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January 29th, 2010

Rasmussen Poll: Grassley Leads Conlin 59% to 31%

grassley2007Rasmussen has just released polling results for the Iowa U.S. Senate race between Sen. Chuck Grassley and liberal millionaire trial attorney Roxanne Conlin. The poll shows that Grassley leads Conlin 59% to 31%.

In October, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Mike Kiernan said that Grassley would be in for the race of his life. Before Conlin can give Grassley a “run for his life,” she might have her hands full with the two relatively unknown Democrats running against her. The most newsworthy part of this poll isn’t how the Democrats stack up against Grassley; it’s that there is no noticeable difference in how Conlin performs against Grassley and the two other lesser known candidates. Grassley beats Tom Fiegen 61% to 25%, and Bob Krause 59%to 26%.

For Grassley, the poll may indicate that the political environment in Iowa isn’t necessarily bad for incumbents, but instead it’s bad for Iowa Democrats. Grassley’s numbers are stronger now than they were when Rasmussen polled in September.

While Rasmussen says that Conlin performs the best among Democratic voters, all three Democrats lose anywhere from 22% to 30% of their own party’s vote to Grassley. Grassley wins independents by a 35 point margin.

Kiernan, who recruited Conlin, built high expectations about her appeal and her national fundraising network last fall when he was bragging to the press that he had recruited a stellar candidate. It now seems that she might not be the candidate that Kiernan thought he had recruited.

On Wednesday, Conlin announced that her campaign had raised $603,757 in 2009, and she enters the election year with just over $500,000 cash on hand. Grassley has yet to disclose how much money he has raised since his last reporting period. In his October quarterly report, Grassley had over $4.4 million cash on hand. It is likely that Grassley will report at least $5 million in cash on hand in his end of year 2009 report.

In addition to releasing the total dollars she was able to raise, Conlin also included the total number of donors to her campaign (1,649), number of donors from Iowa (1,395), number of donations of $100 or less (1,332), and the number of donations of $250 and under (1,433).

Based on the math, Conlin’s fundraising breaks down as follows

$133,200 from contributors who gave $100 or less.
$25,250 from contributors who gave between $101 and $250.

$445,000 of the $600,000, or 74% of the money that Conlin raised came from just 216 people.

The average contribution of those 216 people is $2,060.

Typically the best reporting period comes in the first quarter for challenger candidates. It is likely that these donations are probably from her out of state trial lawyer base. This does show that she has the ability to tap into the out of state trial lawyer network that Congressman Bruce Braley was able to exploit when he ran for office in 2006.

Let’s face it. Roxanne Conlin is a liberal elitist who was president of the American Trial Lawyers Association, has gotten rich off of suing people, had a fundraiser with Nancy Pelosi in her home, and she was the State Chairman for the John Edwards for President campaign. If you look this record in this political environment, it is apparent how weak her support and appeal will be to Iowans.

One has to wonder if Roxanne Conlin ever was the Democratic Party of Iowa’s mystery candidate or if Kiernan has someone else waiting in the wings.

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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