by desmoinesdem, Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 04:32:34 PM EST
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.