Election 2020

The Latest Poll Out of Iowa Foreshadows Disaster for Biden

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Yeah, yeah, yeah, polls shouldn’t be trusted.

But hear me out.

Never-Trumper Bill Kristol recalled the significance of the last Des Moines Register (DMR) poll in a Friday tweet prior to the poll’s release. “I remember well my phone conversation with a smart Republican friend (sadly, pro-Trump) Sat. eve, Nov. 5, 2016, after the final DMR poll of IA at Trump +7. He said, if IA is +7, then Trump has a good shot in PA/WI/MI, and could win the whole thing. I was worried. He was right.”

Trump ultimately won Iowa in 2016 by 9.4 points.

Not long after Kristol’s tweet, the final Des Moines Register poll was released, and showed a massive shift to Trump in Iowa, putting him, again, at +7 over Biden.

Republican President Donald Trump has taken over the lead in Iowa as Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden has faded, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows just days before Election Day.

The president now leads by 7 percentage points over Biden, 48% to 41%. Three percent say they will vote for someone else, 2% aren’t sure and 5% don’t want to say for whom they will vote.

In September’s Iowa Poll, the candidates were tied at 47% to 47%.

J. Ann Selzer, the president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, said that the gender gap has narrowed, and independents have flooded back to the president.

“The president is holding demographic groups that he won in Iowa four years ago, and that would give someone a certain level of comfort with their standing,” she said. “There’s a consistent story in 2020 to what happened in 2016.”

Bill Kristol, who had previously noted the implications of the final Des Moines Register poll, seemed quick to backtrack on its significance, rather than outright concede that the poll suggests Trump is viable (despite the polls) in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump won those states in 2016 as well.

Okay, Bill.

Look, I get that people tend to see what they want to see in polling, but J. Ann Selzer’s reputation for polling in Iowa is solid, and Kristol seems unwilling to acknowledge that perhaps there’s been a late-breaking shift in Trump’s favor.

In addition to fading with independents, Biden has lost ground with women. In September, he held a 20-point lead among women, which balanced out Trump’s 21-point lead among men. But today, Biden’s lead with women has shrunk to 9 percentage points, 50% to 41%.

“We saw a huge gender gap that benefited Biden in September,” Selzer said. “And while there is still a big gap among men — they’re going for Trump by a 24-point margin — it’s just a 9-point margin for Biden with women. And so there’s just an imbalance there. Before, we saw mirror images of each other.”

If this shift has happened in Iowa, does Kristol really believe it hasn’t also happened in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin as well? He certainly would have argued that the DMR poll spelled doom for Trump in those states if it showed him behind. Kristol seems to be in denial that recent battleground state polls have been showing momentum for Trump.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst also saw a boost in the DMR poll, with her now ahead of her challenger 46 to 42 percent.

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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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