A new Loras College Poll of Iowa’s Senate race reveals a very tight election with Democrat Bruce Braley leading Republican Joni Ernst 45%-44%.
Bloomberg News reported, “In results released Tuesday, Democrat Bruce Braley is supported by 45 percent of likely voters while Republican Joni Ernst has the backing of 44 percent. Eight percent remain undecided, and two percent plan to vote for another candidate, according to the poll. Braley’s advantage is well within the 2.9 percentage point margin of error….Among those who have already cast their ballots during Iowa’s early voting period, Budzisz said Braley had a six-point edge. Braley also has a small advantage among independent voters, 43.8 percent to 40.4 percent. The survey was conducted Oct. 21-24.”
It is too soon to tell is Ernst is being punished by voters for blowing off her scheduled appearances with the state’s newspaper editorial boards, but the election remains close. What is already the most overused cliche of the 2014 election definitely applies to the Iowa Senate race.
It all comes down to turnout. The party that gets more of their voters out will win. Ernst has been a gaffe machine on the campaign trail, but she has benefitted from the fact that Bruce Braley is no Tom Harkin. Braley was criticized for much of the election for the type of campaign that he has run. The words bland and boring were frequently used to refer to the candidate and his advertising.
As the campaign moved into the fall, Braley seemed to come to life. His speeches and his ads have been much stronger. The Democrat has also been boosted by campaign rallies with the top stars in the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and First Lady Michelle Obama have all rallied with the Iowa Democrat.
Control of the Senate hinges on the outcome of several elections. Iowa is at the center of all possible outcomes. If Democrats hold on to Iowa, the Republican path to the majority narrows. Democrats need to see one or two Republican incumbents lose, and hold on to Iowa in order to increase their chances of keeping the majority.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association