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August 16th, 2010

Obama Loses His Luster with Iowa Voters

While President Obama’s favorability rating is upside down nationally,’s recent statewide poll shows the President with a 51 percent favorability rating in Iowa.  The President’s unfavorable rating was 46 percent.

Even thought his favorability rating is better in Iowa than across the nation, the 34 percent of people who have a strongly unfavorable view of him out numbers the 29 percent who strongly favor him.  That means Obama’s numbers are not going up any time soon.

The only Democrat in Iowa who had a higher unfavorable rating than Obama’s 46 percent in the poll was Governor Chet Culver.  That spells trouble for Democrats at the ballot box this November. poll also contained other questions, which indicate that Iowans’ affection for the President has diminished since taking office.

Obama Down Seven Points on Generic Presidential Ballot. poll asked registered and likely voters who they would vote for if the presidential election were held today.  Forty-five percent of respondents said they would vote for the Republican presidential candidate, while 38 percent would vote to re-elect President Obama.  Sixteen percent of respondents were undecided and one percent refused to answer.

No question better illustrates the stark difference between his likeability as a candidate in 2008 and the frustration that Iowans have toward President Obama as the leader of the country.

Without his historic win in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, it is likely that Obama wouldn’t have won the Democratic nomination, and thus, wouldn’t have been elected president.  Obama being down seven points in a generic ballot in a state like Iowa is shocking and should have any potential Republican candidates salivating.

The poll also sought to find out whether a visit from the President actually helps those for whom he is campaigning.

Obama’s Support On The Campaign Trail Hurts More than it Helps. Poll asked whether or not those surveyed would be more or less likely to vote for Governor Chet Culver if President Obama came to Iowa to campaign for him.  Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that it would not affect their vote.  Only nine percent would be more likely to vote for Culver, while 20 percent would be more likely to vote against Governor Culver.

Some Democrats running for re-election around country have begun to distance themselves from President Obama and other party leaders. poll confirms their suspicions that being too cozy with the President might hurt them with independent voters this fall.  Regardless of the negatives that Obama might bring, all incumbent Presidents bring with them the ability to raise massive amounts of money.  That means candidates who are desperate to raise money might not be able to tell the President, thanks but no thanks.

Iowans Favor the Repeal of Obamacare.

When asked whether or not the healthcare reform legislation that was passed by Congress and the Obama administration should be allowed to take effect or be repealed for more limited reforms, 49 percent of respondents said they wanted it repealed while 37 percent wanted to see it take effect.  Only eleven percent of those surveyed were undecided, and four percent either refused or said neither.

The cumulation of the poll questions paints a troubling picture for Obama, but the results were equally disturbing for Iowa Democrats.  Iowa Democrats have a real problem with the top of their ticket this year.  With Governor Culver’s high negatives and poor head-to-head polling numbers combined with Roxanne Conlin’s anemic campaign against Senator Grassley, they desperately need something to energize voters heading going into this fall’s elections.  Obama’s popularity is plummeting at the time when Iowa Democrats need him the most.

About the Poll: commissioned the poll in conjunction with Concordia Group LLC, an Iowa-based public affairs company.  The poll surveyed 500 likely voters across the state and has a margin of error of 4.39%.  The poll was conducted by Voter Consumer Research, a highly respected polling firm based in Washington D.C. All interviews were conducted via telephone with trained interviewers at Voter Consumer Research’s phone center in Houston, Texas, between July 25th and July 28th.


Photo by Dave Davidson

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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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