DES MOINES – Iowa Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst is inching ahead among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race and now has 49 percent to 45 percent for U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Five percent remain undecided.
This compares to results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, showing Sen. Ernst at 48 percent and Rep. Braley at 46 percent.
Today’s results show independent voters backing Ernst 50 – 41 percent. Republicans back Ernst 90 – 4 percent. Democrats go to Braley 94 – 4 percent.
The reverse gender gap in this race continues as women back the Democratic man 50 – 42 percent, while men back the Republican woman 56 – 39 percent.
Braley leads 57 – 36 percent among those who already have voted.
Just six days before Election Day, 91 percent of Iowa likely voters who name a Senate candidate say their mind is made up, while 9 percent say they might change their mind.
“As Election Day nears, State Sen. Joni Ernst is closing in on Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat. Her lead over U.S. Rep. Brue Braley inches up to 49 – 45 percent, giving her the momentum with less than a week left in the campaign,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.
“Nothing is for sure, but one would certainly rather be in her shoes this morning than Braley’s. One piece of good news for the Democrat is that he has a 21-point lead among those who already have voted.
“Ernst’s lead is built upon a 9-point lead among independent voters and a larger lead among men than Braley is able to muster among women,” Brown added. “And, in what was a strongly negative campaign, she emerged from the mud-slinging with voters liking her a bit more, usually an advantage that tends to translate into votes.”
Iowa likely voters are divided on their feelings about the candidates:
Ernst gets a 45 – 43 percent favorability;
Braley gets a slightly negative 40 – 43 percent likability score.