Republican Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst has pulled ahead of Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in a race for the U.S. Senate that had been considered virtually deadlocked for months, a new poll released Saturday by The Des Moines Register
Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in the race that is considered pivotal to the GOP's effort to retake the Senate on Nov. 4, the Register reports. Twelve percent of the 546 likely voters surveyed Sept. 21-24 said they were undecided.
"Very interesting, and good news not just for Ernst but also for the GOP's chances of taking the U.S. Senate," Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told the Register.
Ernst and Braley are battling to succeed Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who is retiring after 30 years in Congress. Just seven months ago, political analysts virtually anointed Braley as Harkin's successor, the Register reports.
But the latest survey found that Ernst is ahead nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independent voters.
"I think he has an attitude about the voters and life in general, which was indicated by what he said about Chuck Grassley," Dianna Fuhrmeister, a registered Democrat who now is an independent, told the Register. "He thinks he knows better than us."
She lives in Iowa City, a rural community in the eastern part of the Hawkeye State, and grows garden vegetables for income, the Register reports.
Fuhrmeister was referring to a comment Braley made about the Republican senator at a private fundraiser in Texas last year. It seemed to disparage Grassley, who has been in the Senate for 33 years, for being a farmer.
The taped remark was released in March, the Register reports, and Braley apologized to the senator.
Fuhrmeister told the Register that she was backing Ernst, who also is a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard.
"She's the veteran," Fuhrmeister said. "She seems to have common sense."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.