With fewer than 13 weeks to go before the November election, a new Suffolk University poll shows the race in Iowa a statistical dead heat with Republican Donald Trump leading Democrat Hillary Clinton 41 percent to 40 percent, with 17 percent undecided.
In a four-way race with Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson added into the mix, Trump edges Clinton 37 percent to 36 percent, with Johnson getting 6 percent and Stein 3 percent, and 17 percent undecided.
Despite Iowa likely voters splitting almost evenly between Trump and Clinton, the perception among those Hawkeye State likely voters is that Clinton will prevail in November. Nearly 53 percent of Iowans said that when all the votes are counted this November, Clinton will win. Just 31 percent said they thought Trump will win. Some 16 percent weren’t sure.
“In Iowa, there is a marked difference between what voters will do at the polls and what voters think others will do at the polls,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.
Current party registration in Iowa shows a slight one point advantage for registered Republicans over registered Democrats (33 percent to 32 percent) with 35 percent having independent/no party affiliation.
“With party registration evenly split, so are the opinions of voters from the Hawkeye state,” Paleologos said.
Clinton continues to struggle with trustworthiness among likely voters. When respondents were asked if they thought Clinton is honest and trustworthy 29 percent said yes while 62 percent said no, and 9 percent weren’t sure. Trump was viewed as honest and trustworthy by 34 percent of respondents while 55 percent said he was not, with over 10 percent not sure.
Although the margin did not change in the four-way ballot test, which included Libertarian Johnson and the Green Party’s Stein, the Suffolk poll showed that each had an impact on the major party nominees. In the southwest region which contains a group of conservative counties, Johnson polled at 11 percent, a much higher number than his 6 percent statewide. Trump must carry western Iowa by wide margins to be competitive. On the flip side, Stein polled at 9 percent among those ages 18-34 years of age, a number that is triple her overall 3 percent standing statewide. In last week’s Florida poll, Stein polled at 7 percent among 18-34 year olds versus 3 percent statewide.
Overall, Iowa voters said that the number one issue facing the next president is jobs/economy (25 percent), followed by terrorism and national security (21 percent), choosing Supreme Court nominees (9 percent), reducing the national debt (7 percent), health care (6 percent), and illegal immigration (5 percent). When voters were asked if they feel more or less safe living in America than they did 5-10 years ago, 56 percent said less safe, 10 percent indicated more safe, and 28 percent indicated no change.
Nearly 2 in 3 voters are concerned about the Zika virus spreading in the United States over the next several months. Close to 23 percent of respondents said they were very concerned, 40 percent somewhat concerned, and 34 percent not very/not at all concerned.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley leads Democratic nominee Patty Judge 52 percent to 42 percent with 6 percent undecided. Judge won the Democratic nomination on June 7 over three opponents.
The April 2014 Suffolk University poll was the first to show then-State Sen. Joni Ernst overtaking front-runner Mark Jacobs for the Republican Primary nomination. In May, the three GOP Primary bellwether counties – Black Hawk, Boone, and Washington – all indicated a landslide win for Ernst. She defeated her four Republican opponents with a 38-point margin. In November, the final Suffolk poll predicted a 47-43 win for Ernst over Democrat Bruce Braley. Ernst won 52-44.
The Iowa survey of 500 likely voters was conducted August 8-10 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the 2016 general election. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website: www.suffolk.edu/SUPRC. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, firstname.lastname@example.org.