Monmouth Poll on Iowa House Districts Favorable To Democrats

In a Monmouth Poll from October 20, the poll reveals gains for Iowa's Democratic candidates for...
In a Monmouth Poll from October 20, the poll reveals gains for Iowa's Democratic candidates for the four seats in the U.S. House, notably from the Iowa-2 open seat with Democrat Rita Hart (left) and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks.(Staff)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 9:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For the millions of dollars that candidates and political action committees are pumping into Iowa’s U.S. House races, especially for the two districts in Eastern Iowa, this week’s polling from Monmouth could make anyone wonder if the effort even matters.

After the 2018 mid-term elections, Iowa’s four districts in the House inverted from three Republicans and one Democrat to a 3-1 edge in Democrats from Iowa serving in Washington. Democrats Abby Finkenauer (1st) and Cindy Axne (3rd) beat out incumbents Rod Blum and David Young, respectively.

Republican groups, in Iowa and nationally, have spent more than a year targeting the three districts that Democrats won in 2018.

This week’s Monmouth Poll shows the two Democratic incumbents, as well as 2nd District Democrat Rita Hart – running for the open seat against Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, having built sizable leads among likely voters.

The Monmouth poll comes off of about 1,600 responses across Iowa, with just under 400 data points (likely voters) from each of Iowa’s four Congressional districts. Monmouth reports a margin of error between 4.8% and 5.2% on each district.

The October poll results among likely voters (with Monmouth’s August poll results among likely voters)

1st District: Abby Finkenauer (D) 54%, Ashley Hinson (R) 44%. (August: Finkenauer led 52%-41%.)

2nd District: Rita Hart (D) 51%, Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) 42%. (August: Miller-Meeks led 48%-44%.) This is an open seat with Democrat Dave Loebsack’s retirement after seven terms.

3rd District: Cindy Axne (D) 53%, David Young (R) 42%. (August: Axne led 50%-42%). This is a rematch from 2018, when Axne defeat the two-term Republican Congressman.

4th District: Randy Feenstra (R) 48%, J.D. Scholten (D) 43%. (August: Feenstra led 55-34%). Scholten has closed the gap from 21-points to just five in the last two weeks before the election. He lost to longtime Congressman Steve King by three points in 2018. Feenstra defeated King in the June 2020 primary.

Iowa’s 1st District covers twenty districts, primarily in northeast Iowa. Major cities include Cedar Rapids (Linn), Dubuque (Dubuque) and Waterloo/Cedar Falls (Black Hawk). The October polling found, if you remove Linn, Dubuque, Black Hawk and Winneshiek from the polling, that Hinson holds a 3-point edge (50-47%) in the remaining 16 counties, which are primarily rural. In 2018, two-term Congressman Rod Blum won those 16 counties by 9 points. In the other four counties, Monmouth found Finkenauer with a 15-point edge, up from winning Linn, Dubuque, Black Hawk and Winneshiek Counties by 13 points two years ago.

Results for Iowa’s 2nd District, from the August poll to this week’s results, show a dramatic shift in support for Rita Hart from voters age 65 and older. In August, those voters split support nearly even, 47% for Miller-Meeks and 46% for Hart. In the October Monmouth poll, likely voters 65 and older support Hart by 28 points, 61 to 33%.

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