Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad
, who served four terms in the office between 1983 and 1999, has come out of the gate after winning the GOP gubernatorial nomination with a 57 percent to 31 percent lead over Democratic incumbent Chet Culver
, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll
conducted June 14. Six percent preferred another candidate and 6 percent was undecided.
In a pre-primary Rasmussen poll in late April, Branstad had a comfortable lead although by a smaller 53 percent to 38 percent margin, although a Mason-Dixon Research poll
conducted in early May put Branstad's advantage at less than that.
Branstad is seen favorably by 61 percent of voters while 24 percent regard him unfavorably, with 6 percent not sure. Culver is seen unfavorably by 55 percent and favorably by 41 percent, with 4 percent not sure.
But also significant in those favorability numbers is that voters who see Branstad "very" favorably number 27 percent to Culver's 15 percent, while those who see Culver "very" unfavorably number 31 percent to Branstad's 15 percent.
Fifty-eight percent disapprove of the job Culver is doing as governor while 41 percent approve.
Branstad also benefit by holding a higher level of support among fellow Republicans than Culver does among Democrats -- 80 percent compared to 70 percent. Branstad attracts 22 percent of the Democratic vote while Culver appeals to only 4 percent of Republicans. Branstad leads among unaffiliated voters by 3-to-1.
Along ideological lines, Branstad has the support of 86 percent of self-described conservatives, while Culver gets a 69 percent following among liberals. Branstad bests Culver among moderates by a 46 percent to 39 percent margin with the rest preferring some other candidate or undecided.
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