Republican Joni Ernst has widened her lead over Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa’s race for U.S. Senate, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Quinnipiac University poll showed Ms. Ernest best Mr. Braley 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters with less than a week until the election.
The same poll last week gave Ms. Ernest a 2-point advantage over Mr. Braley, 48 percent to 46 percent.
The Iowa race to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin is key in the battle for control of the upper chamber, as Republicans seek a net gain of six seats to seize the majority from Democrats.
“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.”
Mr. Braley leads 57 percent to 36 percent among those who already have voted, according to the poll.
The survey found that the “reverse gender gap” in this race continues as women back the Democratic man 50 percent to 42 percent and men back the Republican woman 56 percent to 39 percent.