Grassley holds single-digit lead over challenger Franken, Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows

Admiral Mike Franken (Ret.), left, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, right.
Admiral Mike Franken (Ret.), left, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, right.(Courtesy Photos)
Published: Jul. 16, 2022 at 9:05 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley could be in for the toughest fight of his political career in decades, according to a poll released by The Des Moines Register and Mediacom on Saturday evening.

The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co. between July 10 and July 13, shows Grassley receiving 47% support among likely voters in November’s election, with Democrat Mike Franken earning 39%. 7% in the poll said they would vote for somebody else, and 5% were undecided.

If it translates to votes on election day, the margin between the two candidates would be the smallest Grassley has experienced since taking the Senate seat in 1980. The closest reelection campaign result was in his last contest when Grassley defeated former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge by 60% to 36%.

A statement from the Republican Party of Iowa asserted that the poll may be underestimating his support in the state, while emphasizing it still shows an easy path for the seven-time incumbent.

“The GOP has been gaining momentum in Iowa for years. Mike Franken has no chance of overcoming Republican momentum and a hugely unpopular Biden presidency, much less the strong leadership of Senator Grassley,” Kollin Crompton, the party’s Communications Director, said, in the statement.

Franken’s campaign also issued a statement, calling Grassley’s eight-point lead “embarrassing” and cited a poll commissioned by the candidate that showed a single-digit gap as an indication that Franken could win.

“With all the challenges Iowans face, it’s clear they’ve reached the conclusion that an eighth term of Grassley’s talk won’t bear any more fruit than the last seven. Iowans want to be represented by someone who works–for them, not their big corporate donors,” Julie Stauch, Franken’s campaign manager, said, in a statement.

Franken enjoys a slim lead among independents in the Register/Mediacom poll, favoring him by a margin of 38% to 37% over Grassley. However, Democrats were slightly more likely to cross party lines and support Grassley, with 6% expressing intent to do so compared to only 4% of Republicans that planned to vote for Franken.

Selzer and Co. conducted the poll via landline and cellular telephones among 811 Iowans of voting age. 597 of those polled were considered likely voters in the pollster’s sample which carries a margin of error of +/- 4%.

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