IA-Gov: Branstad robocalling Democrats

An alert Bleeding Heartland reader got a recorded phone call around dinnertime Monday, featuring former Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

Apparently there were a couple of questions about how Governor Chet Culver is doing and his handling of spending and the budget. Branstad's recorded voice touted his own record on economic policy.

The call also asked if the listener would support a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between one man and one woman, and if the listener would vote for Branstad in the upcoming Republican primary.

According to my e-mail tipster, the call said it was paid for by the Branstad for Governor comittee, and gave a phone number as well as the address for Branstad's campaign website.

This particular household has two registered Democrats and no registered Republicans, and the homeowner has had the same phone number for more than 15 years. So I figured either the calling firm was using a bad list, or Branstad's campaign is reaching out to find Democrats who aren't happy with Culver.

Since I posted about this robocall at Bleeding Heartland, a bunch of other Iowa Democrats in households with no Republicans have reported receiving the same call, including State Representative Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids. It seems clear that the target universe for this call was active Democratic voters.

If Branstad's campaign is trying to identify Democrats willing to cross over to vote for him in the Republican primary, it makes me wonder what his internal polling says about the GOP race. I've been assuming that Bob Vander Plaats has virtually no chance of overcoming Branstad's financial and institutional advantages during the primary, but if Marco Rubio can catch up to Charlie Crist in Florida, maybe Vander Plaats can win by running to Branstad's right.

Several polls have shown Branstad leading Culver by a substantial margin, although the latest Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register undercut Branstad's electability argument somewhat by showing Vander Plaats leading Culver as well. Perhaps Republican voters will come to believe they can beat Culver with the man favored by social conservative activists as opposed to Branstad, who was drafted by elite Republican donors.

Tags: 2010 elections, Bob Vander Plaats, budget, Chet Culver, Economy, Gay Marriage, Governor, IA-Gov, Iowa, robocalls, same-sex marriage, state budget, Terry Branstad (all tags)



Re: IA-Gov: Branstad robocalling Democrats

This whole notion of cross-over voting in primaries is so foreign to me. I would never dream of voting in another party's primary.

I just don't comprehend the logic.

Great reporting as always!

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-29 05:10PM | 0 recs
I think I would, actually.

There could be some strategic value in cross-over primary voting if it could be well-organized and done en masse. Assuming Obama is not primaried in 2012, I will probably vote in the Republican primaries, for the candidate that I perceive as having a chance for the nomination but consider the least threat.

by sricki 2009-12-29 09:45PM | 0 recs
I wouldn't do it

and I doubt there will be lots of Iowa Democrats wanting to vote for Branstad in the primary. For all I know there will be Dems crossing over to vote for Vander Plaats because he would be easier to beat in the general.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-30 04:45AM | 0 recs
Re: IA-Gov: Branstad robocalling Democrats

This seems like a bad strategy.

by lojasmo 2009-12-30 03:53AM | 0 recs
there's so much we don't know

If his internal polling shows him crushing Vander Plaats, and he has money to burn, I suppose trying to identify some supporters across the aisle could give him a head start on the general election campaign. However, he's going to need to spend the next few months reassuring Iowa Republicans that he is conservative enough, so I don't know how far he will get with Democrats.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-30 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: there's so much we don't know

I am hard pressed to see how the verbiage in the call could pull any but the most dimwitted, socially backward democrats.  Getting a call like this would absolutely enrage me.

by lojasmo 2009-12-30 03:05PM | 0 recs


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