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Connecticut university now polling in Iowa

(Radio Iowa News) – Its first set of Iowa polls were released late last week, with favorability ratings for the candidates who’ve said they will or may run for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Peter Brown is the assistant director of the Quinnipiac (pronounced KWIN-uh-pee-ack) University institute that conducts the polling.  Brown says by asking if Iowans have a favorable or unfavorable impression of a person, you find out how well known that person is statewide.

“We’re obviously 18 months away from the election, but as we get closer, we’ll do match-ups, both (for the) Primary and General Election,” Brown says.

The poll conducted last week found a majority of Iowans have yet to form an opinion about the candidates who have put their names forward for Iowa’s 2014 U.S. Senate race. Quinnipiac University uses live callers and they telephone people on land lines and cell phones. In 2014, the university will conduct a poll in Iowa once every six or eight weeks.

“Universities do all kinds of research. Some look at fruit flies. Some do business strategies. We do public opinion research,” Brown says. “Quinnipiac is the largest private university in the state of Connecticut. It has roughly 6000 undergraduates and it prides itself in being the nation’s leader in terms of public opinion polling.”

Quinnipiac researchers have been doing polling in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Brown says the university expanded its portfolio into Iowa because Iowa has been among the “swing” states in presidential elections and because Iowa’s Caucuses are the opening event of the presidential election season.

The Quinnipiac polling data released late last week showed President Obama’s job approval rating at 45 percent in Iowa. Governor Terry Branstad’s job approval stood at 49 percent, with 43 percent of those surveyed saying he should not seek a sixth term. Forty-two percent said Branstad should run again.