CEDAR RAPIDS — Gov. Kim Reynolds has lost ground since spring, according to a quarterly poll of governors’ popularity.
The Morning Consult poll, conducted over the past three months, found the Republican’s favorability ranking fell slightly to now being nearly evenly split between those Iowa registered voters who have a favorable opinion of Reynolds and those with an unfavorable opinion.
In the first quarter of the year, 42 percent of Iowans contacted by Morning Consult gave Reynolds a thumbs-up, 35 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 23 percent had no opinion.
In the April-May-June quarter, 40 percent rated the governor favorable, 39 percent unfavorable and 21 percent had no opinion.
The findings are in line with recent ratings changes in Reynolds’s bid for a full four-year term as governor. Lieutenant governor for six years, she became governor in May 2017 when Terry Branstad resigned to be ambassador to China.
The Crystal Ball recently moved the race from “leans Republican” to “tossup,” due in part to her status as a “successor incumbent.” As a group, successor incumbents have a mixed record of electoral success — 63 percent compared to 74 percent for elected incumbent governors.
The tossup ranking and lower favorability ratings show “Iowans are holding Gov. Reynolds responsible for her failed record and misplaced priorities,” according to Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price.
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The poll also found Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst maintained their favorability ratings. Grassley’s was 45 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable in the first quarter of the year and 45/39 in the second.
Ernst’s numbers were 42/37 in the first quarter and 42/38 in the most recent quarter, according to Morning Consult.
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