Research 2000 polled for KCCI Channel 8 in Des Moines. Senator Chuck "pull the plug on grandma" Grassley is finally below 50% and he doesn't even have a chosen primary challenger yet. The poll paired him with likely Democratic primary winner Roxanne Conlin in a survey of 600 likely voters conducted May 3-5. Results: Grassley is at 49% if the election were held today, versus 40% for Conlin.
Grassley Conlin Undecided
ALL 49% 40% 11%
MEN 56% 34% 10%
WOMEN 42% 46% 12%
DEMOCRATS 13% 76% 11%
REPUBLICANS 85% 6% 9%
INDEPENDENTS 53% 35% 12%
In October, another Research 2000 poll showed him at 51% against 39% for Conlin. Since this difference is within the MoE of 4%, it is not dramatic, but being below the 50% mark has got to have him worried.
His favorability rating has improved slightly, still within the MoE, since October, shown as 58% in this poll and 55 in the October R2K poll. But given that SUSA had it at 71% in February 2009, he seems vulnerable to the first serious challenge he has had in many years. Even Rasmussenonly has him at 53-40 with Conlin. The poll shows that only 5% had no opinion of him on favorability, compared to 20% who had no opinion about Conlin.
KCCI's political analyst helpfully points out that Grassley has never won with less than 65% of the vote. Grassley's spokesman would rather focus on his "big lead" than on the trend downward since last year.
The primary is not until June, and Conlin will face Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause. Neither is well-funded, but both were making the rounds of the April district conventions to gather support. I don't know anyone who thinks either of them are going to beat Conlin.
This election is another illustration of what the Republican party is doing to their own. Grassley is a conservative, but he's no Steve King. He has obviously felt pressure to drink a little of the crazy Kool-Aid to avoid a primary challenger and keep his base from staying home or going rogue. I almost felt sorry for him when I saw him talking about the end of life counseling in the health care bill as pulling the plug on one's elderly relatives. IIRC he originally proposed that idea.
We have a real race in Iowa this year. ActBlue