DES MOINES, Iowa – Monmouth University released on Wednesday a new poll that shows President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst lead among Iowans, but their leads are within the margin of error. 

They polled 401 registered voters in Iowa from July 30 to August 3, 2020, with 95 percent confidence the margin of error is 4.9 percent. 

Trump Leads Biden By Three 

Republican President Donald Trump only holds a three-point lead in Iowa over his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden – 48 percent to 45 percent. Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen polled at 3 percent. 

Only 45 percent of Iowans have a favorable impression of Trump, while 50 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Only 43 percent of registered voters in Iowa viewed Biden favorably, while 49 percent viewed him unfavorably. 

Biden leads among adults 18-49 by three points. Trump leads among 50 to 64-year-olds by nine points, and Iowans 65 and older by eight points. Trump leads 60 percent to 32 percent among men, while Biden leads among women 58 percent to 37 percent. 

Trump has strong support within his party, with 91 percent saying they will vote for him, while six percent say they will vote for Biden. Likewise, 95 percent of Democrats say they will vote for Biden, and three percent say they will vote for Trump. Trump enjoys a six-point lead among independents.

Biden holds a 52 percent to 45 percent lead among registered voters in thirteen swing counties (Black Hawk, Cerro Gordo, Clinton, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Jefferson, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Scott, Winneshiek), which Hillary Clinton won by a combined one-point margin. 

Biden also leads 62 percent to 31 percent in three counties (Johnson, Polk, and Story), that Clinton won by 17 points in 2016. Trump leads 59 percent to 34 percent in the 83 counties he won by a combined 30 points in 2016. 

Trump leads white voters with no college degree by ten points, but trails among voters with a college degree by two points. 

Ernst Leads By Three in Iowa’s U.S. Senate Race

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican, leads her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield 48 percent to 45 percent. The Libertarian nominee, Rick Stewart, polls at two percent, while independent candidate Suzanne Herzog has one percent.

Ernst leads among men 57 percent to 35 percent, while Greenfield leads among women 55 percent to 39 percent. Greenfield leads among 18 to 49-year-olds by six points. Ernst leads 50 to 64-year-olds by two points, and Iowans 65 and older by eight points. 

Ernst and Greenfield both enjoy strong support among their party base, but Greenfield leads by one point among independents.

Ernst leads by 21 points in counties President Trump won in 2016, but trails by nine points in swing counties. Greenfield leads by 21 points in counties Clinton won in 2016. 

Iowans Approve of Reynolds’ Handling of COVID-19

A majority of Iowans approve of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic as 58 percent of Iowa’s registered voters approve, while 39 percent disapprove. 

Iowans show strong support for local control amid the pandemic. An overwhelming majority, 73 percent, believe cities and counties should be allowed to implement stricter rules regarding facemasks. Also, 69 percent of Iowans believe local school districts should decide how much time students spend with in-person instruction as schools re-open this fall. 

However, a majority of Iowans do not approve of schools going entirely online, 54 percent say schools should be required to provide at least some instruction in the classroom. In comparison, only 37 percent believe all teaching should be done remotely. 

Iowa Could See An Influx of Mail-In Ballots

Among registered voters in Iowa, 57 percent are likely to vote by mail this election cycle, and 40 percent said it was very likely. In 2016, 38 percent of the vote was by absentee ballot. 

A majority of Iowans, 67 percent, are confident their ballots will be counted accurately, and a majority of Iowans, 55 percent, are concerned about voter fraud. 


Among those polled, 34 percent were Republican, 34 percent were Democrat, and 32 percent were no-party or some other party. Of the respondents, 51 percent were female, and 49 percent were male.

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