Happy beyond words? Not so much

As I surfed onto The Des Moines Register story outlining the results of the latest Iowa Poll on the 2010 gubernatorial race, I was distracted by the ad embedded in the article.  It’s an ad for the local Toyota dealer. 

As you scroll down the page to read the article, this video on the left hand side of the page is playing and the fellow in a suit standing by a Toyota is waving his hands.  So, I clicked on the sound/audio to listen to what he had to say, thinking it would be something about fixing recalled cars.  Nope.  

“Most people are more than happy to see the last decade end.”  That’s what the Toyota dealership manager says at the beginning of the video.  He also uses the phrase “happy beyond words” and mentions Toyota of Des Moines is now the largest Toyota dealer in 38 states.

The Toyota man closes with Reaganesque optimism:  “I’m looking forward to whatever the next 10 years has for us….You can always count on us to do the right thing.”

The Register story that surrounds the Toyota ad suggests the state’s current governor is not be “happy beyond words” today given this polling data, although you’d be hard-pressed to get him to admit that in public.  Iowans in general are “perturbed” according to one paragraph in the Register’s explanation of its poll results.  The Register’s Tom Beaumont uses the word “perilous” to describe Culver’s position as he prepares to seek reelection in November. 

The most troubling details from this poll for Culver and his staff are likely the erosion Culver has seen among “the base.”  In the September Iowa Poll, Culver had the support or “approval” of 72 percent of people who identified themselves as Democrats.  That’s down to 57 percent in this latest poll.  Even worse, in union households Culver’s support level drops to 37 percent.

And 21 percent of the Democrats who were polled by The Register said they would vote for former Governor Terry Branstad in a head-to-head, Culver-versus-Branstad general election match-up.

Read some blog posts about the poll written by Democrats here at Bleeding Heartland and another here, by John Deeth.  (Deeth’s post reminded me of a line in a Monty Python movie: “I’m not dead yet.”  He also invokes the ghosts of campaigns past.) 

I tried to find some posts from Republican bloggers about the DMR poll, but they must be watching the Daytona 500 or celebrating Valentine’s Day with their honey.  The Iowa Republican blog has its own poll, mirroring the DMR results.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. I’m getting better…