March 12, 2014 - Satisfied Iowa Voters Back Gov, But Challenger Gains, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Long-Time Gov Gets High Marks
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With overwhelming voter satisfaction and confidence in the state's economy, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad leads State Sen. Jack Hatch, his likely Democratic challenger, 46 - 35 percent in this year's governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is a smaller margin than Gov. Branstad's 49 - 33 percent lead in a December 17 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In today's survey, Branstad leads 86 - 4 percent among Republicans and 46 - 28 percent among independent voters, while Hatch takes Democrats 77 - 10 percent.

The Republican leads 50 - 31 percent among men while women go 43 percent Republican and 39 percent Democrat.

Iowa voters approve 55 - 35 percent of the job Branstad is doing, compared to 58 - 32 percent in December, and say 48 - 41 percent he deserves to be reelected, compared to 50 - 41 percent in December. He gets a 47 - 33 percent favorability rating, while 74 percent don't know enough about Hatch to form an opinion.

"Iowans are quite happy with the way things are going in their state and that is a big benefit for Gov. Terry Branstad," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"History doesn't have a lot of examples of voters firing their governor when they are so satisfied with the status quo. Democratic State Sen. Jack Hatch can take solace in Branstad not crossing the magic 50 percent threshold in the horse race, but the governor does much better than that when voters are asked if he is a strong leader, if he is honest and if he understands the problems of average folks."

"Moreover three in four voters don't even know enough about Hatch to have an opinion of him - perhaps an opportunity in the eyes of Democrats looking for a silver lining in the data, but probably more a sign of how much work he still has before him," Brown added.

A total of 71 percent of Iowa voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, and a total of 70 percent say the state's economy is "excellent" or "good," the highest satisfaction and economy score of any of the states in which Quinnipiac University asks these questions.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 27 percent of Iowa voters list the economy or jobs as the top priority for the governor and State Legislature, followed by 12 percent who list education or education funding and 7 percent who list tax-related issues.

Voters approve 54 - 35 percent of the way Branstad is handling the state economy and give him good character marks, saying:
  • 61 - 29 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
  • 68 - 25 percent that he has strong leadership;
  • 53 - 39 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.
Because of Branstad's many years as governor, 28 percent of Iowa voters are less likely to vote for him, but 15 percent are more likely and 55 percent says it doesn't make a difference.

From March 5 - 10, 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, Colorado, 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. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jack Hatch the Democrat and Terry Branstad the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Hatch                35%     4%    77%    28%    31%    39%    28%    32%    38%    42%
Branstad             46     86     10     46     50     43     38     51     48     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      2      1      2      1      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      3      3      3      1      5      3      1      1
DK/NA                15      9      9     21     13     16     27     13     11     13
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jack Hatch the Democrat and Terry Branstad the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17
                     2014    2013
 
Hatch                35      33
Branstad             46      49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       3
DK/NA                15      14
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Terry Branstad favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            47%    79%    17%    49%    51%    43%    33%    52%    51%    47%
Unfavorable          33      6     64     30     30     35     20     29     39     39
Hvn't hrd enough     16     12     15     17     15     17     44     14      7      8
REFUSED               4      3      3      4      4      4      4      5      2      6
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Terry Branstad favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 12  Jul 19
                     2014    2013
 
Favorable            47      50
Unfavorable          33      37
Hvn't hrd enough     16      11
REFUSED               4       2
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Jack Hatch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            14%     4%    31%    10%    14%    15%     7%    12%    17%    19%
Unfavorable          10     21      2      9     13      8      5     10     14     10
Hvn't hrd enough     74     74     66     80     72     77     87     77     67     69
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      1      -      1      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jack Hatch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 12  Jul 19
                     2014    2013
 
Favorable            14       6
Unfavorable          10       7
Hvn't hrd enough     74      85
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry Branstad is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              55%    83%    26%    57%    59%    51%    56%    59%    52%    51%
Disapprove           35      9     65     33     32     39     26     29     44     41
DK/NA                10      8      9     10      9     11     18     12      4      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry Branstad is handling his job as Governor?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17  Jul 19  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Approve              55      58      51      49
Disapprove           35      32      33      31
DK/NA                10      10      16      20
 
 
24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              45%    52%    42%    46%    51%    40%    53%    49%    40%    40%
Disapprove           37     31     39     40     35     39     25     37     45     36
DK/NA                18     16     20     14     14     21     22     13     15     23
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17  Jul 19  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Approve              45      48      46      38
Disapprove           37      35      34      41
DK/NA                18      17      20      21
 
 
28. Do you feel that Terry Branstad deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Deserves         48%    79%    16%    52%    54%    43%    49%    53%    47%    43%
No/Does not          41     11     74     39     36     45     31     34     49     48
DK/NA                11     10     10      9     10     11     20     13      4      9
 
TREND: Do you feel that Terry Branstad deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17  Jul 19  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Yes/Deserves         48      50      43      42
No/Does not          41      41      46      43
DK/NA                11       9      12      16
 
 
29. 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?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Very satisfied       12%    21%     9%    11%    14%    11%    16%    13%    10%    13%
Smwht satisfied      59     65     50     60     60     58     66     61     53     58
Smwht dissatisfied   21     10     34     19     20     22     14     19     28     22
Very dissatisfied     6      4      6      8      4      8      3      6      8      6
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      1      1      1      -      2
 
TREND: 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?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17  Jul 19  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Very satisfied       12      11       8       8
Smwht satisfied      59      60      59      58
Smwht dissatisfied   21      21      24      25
Very dissatisfied     6       6       7       7
DK/NA                 1       1       1       2
 
 
30. What do you think should be the top priority for Governor Branstad and the State Legislature in 2014?
                            Tot
 
Economy(General)             6%
Jobs/Unemployment           19
Economy(Other Specific)      2
 
Wages/Minimum Wage           4
 
Class inequality             1
 
Budget(General)              3
Government spending          1
 
Taxes(General)               4
Property taxes               1
Taxes on oil/gas industry    1
Taxes(Other Specific)        1
 
Education(General)          10
Funding/Spending education   1
Education(Other Specific)    1
 
Healthcare                   4
Abortion                     1
Social Issues/Soc Services   3
Elderly Issues               1
Gay marriage/Gay issues      1
Marijuana                    3
Roads/Infrastructure         4
Farming/Agriculture          1
Environment                  2
Gas/Oil/Energy issues        1
Caring about people          1
 
Other                        8
DK/NA                       15
 
 
31. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry Branstad is handling the economy and jobs?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              54%    80%    29%    56%    62%    47%    57%    59%    52%    49%
Disapprove           35     10     59     35     29     39     24     31     44     37
DK/NA                11     10     12      9      8     13     20     10      5     13
 
 
32. Would you say that Terry Branstad - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  61%    86%    43%    61%    67%    55%    59%    60%    61%    64%
No                   29     10     45     30     25     33     25     30     34     25
DK/NA                10      5     11      9      7     12     15     10      5     11
 
TREND: Would you say that Terry Branstad is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17
                     2014    2013
 
Yes                  61      61
No                   29      29
DK/NA                10      10
 
 
33. Would you say that Terry Branstad - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  68%    90%    49%    70%    72%    65%    69%    75%    66%    61%
No                   25      7     43     23     23     26     18     18     31     31
DK/NA                 7      3      7      7      5      9     13      7      3      8
 
TREND: Would you say that Terry Branstad has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17
                     2014    2013
 
Yes                  68      67
No                   25      27
DK/NA                 7       6
 
 
34. Would you say that Terry Branstad - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  53%    81%    24%    56%    58%    49%    56%    57%    50%    50%
No                   39     10     68     38     36     42     30     36     46     42
DK/NA                 8      9      8      6      6     10     13      8      4      8
 
TREND: Would you say that Terry Branstad cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17
                     2014    2013
 
Yes                  53      56
No                   39      37
DK/NA                 8       7
 
 
35. Do you think Terry Branstad is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Liberal               9%    11%     7%    10%    11%     8%    10%     8%    10%     9%
Conservative         28      6     55     24     29     27     20     27     34     28
About right          51     78     26     53     52     50     52     54     48     50
DK/NA                12      5     12     13      8     16     18     11      8     13
 
TREND: Do you think Terry Branstad is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17
                     2014    2013
 
Liberal               9       9
Conservative         28      27
About right          51      52
DK/NA                12      12
 
 
36. Does Governor Branstad's length of time as Governor make you more likely to vote for him, less likely to vote for him, or doesn't it make a difference?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
More likely          15%    25%     6%    14%    16%    14%    16%    16%    14%    13%
Less likely          28     11     50     26     26     30     20     19     35     37
No difference        55     62     42     58     57     54     61     63     50     47
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      1      2      3      2      1      2
 
TREND: Does Governor Branstad's length of time as Governor make you more likely to vote for him, less likely to vote for him, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     Mar 12  Dec 17  Jul 19
                     2014    2013    2013
 
More likely          15      14      14
Less likely          28      30      26
No difference        55      54      58
DK/NA                 2       2       3
 
 
37. Would you describe the state of Iowa's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Excellent             4%     7%     3%     3%     5%     3%     6%     3%     5%     4%
Good                 66     74     59     67     72     62     75     67     62     64
Not so good          24     15     32     24     19     28     17     24     27     24
Poor                  5      3      6      4      3      6      2      6      5      5
DK/NA                 1      1      -      2      1      2      1      1      -      3
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of Iowa's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Mar 12  Jul 22  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013
 
Excellent             4       4       5
Good                 66      63      61
Not so good          24      25      26
Poor                  5       6       6
DK/NA                 1       2       2
 
 
38. Do you think Iowa's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Better               31%    38%    29%    29%    32%    29%    47%    32%    24%    25%
Worse                10      5     13     11      9     11      5     11     12     10
The same             57     54     56     60     58     56     45     56     63     60
DK/NA                 2      3      2      1      1      4      3      2      1      5
 
TREND: Do you think Iowa's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     Mar 12  Jul 22  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013
 
Better               31      34      35
Worse                10      11      13
The same             57      53      51
DK/NA                 2       2       1
 
 
39. Do you think your personal financial situation is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Better               22%    24%    20%    23%    26%    18%    38%    28%    16%     8%
Worse                21     20     22     21     20     22     12     17     30     20
The same             57     56     57     56     53     59     49     55     53     70
DK/NA                 1      -      -      -      -      1      1      -      1      1
 
TREND: Do you think your personal financial situation is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     Mar 12  Jul 22  May 23
                     2014    2013    2013
 
Better               22      19      23
Worse                21      22      24
The same             57      59      52
DK/NA                 1       1       1
 
 

Demographic Summary

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