Skip to comments.2010 Iowa: Ex-Governor Branstad Has Big Lead Over Incumbent Governor Culver
Posted on 09/24/2009 6:34:37 AM PDT by iowamark
he nations economy has taken its toll on incumbent governors across the country, and Iowa Governor Chet Culver is no exception. Add to that the difficult political environment for Democrats at the moment, and Culvers potential vulnerability becomes clear.
The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 telephone survey of the Iowa governors race shows Culver trailing badly in a match-up with one of his predecessors and running even with a lesser-known challenger.
Terry Branstad, now president of Des Moines University, leads Culver 54% to 34%. Branstad, a Republican, was the youngest governor in Iowa history and served longer than anybody else, from 1983 to 1999. He is rumored to be seriously considering a return to the job after earlier saying he would not run.
If Branstad did enter the ring, its likely that his numbers would shift. Its much easier for people to have fond memories of a former governor than it is of an active candidate. Branstad also would face significant primary challenges for the GOP nomination.
In a match-up with another Republican, Bob Vander Plaats, Culver trails by just four points, 43% to 39%. Vander Plaats is a businessman who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2006, the year Culver was first elected.
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Data released yesterday showed that Iowa GOP Senator Charles Grassley has a solid lead over his likeliest Democratic challenger in an early preview of next year's contest.
Culver should be pleased that his reelection date is still 14 months away. While governors nationwide are receiving low job approval scores, only New Jerseys Jon Corzine is up for reelection this year. Corzine currently trails by seven points as he seeks to keep his job. In Virginia, the other major 2009 race, Republican Robert McDonnell has a very slight advantage in a race that has become too close to call.
In Iowa, 43% of voters approve of the way Culver has handled his job. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove.
President Obama, after winning the state with 54% of the vote last November, receives approval from 48% and disapproval from 49%. Just 41% of Iowa voters favor the health care plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats.
On a personal basis, 17% of voters have a Very Favorable opinion of Culver and 27% hold a Very Unfavorable view. The numbers for Branstad are 28% Very Favorable and 13% Very Unfavorable. Vander Plaats gets Very Favorable reviews from 14% and Very Unfavorable reviews from another 14%.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
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Draft Branstad PAC:
Governors control or influence the redistricting process after the 2010 census.
Not so much in Iowa.
“Iowa’s Redistricting Process: An Example of the Right Way to Draw Legislative Districts
In a time of bitter partisanship, the redistricting process in Iowa is refreshingly non-political. Iowa should be used as a model in revising redistricting processes across the country.”
I lived in Iowa during the entire nearly two decades Branstad
was governor and was very unimpressed with his leadership. Taxes remained high and cronyism was rampant. It is sad that the Republican party in Iowa hasn’t developed some new leadership and can offer the voters more than a rerun of Branstad.
The Branstad people always say: He would at least be better than Culver.
It’s time for new Conservative leadership in IA. Branstad is old news. If he had wanted to be of service to the state, he should’ve taken out that Harkin trash back in the ‘90s.
I think a lot of democrats would say that, too. Culver has really dug himself in a hole by jerking people around without regard to party affiliation.
That said, the republican party in Iowa is in such a sad state that it's doubtful they can run a competitive race, regardless of the candidate.
39% for and incumbant against a little known candidate are horrible re-elect numbers.
Would that be Vander Plaats?
Congressional Quarterly rates IA as “Democrat favored” in ‘10 though. I wonder if they are wrong. We’d better hope so since they show Dems doing reasonably well overall in 2010. Of course at this point in 2005 they had Republicans easily keeping control of both houses of Congress in ‘06.
I think they’re wrong, and that Culver’s going to get smoked by either Vander Platts, Rants, or Branstad. At this point I have no prediction for who wins the primary.
He seems as good as any. We need to be grooming the next generation of candidates.