A new Quinnipiac poll on the U.S. Senate race in Iowa shows that Congressman Bruce Braley, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the open U.S. Senate seat, is still unknown to 46 percent of Iowans. That number is staggering for a candidate who’s uncontested for his party’s nomination and has been campaigning across the state for over a year now.
Political observers and pundits from across the country have routinely noted the fact the Republican primary field is widely unknown, the Quinnipiac poll shows the Republican candidates are unknown to 77 to 85 percent of Iowans, but nobody has paid much attention to Braley’s lackluster statewide name identification. Instead, Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll surmised, “The curse of President Obama’s low approval does not seem to be hurting U.S. Rep. Braley as he campaigns for the U.S. Senate seat which opens up as Sen. Tom Harkin retires.”
Bruce Braley has been a U.S. Congressman for eight years, and 46 percent of Iowans don’t have a clue who he is, President Obama’s approval rating isn’t even a factor in this race yet. Braley has been the lone Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate for the past thirteen months, and yet nobody knows who he is. Pollsters and political pundits have given Braley a pass on his pathetic poll numbers simply because he’s better known than any of his would-be Republican opponents, but what happens after the GOP primary when the Republican U.S. Senate candidate is widely known?
The pollsters are ignoring that Braley’s head-to-head general election numbers are also lackluster. In head-to-head matchups with the four top Republican U.S. Senate candidates, the best number Braley can post against the largely unknown Republican field is 42 percent. The candidate with the best name ID in the race, Republican Mark Jacobs, trails Braley 40 to 31 percent. Yes, Braley has a nine point lead in the poll, but when you factor in the fact that Jacobs is unknown to 77 percent of Iowans, that nine point lead isn’t nearly as impressive as it is at first glace.
Braley has had a year to increase his name ID across the state, but has squandered the huge advantage he had by not having to deal with a contested primary. When the dust settles and a Republican candidate emerges from the primary, Braley is going to have his hands full.
Des Moines Register Poll Gives Glimpse of their Liberal Bias
Speaking of polls, apparently the Des Moines Register didn’t like the results of their previous poll when they asked if voters should be required to show a photo ID when they go to vote. In February of 2013, the Des Moines Register respondents in its Iowa Poll if they favored or opposed requiring a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. The results were clear, 71 percent said they favored requiring a photo ID to vote, just 26 percent opposed. Only 3 percent of voters were undecided on the issue.
Case closed on that issue right? Wrong!
This February, the Des Moines Register decided to ask the question this way. “Which do you think is more important, that every eligible, registered voter has the opportunity to vote, or, than no ineligible voter slips through the cracks and casts a vote.” The Register, and Democrat Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson, who likely provided the Register with the language of the question he wanted asked, got the result they wanted. Seventy-one percent said it was more important that every eligible voter have the opportunity to vote, compared to 25 percent who said they favored making sure ineligible voters didn’t slip through the cracks.
I don’t mind the Register testing out some different language on questions, but it is clear that they wanted a certain result by the way they asked the question. If they really wanted to know how Iowans feel about the issue, they would have also asked a straight voter ID question, but of course they chose not to. I guess that probably didn’t fit with Anderson’s or the Register’s political ambitions.
Iowans Don’t Support Webcam Abortions
The Des Moines Register probably will work with Planned Parenthood’s Jill June to come up with a different way the paper can ask Iowans about the controversial practice of webcam abortions for their next poll. The Des Moines Register’s last Iowa Poll found that 66 percent of Iowans oppose the practice, while just 27 percent of Iowans approve of it.
The Register poll also found that all age groups were in agreement. Among Iowans age 55 over older, 70 percent of respondents opposed the practice that allows a doctor to administer an abortion inducing drug to a patient after only interacting with them over the internet. Sixty percent of Iowans age 35 or younger oppose the practice.
What really had to blow the Register’s mind is how the issue of webcam abortions isn’t really much of a partisan issue once you leave the state capital. As one would expect, 86 percent of Republicans oppose webcam abortions, but so do 62 percent of independents, and 49 percent of Democrats.
Maybe instead of writing op-eds about how marijuana should be legalized for medical purposed, the Register’s editorial board should advocate for something that a clear majority of Iowans can support – the end of Planned Parenthood’s use of webcams to deliver abortion inducing drugs.
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