DES MOINES, Iowa – A new poll of 485 likely Republican voters in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District by The Iowa Standard shows U.S. Rep. Steve King leads State Senator Randy Feenstra just shy of 13 points.
The poll was conducted on Friday, May 22, 2020, by an automated telephone survey and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.
- Steve King – 45.57 percent
- Randy Feenstra – 31.75 percent
- Jeremy Taylor – 11.96 percent
- Bret Richards – 5.98 percent
- Steve Reeder – 4.74 percent
The survey did not provide an undecided option. It is unclear why as there are usually some voters who remain undecided until election day.
Among the 71 responses from Sioux City, The Iowa Standard reports 50.7 percent of those favored King, followed by Feenstra and then Taylor.
In any survey, 71 respondents are not large enough of a sample to determine how a candidate will do among a subgroup with any accuracy.
The Iowa Standard claims to be the only independent poll conducted of the Iowa 4th Congressional District race. This poll does not track with a poll released by American Future Fund, a group funded by Feenstra donors or an early May poll released by the Feenstra campaign.
While a campaign does not directly fund this poll, The Iowa Standard can’t objectively be considered unbiased. Jacob Hall, the editor of The Iowa Standard, is on the record as anti-Feenstra, and his coverage slants anti–Feenstra. A quick search of articles about the other candidates on The Iowa Standard in 2020 did not produce any original negative news or commentary.
Also, a more significant red flag for this writer is an unwillingness to identify the pollster commissioned for this survey.
The Iowa Standard wrote, the pollster was “a polling firm in Washington D.C.”
The article then reads, “The company that The Iowa Standard used for the poll was one of the few pollsters in America that predicted Trump’s victory in 2016. They had Trump winning Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”
Caffeinated Thoughts contacted Hall and asked several questions regarding the poll, and he answered all of the questions except he did not identify the polling company. Why?
Every internal poll conducted of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District by campaigns and outside groups does not include crosstabs. This new poll is no different. So readers do not know the make-up of the sample. That is helpful information in gaging whether a poll’s sample is reflective of the district’s electorate.
We don’t know how the sample was chosen. We don’t know how the questions were asked. There is a lot we do not know.