Blum, Miller-Meeks, and Zaun Lead in GOP Congressional Primaries, Murphy Clear Frontrunner in Democratic Primary, Loras College Poll Finds

The Loras College Poll released its results for select Iowa congressional primaries Wednesday, giving a look at how these races are shaping up in advance of the June election.  The races in Congressional District 1 and 3 are to fill open seats, a rarity across the nation.  As Representative Bruce Braley seeks a seat in the U.S. Senate, and Representative Tom Latham is retiring from the House, two of the four Iowa Congressional races will have no incumbent running.
“This is a unique and exciting year in Iowa politics, as these open seat races have attracted a number of candidates,” noted Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll.  “The results from the GOP primary survey, considering the margin of error, indicate the races are close.  Names familiar to some of these districts, such as Zaun and Miller-Meeks, are at the top of the survey at this point.” 
A majority of the likely voters remain undecided in these GOP races. “In the Democratic race in District 1, Iowa State Representative Murphy has a strong lead, with only a third of voters undecided.  Murphy enjoys a higher level of name recognition than his competitors as well,” said Budzisz. For more on today’s results, click here.
In the Republican Congressional District 1 primary, the results are:
Blum                           17 percent                   
Rathje                         12 percent
Boliver                             2 percent
Undecided                 68 percent

In the Democratic Congressional District 1 primary, the results are:
Murphy                        30 percent                   
Kajtozovic                   11 percent
Dandekar                       9 percent
Vernon                            9 percent
O’Brien   6 percent
Undecided                34 percent


In the Republican Congressional District 2 primary, the results are:
Miller-Meeks 17 percent     
Lofgren 11 percent
Waldren   1 percent
Undecided 68 percent

In the Republican Congressional District 3 primary, the results are:
Zaun                           17 percent                     
Schultz                            8 percent
Cramer                           7 percent
Shaw                               5 percent
Young                              3 percent
Grandanette                  2 percent
Undecided                58 percent

Budzisz’s review of the survey includes the following observations:
  • In all the Republican primaries polled, a majority of likely voters are undecided.
  • Republican primaries in Congressional Districts 1 and 2 are likely to avoid being decided at convention, given the 35 percent threshold and limited field of candidates in each.
  • Congressional District 3 will be an interesting one to watch for Republicans, as there are more candidates actively competing for the remaining undecided voters.
  • State Representative Murphy is very close to the 35 percent threshold needed to avoid the party convention in the Democratic Party primary in District 1.
“Given the level of GOP competition in the Congressional District 3 primary, I am sure all the campaigns have a strategy in place for a party convention if it becomes necessary.  And for Murphy’s opponents in the Democratic primary, time is especially critical as there are only seven weeks left to make up ground,” Budzisz commented.
The inaugural Loras College Poll surveyed 300 likely primary voters in each of these congressional primaries, and results carry a 5.65 percent margin of error.  The Republican surveys were conducted April 8-10, 2014, and the Democratic survey was conducted April 10-11, 2014.  Surveys were conducted using telephone interviews, including both landlines and cell phones.  In addition, the survey was balanced using historical voting patterns for age, gender and geography.  Script development and methodology used for the survey received input from Republican campaign consultant, Steve Grubbs, and Democrat campaign consultant, Dave Heller.  The Loras College Poll will continue to monitor these primaries.
Capitalizing on its location in the politically vital and vibrant state of Iowa, the Iowa Presidential Caucuses will be the cornerstone of the Loras College Poll with additional surveys focused on current events, social issues, economic issues, politics and more.
The Loras College Poll will be conducted several times each year. Loras College faculty and student researchers will work with the survey research team to develop poll questions, analyze and interpret the data and assist with sharing the final results with local, regional and national media.
The Loras College Poll will release results on the Republican gubernatorial primary as well as various issues on Thursday, April 17, 2014.  A complete copy of the survey instrument and results will be provided on the same date.

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