“Iowa Poll” sparks discussion in GOP

One thing candidates do in order to woo voters is lay out their “vision” for the country, the state, the city, or the district they hope to be given the chance to govern.  It’s sort of a “to do” list and sometimes it includes a “not to do” list or a “I shall undo” list as well.

But another, equally important thing candidates do is try to convince voters they can win.  They do this in a number of ways.  For example, some candidates try to create an air of invincibility.  This worked well for George W. Bush in 2000 when he wrapped up the money game early and had the trappings of office that helped him look like a president even though he actually was the governor of Texas (those Texas Rangers looked and acted a lot like a Secret Service detail).  Hillary Clinton tried that invincibility argument eight years later, but Iowa Democrats helped dent that by giving Barack Obama the first win in the ’08 presidential sweepstakes.  

In the “convincing voters they can win” category, we have exhibits one and two today in the 2010 campaign for governor.  These G.O.P. contestants cite The Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” which was conducted last week and released this past weekend as evidence of their ability to win in a race against Democratic incumbent, Chet Culver.

Read the statements from the two candidates’ campaigns, in the order they were issued, followed by a response from the Culver camp.


DES MOINES – Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats said the Iowa Poll results in The Sunday Des Moines Register showing him with an 8-percent lead over Democratic Gov. Chet Culver underscores the public’s “complete lack of confidence” in the incumbent’s policies and leadership skills.
Vander Plaats, who is seeking the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nomination also said the poll dispels claims by Terry Branstad’s campaign that the former governor is the only candidate who can defeat Culver. Branstad also leads Culver in the poll.

“I know Republicans have been hearing that we needed Governor Branstad to ride to the rescue because no one in this current generation of leaders can defeat Chet Culver. This poll is a snapshot in time but it’s a picture that is giving Republicans and conservatives a tremendous amount of confidence and momentum,” Vander Plaats said. “The Iowa Poll is the second survey of Iowans this fall that shows me defeating Chet Culver in a head-to-head match-up. The jury is in and the verdict is that Iowans want new leadership.”
In late September, a poll of general election voters by the Rasmussen Reports showed Vander Plaats leading Culver by a 43-to-39 percent margin.

“The Iowa Poll reflects our growing momentum and Iowans’ complete lack of complete in Chet Culver because of the way he has mismanaged the state budget, the Iowa Film Office, economic development, the response to the floods in Cedar Rapids and other eastern Iowa communities last year and his ineffective leadership skills,” Vander Plaats said. “Iowans know we’re much better than that and they’re ready for a governor who will open our state for business once again, reestablish Iowa as an education leader and run a state government that performs exceptionally well. That’s why more people are joining our campaign every day.”


IN THE LATEST IOWA POLL produced for the Des Moines Register, Governor Branstad leads Chet Culver by a whopping 24 points!  In fact, Branstad is the only candidate against Culver to receive more than 50% of the vote. Additionally, Governor Branstad has the support of 58% of independents!
As Governor Branstad explores a run for governor, these numbers are encouraging.  However, it will take a significant effort to be victorious in both the June and November elections.


“Governor Culver has been making tough decisions like cutting the budget by 10% across the board, starting with his own salary. He didn’t do it for short term political gain, rather he did it because the right thing to do going forward to balance the budget and not raise taxes. Right now there is a six-way Republican primary and all the candidates are slinging partisan arrows at the Governor. Next year, the voters will be faced with a concrete choice between continuing to move forward with Governor Culver or reverting back to the Republican policies that have had such a crushing effect on our national economy, and that choice will be clear.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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