In the wake of a new poll showing Sen. Joni Ernst trailing her Democratic opponent, End Citizens United is out with a new ad highlighting the Iowa senator’s paper trail of PAC donations and campaign finance violations.
The 30-second spot is part of a $1.1 million TV and digital ad buy tying Ernst to “dark money” groups and “illegal contributions.” The ad is live today until July 24.
The narrator first describes campaign finance violations from Ernst’s 2014 Senate campaign that resulted in a $14,500 fine from the Federal Election Commission, the largest in Iowa history. The ad then highlights a report from the Associated Press alleging Ernst’s 2020 reelection campaign illegally coordinated with Iowa Values, a nonprofit organization that is not supposed to directly aid political campaigns.
“Washington’s broken, and Joni Ernst has become part of the problem,” the ad concludes.
Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United, said, “Iowans understand that corruption and Big Money are standing in the way of progress on the issues most important to their families, and they know Sen. Ernst is part of the problem.”
ECU, a nationwide organization working to rid politics of corporate influence, endorsed Theresa Greenfield during Democrats’ Senate primary.
“Theresa Greenfield is making ending political corruption a top priority,” Muller said. “She’s already introduced a plan on how to get it done, and she’s backing it all up by not taking a dime of corporate PAC money.”
The June 23-28 poll of 800 likely Iowa voters, commissioned by ECU and Let America Vote and conducted by GQR, found, by a 20-point margin, voters say the phrase “too close to special interests” accurately describes Ernst.
“There are few races nationally where the forces of light and dark on the issue of campaign finance reform are so vividly defined as in Iowa,” GQR, the Washington D.C.-based polling firm, said in a memo.
In a head-to-head matchup, Greenfield led Ernst 49% to 47% with a margin of error +/- 3.46%. The poll shows a 35% approval rating for Ernst, about 10 points off from the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll conducted early in June. The polls’ horserace figures are similar, however. The Register’s poll shows Greenfield leading Ernst 46% to 43%.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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