PLEASANT HILL – Opponents seeking to oust Justice David Wiggins from the Iowa Supreme Court in the Nov. 6 retention vote pointed to polling data Wednesday indicating there is sizable support for their “NO Wiggins” ballot initiative.
Leaders of Iowans fort Freedom pointed to the latest Public Policy Polling data that indicated 43 percent of Iowans said they would vote “no” on retaining Wiggins, while 37 percent said they would support keeping the justice on the Iowa bench. The polling data also indicated that 65 percent of Republicans were committed to removing Wiggins while 59 percent of Democrats favored his retention, according to a news release issued by Iowans for Freedom.
“Iowans for Freedom couldn’t be more pleased with these results,” said the group’s executive director, Greg Baker. “Since the last polling data on this race, we’ve had the opportunity to travel across Iowa and the message is resonating with Iowa voters. We were never ahead in the polls in the 2010 retention race, so this lead with two weeks to go is outstanding news.”
Matt Sinovic, spokesperson for Justice Not Politics Action, said the Public Policy Polling results were inconsistent with other surveys measuring support among Iowans on the retention vote for Justice Wiggins.
“We knew this would be close, but in the end Iowans are eager to protect our tradition of equality and we're communicating directly with voters every day, reminding them to turn the ballot over and vote yes on Iowa's judges and justices,” he said.
Cynthia Moser, president of the Iowa State Bar Association, said the poll’s demographics were skewed and “cannot legitimately be interpreted to support a conclusion” that a majority of Iowans plan to vote against retaining Wiggins. Poll participants in the poll were weighted toward Republicans and voters over the age of 60, she added.
Wiggins has been targeted for defeat by critics of an April 2009 landmark case in which the Iowa Supreme Court by a unanimous 7-0 decision struck down a state law defining marriage as only between one man and one woman. The justices ruled the statute violated constitutional equal protection provisions – a decision that effectively legalized civil marriages for couples of the same gender in Iowa.
Opponents of the court ruling successfully led an effort to defeat three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were up for retention in 2010 – Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices Michael Streit and David Baker. Gov. Terry Branstad appointed three justices to replace the ousted members and Iowans for Freedom announced earlier this year that they would wage a similar campaign to defeat Wiggins in his retention vote next month.
For more information about the “NO Wiggins” initiative, visit www.NoWiggins.com
More information on “Yes” vote for Iowa Judges can be found at www.judicialfacts.info