May 23, 2013 - Iowa Voters Divided On Gov. Branstad, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Like Job Performance, Split On Four More Years

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has a 49 - 31 percent job approval rating from Iowa registered voters who say 43 - 42 percent that he does not deserve another term in office, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters are divided on whether Iowa should expand its Medicaid program as part of the federal health care overhaul, with 45 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

"Gov. Terry Branstad's job approval numbers are just short of the 50 percent threshold and show a nearly 20 point spread between those who approve and disapprove of his job performance," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The fact that voters are split on the question of whether Gov. Branstad deserves another term in Des Moines is probably a bit disconcerting for the governor. It could be that some voters like what he has done in office but that 20 years in the governor's office is just too long."

The governor's approval rating is 75 - 9 percent among Republicans and 50 - 28 percent among independent voters, while Democrats disapprove 53 - 28 percent. There is a small gender gap, with men approving 55 - 29 percent, while women give him a thumbs up 44 - 32 percent.

But when voters are asked if Branstad deserves another term, his scores drop across the board. Republicans say he deserves four more years 67 - 18 percent, but Democrats say no 66 - 19 percent and independent voters are split by a 43 - 41 percent margin. Men are divided as 48 percent say yes to another Branstad term and 41 percent say no. Women say no 44 - 36 percent.

"The governor's reelection numbers are a contrast with his approval ratings and are worth noting," said Brown. "Yet, the lack of any major Democratic challenger with widespread name recognition and the cash to wage a very expensive campaign probably makes the governor a better reelection bet than the numbers indicate. After all, voters may think he has been governor too long, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will vote to replace him."

Branstad is likely benefiting from the perception of the state's voters that the economy is getting better.

Although only 5 percent of voters think the economy in Iowa is excellent, a very healthy 61 percent rate it as good, while 26 percent say it is "not so good" and 6 percent say it is poor. A third of voters, 35 percent, say the economy is getting better while only 13 percent think it is getting worse. Voters do not see the same improvement in their own lives, with 23 percent saying their personal financial situation is getting better and 24 percent saying it is worsening and 52 percent seeing it as unchanged.

"Good economies are generally good for incumbents seeking reelection," said Brown.

Voters split on the Medicaid expansion issue the same way they do on Branstad. Opposition to expanding Medicaid rolls is 64 - 24 percent among Republicans and 46 - 41 percent among independent voters. Democrats support expanding Medicaid 70 - 21 percent. Men are divided as 44 percent favor expansion with 46 percent opposed. Women favor expansion 46 - 40 percent.

"There is a slight plurality of voters who support Medicaid expansion, but it is an issue on which the state is pretty well split," said Brown.

The governor's job approval rating is in line with that of the state's two U.S. senators. Chuck Grassley gets a 52 - 33 percent score, while Tom Harkin receives a 47 - 35 percent rating. The Iowa legislature, however, does not fare as well, with a negative 38 - 41 percent approval rating.

From May 15 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,411 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry Branstad is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              49%    75%    28%    50%    55%    44%
Disapprove           31      9     53     28     29     32 
DK/NA                20     17     19     23     16     24 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              53%    48%    44%    54%    56%    40%    55%    49%    51%
Disapprove           35     29     32     28     31     19     27     35     35
DK/NA                12     23     23     18     14     41     19     15     14
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              38%    47%    34%    36%    41%    35%
Disapprove           41     32     47     42     41     41 
DK/NA                21     21     19     21     18     24 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              40%    37%    37%    44%    39%    48%    37%    35%    37%
Disapprove           44     39     40     37     49     23     44     46     42
DK/NA                15     23     23     19     12     28     19     18     22
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chuck Grassley is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              52%    68%    36%    53%    53%    50%
Disapprove           33     17     50     32     35     32 
DK/NA                15     15     13     16     12     18 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              54%    51%    53%    51%    53%    45%    51%    53%    55%
Disapprove           39     31     31     38     40     21     32     37     38
DK/NA                 7     18     17     11      8     34     16      9      7
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Harkin is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              47%    24%    72%    43%    45%    48%
Disapprove           35     57     13     37     42     29 
DK/NA                18     19     15     20     13     23 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              54%    44%    49%    48%    49%    40%    50%    47%    49%
Disapprove           35     35     31     34     42     28     32     38     38
DK/NA                11     21     20     18      9     32     18     15     13
 
 
6. Do you feel that Terry Branstad deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes/Deserves         42%    67%    19%    43%    48%    36%
No/Does not          43     18     66     41     41     44 
DK/NA                16     15     15     16     11     20 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Yes/Deserves         44%    41%    38%    45%    51%    32%    47%    42%    43%
No/Does not          44     42     46     40     36     38     37     46     46
DK/NA                11     17     16     15     12     30     16     12     11
 
 
17. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Iowa today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied        8%    12%     6%     8%    11%     6%
Smwht satisfied      58     65     57     54     57     58 
Smwht dissatisfied   25     16     28     27     23     27 
Very dissatisfied     7      6      7      8      7      7 
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      1      3 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Very satisfied        9%     8%     9%     5%    10%    13%     8%     7%     7%
Smwht satisfied      63     56     54     65     66     61     58     57     57
Smwht dissatisfied   23     26     26     24     20     15     29     26     27
Very dissatisfied     5      8      9      5      4      9      4      9      7
DK/NA                 1      2      2      -      -      2      2      1      3
 
 
18. Would you describe the state of Iowa's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Excellent             5%     5%     5%     5%     6%     4%
Good                 61     67     62     61     65     58 
Not so good          26     22     26     28     22     30 
Poor                  6      4      6      6      5      7 
DK/NA                 2      2      2      -      2      2 
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Excellent             6%     4%     4%     6%     8%     5%     3%     5%     6%
Good                 75     57     55     69     78     61     60     63     62
Not so good          16     30     30     22     13     25     31     25     26
Poor                  3      7      8      3      2      7      6      6      4
DK/NA                 1      2      2      -      -      3      -      1      2
 
 
19. Do you think Iowa's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom 
 
Better               35%    39%    38%    32%    41%    30% 
Worse                13      9     13     14     11     15  
The same             51     50     48     54     47     54  
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      2      1  
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Better               41%    33%    29%    41%    48%    32%    30%    36%    41%
Worse                 8     15     16      9      7     16     14     14      8
The same             50     51     54     50     44     49     56     49     49
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      3      1      -      2
 
 
20. Do you think your personal financial situation is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom 
 
Better               23%    25%    26%    21%    33%    14% 
Worse                24     22     22     27     22     26  
The same             52     53     52     52     45     59  
DK/NA                 1      -      -      1      1      1  
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Better               33%    20%    17%    27%    48%    36%    26%    23%    12%
Worse                19     26     31     20     11     24     22     27     22
The same             48     54     52     53     41     39     52     50     66
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      -      1      -      -      1
 
 
21. As you may know Medicaid is a government program that pays for health care for low-income people and others with certain disabilities. Do you think that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage in Iowa is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom  
 
Good idea            45%    24%    70%    41%    44%    46%  
Bad idea             43     64     21     46     46     40   
DK/NA                12     12      9     13     10     14   
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Good idea            42%    46%    50%    44%    36%    48%    44%    44%    46%
Bad idea             46     42     37     46     53     46     46     42     38
DK/NA                12     12     13     10     12      6     10     14     16
 
 
 

Demographic Summary