Here’s the latest news today out of Iowa:
The majority of older Iowans support absentee voting, and many plan on voting absentee this November as the COVID-19 threat persists, according to a new AARP poll.
Conducted with Selzer & Company, AARP Iowa polled over 800 registered Iowa voters age 50 and over between July 6 and 8 about Secretary of State Paul Pate’s actions to expand absentee voting ahead of the primary election in June and their views on threats of voter fraud and coronavirus ahead of the general election.
The data revealed that older Iowa voters broadly approved, 69% to 25%, the actions of Pate before the primary, and support their county auditors, 63% to 31%, sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in the county ahead of the general election. Most, 57% to 36%, believe COVID-19 poses a greater threat to the state than that of potential voter fraud from absentee ballots.
“According to this poll, taken by one of the most reliable pollsters in the country, it’s crystal clear older Iowa voters broadly support having the option to vote safely by absentee ballot,” said AARP Iowa State Director Brad Anderson. “We need to make voting absentee as easy, safe and accessible as we can for older Iowans voting in the upcoming November election.”
The poll also highlighted this:
Both Sen. Joni Ernst and President Donald Trump, however, were underwater on their approval ratings. Ernst had an approval rating of 42%, compared to 53% who disapproved. Trump had a 45% approval rating and 53% disapproval.
The new poll also highlights Ernst’s abysmal support among Iowans 50 and older, after she’s spent her political career threatening and undermining critical earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare that so many older Iowans rely on:
- Ernst has “talked about privatizing Social Security” since at least 2014.
- She garnered national coverage last year for suggesting that lawmakers “need to sit down behind closed doors so we’re not being scrutinized by this group or the other…” when discussing unpopular changes to Social Security — acknowledging that her harmful plans for this crucial program are politically toxic among Iowans.
- She voted for the GOP’s massive tax giveaway to billionaires and big corporations that added $2 trillion to the debt and “trimmed a year of solvency from the primary Medicare trust fund and had a negative effect on the Social Security trust fund.”
- Senator Ernst’s plan to ask working parents to borrow against their Social Security benefits in order to take time off from work has been described as “smash[ing] open that mythological ‘lock box’” of Social Security, and earned condemnation from across the political spectrum — including from conservative groups and other GOP senators.
That’s not just the only bad news for Ernst. She raised $3.6 million this quarter but Theresa Greenfield (D. IA) outraised her:
Ernst is finishing her first, six-year term in the U.S. Senate. She faces Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield in the November election.“Team Joni is energized by the grassroots momentum that continues to build as Joni crisscrosses the state and visits with Iowans,” Ernst campaign spokesman Brendan Conley said in a statement.Greenfield’s campaign previously reported raising more than $6 million during the same period.
Her plan to help grow small businesses includes creating greater access to capital and credit; supporting community colleges, debt-free college education and skills training programs; rebuilding the state's infrastructure, including roads and bridges as well as broadband; supporting companies that create jobs and products within the United States; and targeting investments to people of color for more inclusive economic growth.
“Today, of course we know that COVID has been playing huge havoc with our small businesses,” Greenfield said. “So many are closing. So many are struggling to stay open. So many are being forced to close, just to protect our public health, and I am concerned.”
Greenfield has been holding the majority of her public campaign events virtually. But earlier Tuesday, she did travel in person to meet with Bryce Smith, owner of the Adel Family Fun Center in Adel, Iowa.
She said it was clear in speaking with Smith that the actions Congress has already taken to shore up small businesses during the pandemic have been helpful and could be expanded or continued.
According to the most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Greenfield leads Ernst by 3 percentage points, 46% to 43%. That total is within the poll's margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. Other public polling has shown a similarly competitive race.
She also wants the government to stimulate job growth with an infrastructure program that would address roads, bridges, broadband and renewable clean energy. Greenfield also supports “buy American” plans.
However, as she traveled the state before the coronavirus pandemic, Greenfield said the No. 1 concern she heard from small-business owners was health care.
Business owners “talk about it from a cost perspective, whether its premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses,” she said. They’re concerned about the costs of prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and what services they will lose if their local hospitals close.
“There were so many challenges they could overcome by being creative, putting in a few extra hours, collaborating with another business,” she said, “but overcoming the need for health care was something they couldn’t do.”
Greenfield wants to expand and enhance the Affordable Care Act by creating a public option.
She picked up a big endorsement today:
And going after Ernst’s corruption:
Let’s keep up the momentum and flip Iowa Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Greenfield, Biden and their fellow Iowa Democrats campaigns: