- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad leads his likely Democratic challenger in this year’s governor’s race by 11 percentage points, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says the Republican incumbent’s 46-35 percent lead over state Sen. Jack Hatch is narrower than his 49-33 percent edge in December, but he’s buoyed by high favorability ratings and the public’s general lack of knowledge about his opponent.

“Iowans are quite happy with the way things are going in their state and that is a big benefit for Gov. Terry Branstad,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac institute.

“History doesn’t have a lot of examples of voters firing their governor when they are so satisfied with the status quo … Moreover three in four voters don’t even know enough about Hatch to have an opinion of him — perhaps an opportunity in the eyes of Democrats looking for a silver lining in the data, but probably more a sign of how much work he still has before him,” he added.

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