-Terry Branstad's numbers are recovering after a rough start to his newest term as Governor of Iowa. An equal 43% of voters now approve and disapprove of him. PPP's previous three polls had all found Branstad under water and in June his numbers had dipped as low as a 39/47 spread. If voters could do last fall's election over again, they'd vote for Branstad by a 51-40 margin over his predecessor Chet Culver. That margin is similar to what Branstad won by last year and indicates there's no buyer's remorse on the part of voters in the state.
The recovery in Branstad's numbers is reflective of several of the new Republican Governors elected last fall beginning to make a comeback. They became very unpopular very fast after taking office but we've seen some recovery for Florida Governor Rick Scott and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in their states and other polling has found the same thing for Ohio Governor John Kasich. None of them are popular, but they're at least doing better than they were 5 or 6 months ago.
-Chuck Grassley continues to be Iowa's more popular Senator. 50% of voters approve of him to 35% who disapprove. He's at 51/33 with independents and has an unusual amount of crossover support with 30% of Democrats giving him good marks. Voters are more evenly divided in their feelings about Tom Harkin- he has a 44% approval with 41% disapproving.
Looking ahead to Harkin's next reelection he would lead a hypothetical match up with Tom Latham 45-42 and would have a wider 49-42 lead over Steve King. Depending on the political climate in 2014, which is obviously impossible to peg right now, Harkin could be vulnerable. Democrats pretty universally like him but he doesn't have Grassley's support across the aisle- only 13% of Republicans think he's doing a good job and independents split about evenly, 43/40.
-When it comes to statewide favorability numbers Latham is the most popular member of Iowa's House delegation at 28/24, followed by Bruce Braley at 25/22, Dave Loebsack at 25/25, Steve King at 30/36, and Leonard Boswell at 27/34. Latham and Braley might be their party's most logical future Senate candidates, at least if they were going to draw on their House delegations.
-Voters in Braley's current district rate him favorably by a 37/35 margin. In the new 1st District his numbers are better at a 36/27 spread. He may be a beneficiary of redistricting. Dave Loebsack is not as lucky- he has very solid numbers in the current 2nd District at 47/31, but that declines to 35/26 in the new 2nd. A lot of voters there aren't familiar with him yet.
-There's a great deal of interest in the new 3rd District where incumbents Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell will face off. The initial advantage looks like it will probably belong to Latham. He's at 38/20 in the new 3rd, while Boswell is at 34/40. Boswell has much higher name recognition but since voters don't really like him, that's not necessarily a good thing. Latham's numbers are actually better in the new 4th, where he's at 44/27, but it still seems likely he'd have a hard time surviving a GOP contest against Steve King. In their current districts Latham is at 48/33 and Boswell at 42/48.
-It's harder to get a read on how things might unfold in the new 4th District. King's favorability numbers (42/38) are better than Christie Vilsack's (36/40) but it's not exactly a wide divide. King is much less popular in his new district than in his current 5th, where he stands at 50/35. That could be a close race.
Full results here