Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cedar Rapids, IA on July 28, 2016. Photo credit: Max Goldberg, Iowa State Daily, cropped from original (CC-By-3.0)
Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cedar Rapids, IA on July 28, 2016.
Photo credit: Max Goldberg, Iowa State Daily, cropped from original (CC-By-3.0)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new poll conducted by SPRY Strategies and commissioned by American Principles Project finds that President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, trail their Democratic challengers in Iowa. 

Iowans also overwhelmingly oppose a cultural shift to the left on several hot-button issues.

The poll was conducted between July 11 – July 16, among a random sample of 701 likely voters. It has a margin of error of +/-3.7 percent. 

They also polled nine other battleground states: ArizonaGeorgiaKentuckyMichiganMontanaNorth CarolinaPennsylvaniaTexas, and Wisconsin – states expected to have competitive U.S. Senate races, presidential race, or both. 

In presidential battleground states, Trump leads in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Along with Iowa, Biden also leads in Arizona and Wisconsin.

“It is clear from our polling that the reports of President Trump’s impending electoral doom are greatly exaggerated. While the Trump campaign still has much work to do in defining Joe Biden as a feckless enabler of the worst elements of the radical left, the fundamentals of this race are encouraging. While Trump currently trails in some battlegrounds, he also leads in several states where many political pundits have already written him off,” Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said in a released statement. 

The Iowa poll found that Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden 46 percent to 48 percent with six percent undecided. 

Trump has an approval rating of 48 percent among Iowans (40 percent say they strongly approve), and 52 percent disapprove (46 percent say they strongly disapprove).

Ernst trails Theresa Greenfield 43 percent to 45 percent, with seven percent of Iowans saying they are undecided and just under six percent saying they are backing another candidate.

Ernst has a 49 percent approval rating (32 percent say they strongly approve), with 51 percent of Iowans saying they disapprove (37 percent say they strongly disapprove).

American Principles Project, a social conservative group, also polled on several topics of interest.

“On hot-button issues, the survey results were also very interesting. Black Lives Matter is very popular, until voters learn what Black Lives Matter actually supports — then it becomes very unpopular. Voters hate the idea of biological males competing against female athletes in women’s sports. They strongly oppose minors being subjected to sex changes or gender conversion therapy. They want to protect kids from online pornography, and they want Big Tech companies to allow free speech and free expression on their platforms,” Schilling said.

“Politicians on both sides of the aisle would be wise to heed these results, as these issues are likely to play a big role in the fall campaign,” he added.

The poll asked whether Iowans agreed or disagreed with the removal of public statues and monuments of historical figures.

Just 39 percent agreed with the removal of statutes of Confederate figures such as General Robert E. Lee while 61 percent disagreed. There was a wider margin for statues of European explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, with 30 percent agreeing and 70 percent disagreeing. An even wider margin disagreed with removing statues of American founders who owned slaves, including George Washington, only 22 percent of Iowans disagreed while 78 percent opposed. 

A vast majority of Iowans said they were also “proud to be an American,” with 91 percent saying they agreed with that statement and only nine percent saying they disagreed.

They also asked, “The 1619 Project, an educational history curriculum developed by The New York Times, presents early American history with slavery and white supremacy as the dominant themes. Do you agree or disagree that this is the appropriate focus for teaching America?”

Almost 52 percent of Iowans say they agreed while just over 48 percent disagreed. 

Also, over 82 percent said they approved of the group Black Lives Matter, but only 37 percent believed their protests were peaceful while almost 51 percent thought their protests were not peaceful. 

The survey outlined some of the group’s stated public goals, 72 percent of Iowans said they were less likely to support BLM if they knew the group supported doing away with the traditional family. Also, 73 percent were less likely to support them if they knew their goal was to defund the police, and 84 percent said they were less likely to support them if they knew their goal was “overturning” American capitalism. 

They also turned to transgender issues. Only 26 percent of Iowans agreed that biological men who identify as transgender should be able to compete in women’s sports. Also, 77 percent of Iowans oppose minors identifying as transgender being allowed to undergo sex-change surgeries or chemical treatments.

Iowans were asked their opinions about regulating online pornography and Big Tech. 

Iowans overwhelmingly support (80 percent) requiring pornography websites to have age verification to prevent minors from accessing their material. A majority (58 percent) said Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter shouldn’t be allowed to censor speech on their platforms if it is constitutionally protected speech in the public square.

The poll’s modeling is based on the 2016 presidential election, so 38 percent of those polled were Republican, and 35 percent were Democrat. However, men were over-polled as more men (54 percent) were polled than women (46 percent). In the last three presidential elections, approximately 11,000 more women have turned out to vote than men in each cycle. 

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