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Iowa Senate: Harkin Takes 24-point Lead on GOP Challenger

Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has expanded his lead over challenger Christopher Reed and is increasingly looking like a shoo-in for re-election.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Harkin ahead 58% to 34%. When “leaners” are included, the incumbent has a 60% to 36% edge.

Harkin, who is seeking his fifth term in Senate, led his opponent 52% to 36% last month, representing little change from the 53% to 37% advantage he held in June.

The senator is backed by 88% of Democrats and nearly one out of five (18%) Republicans in Iowa. Reed’s support comes from 77% of Republicans and 5% of Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, Harkin leads 61% to 26%. Harkin leads 53% to 41% among men in Iowa and 62% to 28% among women.

Rasmussen Markets data suggests that Harkin has a % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Harkin is viewed favorably by 63% of voters, up slightly from 60% in July. He is viewed unfavorably by 35%. Reed, a businessman and Navy veteran, is still much less known to voters. He is viewed favorably by 41% and unfavorably by 33%, while a quarter of voters (26%) have no opinion.

The approval ratings for Iowa's Democratic Governor Chet Culver have fallen somewhat this month. While 42% of voters give him a good or excellent rating, 23% say he is doing a poor job. In July, 46% gave the governor positive reviews while 20% gave him poor ratings.

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.

The latest numbers in Iowa’s Presidential race shows the race closer than last month.

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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 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on August 7, 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.