EXIT POLL: Iowa voters support progressive policies


New exit polling released today shows that Iowans who voted in this year’s election support a wide variety of policies including a return of state-run Medicaid, dramatically increased education funding, and support of rights for workers. Click here to read the entire poll.

“Iowa voters showed clear support for progressive policies in our exit survey,” said Jim Williams, polling analyst with Public Policy Polling. “The electorate leaned Republican but voted Democratic in three of four Congressional races. And despite giving a narrow victory for incumbent Kim Reynolds, voters oppose privatized Medicaid, and favor other policies she has opposed such as raising taxes on corporations, restoring the rights of public workers, as well as funding for Planned Parenthood.”  

“Every elected official should pay close attention to how Iowa voters view public policy,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Exit polling from this year’s election shows how strongly Iowans believe in being part of a community. We want good health care, strong public schools, fair wages, and for everyone to be able to live safely and with dignity. Most importantly, we want that not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors, even saying no to a personal tax cut in order to pay for public services. That’s the definition of Iowa nice, and that’s the spirit in which our state should move forward.”

Despite legislation passed by the Republican controlled state government to remove minimum wage increases passed at the county level across the state, Iowa voters remain in favor of raising the wage. 82 percent want the minimum wage to increase from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to at least $9, and 59 percent think it should be $12 or more.

Iowa voters strongly support public education, as 57 percent believe schools should receive a dramatic increase in school funding. And voters also oppose private school vouchers, with 64 percent who think public tax dollars should be used for public schools only, compared to 27 percent who think students should be able to use those tax dollars for non-public schools, including home schooling.

Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood were highly controversial over the past two years, and have resulted in the closing of several health clinics across the state, and the loss of federal funding to provide additional health care services. 54 percent of Iowa voters believe the Governor and legislature should restore funding to Planned Parenthood for reproductive and preventive health care services.  

Governor Reynolds and Republicans in the legislature have publicly discussed the idea of changing the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS) from a pension system to a privatized 401k system. Iowa voters oppose that change by a 69 to 21 percent margin. Even 56 percent of Republican voters oppose that type of change to IPERS. And one of the most intensely debated moments of the past two years in the legislature was the end of collective bargaining for public employees. Thousands of Iowans came to the capitol to oppose the change, and voters agree: 66 percent believe those collective bargaining rights should be restored.

Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program has resulted in poor or nonexistent health coverage for the Iowans who need it most, and 55 percent of the voters in this year’s election want to see it removed from private companies and returned to state control.

Tax policy was another area of debate on the campaign trail, and Iowa voters in exit polling gave a clear preference for funding public services and higher taxes in order to pay for those services. 57 percent said they would rather have public services paid for rather than see their own personal taxes go down by a few hundred dollars per year, and 61 percent said that corporations and the wealthiest in Iowa should pay more in taxes.

56 percent of Iowa voters think the Governor and legislature should ban the extremely controversial and dangerous practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors, with only 21 percent who think the practice should remain legal.

The first bill Governor Reynolds signed this year was water quality legislation that was described as having no requirements to decrease pollution. Iowa voters strongly favor requiring farms to reduce nutrient pollution runoff into our state’s waterways, with 73 percent in support of such a regulation.  

Iowa voters support expanded gun safety measures as well. 71 percent think the state should close the private sale loophole, and require background checks for the private sale of all rifles and shotguns. And 76 percent think the Governor and legislature should require gun owners to report if their guns are lost or stolen.

The exit poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, surveyed 646 Iowa voters on November 6 and 7 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent, and respondents included only those who voted in the general election.

Read the full results below:

Exit Poll: Iowa Voters 11.6… by on Scribd