Polls Show Iowa, Midwest Voters Side With Biden On Key Issues

Photo by Julie Fleming

New polls surveying Iowa and the Midwest find voters are more likely to side with Joe Biden than President Trump on issues of the day, including the Supreme Court, health care and struggles in rural America.

On the Supreme Court, a Public Policy Polling survey of 741 likely Iowa voters show 51% believe confirmation hearings for a new justice should not take place until after Election Day. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, is in the midst of confirmation hearings and is expected to soon join the nation’s highest court.

The phone and text message survey was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.

The results also show Iowa voters believe Congress should set a higher priority on passing a coronavirus stimulus package rather than confirming a new justice, with 55% saying economic relief should have been approved before a Supreme Court nominee was considered, compared to 32% who disagree.

“They need to stop this Supreme Court nomination process in its tracks, and put their attention where it’s needed, on the Iowa families who desperately need their help,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, the group that commissioned the poll.

Other top-line findings include: 51% disapprove of Trump’s job performance versus 47% who approve; 44% disapprove of Sen. Chuck Grassley and 43% approve; 50% disapprove of Sen. Joni Ernst versus 42% who approve.

“These results are very clear that Iowans want to hold off on the Supreme Court nomination right now and that their concern about COVID-19 is extremely high,” said Jim Williams, a polling analyst at Public Policy Polling, in a statement.

A new Data for Progress survey of Iowans found likely voters also oppose Republican efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act through the Supreme Court. When asked if the Supreme Court should rule the law as constitutional, leaving in place expanded Medicaid and protections for preexisting conditions, 66% of voters agreed with that statement compared to 18% who want to end the ACA, Medicaid expansion and insurance protections for people with preexisting medical conditions.

Focus on Rural America on Wednesday released its latest survey of likely voters in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Pollsters interviewed 200 people in each state, resulting in an overall margin of error +/- 4% and +/- 6.9% for each individual state.

Though President Trump is leading Biden in Iowa 50% to 44%, Jeff Link, a Democratic strategist and co-founder of Focus on Rural America, noted Trump’s visit to Des Moines Wednesday was a sign of how tight the race is despite winning here by 9 percentage points in 2016. In the August Focus on Rural America Heartland Poll, Biden was leading Trump in Iowa 49% to 43%.

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The Data for Progress survey released today also shows Trump with a lead, but only 1 percentage point at 48% to 47%.

The Real Clear Politics polling average for Iowa has Biden up 1.2 percentage points over Trump. Election forecasters consider the race a toss-up.

“The Upper Midwest, the heartland, the grain belt, was supposed to be a place where Trump would plant his flag in this election cycle,” Link said. “And he’s having a very tough time defending states that he won.”

Overall, across Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, likely voters prefer Biden 50% to 45%.

When asked which candidate would better provide access to health care in rural areas, 49% of voters across the three states named Biden compared to 41% for Trump.

On the question of “who do you think would do a better job for people living in small towns and rural America?” Biden won support from 47% of voters compared to Trump’s 44%.

In U.S. Senate news, Data for Progress shows Democrat Theresa Greenfield leading Sen. Joni Ernst 47% to 43%. Greenfield consistently has led Ernst in polls throughout the summer and fall.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 10/15/20

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