Culver’s Popularity Falls in Iowa Poll

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Spin is a dizzying thing. But it can be an interesting insight into the minds and psyches of the people involved. So I’m curious how all the campaigns will spin three stories in the headlines Sunday.

The Des Moines Register released its much-anticipated Iowa Poll Sunday. The poll shows continued falling levels of support for Governor Chet Culver, despite his campaign ads and job tours across the state. The poll shows Culver is losing support even among Democrats. The poll finds Culver’s approval is the lowest of any Iowa governor in about 40 years.

The story is just one of three in the paper that don’t offer much apparent good news for the governor. Another article reports on the slow start of what has been the governor’s signature piece of legislation, the I-JOBS program.

The third story reported on Iowans’ falling confidence in the direction of the state. The poll finds the lowest support in its 11-year history.

So here’s the spin from everyone I have so far…

The Iowa Democratic Party puts the focus on Terry Branstad’s numbers, not Culver’s:

The Iowa Poll released today shows candidate Terry Branstad has fallen by 4 points in the polls in the two weeks following the announcement of his attempted political comeback. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan released this statement:

“As Governor, Branstad horribly mismanaged state government, kept two sets of books, and raised taxes on Iowans. Now that he’s a candidate, Branstad is flip-flopping on issues, including on taxes, to help him survive the Republican primary.

“Branstad should have gone up in the polls after announcing. The poll released today shows that when Iowans hear about the Two Faces of Terry Branstad, his numbers have only one way to go: down.

“The fact is Governor Culver is working on passing a balanced budget, fighting for policies that will help Iowa’s hard-working families, and making the tough decisions that will continue to move this state forward. As always, he is focused on governing, not politics.”

Culver’s campaign sent out this release. The last line resembles the theme of the last line of the party’s release:

“Governor Culver is doing what Iowans elected him to do, which is moving Iowa forward with bold ideas and building a strong economic future for all Iowans. Governor Culver is not paying attention to who’s up or who’s down in the polls.”

Branstad’s campaign is sending out messages from national reporters. Here’s what NBC’s Political Director (and former staffer for Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential campaign) Chuck Todd said about the poll numbers:

@chucktodd: With numbers like these, IA Dem Gov. Culver may be inviting a primary challenge.

And here’s what the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said about the numbers:

@TheFix Absolutely devastating numbers for Iowa Gov. Culver

GOP candidate for governor, Rod Roberts, pointed out his numbers:

Rod Roberts More momentum! New DMRegis. poll shows Roberts v. Culver race already a statistical dead heat 8.5 months from election!

The Register‘s political columnist, Kathie Obradovich, recommends Culver start working on his resume for a new job because of the numbers:

Here’s the link.

What’s your take on the numbers? Can Culver come back from this? Remember, Branstad’s numbers were once nearly as low as Culver’s and he managed to get re-elected.

Please leave your comments below in the comments link.

Thanks for reading,

1 Comment

  • Tom

    I proposed to Culver that a template for local broadband infrastructure be considered. For a one-tme cost of $50 per house, a community could enjoy local broadband infrastructure that would enable communities across Iowa to connect with each other. This community-based local broadband infrastructure would be attractive to Internet providers and bring affordable Internet access to all Iowans. He responds with a letter warning me not to do anything illegal. Maybe we need a true progressive governor, instead of a mealy-mouthed corporate groveler.

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