Things have just generally soured for Democrats in Iowa over the last two months. We showed President Obama in a considerably worse position last week than the last time the state was polled in May. Now Senator Tom Harkin has seen his approval rating slip, and Republicans have taken a lead in the generic state legislative ballot.
Voters break even on Harkin. 42% approve and 41% disapprove of his job performance. Those figures are not as bad as a lot of politicians are facing in this political climate, but they are down five points on the margin from 45-39 in the previous survey. His decline has come with voters of both parties and with independents. Senior colleague Chuck Grassley remains in an almost identical position as last month (50-34).
44% now favor the unnamed Republican legislative candidate in their district, with 42% opting for the Democrat. This is a close margin, but Democrats were preferred by five points (44-39) in May. Democrats have slipped a few points with their own party’s voters, but most of the switch has come from Republicans taking 13 points of previously undecided independents.
Voters are split on whether the state should comply with the one major aspect of Obamacare which was partially struck down by the Supreme Court. There is less pressure for states to expand their Medicaid rolls now because Congress cannot penalize previously promised funds. 42% of Iowans think their legislature should go forward with the expansion, while the same amount think they should not. Predictably, Democrats and Republicans are polarized. Independents prefer by a 45-38 margin that the state not expand Medicaid because of cost concerns.
Iowa is not a particularly urban place, but Hawkeye voters generally love all their cities. The only exception is Waterloo, which is seen favorably by 31% and unfavorably by 32%. The most popular of nine we asked about was Ames (64-10). That is followed by Des Moines (61-12), Iowa City (63-16), Dubuque (54-11), Cedar Rapids (51-17), Davenport (40-16), Council Bluffs (36-16), and Sioux City (35-16).
Full results here