Rasmussen 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.
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