Government

Gov. Kim Reynolds gets good marks in poll despite voter disagreement with state pandemic policies

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is introduced July 31 during the second inning of the Class 3A softball championship game between
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is introduced July 31 during the second inning of the Class 3A softball championship game between Albia and Williamsburg in Fort Dodge. A new Monmouth University polls shows Iowans think Reynolds is doing a good job though they disagree with her on some key pandemic policies. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Although they don’t always agree with her — particularly on her pandemic policies — Iowa voters give Gov. Kim Reynolds high marks for her job performance.

Nearly three-fifths — 58 percent — of registered voters told Monmouth University Polling Institute that Reynolds is doing a good job. Thirty-nine percent said she’s doing a bad job.

Her “good” rating includes 28 percent who say she’s doing a “very good” job. That was nearly balanced by 25 percent who rated her job performance as “very bad.”

Despite that overall rating, voters tend to disagree with the governor on key aspects of her pandemic policy.

For example, 73 percent believe individual towns and cities should be allowed to establish face mask rules that are stricter than statewide regulations. This includes 94 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 59 percent of Reynolds’ fellow Republicans.

Reynolds and Attorney General Tom Miller have said that local governments do not have that authority.

Opposition also was expressed to Reynolds’ insistence that school districts follow state law that requires K-12 students spend at least half their instruction time in the classroom.

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Just 24 percent of voters agree with the state law, while 69 percent say individual districts should be able to decide how much in-person instruction schools provide.

That view is shared by 85 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans.

Partisans split, though, over whether all schools should provide at least some in-person instruction.

Just over half, 54 percent, say they should have to do in-person teaching, while 37 percent say districts should be able to provide all instruction remotely.

While 76 percent of Republicans say that school districts should be required to provide at least some in-person instruction, just 31 percent of Democrats agree. Opinion of independent voters on the requirement lands between the two party extremes with 52 percent supporting the state law.

The Monmouth poll was conducted July 30 to Aug. 3 with a statewide random sample of 401 Iowans drawn from a list of registered voters. The poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent, included 176 voters contacted by live interviewers on landlines and 225 contacted in-person on cellphones. All interviews were conducted in English.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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