A new Quinnipiac University Poll finds Republican Governor Terry Branstad leading Democratic challenger Jack Hatch by 23 points.
Branstad’s campaign issued a written statement saying this shows Iowans “resoundingly” want Branstad reelected to a sixth term. Hatch told a crowd in Des Moines early this morning that 66 years ago to the day Harry Truman — who was trailing badly in the polls — brought his “whistle stop” tour to Iowa.
“And if you know anything about the history, it’s Dexter, Iowa, and (Truman’s) presentation to over 100,000 Iowa (and) Midwestern farmers that caught the attention of the media and the public and Harry S. Truman was on his way to capture the heart and soul of Iowa and America,” Hatch said, “and, on the day of the election — of course, was elected president of the United States.”
Hatch said Truman was able to “ignite” the countryside with his “plain talk.”
“No one thought he could win,” Hatch said. “The polls said he was a dead duck, but he campaigned throughout the heartland and talked to business people, Iowans, citizens and gave a presentation and a vision of what he wanted this country to be. We will do the same thing.”
“He’s no Harry Truman, but the truth of the matter is the people of Iowa can judge my record and my vision of the future and his record,” Branstad told reporters late this morning. “I’ve been to every county. There’s a lot of Iowa he’s never even seen.”
Truman won 28 states in 1948, including Iowa, and secured 303 votes in the Electoral College. On this day in 1948, Truman went to the National Plowing Match that was being held in Dexter, where he delivered a campaign speech, railing against what he called a “do-nothing” Republican congress that had “stuck a pitchfork in the farmer’s back.”
The Quinnipiac Univerity Poll released today found Governor Branstad had the support of 60 percent of those surveyed, compared to the 37 percent who said they’ll vote for Hatch. Pollsters found 44 percent of the likely voters surveyed don’t know enough about Hatch to form an opinion about him. Peter Brown, the poll’s assistant director, said with seven weeks until Election Day, Hatch has a “long, long ways to go” and it would be “one of the largest turnarounds in American political history” if Hatch were to win.
(This post was updated at 12:25 p.m. with additional information)