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August 20th, 2009

Branstad’s Favorability in Iowa Tops President Obama’s

teb2The Iowa First Foundation released its third segment of polling information today. The latest segment of their poll examines the name identification, favorability, and appeal of potential GOP gubernatorial candidates. The potential candidate with the highest favorability rating is former Governor Terry Branstad who had a 68% favorable rating and only a 15% unfavorable rating. Branstad was recognized by 90% of those surveyed.

Branstad’s favorability rating is even 12 points higher than President Obama’s favorability rating in Iowa. According to the IFF poll, President Obama enjoys a 56% approval rating and a 38% unfavorable rating. Governor Chet Culver had a 52% favorability rating and a 38% unfavorable rating. The IFF poll also tested former Governor Tom Vilsack’s favorability, 55% of those surveyed gave him a favorable rating.

The Iowa First Foundation also asked favorability questions on Bob Vander Plaats, Chris Rants, Mike Mahaffey, Paul McKinley, Rod Roberts, and Christian Fong. None of those candidates had a favorability rating higher than 28%.


Former Governor Branstad is also the best known out of the potential GOP gubernatorial candidates. Ninety percent of those surveyed recognized him. Following Branstad was Bob Vander Platts who is known by 60%, Rants 42%, Mahaffey 37%, McKinley 29%, Fong 26%, and Rod Roberts with 24%.

The Iowa First Foundation also asked respondents whether or not brief descriptions of the candidates were appealing or not to them. Once again those surveyed responded most favorably to the descriptions of former Governor Terry Branstad.



The Iowa First Foundation’s polling results will continue to build the chatter surrounding a potential comeback by former Governor Terry Branstad. Branstad has admitted that he is considering this possibility and has told the media he will make a decision early this fall.

The poll was conducted by Hill Research Consultants (HRC) on behalf of the Iowa First Foundation. The poll has a statewide sample of 500 likely 2010 general election voters, and an oversample of potential Republican primary voters. Interviews were conducted July 23-26, 2009, and the margin of error was +/-3.7% for the entire electorate.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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