A Good Old Local Boy: When he was a senator from Minnesota, former vice president Walter F. Mondale, as was his mentor, Hubert H. Humphrey, often was described as the "third senator from Iowa." This next-door affinity apparently still holds. Mondale enjoys a strong lead among Iowa Democrats in the party's 1984 presidential sweepstakes, according to The Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll.

Mondale was the choice of 55 percent of Iowa's Democrats, polled March 22-30. Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) received 17 percent, Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.) 7 percent, Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) 3 percent and former Florida governor Reubin Askew 1 percent. About 4 percent favored other candidates and 13 percent were undecided.

However, Hart doubled his support to 14 percent among Democrats who said they are likely to attend the state's precinct caucuses early next year. Mondale led all candidates with 44 percent support among the party activists, while Glenn carried 17 percent, Hart 14 percent, Cranston 6 percent and Askew 2 percent. Another 11 percent were undecided and 1 percent listed other candidates.

None of the numbers has shifted more than 3 percentage points since a similar poll in December.

The poll also matched the Democratic candidates and President Reagan in a sampling of both Democrats and Republicans. Races between Reagan and either Mondale or Glenn were tossups, while the president held comfortable leads over Hart, Cranston, and Askew.