DES MOINES, Iowa – A new poll of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District’s Republican primary shows incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, leading State Senator Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, by three points.
American Viewpoint, Inc. out of Alexandria, Va. conducting an internal poll on behalf of the Feenstra campaign, asked 350 likely Republican primary voters on May 7 and 8 their preference in the upcoming primary on June 2. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 5.2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It should be noted that the pollster polled 50 fewer likely voters than they did in April.
King’s lead is less than the margin of error, he leads Feenstra 39 percent to 36 percent, with nine percent voting for another candidate and ten percent being undecided. Feenstra’s deficit has gone from 31 points in late January to 7 points over two weeks ago to 3 points today. Feenstra gained two points since the last poll, while King dropped two points.
They note that among those with an opinion of both candidates (54 percent of the electorate), Feenstra leads 52 percent to 30 percent.
Feenstra released several ads in the Sioux City market, and America Viewpoint notes that the challenger leads King 44 percent to 36 percent in that market. The Feenstra campaign said that they planned to run ads until the primary.
They note that 59 percent of voters have seen, read, or heard about Feenstra recently, compared to 44 percent for King. Among those who have seen, read, or heard about Feenstra, he leads 51 percent to 29 percent. Among those who have seen, read, or heard about both candidates (31 percent of the electorate), Feenstra leads King 43 percent to 38 percent.
The memo noted that after one week of a comparison ad, King’s favorable/unfavorable rating dropped in the Sioux City market from 62:29 to 50:35.
Also, with the Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate sending an absentee ballot request form to every registered voter due to COVID-19, and 35 percent of those polled indicated they requested one. Among that group, Feenstra leads 40 percent to 38 percent.
Last October, King released an internal poll that showed the incumbent congressman leading Feenstra 59 percent to 15 percent. The King campaign has not released internal polling since.
After the first quarter in 2020, Feenstra leads King in fundraising by a wide margin. As of March 31, 2020, Feenstra raised $844,229 and has $415,651 cash on hand heading into what will likely be a lean fundraising quarter for every candidate because of the economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparatively, King raised $301,372 and has $26,773 cash on hand.
With gatherings and events of ten or more people suspended until May 27, and the ability to campaign restricted due to COVID-19, a campaign’s ability to advertise will be significant in the final weeks leading up to the primary. If this poll is accurate, Feenstra seems to be in good shape heading toward June 2.