor in January of 2011, […]

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Why the Christie scandal is so damaging

January 22, 2014 0 Comments

The chatter surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and whether the “bridgegate” scandal is hurting his presidential aspirations is unrelenting.  On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac poll showed that Christie now trails Hillary Clinton by 8 percentage points in a hypothetical matchup for president.  This contrasts starkly with the 1 percentage point lead Christie held in a […]

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Obama and Congress moving together?

January 21, 2014 0 Comments

A new report released by Gallup today shows that the approval rating of President Obama averaged 45.8 percent for the 2013 calendar year.  According to Gallup, Obama’s rating is one-tenth of a percentage point higher than that of President George W. Bush measured at the same time of his presidency, and the second lowest among […]

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Branstad-Reynolds 2014 starts tonight

January 15, 2014 0 Comments

Governor Branstad is expected to formally announce his intention to run for a sixth term as Iowa’s governor this evening.  In a previous blog (found here) I analyzed approval data since 2011 which suggested his chances for reelection are quite high.  That traditional economic and political indicators, such as federal and state unemployment rates, and […]

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Three counties to decide 1st Congressional District race

January 10, 2014 0 Comments

January party registration numbers released by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office show Iowa’s 1st Congressional District still leans Democratic, albeit with a strong No Party element.   In terms of active voters, Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 5 percentage points, at 32.71 to 27.51.  Unique to the 1st District, however, is the proportion of No […]

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