A new poll shows Governor Terry Branstad holding a 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Jack Hatch.
“Traditionally the post-Labor Day period is when you’ll see the strongest focus by voters, especially the undecided or maybe they’re learning toward Governor Branstad,” says Christopher Budzisz, the political science professor who directs the Loras College Poll. “This is an interesting couple of weeks to see if State Senator Hatch can gain some momentum.”
The poll was conducted last week, from Tuesday through Friday, and it found Hatch is now known by more Iowans, but the professor says Hatch has had difficulty translating that into more support for his campaign. Budzisz says one of the most interesting findings is a firm majority of Iowans believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, but then also consider the State of Iowa to be on the “right track.”
“Now that’s not necessarily a direct reflection on Governor Branstad, but it is, I imagine, one thing he can point to and say: ‘Look, I’m responsible for this or at least part of this,'” Budzisz says.
The Loras College Poll has a margin of error of less than three percent. It found Branstad had the support of 55.5 percent of those polled, compared to the 33.5 percent of likely voters who said they’d vote for Hatch. Eleven percent of the Iowans questioned said they were undecided.
(A previous version of this story had an inaccurate margin for Branstad’s lead. It now is correct, at 22 percent.)