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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Tight Senate race…maybe

June 10, 2014 0 Comments

Joni Ernst’s wide margin of victory last Tuesday has generated considerable attention and momentum for her campaign.  And indeed two polls released this week show a narrowing of the race between Ernst and the Democratic nominee, Congressman Bruce Braley. A Rasmussen Report poll put Ernst ahead of Braley by 1 percentage point among “likely voters,” […]

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1st take on Braley vs. Ernst

June 4, 2014 0 Comments

Joni Ernst’s surprisingly easy victory in last night’s GOP Senate primary speaks to the power of her campaign and her ability to connect with voters.  Does this mean she will be able to wage a competitive campaign for the general election race against Representative Bruce Braley? As I’ve pointed out in previous blogs (found here […]

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Magic numbers for Democrats

May 28, 2014 0 Comments

Yesterday I posted numbers relevant to the GOP for next Tuesday’s primary (see blog here). For Democrats, the story is more complex as the party had only a semi-competitive statewide primary in 2010, while 1st District Democrats have not had a competitive primary since 2006 when Bruce Braley was the nominee. Again, using data from […]

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Magic numbers for the GOP for June 3

May 27, 2014 0 Comments

What numbers are candidates and parties focusing on for the June 3 primary? To get a sense, it is useful to look back at the most recent competitive primary results for the Democratic and Republican parties using data maintained by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. For Republicans, 2010 offered competitive primaries for both a […]

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