Democrat Theresa Greenfield leads Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst by her widest margin yet in one of the most competitive races for U.S. Senate in the country.
The Nextstar Iowa RABA Research Poll just released this afternoon by WHO-TV shows Greenfield ahead of Ernst by 12 percentage points, 51% to 39%. Early voting begins here on Monday and a record 613,646 Iowans already have requested absentee ballots.
Greenfield dominated Ernst among women voters, carrying them by 17 points over Ernst, while also holding a six-point advantage over Ernst with men. The large lead among women is consistent with all recent polling on the race.
Among independent voters, WHO-TV’s Dave Price explained, Greenfield held a 54% to 32% advantage.
The poll was conducted Sept. 23-26 via landline and cell phone surveys and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.
While campaigning with Iowa candidates on Tuesday, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton explicitly stated how important Ernst’s race is to Republicans’ ability to hold their narrow majority in the Senate.
“There’s no chance we win the majority in the Senate if we don’t reelect Joni Ernst,” Cotton said during a KXEL radio interview in Waterloo.
Election watchers have shifted Iowa’s Senate race from “Lean Republican” to a toss-up in recent months as polls consistently show Greenfield ahead, albeit with leads typically within a poll’s margin of error. Today’s new poll is a stark departure from others in recent weeks.
In September, the Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed Greenfield leading Ernst 45% to 42%; The New York Times/Siena College poll has Greenfield with support from 42% of voters compared to Ernst’s 40%; and the Monmouth University Poll put Greenfield ahead by 2 percentage points, 49% to 47%.
Ernst — who in February 2019 enjoyed a 57% approval rating — has consistently polled behind President Donald Trump. From the numbers in same RABA poll released by WHO-TV yesterday, Biden led Trump by 2 percentage points in Iowa, with 46% of Iowans supporting Trump, and 48% saying they will vote for Joe Biden. The Register’s poll deadlocked the presidential candidates at 47%.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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