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Iowa Senate - Ernst vs. Braley

Candidates

Bruce Braley

Bruce Braley (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Iowa Snapshot

RCP Average: 
RCP Ranking: Toss Up
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Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEBraley (D)Ernst (R)Spread
Final Results------43.752.2Ernst +8.5
RCP Average10/27 - 11/3----45.748.0Ernst +2.3
PPP (D)*11/1 - 11/31265 LV2.84548Ernst +3
Quinnipiac10/28 - 11/2778 LV3.54747Tie
Des Moines Register10/28 - 10/31701 LV3.74451Ernst +7
Rasmussen Reports10/28 - 10/30990 LV3.04748Ernst +1
FOX News10/28 - 10/30911 LV3.04445Ernst +1
CNN/Opinion Research10/27 - 10/30647 LV4.04749Ernst +2

All Iowa Senate - Ernst vs. Braley Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
Iowa Senate - Ernst vs. Braley
45.7Braley (D)
48.0Ernst (R)+2.3
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Race Analysis

11/3/14 -- The Quinnipiac poll puts a damper on the Republican celebration following the Des Moines Register poll. We should still expect a close race, but Ernst does have an edge.

10/28/14 -- Loras College breaks a lengthy drought for Braley, who had failed to lead in a poll in over a month. Loras has tended to be favorable toward Braley, and the poll average still favors Ernst; we'd have to have a confirming poll to suggest the fundamental dynamic of the race has shifted.

10/17/14 -- Ernst has trailed in only a single poll since mid-September. Her lead is narrow, however, and Braley still has time.

10/7/14 -- Seven of the last eight polls have shown either a tie or an Ernst lead. It’s safe to say that Braley no longer holds a lead. In addition, one of those ties (the Loras College poll) previously had Braley up four. Ernst probably has an edge at this point.

9/29/14 -- Two polls have now shown Ernst with a substantial lead, including the well-regarded Des Moines Register poll. There are still a lot of undecided voters and plenty of time on the clock, so Braley is very much still in this game.

9/23/14 -- Democrats cheered when Loras College showed Braley up four points, while Republicans celebrated when Quinnipiac found Ernst ahead by six. Everyone else sees a very tight race, which is probably where things stand.

9/8/14 -- This race remains tight, with neither candidate having led by more than two points since early June. It goes without saying that this one could go either way right now.

----------Race Preview----------

Iowa was initially one of the most heavily Republican states in the country. From 1858 until 1924, the state had never elected a Democratic senator. Until 1990, it had never sent one to Washington for two full terms. But the GOP’s grip on Iowa began to weaken in the 1960s, when the state’s dovish tendencies and history of support for social reform movements moved it toward the Democrats. By 1974, it had only one Republican congressman: Charles Grassley. Grassley won a Senate seat in 1980, defeating Sen. John Culver by a large margin; this followed Roger Jepsen’s defeat of incumbent Democrat Dick Clark in 1978 and seemed to signal the beginning of a revival of Republican fortunes.

Defense Impacts: A defense appropriatorís seat is vacated as Joni Ernst seeks to become the first female combat veteran in the U.S. Senate.

More on this race at RealClearDefense

But the farm crisis of the 1980s reversed this trend, and populist Democrat Tom Harkin, who had been elected to the House in the same year as Grassley, defeated Jepsen by a surprisingly large margin. As the state’s ideological positioning stabilized just a hair to the left of center, Harkin won re-election four times, but decided to call it a career in 2014.

Republicans searched in vain for a top-flight candidate, while Democrats settled upon Rep. Bruce Braley. Many analysts concluded that Democrats would hold the seat. But Braley’s campaign has been beset by gaffes, while Republicans coalesced around state Sen. Joni Ernst. Some still fear that Ernst won’t hold up to the rigors of a long campaign in the spotlight, but for now, this looks to be a very competitive race.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEBraley (D)Ernst (R)Spread
Final Results------43.752.2Ernst +8.5
RCP Average10/27 - 11/3----45.748.0Ernst +2.3
PPP (D)*11/1 - 11/31265 LV2.84548Ernst +3
Quinnipiac10/28 - 11/2778 LV3.54747Tie
Des Moines Register10/28 - 10/31701 LV3.74451Ernst +7
YouGov10/25 - 10/311112 LV4.44342Braley +1
Rasmussen Reports10/28 - 10/30990 LV3.04748Ernst +1
FOX News10/28 - 10/30911 LV3.04445Ernst +1
CNN/Opinion Research10/27 - 10/30647 LV4.04749Ernst +2
Reuters/Ipsos10/23 - 10/291129 LV3.34545Tie
Quinnipiac10/22 - 10/27817 LV3.44549Ernst +4
Loras College10/21 - 10/241121 LV2.94544Braley +1
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/232322 LV3.04444Tie
NBC News/Marist10/18 - 10/22772 LV3.54649Ernst +3
Quinnipiac10/15 - 10/21964 LV3.24648Ernst +2
USA Today/Suffolk*10/11 - 10/14500 LV4.44347Ernst +4
Quinnipiac10/8 - 10/13967 LV3.24547Ernst +2
Rasmussen Reports10/8 - 10/10957 LV3.04548Ernst +3
Des Moines Register/Bloomberg10/3 - 10/81000 LV3.14647Ernst +1
Loras College10/1 - 10/3600 LV4.04242Tie
NBC News/Marist9/27 - 10/1778 LV3.54446Ernst +2
CBS News/NYT/YouGov9/20 - 10/12359 LV2.04443Braley +1
PPP (D)9/25 - 9/281192 LV2.84345Ernst +2
Des Moines Register*9/21 - 9/24546 LV4.23844Ernst +6
Rasmussen Reports9/17 - 9/18750 LV4.04343Tie
FOX News9/14 - 9/16600 LV4.04141Tie
Quinnipiac9/10 - 9/151167 LV2.94450Ernst +6
CNN/Opinion Research9/8 - 9/10608 LV4.04948Braley +1
Loras College9/2 - 9/51200 LV2.84541Braley +4
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/21764 LV3.04442Braley +2
USA Today/Suffolk*8/23 - 8/26500 LV4.44040Tie
PPP (D)8/22 - 8/24915 LV3.24242Tie
Rasmussen Reports8/11 - 8/12750 LV4.04343Tie
CBS News/NYT/YouGov7/5 - 7/24LV2.74748Ernst +1
NBC News/Marist7/7 - 7/131599 RV2.54343Tie
Quinnipiac6/12 - 6/161277 RV2.74440Braley +4
Rasmussen Reports6/4 - 6/5750 LV4.04445Ernst +1
Loras College6/4 - 6/5600 LV4.04248Ernst +6
PPP (D)5/15 - 5/19914 RV3.34539Braley +6
CEA/Hickman Analytics (D)4/24 - 4/30500 LV4.44440Braley +4
Suffolk4/3 - 4/8800 LV3.53830Braley +8
Rasmussen Reports3/24 - 3/25750 LV4.04037Braley +3
Quinnipiac3/5 - 3/101411 RV2.64229Braley +13
PPP (D)2/20 - 2/23869 RV3.34135Braley +6
Quinnipiac12/10 - 12/15RV--4438Braley +6
Harper (R)11/23 - 11/24985 LV3.14236Braley +6
PPP (D)7/5 - 7/7668 RV3.84533Braley +12