IA-Sen: Poll shows Grassley's favorability below 50 percent

Only 42 percent of Iowa voters have a favorable view of Senator Chuck Grassley and a majority disagree with the Senate Judiciary Committee chair’s refusal to give U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland hearings and a confirmation vote, according to a new poll Seung Min Kim reported exclusively for Politico today. Hart Research Associates surveyed 400 Iowa voters and conducted "101 additional interviews with registered independents in the state" between April 22 and 24 on behalf of the Constitutional Responsibility Project and the League of Conservation Voters. Geoff Garin’s two-page polling memo is available here.

While Grassley’s favorable/unfavorable ratings were 42/30 in the new poll, a Hart survey two years ago showed 60 percent of Iowa respondents responded positively to Grassley and just 19 percent negatively.

A couple of caveats:

Continue Reading...

IA-04: Super-PAC will spend heavily to "protect" Steve King--despite own poll showing him way ahead

The things some people choose to spend money on.

A "group of investors loyal to presidential candidate Ted Cruz" announced on April 27 that they have created the Reignite Iowa super-PAC "to help protect Iowa conservative Steve King" from "Republican Establishment" efforts to remove the seven-term U.S. House incumbent. Jason Noble reported for the Des Moines Register that the super-PAC "will support King with direct mail, TV, radio and digital advertising in the district, with a budget anticipated in the ‘high six figures.’"

Yet a poll commissioned by the super-PAC suggests King had a four to one lead over State Senator Rick Bertrand, less than two months before the GOP primary.

Continue Reading...

IA-01: Blum releases internal poll showing him ahead of Vernon, Murphy

First-term Representative Rod Blum, one of the top Democratic targets in this year’s U.S. House races, released partial results from an internal poll showing him with 12-point leads over either Pat Murphy or Monica Vernon, his two challengers in the first Congressional district. I enclose below the campaign’s statement, which says Blum leads Murphy by 45 percent to 33 percent and Vernon by 43 percent to 31 percent among 500 "likely voters" in IA-01. In the same survey, 43 percent of respondents said they approved of Blum’s work, while 27 percent disapproved.

It’s not clear what likely voter screen the polling co, inc used for this survey. Blum’s campaign has not responded to my request for further information, including the gender and partisan breakdown of the sample, the question wording, and what questions were asked before the ballot tests. Also unknown: whether this poll was in the field before or after Blum made headlines for wishing a recession on Washington, DC.

Former Iowa House Speaker Murphy was Blum’s general election opponent in 2014, and Cedar Rapids City Council member Vernon was the runner-up in that year’s five-way Democratic primary. Murphy takes higher name recognition into this year’s race, while Vernon has raised more funds and has more support among the establishment in Iowa and Washington, DC. This week, her campaign rolled out endorsements from State Senator Jeff Danielson and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which includes 75 House Democrats. Vernon’s campaign also announced that it brought in more than $335,000 during the first quarter of 2016 and had $774,000 cash on hand as of March 31. Bleeding Heartland will follow up on Iowa Congressional fundraising after the April 15 deadline for candidates to file reports with the Federal Election Commission; year-end numbers are here.

The 20 counties in IA-01 contain 160,106 active registered Democrats, 139,973 Republicans, and 181,173 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Mowrer campaign says internal poll shows big lead in Democratic primary

An internal poll conducted for Jim Mowrer’s campaign indicates that the Iraq War veteran "holds a commanding advantage over both of his opponents" seeking the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s third Congressional district. Some 36 percent of respondents would support Mowrer if the primary were today, according to the limited information released to Bleeding Heartland. Desmund Adams registered 17 percent support and Mike Sherzan 13 percent. After respondents heard "balanced messages on Mowrer and Sherzan, along with a slightly shorter message from Adams (to account for campaign funding discrepancies), […] Mowrer wins 50 percent of the vote to Sherzan’s 20 percent and Adams’ 18 percent." I enclose below the one-page polling memo from the firm GBA Strategies.

Mowrer’s campaign declined to provide further findings from this survey or details from the questionnaire. I was most interested in the wording of the "balanced messages," but no dice. (Perhaps Iowans who received this polling call will contact me to fill in the blanks.) Campaign manager Andrew Mulvey said the messages contained neutral biographical background, not negative information akin to another survey on the IA-03 Democratic race that was also in the field last week. Bleeding Heartland posted positive and negative messages from that poll here. Both Mulvey and Mowrer told me that their campaign did not commission the other survey, which Bernett Research Services conducted.

As mentioned in the GBA Strategies memo, the internal poll for Mowrer gave respondents less information about Adams because of "campaign funding discrepancies." Year-end financial reports indicate that unlike the other two contenders, Adams will not have the funds for district-wide paid media before the June 7 primary.

Adams has been holding events around IA-03 since declaring his candidacy last July. Sherzan launched his campaign in December and is touring all sixteen counties in IA-03 this week. Mowrer joined the race in August and has attracted the most support from Democratic insiders and from organized labor. On March 24, his campaign announced endorsements from former Iowa Democratic Party chairs Roxanne Conlin and Scott Brennan. The same day, Mowrer unveiled constituency outreach chairs for veterans, women, Latinos, LGBT voters, and youth/students.

Any comments about the IA-03 campaign are welcome in this thread. Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Adams, Mowrer, or Sherzan. Please read these guidelines before writing.

UPDATE: Added below a March 29 press release from the Adams campaign.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Poll is testing negative messages about Jim Mowrer and Mike Sherzan (updated)

UPDATE: I got this call myself on March 22 and recorded the questions, so was able to fill in gaps below.

A poll is in the field testing negative messages about two of the three Democratic candidates running in Iowa’s third Congressional district. I haven’t received the call, but I discussed it with two respondents, one of whom shared notes on the poll with me. I encourage all activists to take notes on political surveys, whether they are legitimate message-testing polls, like this one, or push-polls. Campaigns use message-testing to collect and analyze data about candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and which talking points resonate with voters. In contrast, as Kathy Frankovic explained here a push-poll is "political telemarketing masquerading as a poll," designed solely to disseminate negative information.

Three Democrats are seeking the nomination in IA-03: Desmund Adams, Jim Mowrer, and Mike Sherzan. The respondents who told me about this poll heard negative messages about Mowrer and Sherzan only. Both had said on the first ballot test that they were supporting Mowrer. If any Bleeding Heartland readers receive the same call, please say you plan to vote for Adams and then let me know whether the caller presents a list of unflattering statements about him. (UPDATE: Another respondent reports that he indicated strong support for Adams but was not given negative information about him.)

It’s possible that whoever paid for this call—my hunch is Sherzan’s campaign—is more concerned about Mowrer than Adams, because Mowrer has a lot of support from Democratic insiders and more funds to raise his name recognition across the district before June 7.

Continue Reading...

Clinton Might Be a Better Bet than Sanders

Fascinating look at how investors view the electability question. One 2003 study found that the Iowa Electronic Markets were "both closer to eventual election outcomes and more stable than polls over the course of election campaigns." According to Muller, last night’s primary results dropped Clinton slightly to 87.1 cents, while Sanders rose to 12 cents. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Supporters of both Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are busy on social media making their respective cases for why one or the other has a better chance of beating Donald Trump in the General Election. Insofar as you’re reading this, you have no doubt heard the arguments on both sides. Sanders is a socialist, and more than half of the American electorate will never vote for a socialist. Clinton has too much baggage, and is owned by Wall Street. On the one hand, there are national polls showing Sanders may have the edge over Trump, relative to Clinton. On the other hand, all of Clinton’s baggage is already common knowledge (real or imagined), and no one has really started attacking Sanders yet.

This is all an exercise in conjecture. Even sophistry. While I generally come down on the Clinton side of this debate, it’s been little more than a general feeling. Perhaps there are actual data that might give us a reason to prefer one candidate over another, provided “Democrat Winning the White House” is an important issue for a voter. The Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) provide the data required to address the issue with a little more statistical rigor.

Continue Reading...
View More...