Hubbell leads Reynolds in first poll on Iowa governor’s race

Emerson College poll, released Sept. 10, 2018. — image courtesy of Emerson College

The first poll in the 2018 Iowa governor’s race shows Democrat Fred Hubbell leading Republican incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds. On Monday, Emerson College released polling data on the governor’s race, the races in all four Iowa Congressional districts and Iowan’s views of President Trump.

In the poll, conducted Sept. 6-8, Hubbell was the choice of 36 percent of voters, compared to 31 percent for Reynolds. Undecided voters made up 26 percent, and the remaining seven percent said they had decided to vote for a candidate other than the Democratic or Republican nominees.

“What’s interesting in this race is that Hubbell has a stronger favorability, or stronger popularity, in the state — 43 percent favorable to 22 percent unfavorable — while Reynolds is a bit more polarizing, 36 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable rating,” said Professor Spencer Kimball, who supervised the poll.

Results were split in the four Congressional districts. Democrats Abby Finkenauer, who is challenging Rep. Rod Blum in the 1st District, and Rep. Dave Loebsack, the incumbent in the 2nd District, are well ahead of their opponents. The same is true for Republican incumbent David Young, who represents the 3rd District, and Iowa’s most famous congressman, Steve King.

District 1. Abby Finkenauer: 43 percent; Rep. Rod Blum: 38 percent; Undecided: 12 percent

District 2. Rep. Dave Loebsack: 45 percent; Christopher Peters: 21 percent; Undecided: 28 percent

District 3.
Rep. David Young: 47 percent; Cindy Axne: 31 percent; Undecided: 15 percent.

District 4. Rep. Steve King: 41 percent; J.D. Scholten: 31 percent; Undecided: 16 percent.

Any Republican candidate hoping to receive a boost from President Trump may be out of luck. According to Emerson:

President Trump’s approval is at 37% in Iowa with 53% disapproving. Among Evangelicals voters, Trump has a 55% approval and 33% disapproval. It appears the tariffs are driving down his overall approval: 24% of Iowan voters say the recent tariffs are good for Iowa, while 52% view tariffs as bad for Iowa. When asked about the US expanding the walls along the US-Mexico border, 50% say no, 40% say yes.

The poll was conducted using an automated Interactive Voice Response system of phone calls to landlines, as well as an online panel of voters. The poll in the governor’s race has a margin of error of +/-3.2 percent. The congressional polls have margins of error of +/-6.4 percent, except for the King/Scholten race, which has a margin of error of +/-6.5.

Early voting in the November general election begins on Monday, Oct. 8.

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