Is Chuck Grassley Going To Lose In Iowa?
Credit: Facebook compilation
October 17, 2022

The idea that Chuck Grassley could ever actually lose a senate race in Iowa seemed laughable to many. The man hasn't had a competitive senate race there since 1980. But that's going to change this year. Many voters in Iowa seem to be annoyed that Grassley is running for office again, as he's nearly ninety years old. That's put his approval ratings in negative territory when he had routinely been in the 70s for much of the past two decades. The man has simply stayed around too long.

His opponent, Democrat and former Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy Mike Franken looks like a sound and sensible alternative. And he might just win.

Source: Des Moines Register

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s lead over Democrat Mike Franken has narrowed to 3 percentage points with less than a month until Election Day, signaling Grassley’s toughest reelection fight in 40 years.

A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows Grassley leads with 46% of the vote to Franken’s 43% among likely voters. Another 4% would vote for someone else, 4% would not vote and 3% are not sure.

“It says to me that Franken is running a competent campaign and has a shot to defeat the seemingly invincible Chuck Grassley — previously perceived to be invincible,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. The poll of 804 Iowa adults, including 620 likely voters, was conducted Oct. 9-12 by Selzer & Co. The questions asked of all Iowans have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; it's plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the questions asked of likely voters.

Dan Guild at the blog took a deep dive into the numbers, Selzer and other pollsters recent accuracy in Iowa and came up with some thoughts on where we're at in Iowa, with Chuck Grassley, a man who's been in Congress since Gerald Ford was president. Guild called Selzer's comment that Grassley could lose shocking to many.

Ann Selzer commented on her latest Iowa Poll of the U.S. Senate race for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom: "It says to me that Franken is running a competent campaign and has a shot to defeat the seemingly invincible Chuck Grassley — previously perceived to be invincible."

The gold-standard pollster's statement will shock many political observers. Forecasters that issue ratings on Senate races have uniformly discounted any chance that Chuck Grassley will lose. This race is simply not on the national radar. Since 2016, Iowa has seemingly marched inexorably toward becoming a red state.

All of which is fine and good, but can Mike Franken, a retired Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy actually defeat Grassley? And just how would he go about that.

Can he win? One has to wonder how much Franken can grow, given that his 43 percent is close to what Biden received in Iowa in November 2020.

The Des Moines Register's write-up by Stephen Gruber-Miller and Brianne Pfannenstiel noted two points beyond the horse race numbers:

- Grassley's job approval rating among all Iowa adults (44 percent approve/48 percent disapprove) is negative for the first time in his career.

- When asked, Iowa voters did not believe that Grassley's age and experience were a good thing. Just 34 percent said "his longevity is an asset to Iowa," while 60 percent said "his age is a concern."

It isn't hard to see these two things as connected. The obvious line of attack is for Franken to paint Grassley as out of touch—a powerful argument to make against an incumbent.

So you have a nearly 90-year-old Senator who basically just spouts the same old nonsensical Republican talking points day in and day out, or posts "funny" little videos about how his corn is doing rather than dealing with any real issues that affect ordinary Iowans. "Out of touch" is an understatement.

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