A newly released Iowa Poll from the Des Moines Register shows that, despite Reynolds’ incumbency, the race for governor is wide open.
Reynolds did not top 44% in matchups with any of her Democratic challengers, and a significant number persuadable voters remain undecided. Reynolds’ job approval rating also dropped by 4 points since the last poll, sinking below 50% with a contentious Legislative session and budget cuts still ahead.
“Despite being in office for seven years already, Governor Reynolds has not demonstrated the priorities and leadership necessary to win over the voters of Iowa, and it shows in this poll. Democrats stand ready to provide that leadership and, as we saw last night, not even a blizzard can stop Democratic enthusiasm this year,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.
Excerpts from the poll analysis below:
“That said, Reynolds doesn’t garner more than 44 percent of the vote in any of the five matchups — a figure that underperforms both her 49 percent favorability rating and 47 percent job-approval rating among likely 2018 voters.
Taken together, the results suggest Reynolds will face a competitive battle for re-election in November, but that voters are in a holding pattern awaiting more information on the Democratic field, said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report who specializes in handicapping governor’s races.”
“In every matchup, it should be noted, roughly a third of independent voters indicate uncertainty about who they’ll ultimately vote for, underscoring the dynamism of the race nine months from Election Day.”
“Forty-seven percent of Iowans approve of her performance as governor, down from 51 percent in December. The percentage who disapprove, in turn, rose 3 percentage points — to 33 percent. Twenty percent of Iowans aren’t sure what they think about Reynolds’ handling of her job.”
“Poll respondent Donna Hoadley, 66, a retired teacher from rural Sheldon, is one of those independents who disapproves of Reynolds’ job performance. She faulted Reynolds for the state’s ongoing revenue shortfalls and for not breaking with Branstad on issues like corporate tax incentives and privatization of the state’s Medicaid system.
“I think she’s in over her head,” Hoadley said of Reynolds. “I know she was lieutenant governor for a long time and was in every photo op, but I don’t know that her knowledge and experience are really enough for the situation that we’re in right now.”
Hoadley said she’s never voted a straight ticket for either party, but is inclined to back more Democrats in 2018 because of the directions she’s seen Republicans take the state since taking control of the governor’s office in 2010 and both chambers of the Legislature in 2016.
“Right now with Republicans controlling all three branches in Iowa, it feels like they’re out for retribution of some kind,” she said.”
Tonight, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price released the following statement about the 2018 Caucuses:
“Tonight, we are incredibly grateful to the dedicated volunteers and Democrats who came out to participate in the Iowa Caucuses.
Based on preliminary results with only two-thirds of precincts reporting, we’re excited to announce that tonight’s turnout beat both 2010 and 2014 – making this one of our most successful mid-term caucuses.
We know the weather kept some people from coming out, and for those that weren’t able to attend they will still be able to engage in this conversation at the county level. But tonight demonstrated that, in spite of the challenges of the weather, Democrats are still energized about the future of our party. In all 99 counties, Iowans gathered across the state to engage in a conversation about the future of our party and our state.
We want to thank the thousands of volunteers, activists, and party leaders who have worked so hard to make this night a success. Tonight will go down as the night we laid the foundation for the great victories ahead of us in November.”
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In light of today’s weather, the Republican Party of Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party have issued the following joint statement about tonight’s caucuses:
“The Iowa Caucuses will continue as planned this evening. We recognize the hardship that today’s weather could cause for some caucus-goers to get to their caucus site this evening. However, after reviewing Iowa Code and our respective constitutions, there is no provision for us to postpone the caucuses due to weather.
“We urge everyone to use caution and common-sense when heading out this evening. Take it slow, allow plenty of time, and take care while on the roads. If any caucus-goers have questions or concerns, they should check the Republican Party of Iowa website or call 515-282-8105 or the Iowa Democratic Party website or call 515-244-7292.”