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August 11th, 2010

TIR Poll: Conlin Fails to Gain Any Traction Against Grassley

Last fall, Iowa Democrats proclaimed that Senator Chuck Grassley would be in for the race of his life in 2010.  The Iowa Democratic Party then recruited Roxanne Conlin, a millionaire trial attorney, to run against him.  The Iowa news media also began to speculate about the serious challenge that Conlin would pose to Grassley.

Everything went according to their plan except for the fact the Roxanne Conlin hasn’t been able to mount a serious challenge since announcing her campaign.  Polls also indicate that Conlin is on track to perform at the same level that Art Small, David Osterberg, or Jean Lloyd-Jones did in their races against Grassley.

None of Grassley’s U.S. Senate opponents have ever broken the 35 percent threshold, and Conlin looks doomed to experience the same fate.’s Battleground Poll shows Grassley with a comfortable 26-point lead over Conlin.  Grassley leads his opponent 59 percent to 33 percent.  Only six percent of those surveyed didn’t know who they would vote for.

The poll was conducted by Voter/Consumer Research (VCR).  Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, the President of VCR, sees smooth sailing ahead for Grassley this fall.

“With a 26 point lead, a margin of nearly 2 to 1, Grassley looks safe,” van Lohuizen told  “The usual signs of an incumbent in trouble are simply not there:  he is well over 50% on the head to head, there is no sign of trouble with his own party members, and he leads by a margin of better than 2 to 1 among Independent voters; and the indicators of the general political climate both nationally and in Iowa specifically are thumbs up for Republicans.”

Not only does Grassley perform well with independent voters, but he also does extremely well with the demographic many would expect his female opponent to own – women.  Grassley leads Conlin 68.6 percent to 21.5 percent with women younger than 45 years old.  Grassley also carries women who are 45 and older by 15 points.  Grassley garners 51.3 percent to 36.3 percent in that demographic.

Bob Renaud, campaign manager for Grassley’s re-election effort, said the poll “underscores the numbers since the start of the year from credible polling sources.”

“All the polling has been in line with today’s results except for one set of numbers from a group that is being sued for fraud for fabricating data.  That Roxanne Conlin still attempts to use those numbers speaks volumes about her hypocrisy and her campaign’s desperation,” Renaud told

“All the reliable polling out there indicates that Iowans value more than ever Chuck Grassley’s work to control government spending and provide a check and balance against Washington liberals who want to expand government’s reach into every aspect of the private sector and individuals’ lives.  They know he’s one of us and in touch with Iowans. And, they see right through Roxanne Conlin’s hypocrisy when she talks against tax breaks for the wealthy but personally benefits from tens of millions of dollars in tax giveaways. They know that Roxanne Conlin would be a rubber stamp for the Pelosi-Reid agenda of more spending and even bigger government – and they don’t want that,” Renaud added.

For Conlin to be the serious contender that Iowa Democrats bragged about last fall, she would first needs to do better with voters of her own political party.  Conlin currently garners just over 60 percent of the vote of Democrats that were surveyed.  Of the nearly 40 percent of Democrats that don’t support Conlin, 24 percent of them actually support Grassley.

It also may be nearly impossible for Conlin to improve her numbers.  With only six percent of those surveyed still undecided, most people have already made up their minds on the race.  The low number of undecided voters in the poll is interesting since Conlin isn’t well known across the state, which means that most people are supporting Grassley because they like him.

For more information about the poll click here.

Note: Rasmussen released the results of its automated phone survey yesterday.  The results of the Rasmussen poll showed Grassley leading Conlin 55 percent to 35 percent.

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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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