(Des Moines, IA) An internal poll conducted by the Mark Jacobs U.S. Senate campaign shows that 50% of Iowa Republicans polled have not made a decision in the U.S. Senate race.  According to a poll conducted by Hill Research Consultants they found that Mark Jacobs has the most support – 22% followed by Joni Ernst – 11%, Matt Whitaker – 8%, Sam Clovis – 6% and Other (Schaben, Lunde, etc.) – 3%.  They note that he has the highest name recognition 34% and highest favorability rating 13%.  In a general election he leads Bruce Braley 42% to 41%, they didn’t mention how the other candidates fared other than saying they trail Braley.

This poll included 500 voters likely to cast ballots in November during the general election.  Then they also poll an additional 300 Republicans likely to vote in the 2014 primary election.  They combined the two separate samples were combined and weighted “proportionately” for the total general election sample.  The poll was conducted by phone on February 12-13, 2014. They state the margin of error is +/- 4%.

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Some observations.

  • I generally don’t hold that much confidence in internal polling, especially when a campaign doesn’t release the cross tabs.  So how accurate is this poll really?  I don’t know.
  • Mark Jacobs has spent $500,000 and has 22% to show for it.  The name ID doesn’t surprise me as he is the only one running TV ads right now.
  • Jacobs needs 35% in the primary to avoid taking this to convention.  He’s far from it.  A convention decision, in my opinion, does not favor Jacobs.  I am having a hard time seeing this not go to convention.  I don’t see Clovis, Ernst or Whitaker dropping out of this.
  • There are still a lot of undecided voters out there for candidates to woo and we don’t know how soft Jacobs support may be.
  • Bob Vander Plaats not getting into the race the poll says favors Jacobs, “Of voters who might have backed conservative icon Bob Vander Platts, had he joined the race, the plurality of them now choose Jacobs: Jacobs, 25 percent; Ernst, 12%; Whitaker, 10%; Clovis, 5%; other candidate, 5%; and, undecided, 43%.”  We really don’t know how many people that consists of, and frankly I’m not buying the accuracy there.  BVP backers that I know, anecdotal I know, have a negative opinion of Jacobs.

So who is leading?  “I don’t know.”

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