Republicans hold an early advantage in the race for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.
The poll found 49% of respondents in the district preferred a generic Republican to 41% who said they preferred a generic Democrat.
Conducted by Selzer & Co. and reported by the Register, the poll did not name specific candidates. "If the elections for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your congressional district?" the poll asked. Respondents then chose between the Republican or Democrat.
Iowa’s Second Congressional District has been held by U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack since 2006. Loebsack, a Democrat, will retire at the end of his term, in early 2021.
The frontrunners are Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a physician and Iowa state senator, and Democrat Rita Hart, a farmer and former state senator. In addition to Miller-Meeks, the crowded Republican primary includes former U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, formerly of Illinois and now in LeClaire. Hart is expected to be unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
“We think the GOP strength is a reflection that many voters know, trust and respect Mariannette Miller-Meeks and, although the survey did not specifically include her name, it would be natural that informed voters would have her in mind when they responded positively to the poll,” said Eric Woolson, spokesman for the Miller-Meeks campaign.
The congressional preference question was asked of 667 likely general election voters from across the state, with a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. (The sample size in the 2nd Congressional District was not listed but presumably much lower.)
“We’re not taking anything for granted in this race,” said Zachary Meunier, Hart’s campaign manager. “That’s why Rita is traveling across Iowa talking about her experience as a teacher and farmer and the issues that keep Iowans up at night—the cost of health care, the quality of education, and good jobs that can support families."
Graham Ambrose is the Iowa politics reporter for the Quad-City Times.
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