Weekend open thread: latest Des Moines Register Iowa caucus poll edition

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread: all topics welcome. After the jump I’ve enclosed highlights from Selzer & Co’s latest Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics. I had planned to focus on that poll last weekend, until I heard the devastating news about Beau Biden.

Speaking of the Selzer poll, I’m waiting for the self-styled “Dr. Politics” (Iowa State University professor Steffen Schmidt) to square his assertion that Iowa Democrats “truly hate [Hillary] Clinton’s ‘listening tour’ campaign” with Selzer’s findings that 86 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers view Clinton favorably, and 57 percent say she is their first choice for president. Yes, Bernie Sanders got great turnout for his Iowa events last weekend. But where is the evidence that Iowans “hate” the Clinton campaign?

The Des Moines Register ran lots of articles featuring poll results this past week. I got a kick out of the “Captain Obvious” headline for this piece: “Moderates, very conservative in GOP not always in sync.” You don’t say. I guess that’s why moderate and very conservative Republicans have gravitated toward different presidential candidates every four years for the last several decades.

No surprises from Selzer’s survey of 437 “likely Democratic caucus-goers” (click here for the questionnaire and methodology):

Clinton is the first choice for 57 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll conducted May 25-29, up a percentage point from the previous poll in January.  […]

Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont running for president as a Democrat, has surged to become the top pick of 16 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, more than triple the 5 percent he drew in January. […]

Vice President Joe Biden, who is not an announced candidate, is next at 8 percent, while former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb each drew 2 percent.  […]

Sizeable minorities of likely Democratic caucus-goers said they believed Warren or Sanders better represents their political beliefs than Clinton-37 percent in the case of Warren, up from 26 percent last October, and 26 percent in Sanders’s case.  […]

Clinton’s favorability rating among likely Democratic caucus-goers is actually two points higher now, at 86 percent, than in January. Her unfavorable rating is down three points, to 12 percent. Sanders’s favorability got a boost to 47 percent from 37 percent, while 41 percent still say they don’t know how they feel about him.

A significant number of Democratic respondents are worried that various scandals and criticisms could hurt Clinton in a general election campaign.

At least 70 percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers say they aren’t bothered by any one of three issues that Clinton opponents have pushed as controversies. The issues are her use of a private email server instead of a government account when she was secretary of state; her handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and its aftermath; and foreign governments’ donations to the Clinton Foundation.

But 66 percent of the likely Democratic caucusgoers say they think at least one of the three issues could hurt Clinton in the general election if she becomes their nominee, the poll shows.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leads in the Selzer poll of 402 likely GOP caucus-goers, but by a smaller margin than a few other Iowa surveys have indicated this year. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush still has big image problems with the Iowa GOP base (click here for the questionnaire and methodology):

A new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows more than a third of likely Republican caucus participants say they would never vote for Bush-one factor in a new index to assess candidate strength in such a crowded field. Forty-three percent view him favorably, compared to 45 percent who view him unfavorably. […]

Walker is backed by 17 percent as the state enters a busy summer of candidate visits, a planned straw poll, and campaigning at the Iowa State Fair. Tied for second are Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 10 percent, with Bush and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee next at 9 percent each.

They’re followed at 6 percent by Rubio and 2012 Iowa caucuses winner Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania. […]

When first and second choices are combined, Rubio ranks second to Walker, 18 percent to 27 percent. “That may foreshadow growing stature,” Selzer said of Rubio.

Rounding out the rest of the declared and likely Republican field for first-choice preferences, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is at 5 percent, businessman Donald Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are at 4 percent, former Texas Governor Rick Perry is at 3 percent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Ohio Governor John Kasich are at 2 percent, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are at 1 percent. Former New York Governor George Pataki’s support was less than 1 percent.

When first and second choices are combined, those with the strongest showings after Walker and Rubio are Huckabee at 17 percent, Bush at 16 percent, and Carson and Paul at 15 percent.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.