New poll numbers on the race for governor and secretary of state

Governor Terry Branstad is a "pretty clear favorite" for re-election, according to a new Iowa poll by Public Policy Polling.

In a survey of 846 Iowa voters between February 1 and 3, Branstad leads former Governor Chet Culver in a governor’s race by 50 percent to 40 percent, leads State Senator Jack Hatch by 48 percent to 33 percent, and leads State Representative Tyler Olson by 47 percent to 31 percent. (He’s nearly tied with former Governor Tom Vilsack, who almost certainly won’t run.) Branstad’s approval rating among the poll respondents is 45 percent, with 44 percent disapproving of his performance as governor. The full polling memo is here (pdf); Tom Jensen’s summary of results is here.

PPP also polled Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz against Democrat Brad Anderson and found Anderson ahead by 33 percent to 31 percent. I wouldn’t read too much into that finding, since only the most politically engaged Iowans know enough about either man to have an opinion. Schultz’s favorable/unfavorable numbers were 12 percent/16 percent; Anderson’s were 5 percent/7 percent. PPP did not test Schultz against former Secretary of State Michael Mauro, who is considering another campaign for his old job.

Another interesting finding from the PPP survey: 46 percent of respondents said same-sex marriage should be legal, while 43 percent said it should be illegal. In a poll by the same firm in October 2011, “only 41% of [Iowa] voters thought it should be legal to 48% who wanted it illegal.”

  • Branstad's favorable is under 50%

    But the pickings are slim on the Democratic side.  I would hate to see Culver run again.

    • Culver

      I’m a Culver fan, but I agree that he would have no shot.  The question is when Jack Hatch gets in an whether Olson or Hogg will join him.

      If it is Olson/Hatch I support Olson.  If it is Hatch/Hogg I support Hatch.  

      • I would prefer not to see a good legislator

        give up an Iowa House or Senate seat to run against Branstad.

        I think Culver did a good job overall at a difficult time, but I don’t see him having a chance to beat Branstad.

  • Why not?

    I say run Tyler Olson.  Why not?  Give the voters a contrast…sharp young energetic guy from the population center of Eastern Iowa vs …well….you know….

    • if he runs for governor

      he has to give up his Iowa House seat. Not sure why he would want to do that, when he has plenty of time to run for governor some other year when an incumbent’s not on the ballot.

      • House seat?

        So he can sit there and vote against UN plots and other whackiness which the Senate will take care of anyway?  Go Tyler go…don’t know the guy that well, but for the love of God, do all our politicans have to be in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s?  He would be a breath of fresh air.  Tough fight?  Sure, but I say go for it….GIVE THE VOTERS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  Lightning could strike. There would be some GREAT television commercials to be had, contrasting the difference….I’m getting pumped just thinking about it. Go Tyler go !!!!

        • Correct

          dmd is right.  An L in "high profile" elections can get you labeled as a loser among certain circles.  If I had my way we’d be talking about Christie Vilsack either as the new Congressional representative from IA-2 or preparing for her to run statewide this year.  I don’t think she would be a stronger candidate than Braley, but after her lack of detailed answers in IA-4 she may have ruined other opportunities.

          I would support Olson if he ran, but I think the fact that he is the IDP chair means he should be looking for candidates across the state, not messing with a run against Branstad.  

        • someday

          Democrats could/should be able to win back the Iowa House majority, and then Tyler Olson would be in line to chair the Appropriations Committee. Or, he could be watching from the outside as a former Iowa Democratic Party chair and candidate for governor.

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