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Iowa's Swing State Status Holds True in Final Weeks

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Tony Webster
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A backyard sign seen near Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines

In a Quinnipiac Poll conducted from October 20 to 26 in Iowa, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are tied with 44% of likely voters backing each candidate. That polling took place before FBI director James Comey sent a document to Congress explaining there was additional evidence related to Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Donna Hoffman, associate professor and head of the department of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa, says that, outside of potentially influencing establishment Republicans who have been wary of Trump, she doesn’t expect the letter to have too much of a positive impact for the Trump campaign.

“This really isn’t a new issue. Her emails have been an issue, and if you’re a Clinton supporter, you’ve made peace with that. If you’re a Trump supporter, this is maybe something that boosts your enthusiasm level, but it may have already been quite high in that sense as well.”

Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield professor of Political Science at Grinnell College, agrees.

“I think the big thing where this might make a difference is in who stays home and who votes and will this bring some Republicans out who might otherwise not have come out to vote, and maybe some Hillary supporters—I’m thinking maybe of millennials—who aren’t particularly strong on Hillary who might stay home.”

Hoffman says that, in one way, this could be a boon for Clinton’s camp.

“There was a danger when she was pulling ahead in some of the polls that some of the people who were lukewarm about Hillary Clinton would say, ‘Well I’m just going to not go vote,’ This might galvanize them in terms of understanding the polls are now closer that their vote might actually matter.”

In this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Moyer and Hoffman about international and domestic political news. At the top of the hour, IPR reporter Sarah Boden joins Kieffer to give an update from the 11 a.m. press conference on the fatal shooting of two Des Moines police officers.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River