Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s job approval numbers have rebounded significantly in just over a month since Public Policy Polling last polled the state. 45 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved in mid-July. Now the spread is 49-37. And if Branstad were to face re-election today, he would defeat a generic Democratic opponent by the same margin. He won by a similar 10 points in the Republican wave two years ago. Matched against actual Democrats in May, Branstad was up by no more than four points and trailed his successor Tom Vilsack by three, but that was when his approval numbers were 12 points worse.
Long-time (though still junior) Sen. Tom Harkin has also seen his numbers rise a bit, from 42-41 to 44-38, but at this point, he would face a much closer contest against an unnamed opponent than Branstad would. Harkin leads the generic ballot 45-43. He won with 63 percent of the vote in 2008 against a nominal opponent, and led even Branstad by five points in a hypothetical match-up in May.
Harkin’s senior colleague Sen. Charles Grassley has the exact same job performance mark as in July (54-30), making him still one of the country’s most popular senators.
Justice David Wiggins has a fight on his hands to stay on the Supreme Court. Right now, 38 percent each want to retain him and depose him. Unsurprisingly, Democrats (58-19) and Republicans (17-56) are equally polarized, and independents just slightly prefer Wiggins remain in office (39-36).
Since the last survey, Republicans’ lead in the generic legislative ballot has shrunk a point from 44-42 to 41-40. The main reason is that independents have flipped from a 38-33 preference for the GOP to 33-21 in favor of their opponents.
Rep. Steve King’s statewide favorability rating has rebounded a bit almost entirely because of his base. His 29-34 favorable-unfavorable is up from 26-37 thanks to Republicans’ shift from 50-15 to 57-8. Independents remain sour on him (20-37).
PPP surveyed 1,244 likely Iowa voters from August 23rd to 26th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-2.8 percent. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.