Government

Poll: Trump, Blum disapproval ratings close in Iowa 1st District

Voters want tax returns, town hall-style meeting

Rep. Rod Blum speaks before the arrival of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign event at McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Rep. Rod Blum speaks before the arrival of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign event at McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

About three weeks ago, Rep. Rod Blum complained that media coverage of him was nearly as biased and negative as coverage of the president.

Media reports make it seem as if “I’m the worst person on the face of the planet,” he told Linn County Republicans.

A new poll of 619 Iowa 1st District voters finds the northeast Iowa Republican and President Donald Trump have more in common than bad press.

Asked whether they approve of the jobs the president and Blum are doing, 54 percent of the 1st District voters told Public Policy Polling they disapprove. The president’s 41 percent approval rating was higher than Blum’s 34 percent approval in the poll conducted March 27-28 for Progress Iowa, a progressive advocacy organization. The margin of error is four percent.

The poll also found that 53 percent margin voters in the 20-county district that includes Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls-Waterloo, Dubuque and Marshalltown oppose the tax plan championed by Trump, Blum and congressional Republicans. Less than one-third, 31 percent, supported the tax cuts.

Voters told PPP they want to see Trump and Blum’s tax returns, they want their congressman to hold a town hall-style meeting, which he hasn’t done since May 2017, and they want to know more about his relationship with Tin Moon, a reputation protection firm.

“This poll shows that Congressman Blum needs to stop running away from his constituents, hold a public town hall meeting and release his tax returns so Iowans will know the full story behind his Tin Moon scandal,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa, which commissioned the poll.

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“Blum padded his own pocketbook at the expense of the middle class by voting for the Republican tax plan, and has yet to disclose the full extent to which he has used his position in power to profit from his internet company.”

Blum staffer John Ferland was less impressed.

“Everyone knows polls privately commissioned by biased groups usually get the results they are paying for,” he said.

Earlier polls have shown Democratic challengers State Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque and Thomas Heckroth of Cedar Falls beating the incumbent by one percentage point.

In 2016, Trump carried the district 48.7 percent to 45.2 percent. Blum outperformed the president, carrying the 1st District by 7.7 percentage points.

The new poll found mixed results for the Affordable Care Act. Overall, 47 percent of 1st District voters support the law also referred to as Obamacare, and 35 percent oppose it.

However, support for the health care program was stronger among men than women — 53 percent to 41 percent.

By a smaller margin — 65 percent to 61 percent — more men than women said Congress should keep the parts of the ACA that work and fix the rest. Overall, 63 percent wanted to keep what works while 31 percent said it should be repealed.

Among respondents 37 percent were Republican, 34 percent were Democrats and 29 percent were no party or other, PPP said.

To see more results, go to www.ProgressIowa.org.

l Comments (319) 398-8375; James.Lynch@TheGazette.com

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