DMR “Iowa Poll” on 2012 presidential impressions

The Des Moines Register has a taken a poll about Republicans who may run for president in 2012.  Beyond the top three with “most favorable” impressions, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is unknown to 80 percent of the Iowa Republicans surveyed.  (This despite former Governor Branstad’s tendency to cite Daniels in his stump speeches as he campaigns for a fifth term.)  Neighboring U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota is “unknown” to 71 percent of those surveyed.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has made a few trips to Iowa, and he’s not quite as unknown according to the survey.  He was unknown to 53 percent of those surveyed.

Here’s the link to the DMR Poll story — you’ll see former Massachusetts Governor Romney, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (in that order) had high favorable ratings.  Very few people surveyed — only three percent — had not formed an opinion about Palin.  The survey was conducted June 1 through 3, mostly AFTER Palin endorsed Terry Branstad late on June 3 and angered Bob Vander Plaats supporters.   “She’s dead to me now,” was one of the comments I heard last Saturday as I walked into the venue where Bob Vander Plaats was to have a rally.

Iowa Family PAC congratulates Branstad

The political action committee connected to the Iowa Family Policy Council endorsed Bob Vander Plaats in the 2010 Iowa GOP Primary and the PAC’s chairman, Danny Carroll, said in Januarty that the group would not support Terry Branstad if Branstad won the nomination.

Here is a statement from Carroll, just issued this morning, the day after Branstad secured the GOP nomination for governor:

Iowa Family PAC Reacts To Primary Results

6/9/10 Des Moines, IA – With the primary election over, and the candidates for the November election identified, Danny Carroll, speaking on behalf of the Iowa Family PAC said, “While we are disappointed by the results of the primary election, we offer our congratulations to the GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad.”

Carroll continued, “During this primary, the Iowa Family PAC stood firm on principles drawn from the Bible, and participated in a way that we believe honored God.  Our political involvement during this primary is indicative of our future intentions.  We will continue to look for candidates who share our biblical worldview and who will boldly defend the constitution.”

Carroll concluded his remarks by saying, “We are disappointed that more of the potential statesmen who were on the ballot didn’t win last night, but today we continue moving forward. We exist as individuals to honor God, and we exist as an organization to honor Him in the public arena. With His help that is exactly what we will continue to do.”

Listen to what the candidates said on Primary Night

Here is the Radio Iowa round-up of Primary Election results, with mp3s/audio of the speeches delivered by Terry Branstad, Bob Vander Plaats, Rod Roberts (GOP gubernatorial candidates) & Roxanne Conlin (US Senate nominee for Democrats).

Here’s a lot more on what all four of those people listed above had to say.

Here is the round-up of congressional primaries, with comments from winners Brad Zaun, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ben Lange & Matt Campbell.

Here is the round-up of the other two statewide primaries for state treasurer and secretary of state.

Oh, and Governor Chet Culver issued a sort of “bring it on” challenge yesterday.

A bunch of numbers

If you’re wondering what turnout may be like for today’s Primary election, here are some numbers to ponder:

In 1994, about 300,000 Iowans cast ballots in the Republican Primary.  That was the year Republican Congressman Fred Grandy challenged then-Governor Terry Branstad.  There was lots of cross-over voting, as Democrats became Republicans for a day to vote against Branstad in June rather than wait ’til November.  Grandy came within four percentage points of Branstad in that primary.

In 1998, Branstad was not seeking reelection and there were three Republicans running for governor.  The contest was among Jim Lightfoot, Paul Pate and David Oman and Lightfoot won the G.O.P.’s 1998 nomination for governor.  About 162,000 voters cast ballots in that Republican Primary. 

In 1998, Tom Vilsack and Mark McCormick competed in the Democratic Primary for their party’s gubernatorial nomination.  About 115,000 Democrats cast ballots for that contest, which Vilsack won en route to winning the governorship that fall.

In 2002, there were three Republicans seeking the G.O.P.’s nomination for governor.  About 199,000 Republicans voted in that Primary which Doug Gross won with 35.88 percent of the vote.  Steve Sukup was second with 32.37 percent and Bob Vander Plaats was third with 31.66 percent.

In 2006, there were three Democrats running for governor.  About 148,000 Democrats voted in that contest among Chet Culver, Mike Blouin and Ed Fallon.  Culver won the Primary — and the General Election.

On January 3, 2008, Iowa Republicans held Caucuses.  Below are the numbers that were released by the party that night (the numbers are the raw straw poll vote total for each candidate).  For comparison purposes, consider that Vander Plaats’s 2010 campaign has plugged into that Huckabee network and Branstad has many Romney-connected folks working on his 2010 campaign.

Mike Huckabee  40,841     
Mitt Romney  29,949 
Fred D. Thompson  15,904     
John McCain  15,559    
Ron Paul  11,817      
Rudolph W. Giuliani  4,097         
Duncan Hunter  524 
Tom Tancredo  5

Finally, at the close of business on Friday, Iowa Republicans had cast about 20,000 absentee ballots for today’s Primary compared to about 7,000 absentee ballots from Democrats.

Twas the last weekend before the Primary

I caught up with the three Republican candidates for governor over the weekend.  Click here to read the wrap-up story — there are three mp3s at the bottom if you’d like to listen to the three speeches from Terry Branstad on Friday at the Iowa Veterans Home, from Bob Vander Plaats mid-day Saturday at a rally in Des Moines and from Rod Roberts on Saturday afternoon at The Farmer’s Kitchen in Atlantic.

Also this weekend The Des Moines Register released its poll of the race.  Short version:  Branstad 57 percent; Vander Plaats 29 percent; Roberts 8 percent.  The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

Here are some of my mental snapshots of the three candidates in the closing hours of the race:

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Polling data on governor’s race, U.S. senate race

KCCI is releasing new polling data today on the two statewide races that will be decided in the June 8th Primary Election here in Iowa. 

[Read more…]

Palin endorses Branstad

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has endorsed former Governor Terry Branstad’s bid for a fifth term as Iowa’s governor.  Read what she had to say on Facebook.  Below is a copy & paste of what she wrote on Facebook:

Iowa, your great state’s motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” That motto will be well served by voting for Terry Branstad for governor next Tuesday!

Please join me in supporting Governor Branstad’s campaign. Visit his website here, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m told by Branstad’s campaign staff that Palin herself called Branstad’s campaign office right before she posted her endorsement on Twitter & Facebook.  She talked with the man who answers the phones at campaign HQ, and the receptionist passed the message along to Branstad.

Branstad 2010 statement on the endorsement of Sarah Palin

(DES MOINES) – Governor Branstad 2010 spokesman Tim Albrecht released the following statement on Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Terry Branstad for Iowa governor:

“Sarah Palin joins thousands of Iowans in recognizing that Terry Branstad is the honest, conservative leader Iowa needs to fix Gov. Culver’s mismanagement of Iowa’s budget. Terry Branstad signed the state’s largest tax cut in history, left the state with a $900 million surplus and led the state to record employment. She, along with conservatives across the state, recognize Terry Branstad’s strong record of leadership in Iowa.

“This latest endorsement further demonstrates the broad base of support that Gov. Branstad continues to build in his campaign for governor.”

UPDATE:  the Iowa Democratic Party issued a statement.

DES MOINES, IA – Today, Sarah Palin, half-term former Governor of Alaska, surprisingly endorsed former Governor Terry Branstad.
“Iowans finally saw a primary poll this week and the Branstad campaign was so worried about their support that they asked Sarah Palin for an endorsement,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan.
In a recent primary poll, Branstad polled at only 46% among primary voters with Bob Vander Plaats polling at 31%.1  Branstad has never won a Republican primary with less than 52%.2
The Branstad campaign has been airing television ads since January and they have spent $2 million on television ads attacking Governor Chet Culver, only to see his lead against Governor Culver cut in half and lose ground to his primary opponents. It must be time to call in the reinforcements.
“Terry Branstad is a former four term governor. How he will manage to come out of this primary without a solid majority of Republicans is amazing to me. I am not sure Sarah Palin’s endorsement is going to help much,” said Kiernan.
“Much like Terry Branstad, she doesn’t exactly embody commitment to public service and fiscal responsibility. When tough economic times hit the country, Chet Culver rolled up his sleeves. But, Sarah Palin cut and ran.”

Dobson endorses Vander Plaats

Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman emeritus of the “Focus on the Family”ministry, has endorsed Bob Vander Plaats’ bid for the Iowa G.O.P.’s 2010 nomination for governor.    Dobson’s organization featured Vander Plaats, his wife, Darla, and their son, Lucas, on the cover of its magazine in July, 2007 with a story about “Light from Lucas”— the book Vander Plaats wrote about his severely disabled son.   (The book was published by Tyndale, which also publishes Dobson’s book.) 

Dobson recently drew national headlines when he switched his endorsement in the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky from Trey Grayson, perceived as the party establishment pick to Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  Dr. Rand Paul wound up winning that primary.

Read about Dobon’s endorsement of Vander Plaats below:

 DES MOINES — James C. Dobson, Ph.D., author and host of a nationally syndicated radio program, today endorsed Republican candidate Bob Vander Plaats in his race for Iowa’s next governor.
 Speaking as a private individual, Dobson said today, “Bob has fought tirelessly for conservative family values. He is passionately pro-life and supports the exclusivity of marriage between one man and one woman.  Vander Plaats believes that all voters, not just one liberal court, should decide what the definition of marriage should be.  I’m proud to join Gov. Mike Huckabee, Chuck Norris, the Iowa Family Policy Center, David Barton, Michael Farris and the president of the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter of the NAACP in urging the citizens of Iowa to vote for Bob Vander Plaats for governor next Tuesday.”

 Dobson further stated, “Bob believes the Republican Party should stand for something beyond simply winning elections and holding office.  He defends the principles and issues that affect the very fabric of our society — and I’m confident he’ll base his leadership in the state of Iowa on those convictions.”

 Vander Plaats responded that he is “humbled and honored by the endorsement of Dr. Dobson.  He has a long history and legacy of leadership on the important issues of our time.  For him to endorse our campaign less than a week before the election will be pivotal as we move Iowans to vote for the one conservative who will stand up for marriage and the family, and resist the extreme social engineering of an activist court.  I’ve long respected Dr. Dobson for his passion for marriage and the family and I’m thrilled he would find me worthy of his endorsement to help uphold those values in Iowa.”

 Vander Plaats, a Sioux City business consultant, authored the book “Light from Lucas,” about lessons in faith that he and his family gained through his son Lucas, who was born with a severe disability that left him unable to walk or speak.  That book was published by Focus on the Family in 2007.

 Dr. Dobson, who served for 33 years as founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, resigned from that well-known organization earlier this year and launched the Family Talk broadcast on May 3. It is now heard on over 700 radio outlets nationwide.  Dr. Dobson was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame last year, has served on eight prestigious governmental commissions, and has received numerous honors and awards.  He holds an earned doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California, where he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the medical school for 14 years. He holds 17 honorary doctorates.  He has written 33 successful books on the family and child development, including the New York Times bestseller, Bringing Up Girls, just released in April.  He has been referred to by Time magazine and by Slate as the “nation’s most influential evangelical leader.”

 Dr. Dobson and his wife, Shirley, who is chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer, reside in Colorado Springs.

Profiles of GOP candidates for governor

Listen to/read Radio Iowa’s profiles of the three Republican candidates seeking the Iowa G.O.P.’s 2010 nomination for governor by clicking on the following links:

Terry Branstad

Rod Roberts

Bob Vander Plaats

Surveys for GOP field for governor, Democratic field for US Senate

Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based firm, has polled on the two statewide races that will be decided on Tuesday, June 8 — the contest to win the Republican Party’s 2010 nomination for governor and the contest to win the Democraticy Party’s 2010 nomination for the U.S. Senate. 

The results can be viewed here, although bear in mind the polls for each race have a margin of error of 4.5 and 5 percent.  Here’s the short version:

GOP survey

Terry Branstad 46 percent

Bob Vander Plaats 31 percent

Rod Roberts 13 percent

Democratic survey

Roxanne Conlin 48 percent

Bob Krause 13 percent

Tom Fiegen 8 percent

Undecided 31 percent