GOP Poll Shows Close Race for Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District

Republican incumbent is still 2 points behind Democrat Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is facing a competitive re-election race in Iowa’s 1st District against Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll for Rep. Rod Blum has found the vulnerable Iowa Republican narrowly trailing Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District.

The poll, conducted by The Polling Company, showed Finkenauer leading Blum 45 percent to 43 percent, within the 4.9 percentage-point margin of error. Four percent of respondents backed a third-party candidate, while 6 percent were undecided. 

The new poll comes as Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House GOP leadership, launched its first television ad in the Cedar Rapids media market, tying Finkenauer to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which had previously canceled its airtime in the district in a sign of confidence in Finkenauer, went back in Tuesday with a new ad attacking Blum. 

Blum has long been regarded by operatives on both sides as the most vulnerable GOP incumbent. President Donald Trump carried the 1st by 8 points but former President Barack Obama won it by double digits in 2008 and 2012. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Democratic.

Finkenauer raised more than three times as much as Blum in the third fundraising quarter, which ended on Sept. 30. She brought in $1.7 million to Blum’s $555,000. But the incumbent had an advantage in cash on hand, with $1.3 million in the bank compared to Finkenauer’s $638,000.

The poll for Blum’s campaign surveyed 400 registered voters from Oct. 12-13 via live telephone interviews — 70 percent on landline phones and 30 percent by cell phone. 

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