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Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/20-22. Likely voters. MoE ±5% (no trendlines).

Latham (R-inc) 47
Greenwald (D) 42

In 2006, a long-serving, moderate Iowa Republican was ousted in the Democratic wave, losing a race virtually no one had expected him to lose, or even to be especially competitive. That congressman was former Rep. Jim Leach, who lost to insurgent Democrat Dave Loebsack.

It seems possible that such lightning could strike twice in Iowa.

In addition to our Orange to Blue races, we've polled a number of "under the radar" House races over the past few months, to try and gauge the level of the impending Democratic wave. We've gotten some surprising and impressive results back, but perhaps none more so than this.

Despite the purple nature of the district - IA-04 has a PVI of D+0.4, making it one of the few (slightly) Dem-leaning districts in the country represented by a Republican - Democratic candidate Becky Greenwald has been perceived as the ultimate underdog all cycle. She faces a well-entrenched incumbent in Republican Tom Latham, who has raised more than $1.3 million for his reelection bid.

Nevertheless, with an aggressive campaign and a lot of gumption, Becky Greenwald has pulled to within striking distance of Latham. Sh has successfully targeted Latham on several of his worst votes: witness this web video:

When DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen visited the Big Tent in Denver, we had the chance to ask him about sleeper candidates which had particularly impressed him. He mentioned two at the time; one was the race in VA-05, where Democrat Tom Perriello runs against Republican Virgil Goode, and the other was Becky Greenwald in IA-04.

Perhaps what's most impressive about Greenwald's performance in this poll is that she is performing as well as Obama, who trails McCain 46% to 42%. This is a very odd result, as both Gore and Kerry got 48% in the district while running significantly worse nationally than Obama is expected to.

We'd usually expect Obama to do better in this district, and he very well might come election day. If the polling has underestimated Democratic support, or Obama support, we might see both Obama and Greenwald win the district on election day.

Regardless, Becky Greenwald and her campaign deserve a lot of praise for making a truly competitive race where virtually no one expected one. She has a good chance at victory, and we sincerely hope she can pull it off.

On the web:
Becky Greenwald for Congress

                        IA-4 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT POLL – OCTOBER 2008
This survey was conducted by Research 2000 of Rockville, Maryland. A total of 400 likely voters in the Fourth Congressional District were interviewed by telephone between October 20 and October 23, 2008.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the district. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by district.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 5% percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as for gender or party affiliation.


Men                  193 (48%)
Women                207 (52%)

Democrats            128 (32%)
Republicans          119 (30%)
Independents/Other   153 (38%)

18-29                 71 (18%)
30-44                129 (32%)
45-59                125 (31%)
60+                   75 (19%)

QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tom Latham? (If favorable or unfavorable ask if it is very or not):

                 VERY FAV       FAV        UNFAV     VERY UNFAV    NO OPINION

ALL                  9%         33%         30%          8%         20%

                   FAV         UNFAV       NO OPINION

ALL                 42%         38%         20%

MEN                 46%         35%         19%
WOMEN               38%         41%         21%

DEMOCRATS           27%         60%         13%
REPUBLICANS         62%         16%         22%
INDEPENDENTS        40%         36%         24%

18-29               38%         41%         21%
30-44               44%         36%         20%
45-59               43%         37%         20%
60+                 41%         39%         20%

QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Becky Greenwald? (If favorable or unfavorable ask if it is very or not):

                 VERY FAV       FAV        UNFAV     VERY UNFAV    NO OPINION

ALL                 12%         32%         22%         13%         21%

                   FAV         UNFAV       NO OPINION

ALL                 44%         35%         21%

MEN                 40%         41%         19%
WOMEN               48%         29%         23%

DEMOCRATS           60%         22%         18%
REPUBLICANS         25%         52%         23%
INDEPENDENTS        45%         33%         22%

18-29               47%         32%         21%
30-44               42%         38%         20%
45-59               42%         36%         22%
60+                 45%         34%         21%

QUESTION: If the election for Congress were held today would you vote for Becky Greenwald the Democrat or Tom Latham the Republican?

                   LATHAM      GREENWALD   UNDECIDED  

ALL                 47%         42%         11%

MEN                 51%         39%         10%
WOMEN               43%         45%         12%

DEMOCRATS           12%         78%         10%
REPUBLICANS         83%          6%         11%
INDEPENDENTS        49%         40%         11%

18-29               43%         47%         10%
30-44               51%         39%         10%
45-59               48%         40%         12%
60+                 45%         43%         12%

QUESTION: If the election for President were held today would you vote for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin or another candidate?

                   MCCAIN      OBAMA       OTHER       UNDECIDED  

ALL                 46%         42%          3%          9%

MEN                 50%         39%          3%          8%
WOMEN               42%         45%          3%         10%

DEMOCRATS           11%         79%          3%          7%
REPUBLICANS         83%          6%          2%          9%
OTHER               47%         39%          4%         10%

18-29               43%         46%          3%          8%
30-44               50%         39%          3%          8%
45-59               46%         40%          3%         11%
60+                 45%         43%          2%         10%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 05:30 PM PDT.

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