image Bob Vander Plaats’ Iowa for Freedom campaign just sent out a press release touting state fair poll that was conducted by the Iowa Family Policy CenterIFPC Action released the following numbers:

The poll, measuring public opinion on the judicial retention election as well as the gubernatorial race, offers some unique insight into upcoming fall elections.

Of those casting votes on the judicial retention election, 77.9% voted “no” on retention, while 22.1% voted “yes.” According to IFPC Action President Chuck Hurley, “Many fair attendees expressed strong feelings over the unconstitutional actions of our current Supreme Court, and the numbers seem to reflect the energy they have for casting a “no” vote in the retention election this November.”

The press release stated… “Iowans’ voices have a right to be heard and their freedoms protected, and the Iowa Family Policy Center’s informal Iowa State Fair straw poll is an indication Iowa For Freedom is on the right track with its initiative of “unseating three Iowa Supreme Court Justices on the November 2 ballot, Iowa For Freedom State Chair Bob Vander Plaats said Wednesday.”

How is it an indication?  That is just a ridiculous comment to make (and I agree with their cause!), based on the other poll results.

Here are the IFPC Gubernatorial Race poll results:

In the gubernatorial poll, Iowa State Fair goers overwhelmingly supported Republican candidate Terry Branstad over current Governor Chet Culver. Of those casting votes in the gubernatorial straw poll, 55.2% voted for Terry Branstad.

Hurley said, “While our poll is not scientific, it is interesting to note that Governor Branstad received just slightly more support in our poll than he has been receiving in professional polls like the August 5th Rasmussen poll where he garnered 52%.”

Unlike many other polls, the IFPC Action poll included other candidates for governor, as well as a generic “write in” option. Even though Branstad’s numbers held firm in a broader field of candidates at the Iowa State Fair, Chet Culver came in third behind Iowa Party candidate Jon Narcisse.

While the Branstad numbers, as Chuck Hurley notes, is on track with other poll numbers.  The number 2 and 3 positions are not in line with other polling done…

“Mr. Narcisse surprised several of us at IFPC Action by showing an impressive 21.3% in our poll,” said Hurley. “If our State Fair poll is at all representative of public opinion, Governor Culver, who finished with just 16%, is facing long odds in November.”

It’s likely not representative of public opinion as much as I wish it were so.  I don’t think Culver will win re-election, but he’s not going to come in third.  Which tells me the poll was skewed regarding the other question.  Take into consideration non-supporters of IFPC probably didn’t stop by and was there some control over how many times somebody could vote?

Needless to say, while polls like this are fun and interesting to discuss they are not an indication of reality (ask 2007 Iowa Straw Poll winner Mitt Romney).   While actual polling shows while this is doable it is going to be difficult, especially with the media not being in your corner.  Touting unscientific polls doesn’t add to your campaign’s credibility.

4 comments
  1. Don’t be such a skeptic, Shane. That 77.9% voted “no” on retention, while 22.1% voted “yes” is certainly an indication that the effort to unseat those judges is on the right track! Every other relevant vote has shown that the people do not support changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual arrangements. It is surprising that Jonathan Narcisse did quite so well here, but good for him! And, yes, that does have to be balanced by more scientific polls, but it does indicate what IFPC supporters are thinking.

    1. Could anybody go up and participate in the poll? I’m hearing things, but I didn’t see their booth when I was at the fair so I don’t know for sure.

      I’ll give you that it is an indication of how IFPC supporters feel, but it isn’t an indication of how the entire voting electorate feels ergo not a reliable indicator.

  2. I’d sure as heck tout straw poll results if my candidate or cause won them. For that matter, I blogged about one the other day wherein my candidate got 8%. True, they are of limited value, but value nonetheless. Even the Iowa Straw Poll, I don’t know of anyone who was taking Tax Hike Mike seriously until he won the 2007 poll.

    1. Huckabee didn’t win the straw poll, he placed 2nd which was the equivalent of winning since Romney bought his victory.

      I guess if it were a straw poll that some neutral organization did I’d think more of the poll, but when its stacked with IFPC supporters it really doesn’t have any value at all.

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