Friday, December 12, 2008

Poll Shows Close Race Between Grassley and Vilsack

Research 2000 released a poll commissioned by Daily Kos yesterday that showed Sen. Charles Grassley leading former Gov. Tom Vilsack 48% to 44%.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 12/8-10. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)
Grassley (R) 48 
Vilsack (D) 44 

Woah, what? Sen. Chuck Grassley is vulnerable? Granted, it's against the state's top Democrat -- former Gov. Tom Vilsack, and there's currently no indication that Vilsack is planning on running. But the CW is that Grassley serves at will, and can hold the seat for life if he so desires. That belief is challenged by these numbers. Against the right Democrat, Grassley would face a tough fight.

Approve 57 
Disapprove 36

Approve 55 
Disapprove 36

Their approval numbers are essentially even, and in the crosstabs, they both enjoy equal approval from independents. This would certainly be a battle of titans, pitting two popular politicians against each other. Expect incoming DSCC chief Bob Menendez to put Vilsack in his speed dial.
I still think Grassley will retire.  He will be 77 on election day in 2010 and being part of the minority party isn't as fun as being a committee chair.  A tough reelection battle might encourage Grassley to retire as well.

If Grassley retires, I see either Rep. Tom Latham, Rep. Steve King, or Chuck Larson run on the Republican side and either Vilsack or Rep. Bruce Braley running on the Democratic side.

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