Iowa Poll: Iowans divided on state's direction; Reynolds sees no gubernatorial bounce
The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll was conducted July 9-13 by Selzer and Co. of Des Moines. The Register
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Despite a historic legislative session, spiraling budget woes and the swearing-in of a new governor, Iowans today really aren't feeling much different about their state and their leaders than they did a few months ago.
The latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows residents’ views on the direction of the state are virtually unchanged from February, as are their feelings on the governor, the lieutenant governor and the state’s two U.S. senators.
Forty-four percent of poll respondents say Iowa is headed in the right direction, a smidge more than the 43 percent who believe it’s headed down the wrong track. Five months ago, 42 percent thought it was going in the right direction, and 41 believed it to be headed down the wrong track.
That’s despite a spate of consequential developments over the last several months. In the legislative session that ended in April, lawmakers dramatically scaled back collective bargaining rights for public workers, enacted abortion restrictions and defunded Planned Parenthood.
State revenues, meanwhile, have repeatedly failed to meet expectations. The state ended its fiscal year on June 30 at least $250 million below what lawmakers had originally budgeted.
Views on the state’s trajectory depend strongly on party affiliation: 70 percent of Republicans say it’s headed in the right direction while 67 percent of Democrats believe it’s on the wrong track. A 49-percent plurality of independents say Iowa is on the wrong track.
Republican Kim Reynolds became Iowa’s governor in May, succeeding longtime Gov. Terry Branstad after he became the U.S. ambassador to China.
The promotion had virtually no effect on her job approval ratings: 46 percent of Iowans now approve of the job she’s doing, up from 44 percent in February, when she was lieutenant governor. Twenty-four percent disapprove, unchanged from before. Thirty percent of Iowans say they’re not sure how to rate her performance, indicating they don’t know much about her.
Her acting lieutenant governor, Adam Gregg, is even less well known: 32 percent approve of his performance, 12 percent disapprove and 56 percent aren’t sure.
The poll of 800 Iowa adults, conducted July 9-13 by Selzer and Co., has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, similarly saw little movement in their job approvals.
Fifty percent of Iowans approve of the job Ernst is doing, compared with 37 percent who disapprove. Fifty-three percent approve of Grassley’s performance, while 35 percent disapprove.
The latest figures come as both senators face potentially controversial votes on a Senate bill to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Both have supported the GOP call to “repeal and replace” Obamacare and have emphasized the need to address problems with Iowa’s marketplace for individual insurance plans, but remain noncommittal on the bill currently under consideration.
About the Poll
The Iowa Poll, conducted July 9-13 for The Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 800 Iowans ages 18 or older. Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted households with randomly selected landline and cell phone numbers supplied by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were administered in English. Responses were adjusted by age and sex to reflect the general population based on recent census data.
Questions based on the sample of 800 Iowa adults have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the percentages shown here by more than plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error.
Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register and Mediacom is prohibited.