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June 22nd, 2010

Zaun Leads Boswell in General Election Poll

Brad Zaun is leading Congressman Leonard Boswell according to a poll conducted for the Zaun campaign late last week.  The poll, which was conducted by Victory Enterprises, shows Zaun leading Boswell 41% to 32%.

Iowa Republicans have long thought that Boswell is the most vulnerable Democrat in the state.  In three of the last four elections, Republicans have recruited top-notch candidates to take on Boswell.  While each of them did well against the well-funded incumbent, none of them were able to knock off Boswell.  However, Zaun now has something that Boswell’s other tough opponents never had – a poll showing the Republican challenger in the lead.

Zaun is obviously helped in the poll by the amount of media attention the 3rd District primary received, but to have a significant lead over Boswell at the start of the general election campaign should boost Zaun’s chances.

Defeating Boswell will be no easy task.  While Zaun has a healthy lead in the polls, people should also remember that Boswell has not begun to actively campaign.  With over $600,000 in the bank, Boswell will be able to blanket the district with TV, radio, and mail.

For Zaun to be successful, he will need to have significant financial resources. He doesn’t need to out-raise Boswell, he just needs enough money to run a credible campaign.

To: Zaun for Congress
From: Brian Dumas, President
Date: June 21, 2010
Re: Executive Summary – IA-03 General Election Survey

Executive Summary:

Overview: Coming off a solid primary victory, Brad Zaun is very well positioned to win the 3rd Congressional District.    Zaun holds a 9.2% lead over Boswell, even while having lower name identification.    Despite a long record of electoral success, Congressman Boswell is extremely vulnerable; likely the most vulnerable of his entire career.    Most glaring are his re-elect numbers.    Over 50% of likely voters indicated it’s time to elect a new person, while only 28.6% of voters said Congressman Boswell should be re-elected.    Congressman Boswell is underperforming even compared to a fellow democrat, as he trails President Obama by 12.5% on the favorability rating.

Ballot Test: (If the general election were held today for whom would you vote?)
Brad Zaun – 41.0%
Leonard Boswell – 31.8%
Undecided – 26.8%
Refused – .5%

**numbers do not add up to 100%, due to rounding

Other Key Findings:
•    Congressman Boswell’s re-elect numbers are upside down. Of likely general election voters, 52.3% said it was time to give a new person a chance, while only 28.6% said he deserves to be re-elected.    When you look at the intensity on this question, the numbers get worse for Boswell, as 41.0% of voters said “Definitely New Person” while 19.8% said “Definitely Re-elect”.

•    Of likely general election voters, 52% believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while 34.5% believe we’re headed in the right direction.

•    Despite 5% more Democrats being surveyed than Republicans, the generic ballot test is a virtual dead heat.    Of likely general election voters, 36.3% of voters said they generally plan to vote for more Democrat candidates, 35.3% said more Republican candidates and 28.5% were undecided.


The respondents were 43% Democrat, 38% Republican and 19% Independent. In addition, 48% were male and 52% female. 66% of the respondents were from Polk County with the remaining 34% balanced, according to previous off-year turnout models, from the remaining eleven counties that make-up the 3rd District.

Age breakouts were as follows: 18-34 – 13.3% 35-49 – 25.8% 50-63 – 32.0% 64+ – 29.0%

Methodology: The survey was conducted June 17, 2010, with live data collection.    The universe for the survey consisted of registered voters with a history of participating in off-year general elections.    Respondents were screened as to “how likely” they were to participate in the upcoming general election.    A total of 400 likely voters participated in the survey, providing a margin of error of +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence level.

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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