DES MOINES, Iowa– A new non-scientific survey shows seventy-nine percent of Republicans rate the accuracy of the presidential vote tabulation process used at the 2012 Iowa caucus as excellent or good. That accuracy question received the highest rating in the survey of Republicans who attended the Iowa caucuses.
The survey of 669 Republicans by the Iowa Caucus Review Committee was conducted Monday, May 7 through Sunday, May 13. Of those who responded, 250 also offered ideas and suggestions on how to improve the caucuses.
The information will be used by the committee which is developing recommendations to improve the Iowa caucuses. The next meeting of the committee is 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30th at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
On the other hand, 68% gave a poor or fair rating to the release by the Republican Party of Iowa of caucus vote results to the media and public.
Seventy-one percent said their overall view of the Iowa caucuses was excellent or good.
Sixty-two percent of those who received caucus training said it was excellent or good. However, 43% indicated they received no training.
“This is very useful information for the committee,” said Bill Schickel, committee chairman. “It tells us what we are doing right and gives us guidance in the areas that we need to improve.”
The survey was conducted by email utilizing Survey Monkey software.
Those surveyed were asked to give a rating of excellent, good, fair or poor to the following questions:
1) What is your overall view of the 2012 Iowa caucuses?
2) How would you rate the accuracy of the presidential vote tabulation process used at your caucus?
3) How would you rate the release, by the Republican Party of Iowa, of caucus vote results to the media and public?
4) If you were a leader, how would you rate the caucus training that you received?
Branstad encourages party to come together and support Mitt Romney
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad today endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Branstad says it is time for the party to come together and devote their attention to victory against President Obama as Republicans gear up for the November election.
“I purposefully withheld my endorsement until now, because I wanted my focus to be on uniting the Republican Party going into the fall.
“I want to commend all of the candidates who participated in the Iowa caucuses. Once again, Iowa did its job in winnowing the field. The top four finishers in the Iowa caucuses remain the four candidates in the race. Now, more than three months later and after a vigorous campaign, I believe the time has come to coalesce around one candidate.
“All four candidates have worked hard. All four candidates demonstrated why they would be better than the current White House occupant. I consider all four of the remaining candidates my friends, and I am proud of the campaigns they waged in Iowa. They fought hard, and shared their ideas for our country. In the end, we knew one of the top four finishers out of Iowa would be our nominee, and I am excited to elect a Republican president who got their start in Iowa.
“Now that dozens of caucuses and primaries have occurred, the process did what it was supposed to do, and that is produce the candidate who will capture the needed delegates: Mitt Romney.
“Today, I am enthusiastically endorsing Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president. In Mitt Romney, Americans will have a clear contrast with President Obama in November. Gov. Romney is committed to cut out-of-control spending, unleash the private sector to create jobs, and ensure that future generations have the opportunities we have enjoyed due to the American free enterprise system.
“There is a lot at stake in the upcoming election, and Republicans in Iowa are energized. One need only look at the surging Republican registrations to understand how motivated our party is heading into November. Republicans are in a position to carry Iowa for just the second time since 1984, and we will not let this opportunity slip away. Mitt Romney is going to be a strong general election contender, and I will work every day to unite Republicans and attract independents and disillusioned Democrats to elect a president who will restore the American dream and unite our nation.”
Iowa launches first-ever Web Design Standard for all executive branch agency Web sites
State government Web sites will now all have a common look and feel, similar navigation, and serve Iowans from a citizen-centric viewpoint
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that the Website Standardization Committee established by Executive Order 73 last May has completed the necessary steps to formulate Iowa’s first Web Design Standard. Iowa’s governmental departments and agencies are now required to ensure that state of Iowa eGovernment information is from a citizen-centric viewpoint, meets applicable federal standards for individuals with disabilities, and offers a user-friendly common look, common feel and common navigation system.
“The Website Standardization Committee was tasked with identifying innovative improvements that are necessary for the state’s Web sites to more effectively and efficiently serve the people of Iowa with a cohesive, user-friendly approach to online access,” said Gov. Branstad. “Currently, there is no common thread to the state’s Web sites, and they vary greatly. As a result of this committee’s action, our state government will offer a superior Web presence that is easier for Iowa taxpayers to use.”
The Website Standardization Committee was co-chaired by interim Chief Information Officer Lorrie Tritch and Branstad/Reynolds administration Communications Director Tim Albrecht. Various departments and agencies were represented by members of the committee, and worked extensively over the past 10 months to research best practices in order to put forth a comprehensive standard.
“We are pleased to offer friendly, easy-to-use Web services for Iowans,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “We believe Iowa can be a national leader in offering the best online services to serve the needs of Iowans. This is an exciting step forward for Iowans using our eGovernment services.”
With a Web Design Standard in place, agencies and departments will now complete the following:
a. Reinforce Iowa.gov identity and make it clear to users they are on an Iowa Executive Branch site through the use of the designated sliver header; and
b. Provide consistency and continuity in Web site appearance; and
c. Improve the quality, usability and accessibility of State Web sites and services for the public; and
d. Ensure that critical state links appear on all agency sites; and
e. Integrate agency sites, Web applications and the portal, to support the "one government" approach and move away from bureaucratic separation of information; and
f. Increase efficiency of Web site development and management by agencies; and
g. Compliant in meeting the federal 508 compliance standards to allow us to better serve the widest possible audience, including people with disabilities.
h. Establish two Web Content Management Systems for use within all Executive Branch agencies.
The Web Design Standard takes effect 180 days from last Thursday, when Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll gave the final approval. Web sites that have been in production prior to the approval date of the standard must comply with the Web Design Standard within two years following that date. Enforcement of this standard will be pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code 11-25.9 (8A).
IOWA GOP ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF COMMITTEE ON THE IOWA CAUCUS
DES MOINES–The Republican Party of Iowa (RPI) State Central Committee today approved the formation of a 17-member Iowa Caucus Review Committee and confirmed Chairman A. J. Spiker’s nominees to the committee.
The committee will be chaired by RPI Co-Chair Bill Schickel. Iowa Secretary of State Deputy of Elections Mary Mosiman will serve as committee co-chair.
“My challenge to the committee is to bring back recommendations that will build upon the most open and transparent presidential preference process in the country,” Spiker said.
“The purpose of the committee is to conduct a full audit and review of the Republican Caucus,” said Schickel. “We’re going to review what went right and what went wrong. We will fix what went wrong and promote what went right.”
The committee will hold its first meeting at 10 A.M. Thursday, April 26 in Des Moines. Future meetings will be held in other communities across the state.
Committee members will be assigned to sub-committees on public relations, operations and training. A research subcommittee will gather data and background information for the committee.
The committee and each of the sub-committees will be asking for ideas and suggestions from experts and ordinary citizens alike throughout the state and nation, Schickel said.
“Although this will be a review of the Republican caucuses, we will be acting in consultation with our colleagues in the Democrat Party,” Schickel said. “Having open, honest and transparent caucuses is in the interest of all Iowans.”
The members of the Iowa Caucus Review Committee are:
Chair Bill Schickel, Cerro Gordo County Co-Chair Mary Mosiman, Story County Chad Olsen, Guthrie County David Chung, Linn County David Fischer, Polk County David Oman, Polk County Gwen Ecklund, Crawford County Judy Davidson, Scott County Kathy Pearson, Linn County Kim Lehman, Polk County Randy Erickson, Buena Vista County Rev. Jamie Johnson, Webster County Richard Schwarm, Winnebago County Sen. Nancy Boettger, Shelby County Steve Grubbs, Scott County Steve Scheffler, Polk County Wes Enos, Polk County
Gov. Branstad thanks Strawn for his service to the Republican Party of Iowa
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today released the following statement thanking Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn for his service to the party on behalf of Iowa Republicans:
“I want to thank Matt Strawn for his three years of leadership at the Republican Party of Iowa. Matt took over at a time when the party was in desperate shape, and rebuilt it precinct-by-precinct, putting it in the strongest position in years. Under Matt Strawn’s leadership, we defeated an incumbent governor for the first time since 1962, gained control of the Iowa House with a 60-seat majority, won six seats in the Iowa Senate, restored a strong financial standing and have surged in Republican registration. Matt’s leadership will be missed, but I am confident a smooth transition will take place at the Republican Party of Iowa and we will continue our party’s successes this November.”
Gov. Branstad accepts President Obama’s invitation to event in Cedar Rapids
Governor’s public events previously announced for Wednesday have been canceled
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad today announced that he has accepted President Obama’s invitation to his event in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Gov. Branstad will greet President Obama at The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids then travel to the event at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing.
Hawkeye Poll: Gingrich still leads, but support may be softening
Newt Gingrich continues to retain his frontrunner status in Iowa among candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination, but his support in the state may be declining, according to a University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll released today.
With the Iowa caucuses just three weeks away, Gingrich retains his lead over Mitt Romney, with 29.8 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers indicating that they would vote for Gingrich and 20.3 percent of the respondents supporting Romney if the caucuses were held today. Ron Paul placed third with 10.7 percent. Among other candidates, Michelle Bachman had 8.5 percent, Rick Perry had 8.2 percent, Rick Santorum had 5.3 percent, Herman Cain had 4.4 percent, and John Huntsman had 1.5 percent.
Cain's announcement to suspend his campaign occurred midway through polling. A comparison of responses before and after his announcement on Dec. 3 shows his support decreasing from 6.5 percent to 2.9 percent. After Cain's departure from the race, the survey found support for Gingrich dropping from 37.7 percent to 24.4 percent. The prime beneficiaries appear to be Paul, whose support increased from 7.1 percent to 13 percent; Perry, who went from 4.8 percent to 10.4 percent; and Santorum, who went from 2.7 percent to 7.0 percent. The percentage of respondents who were not sure who their choice would be also increased from 5.6 percent to 13.8 percent. Cain supporters appear to spread out among the other candidates in the race.
Frederick Boehmke, associate professor of political science in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and faculty adviser of the Hawkeye Poll, says that although Gingrich is currently in the lead, he may be losing support.
"Gingrich's 29.8 percent share among likely GOP caucus-goers still gives him a nine-point lead over Romney, but our results show that his support may be starting to slide as it has with previous frontrunners," Boehmke says. "The gap has closed to 5.1 percentage points even though Romney's support has changed very little."
Gingrich's lead over Romney is smaller among "very likely" caucus-goers, with 29.0 percent stating they would vote for him if the caucuses were held today compared to 22.6 percent who identified Romney as their preferred candidate. This gap widened among those "somewhat likely" to attend the caucuses, with 31.2 percent supporting Gingrich and 16 percent supporting Romney if the caucuses were held today. Among "very likely" caucus-goers, Bachmann placed third with 11.2 percent of respondents.
Similar results occur among "strong" Republicans—28.9 percent would vote for Gingrich and 23.1 percent would vote for Romney if the caucuses were held today. Gingrich's lead is larger when looking at Iowans who identify as Republican but "not strongly." Of those, 35.9 percent would vote for Gingrich and 20.7 percent would vote for Romney in the caucuses. Of those who identified as "not strong" Republicans, 8.6 percent said they would support Paul.
"Gingrich faces at least two obstacles according to our data," Boehmke says. "His run at the top may be starting to tail off as it has for previous front-runners. He also faces the challenge of turning out his supporters on caucus night, which will be critical since the gap between him and Romney is narrower among 'very likely' GOP caucusers and 'strong' Republicans."
Caroline Tolbert, professor of political science in CLAS and co-author of the 2011 book Why Iowa?, says campaigning in Iowa matters for support on caucus night.
"Bachman, Santorum, and Ron Paul have campaigned extensively in Iowa, while Gingrich has spent little time in the state. Romney built a strong network of support in Iowa four years ago that voters remember today," Tolbert says. "Candidate support among strong Republicans and very likely caucus-goers is our best predictor of success in the caucuses, given expected low turnout. While Gingrich is polling well, his minimal staff and grassroots organization in Iowa suggests he may be unable to turnout supporters on Jan. 3 to the same degree as the others."
In Iowa, Independents can register to caucus on caucus night. Of those who identified as Independent leaning Republican, Gingrich still leads (32.3 percent), but Paul (18.5 percent) is preferred over Romney (13.2 percent). Paul fared well among all Independent groups (19.6 percent).
Tea Party supporters may be mobilized this election. Seventy-four percent of likely Republican caucus-goers support the Tea Party. Among respondents who "strongly" or "somewhat" support the Tea Party movement, Gingrich's support is more than twice as high as Romney's. Sixteen percent of supporters would vote for Romney, while 33.8 percent would vote for Gingrich. Bachman had the backing of 11.5 percent of Tea Party supporters and Paul 10.8 percent.
"Gingrich has become the Tea Party candidate in this race, and this bodes well for him," Tolbert says. "Turnout of Tea Party supporters on caucus night could be key to his success in the state."
Romney does better among those who did not express support of the movement, with 38.6 percent of those who "neither support nor oppose" and 36.9 percent of those who "oppose" the movement supporting him.
Preference between the two front-runners varied due to basic demographic factors. Romney received slightly more support among female Iowans than among male Iowans; 23.7 percent of female Iowans would vote for Romney if the caucuses were held today, while 17.6 percent of male Iowans indicated the same preference. In contrast, more male Iowans expressed support for Gingrich (34.4 percent compared to 24.1 percent of female Iowans).
Romney's greatest support came from respondents aged 70 or older (27.9 percent), with other age groups ranging from 11.7 percent (aged 18-34) to 18.8 percent (aged 55-69). Preference for Gingrich was steady across all age groups. If the caucuses were held today, 25.2 percent of Iowans aged 18-34, 35.8 percent aged 35-54, 24.6 percent aged 55-69, and 31.5 percent aged 70 years or older would vote for Gingrich.