New data on why Iowans voted for Trump

March 21, 2017 0 Comments

Earlier this month, the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) preliminary data set was released.  The CCES has long been used by political scientists and the 2016 file includes “a nationally representative sample of 64,600 American adults” surveyed before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. I recently went through the file and pulled data […]

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Will Congress be held accountable if AHCA fails?

March 14, 2017 0 Comments

Will Congress be blamed if the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) fails to be signed into law?  According to the most recent Gallup poll on congressional approval, the answer is likely “no.” For most of President Obama’s second term, Democratic and Republican voters differed only marginally in their opinions of Congress.  As I discussed in […]

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Unusual approval ratings

March 5, 2017 0 Comments

In February, Gallup’s monthly assessment of congressional approval found that 28 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.  As noted in previous blogs, this is the highest overall approval rating since that measure topped 30 percent in September of 2009. While the January and February polls showed attitudes toward Congress to be […]

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Compromise doesn’t guarantee happiness

February 23, 2017 0 Comments

An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released on Wednesday reported that 73 percent of Americans are “angry” or “dissatisfied” with the federal government.  The problem, according to respondents, not enough action by Congress.  Indeed, 79 percent of respondents indicated “it is most important for Congress to compromise to find solutions” on issues. So, if Congress suddenly […]

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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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