The Des Moines Register came out with a poll this week showing that voters in Iowa are pretty much done with President Trump and more support Democrats for Congress than Republicans. However, that’s about all the good news in it.
Trump beat Hillary by almost ten points (51.2% to 41.8%) in 2016, higher than his margin in Texas. Voters loathe him now (35% Approve, 60% Disapprove). However, this does not translate to other Republicans in office. A majority approve of the job Governor Kim Reynolds is doing (51%-30%). Joni Ernst is hardly squealing as 48% approve of the job she is doing while just 38% disapprove. Charles Grassley has fossilized with majority approval as well (51%-40%). Even Mike Pence does well here (48%-42%), the first state he will campaign in if and when Trump is deposed from office. Hardly a rejection of Republicans, just a President many voters don’t view as the leader of his party.
Despite a third (33%) of voters not liking her, Kim Reynolds remains the best known (77%) and best liked (44%) candidate for Governor in a crowded field of nobodies (so far). Sure 49% prefer “someone new” over her (35%). However “someone new” does not equal a Democrat facing several million dollars of Koch brothers funded smears, something Tom Vilsack did not have to weather in his upset 1998 win in an open race.
Voters prefer Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a 40% to 33% margin. This is most pronounced in the first and third districts currently held by Republicans Rod Blum and David Young. However, the election is not for a year, 40% is far below a majority, and Democrats held leads in CD-3 and CD-4 at this point in 2013 and did not prevail the following year.
Despite voter energy helping Democrats beat expectations and prevail in New Jersey, Virginia, Alabama, and other special elections, voters are more turned off by politics (61%) than engaged (33%) since the 2016 election. Those who are more engaged are REALLY more engaged, but unless Democrats listen to the hopes and dreams of people tuning out, and offer an agenda relevant to their lives, 2018 will prove disappointing.