Iowans have cut their governor a little more slack since we last polled the state three months ago. 41% approve and 44% disapprove of Terry Branstad’s performance, up from 39-47. But that makes him 29th out of 42 sitting governors we've polled, and voters still would only narrowly prefer him to the Democrat he ousted from office last fall, Chet Culver.
In a hypothetical do-over, Branstad would prevail, 48-44, when he actually won by a 53-43 margin. The problem for Culver is that Branstad wins over twice as many Democrats (a huge 18%) as he won last fall. On top of that, even though the third of voters who say they are independents disapprove, 36-46, they prefer Branstad to Culver, 46-41. That is down, however, from the 51-41 margin reported by exit polls.