New poll shows Vernon leads Blum in Iowa 1st District

U.S. House candidates Rod Blum and Monica Vernon.
U.S. House candidates Rod Blum and Monica Vernon.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Democratic challenger Monica Vernon has taken a slim lead over Republican Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District, according to a poll released today.

Vernon, a former Cedar Rapids City Council member and business owner, has taken a 48 percent to 47 percent lead, according to a GBA Strategies poll of 400 likely voters conducted Oct. 16-17 with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. More than 40 percent of all interviews were conducted via cellphone.

Previous polls showed Blum, a Dubuque business owner and first-term congressman, leading by as much as 16 points.

Officials from GBA said Blum’s financial advantage after Vernon emerged from the competitive Democratic June primary helped him build a solid lead and a nearly 2-to-1 favorability rating from voters.

However, his favorability rating has dropped from +20 to +3 — 39 percent favorable to 36 percent unfavorable. His favorable and unfavorables are slightly higher than Vernon’s, which were virtually unchanged from September at +3 — 33 percent to 30 percent.

Both candidates have consolidated their partisan bases, but Vernon has gained 10 points and now leads among independents.

GBA officials attributed the shift in Blum’s rating to perceptions of his connection to Trump. Forty-one percent of respondents said Blum shares the same attitudes and values of Trump and 48 percent said he shares Trump’s policy goals.

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