Intensity reading in Iowa

The American Hospital Association hired a couple of pollsters to survey voters in the four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina & Nevada).  In a telephone conference call today to announce the results, Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies identified himself as a Republican pollster and then at the end of the call brought up something he saw among the Iowans who were questioned.

"Our Democratic caucus-goers are twice as likely to say they are very likely to attend than the Republicans.  As someone who does political polling for a living, one of the key measures is intensity….It sure is an interesting finding in the poll," McInturff said.

Speaking of hospitals,

Arizona Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy, called into the Radio Iowa newsroom on Monday morning.  A campaign aide set up the call, saying Mrs. McCain had something to say before she exits the campaign trail later this month.  The last time I saw Cindy McCain in person was on Labor Day weekend. She was on crutches as she introduced her husband to a group gathered on a central Iowa farm.  She’d fallen in a grocery store, doing damage to a knee and now she’s going to have knee surgery.

Henderson: "Your husband seems to be sort of a rejuvenated candidate.  How do you explain that?"

Cindy McCain:  "He’s right where he always want to be in terms of this race.  He’s always been the guy that does the best when he comes from behind and right now we’re seeing people starting to focus on the race.  They’re taking a look at it, a hard look at it, for the first time and seeing the differences between the candidates and seeing that my husband, you know, is the guy that really kind of appeals to them.  I’ve been privvy to the numbers around the country and his numbers are moving very nicely everywhere so hopefully by the time the primaries and the caucuses are settled on, we’ll be in the spot that we wanted to be…My husband functions much better with a lean, mean machine.  He doesn’t like a lot of people.  He doesn’t like a big overhead.  He doesn’t like to spend a lot of money.  He never has been that way….I absolutely think he’s much happier this way and he can better serve the people who are taking a good look at him because he can get to them and talk to them."

Mrs. McCain said her husband will be with her "for a few days" while she has the surgery, then "he’ll head back out.  That’s exactly where I want him to be — out on the road.  I don’t need him to be sitting here babysitting me.  He’ll get me through the initial surgery and then take off, get out — meeting the people and making people understand who he is."   

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.