Governor Chet Culver (file photo)

Governor Chet Culver (file photo)

An “Iowa Poll” released this weekend by The Des Moines Register shows Governor Chet Culver faces an uphill battle in his bid for reelection next year. 

Only 40 percent of the Iowa voters surveyed last week said they approve of Culver’s job performance. The newspaper’s pollster also matched Culver, a Democrat, against two potential Republican rivals, and those who were surveyed favored both Terry Branstad and Bob Vander Plaats over Culver. 

Culver is running campaign ads on television which tout his management of state government.  In public appearances, Culver vows not to raise taxes and he promises to make even deeper cuts in state government.

“I’ve been working with legislators on this efficiency/reorg project or plan, so there will be some real savings that we put on the table for the legislature to discuss and debate,” Culver said last Thursday. “And that could be tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in efficiencies, savings.”

And Culver is touting a recent analysis which found Iowa was among the states which are “least like” California. The Pew Center on the States concludes California is the state in the worst financial shape 

“Iowa was in the top 12 in America,” Culver said.  “We received a B+ and that’s relevant because we have taken steps for the last three years, quickly and effectively, to deal with the budget realities.”

Culver cites the report’s other conclusion, that Iowa is among three U.S. states which are “least like” California.

“We’re getting credit for that good fiscal management nationally,” Culver said.  “Now, does that mean there’s a rosy picture? No.  But it means that compared to 49 other states, Iowa is in the very top echelon in terms of good fiscal management during very tough times.” 

Five states scored an A or an A- in the Pew Center’s report.  Along with Iowa, seven other states scored a B+. 

The “Iowa Poll” taken last week found just 34 percent of those surveyed believe the state of Iowa is headed in the right direction.