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February 4th, 2010

TIR Poll: Republican Resurgence

TIRConcordiaPollA new TIR/Concordia Group poll shows the political environment in Iowa has improved for Republicans in the last six months. The poll was commissioned by in conjunction with Concordia Group LLC, an Iowa based public affairs company. Voter Consumer Research, a highly respected polling firm based in Washington D.C., conducted the poll between January 25th and 28th, 2010. The previous TIR/Concordia Group poll was conducted in July of 2009.

The results show that Governor Culver’s polling numbers continue to plummet, but now it seems that the Governor’s poor showing in the poll has begun to erode the Democratic brand in the state, which will hurt Democrats up and down the ballot. In recent years, Republican have lost a number of legislative seats by a small margin. The improved environment may lead to more legislative victories in the fall.

Despite all of the gloom in the poll regarding Iowa Democrats, one elected official remains unscathed, President Obama. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed had a favorable impression of the President, while 42% had an unfavorable impression. If Iowa Democrats are looking for good news in the poll, that’s about all they will find.

Last week, Rasmussen Reports released polling results for the Iowa U.S. Senate race between Sen. Chuck Grassley and liberal millionaire trial attorney Roxanne Conlin. The Rasmussen poll showed Grassley with a lead of 59% to 31% over Conlin. The TIR/Concordia Group poll backs up Rasmussen’s findings. In a head-to-head matchup, Grassley defeats Conlin 58% to 32%.

The most encouraging news for Iowa Republicans is the improvement in their party brand. While the favorability of Republicans in the state remained at 46% in both the 2009 and 2010 polls, those with an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party decreased from 43% in 2009 to 36% in the latest poll.

Democrats, on the other hand, have seen their brand take a big hit in the last six month since the last TIR/Concordia Group poll. In July 2009, Democrats had a favorable rating of 49% and an unfavorable of 41%. Now those numbers are upside down. Only 41% had a favorable impression of Democrats, with their unfavorable rating jumping to 44%.

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn believes that the liberal agenda in Washington and Governor Culver’s incompetence has caused people to turn away from Iowa Democrats.

Strawn told, “On the federal level, Iowans have seen a left-of-center Congress pass a pork-filled stimulus, push cap-and-trade legislation that would devastate agriculture and manufacturing, and attempt to engineer a federal takeover of health insurance programs. Here in Iowa, the failed leadership of Chet Culver is exemplified by rising unemployment, unbalanced budgets, paybacks to big labor, and not allowing Iowans to vote on marriage.”

“The more Iowans learn what one-party Democrat rule means for their families and livelihoods, the more they are looking for an alternative. These numbers are very encouraging for Iowa Republicans seeking to be that alternative, but we are still a long way from Election Day,” Strawn added.

Another troubling sign for Iowa Democrats is that more people now believe that Iowa is heading in the wrong direction than in the 2009 poll. Last July, 47% said that Iowa was on the wrong track, while 36% said it was headed in the right direction. Just seven months later, 58% said that Iowa was on the wrong track and only 27% think that the state is headed in the right direction.

As one would expect, most Iowans are concerned about jobs and the economy. Respondents were asked to identify the three issues that are the most important to them. Jobs and the economy remain in the top three answers from the July 2009 poll, but education has moved into the top three. This is probably a result of Governor Culver’s budget cuts that have had a major impact on k-12 education. Forty-one percent said jobs and unemployment, thirty-three said the economy, and twenty-eight percent said education.

Not since 1994 have Republicans had such a favorable political environment. In Iowa that year, voters elected two new Republican Congressmen in Tom Latham and Greg Ganske. It was also the last time that Terry Branstad was on the ballot. If the current environment holds true, Republicans should be well positioned to have a similar haul, which would likely include defeating an incumbent Governor for the first time since the 1960’s.

Iowa Republicans are primed for a good year, but RPI Chairman Strawn thinks that Republicans must remain aggressive. “For the Republican resurgence to carry through November, our legislators and candidates need to continue drawing a clear and unmistakable distinction between our vision for improving the lives of Iowans and the failed leadership of Chet Culver. We will be successful in November if our Republican candidates stay on offense while offering the voters a compelling, principled and solutions-based agenda,” said Strawn.

Obama Fav

Grassley Conlin

Party Fav


Important issues

Poll consisted of 29% Republicans, 34% Democrast, 30% Independents/Other
Statewide Sample Size 500
Margin of error +/- 4.4%
Photo by Dave Davidson

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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