Five questions inspired by the Des Moines Register's IA-03 poll

Iowa’s third Congressional district Democratic primary has no clear front-runner, according to the first public poll of the race by Selzer & Co for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom. If the June 5 election were held today, 27 percent of respondents would support Eddie Mauro, 26 percent Cindy Axne, 11 percent Pete D’Alessandro, 10 percent “none of these/someone else/would not vote,” and 26 percent unsure/refused to answer.

Mauro has the highest name recognition in this field–not surprising, since he comes from a well-known Polk County political family and began advertising on Des Moines television stations in mid-April, about two weeks before Axne and D’Alessandro did. Selzer found 42 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Mauro, 13 percent unfavorable, and 46 percent didn’t know enough to have an opinion, William Petroski reported for the Des Moines Register today. The comparable numbers for Axne were 33 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable, 59 percent unsure, and for D’Alessandro, 22 percent favorable, 10 percent unfavorable, 68 percent unsure.

I have no idea who will win the nomination. Five questions came to mind after reading Petroski’s write-up.

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Des Moines Register poll: Bad news for Hubbell, worse news for everyone else

After spending millions of dollars more than his closest competitor, Fred Hubbell leads the Democratic field of gubernatorial contenders, the latest Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom finds. But Hubbell hasn’t locked up the race: this snapshot suggests his support is below the 35 percent level needed to win the June 5 primary outright, and three-quarters of respondents said they are open to changing their minds.

While other candidates have an opportunity to gain ground, they likely lack the capacity to reach as many Iowans as Hubbell will during the home stretch. And no one is in a position to make a case against the front-runner that large numbers of voters will see.

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IA-01: Bad news piling up for Rod Blum

Iowa’s most endangered U.S. House incumbent and some of his high-profile policy positions remain unpopular among voters in the first Congressional district, according to a new survey. Two-term Representative Rod Blum has trailed named challengers in Democratic polls taken before news broke about his shady internet company.

Adding to the incumbent’s troubles, many competitive Iowa House races will take place within the 20 counties that make up IA-01. Recent special legislative elections suggest that GOTV campaigns for down-ballot candidates could drive Democratic turnout significantly higher than the level seen in 2014, when Blum was first elected.

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IA-03: Poll testing short and sweet messages about David Young

A survey is testing brief, positive messages about two-term Representative David Young in Iowa’s third Congressional district. A respondent took notes on the call on the evening of March 14.

My first thought was that the National Republican Congressional Committee or some outside group supporting GOP House candidates commissioned the poll. The phrases about Young didn’t have the level of detail I would expect from a survey designed by a campaign, and the question order was somewhat unusual.

On the other hand, Federal Election Commission filings don’t appear to show any expenditures by Young’s campaign on polling during the third or fourth quarters of 2017. Perhaps this survey is the incumbent’s early attempt to see where he stands.

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The state of play in Iowa's most competitive Congressional race

It’s been too long since Bleeding Heartland checked in on the campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district. Two-term Representative Rod Blum is not only our state’s most endangered U.S. House member, he is among the country’s most vulnerable GOP incumbents, according to leading election forecasters.

Recent revelations about Blum’s shady, undisclosed internet company may further undermine his election prospects. Tin Moon used Blum’s chief of staff in a fake testimonial, touted phony client “success stories” on its website, and solicited business by promising to make FDA warning letters harder to find in online searches.

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Poll testing negative messages about Polk County candidate Matt McCoy

With the possible exception of Johnson County, nowhere in Iowa has seen more brutally hard-fought Democratic primaries than the south side of Des Moines. State Senator Matt McCoy’s decision to challenge Polk County Supervisor John Mauro has set up an “epic battle of the titans” in the county’s fifth district, covering most of the south side, plus downtown and central neighborhoods of the capital city (a map is at the end of this post).

A poll currently in the field includes positive information about both candidates but negative messages about McCoy alone.

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