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Midwest poll.

2004 Elections Project: The latest trends in Wisconsin and Iowa

The latest trends in Wisconsin and Iowa

By Rick Moore

Published on October 26, 2004

With the 2004 presidential election just a week away, Larry Jacobs' analysis and the latest findings from the U's 2004 Elections Project have become hot commodities.

The 2004 Elections Project--the first big undertaking of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs' new Center for the Study of Politics--was created earlier this year to provide timely, nonpartisan information about this year's elections, especially in key Upper Midwest battleground states.

As it turns out, the presidential race in three Upper Midwest states--Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa--is as tight as anyone could have predicted, which has put the work of the 2004 Elections Project in the spotlight. The project's Web site has been receiving 3,000 hits per day. And Jacobs, Humphrey Institute professor and director of the 2004 Elections Project, has been conducting between 10 and 20 interviews a day lately with media such as local newspapers and broadcast outlets, the CBS (Canadian Broadcasting Service), and the BBC.

"This has been a fantastic success," Jacobs says of the project. "We never dreamed that we'd be the 'go-to' place. The way the race turned out, it's become a perfect storm."

Jacobs says that his goal from the beginning has been to go beyond the normal "horse race" polls associated with elections. "The main thing that we're providing is nonpartisan, fact-based reports on public opinion, past election results, and the big policy issues," he says.

What follows are excerpts of some of Jacobs' findings from two of the project's most recent surveys focusing on Wisconsin and Iowa, two states in which the presidential race is a virtual deadlock.

Wisconsin and Iowa: Rural voters split while Bush takes suburbia and Kerry dominates the cities (released October 22, 2004)

Among all likely voters in Iowa and Wisconsin, the race is deadlocked. The latest Humphrey Institute Survey shows that President George W. Bush has a one-point lead (49 percent to 48 percent) in Wisconsin, while Senator John Kerry has a one-point edge in Iowa. Given the margin of errors of the fall surveys (plus or minus 4 percentage points), the presidential contests are a statistical toss-up.

Other notable trends from Wisconsin (released October 20, 2004)

For further and more detailed survey results, visit the 2004 Elections Project and see "Public Opinion."

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