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Iowa 'Logical' Place for Quinnipiac Univ. to Begin Polling

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DES MOINES, Iowa As a general election swing state and home to the first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, Iowa was the "next obvious place," for the Quinnipiac University Poll to start asking questions.

The poll, started in 1988, will begin regularly surveying Iowans' opinions on statewide political races, presidential politics and issues, according to Peter Brown, assistant director of the institute at the New Haven, Connecticut, college, a private, coeducational university with 6,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

This year and next the focus likely will be on the Iowa governor's race as well as the open-seat U.S. Senate campaign, Brown said during a visit to the Capitol Tuesday.

Quinnipiac plans to release new survey results every six to eight weeks, Brown said. He expects the first polls will look at the 2014 race for governor, favorability ratings for Gov. Terry Branstad and potential challengers, the Senate race, Obama job approval and Iowans' most important issues in upcoming elections.

Iowa is the first state outside the Eastern time zone where Quinnipiac will poll, however, Brown said, it's moving into Colorado, too.

"When we decided to expand after the 2012 election, Iowa was the logical place," he said.

Quinnipiac is known for exactness and is featured regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and on national network news broadcasts. In 2010, New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver ranked the Quinnipiac University poll as most accurate among major polls conducting surveys in two states or more.

Quinnipiac uses live interviewers to call both landline and cellphone numbers. A typical public opinion survey, a randomly selected sample of about 1,000 registered voters age 18 and over is interviewed over five or six days.

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