- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

State Sen. Joni Ernst has received a bounce in support following her victory in the GOP primary earlier this month, putting her within striking distance of Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the Iowa Senate race.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday showed that Mrs. Ernst now trails Mr. Braley by a 44 percent to 40 percent margin in the contest, which will decide who replaces retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat.

Last year, the same poll found Mr. Braley held a 13-point edge over Mrs. Ernst.

The new poll showed Mrs. Ernst holds a 4-percentage point lead over Mr. Braley among men, while the Democrat has a 11-percentage point lead among women.

“Winning the Republican nomination introduced State Sen. Joni Ernst to the Iowa electorate positively and put her within range of U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

“When Quinnipiac University surveyed Iowans in March, Joni Ernst was an unknown. Now she is as well-known as Bruce Braley, and his double-digit lead has all but evaporated,” Mr. Brown said. “The unusual split is due to some degree to the fact that women tend to lean Democratic while men lean Republican.”

More than one in four voters said that they view their vote as a vote against President Obama.

The poll was conducted between June 12 and 16, included 1,277 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.