Robert Cramer Announcement
Robert Cramer wins the Caffeinated Thoughts Straw Poll for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –

The results are in from the online straw poll that was open from April 25 through April 28.  The poll was the most extensive we have done, and while this is not a scientific poll, I find the outcome to be pretty interesting.

We gathered responses from 635 Iowa Republicans who say they are likely to vote in the primary on June 3rd.

With the U.S. Senate Race poll Radio talk show host and college professor Sam Clovis from Hinton leads with 43% of those polled.  State Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) came in 2nd at 22%.  Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker from Ankeny was third at 11%.  Retired Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs from West Des Moines was 4th with 9%.  Ames Car Sales Manager Scott Schaben was last at 2%.  13% of those polled said they were undecided.

Clovis won among men, women, Conservatives, Libertarians, Evangelicals, Catholics, Mainline Protestants, as well as voters age 35 and up.  Ernst won Moderate voters (only 8% of those polled) with 37%, Jacobs also beat Clovis among those voters with 28%.  Ernst also won among 18-34 year-olds with 36%.  Ernst also won among those polled from the 1st Congressional District with 25% of the vote.  She was only behind Clovis by a 2 point margin among 3rd Congressional District voters who were polled.  Clovis won the 4th Congressional District by a wide margin with 71% of those polled saying they favored Clovis (who lives in the 4th Congressional District).

Governor Terry Branstad won our online straw poll by a wide margin.  58% of Iowa Republicans polled said they favored the 5-term governor.  Only 30% chose his challenger Tom Hoefling, a political activist from Lohrville.  Branstad led among Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mainline Protestants (among other groups).  He led every age group.  Hoefling only led among those who identified themselves at Libertarian voters (12% of those polled) with 59% of Libertarians say they favor Hoefling.

Voters from the 3rd Congressional District had the largest group in our straw poll with 48%.  The 4th Congressional District had the second most voters polled at 29%.  The 1st Congressional District had 10% and the 2nd Congressional District had 13%.  So we will highlight the 3rd Congressional District race first since we could also look at some subgroups.

Robert Cramer leads by a wide margin of those polled in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race.  33% of Iowa Republicans indicating they live in the 3rd District said they favored Cramer.  Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz was 2nd with 17% (17.2%).  State Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) is 3rd with 17% (16.6).  Agriculture advocate Monte Shaw came in 4th with 13%.  Senator Grassley’s former Chief of Staff David Young from Van Meter came in 5th with 6%.  Des Moines teacher Joe Grandanette was last with less than 1%.  14% polled said they were undecided.  Cramer led all groups except Catholics and Libertarians.   29% of Catholics said they favored Shaw.  They also preferred Schultz and Zaun over Cramer.  37% of Libertarians said they favored Zaun.

The 1st Congressional District race show Dubuque businessman Rod Blum in the lead with 58%.  Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje has 22% and Marshalltown attorney Gail Boliver has 3%.  17% of those polled in the district said they were undecided in that race.

Ottumwa ophthalmologist and former head of the Iowa Department of Public Health Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads the 2nd Congressional District race at 37%  State Representative Mark Lofgren (R-Muscatine) has 22%.  Matthew Waldren of Eddyville is 3rd with 8%.  33% of those polled in the 2nd Congressional District said they were undecided.

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) has an uncontested primary in the 4th Congressional District so Caffeinated Thoughts asked those polled from the district if they were satisfied with his performance.  Unsurprisingly 86% said yes, only 5% were not satisfied.  9% of those polled in the district were unsure.

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