A new survey of Iowa by Public Policy Polling (D) suggests that former Gov. Terry Branstad, who is seeking to reclaim the office he held for 16 years in the 1980s and 1990s, could be surprisingly vulnerable in next Tuesday’s Republican primary against Tea-Party aligned businessman Bob Vander Plaats.
The numbers: Branstad 46%, Vander Plaats 31%, and state Rep. Rod Roberts 13%. The poll of likely GOP primary voters has a Â±4.5% margin of error.
“The race is particularly tight among the conservative voters who have been giving GOP establishment candidates fits across the country so far in 2010. With them Branstad leads Vander Plaats only 41-35. He expands his overall lead thanks to a 58-19 advantage with moderates,” writes PPP communications director Tom Jensen. “Among voters that actually know who Vander Plaats is- whether they see him favorably or unfavorably- he leads Branstad 42-37. The question is if there’s enough time left for Vander Plaats to completely make up the huge gap in name recognition he began the campaign with.”