Iowa GOP Senator Chuck Grassley commands the re-election support of fewer than one-third of his state residents, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll shows—even though the 87-year-old has not yet officially declared whether he will run for his eighth term in 2022.
Iowa voters were asked in the poll released Saturday: “If a vote for U.S. Senate were held today, would you vote to reelect Chuck Grassley, or do you think it’s time for someone else to hold office?”
A two-thirds majority of Iowa voters (64 percent) said Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and has served in the chamber since 1980, should not seek re-election in the 2022 Senate races. From there, 37 percent of Republicans said they would want a change, while 89 percent of Democrats in the state said it’s time for someone else to fill Grassley’s Senate seat, alongside a sizable 68 percent majority of independent voters.
Only 27 percent of Iowa voters in the new survey said they would support Grassley’s bid for re-election. Out of that percentage, just barely over one-half of Republican Iowa voters (51 percent) said they would re-elect the longtime GOP senator, while 7 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents would do the same.
“Chuck Grassley has had a long and mostly good run, but most Iowa voters appear ready to move on, and his ratings reflect waning interest,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the group which conducted the poll, in an interview with the Iowa newspaper.
If Grassley should retire from the Senate, an intense GOP primary would likely ensue immediately “from every segment of the Republican Party’s political spectrum,” the Register noted.
However, some longtime Iowa residents said they will still support the octogenarian senator in his eighth bid should he decide to run.
“The reason I would vote for him is because he’s an old farm boy with common sense,” said Nick White, 55, who lives in a rural area between Cascade and Dubuque, and spoke to the Register.
Other results from the study show that half of Iowans viewed the senator favorably, and that more women than men (70 percent to 58 percent) said that someone else other than Grassley should fill that Senate seat.
The poll was conducted among 807 Iowa adults and 630 likely Iowa voters from across the state between June 13 and June 16.
Newsweek reached out to Grassley’s Senate offices in Iowa and Washington Sunday morning for any additional reaction or remarks about the latest poll.