DES MOINES — A new poll of Iowa Democrats suggests the party will choose a nominee in the June 5 primary, not at the state convention later that month.
Retired Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell has opened a wide lead on the field, capturing the backing of nearly half of the 2,315 likely Democratic primary voters polled May 5 and 6 for KBUR AM/FM in Burlington.
Hubbell leads the six-person field with 46 percent of those polled. State Sen. Nate Boulton, also of Des Moines, captured 20 percent in the poll. Union president Cathy Glasson was third with 7 percent, followed by former Obama administration staffer John Norris at 5 percent, physician Andy McGuire, 3 percent and university diversity officer Ross Wilburn, 1 percent. The remaining 18 percent were undecided.
“From the beginning, Fred has been working hard to earn every vote across the state, visiting all 99 counties and sharing his vision to put people first again,” his communications director, Remi Yamamoto, said. “That’s what we will continue to do, with over 100 campaign events every week, engaging voters where they are for a victory in June and then November.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds, whose approval rating is below 50 percent, but leads the Democratic candidates in most polls, expressed no concern about the poll.
She’s eager to get out on the campaign trail to “talk about how we listened Iowans and we took action and we put Iowans first … about how we want to continue to build a better Iowa.”
“We have a great story to tell,” she said Tuesday.
Although Hubbell’s support is highest among voters 50 and older, Boulton leads among voters in their thirties. Hubbell maintains strong leads in all four Iowa congressional districts and there is little variation by gender or among progressives and moderates.
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“Hubbell’s support is widespread across the board by gender, region, age, philosophical self-identification and congressional district,” said Steve Hexom, KBUR president. “His support is well above the 35 percent threshold for a state convention, which is somewhat of a surprise in this multicandidate field.”
Robin Johnson, host of KBUR’s Heartland Politics show, attributed Hubbell’s lead to his advantage in TV advertising.
“According to an Iowa Starting Line analysis on April 18, Hubbell was the first candidate to start TV advertising and had outspent his next closest rival, Sen. Boulton, on TV by about a five-to-one margin,” Johnson said.
The top issues for Iowa Democrats are education, 24 percent, and health care, 21 percent, followed by women’s rights, 13 percent and jobs and the economy, 9 percent. Glasson performed slightly better among voters concerned about the economy.
The poll was conducted for KBUR by Remington Research Group of Kansas City, Missouri, a Republican polling firm that was among the very few pollsters to find a likelihood of Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential race. The survey was weighted to match expected turnout demographics and had a margin of error of 2.04 percent.
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