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Iowa Senate: Harkin Still Ahead by Sixteen

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, in his bid for a fifth term, still holds a 16-point lead over Republican challenger Christopher Reed.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Iowa voters finds Harkin ahead 52% to 36%. When “leaners” are included, the incumbent leads 55% to 37%.

Last month, Harkin led his challenger 53% to 37%. The Democrat is currently chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, a key position for a farming state like Iowa.Harkin fares better among women voters than men in Iowa. He leads 55% to 30% among female voters but has just a 48% to 43% lead among men. Voters not affiliated with either major political party choose Harkin 49% to 27%.

The incumbent is viewed favorably by 60% of Iowa voters and unfavorably by 35%. Reed, a businessman and Navy veteran who has never previously held public office, is less known to Iowa voters. He won a three-way primary to get the GOP nomination. Reed’s numbers are 41% favorable and 29% unfavorable, while 31% have no opinion.

Rasmussen Markets data suggests that Harkin has a % chance of winning re-election in November.

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In national elections, Iowa is often referred to as a “swing state”. Before narrowly electing George W. Bush in 2004, the state cast its seven Electoral College votes for Democratic candidates in the previous four presidential elections. At this time, Iowa is considered to be “Leans Democratic” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

Iowa Governor Chet Culver earns good or excellent ratings from 46% of voters, up from 41% last month. For the second month in a row, 20% rank the governor’s job performance as poor.

In Iowa’s race for President, Barack Obama has taken a 10-point lead over John McCain.

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Iowa Safe Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Reed (R)

41%

38%

44%

Harkin (D)

57%

56%

54%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on July 10, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Iowa Trends: Reed vs. Harkin

Date

Reed

Harkin

10/23/2008

41%

57%

09/25/2008

40%

54%

08/07/2008

34%

58%

07/10/2008

36%

52%

06/10/2008

37%

53%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Iowa

 

Reed

Harkin

Very Favorable

16%

36%

Somewhat Favorable

31%

26%

Somewhat Unfavorable

21%

17%

Very Unfavorable

9%

21%

Not Sure

23%

1%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.