- The Washington Times - Friday, October 31, 2014

A new poll from Reuters/Ipsos shows the high-stakes U.S. Senate race in Iowa between GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst and Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in a dead heat just days out from Election Day.

Ms. Ernst and Mr. Braley are tied at 45 percent in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. Should Democrats lose the seat, it would make their path to holding a tenuous 55-45 majority in the Senate more difficult.

The contest, partially because of Iowa’s status as an early voting state in presidential contests, has seen a number of high-profile surrogates and a flood of outside money — as the GOP tries to net the six seats it needs to retake control of the Senate and Democrats try to hold a seat they had hoped to have well in hand earlier in the cycle.

Ms. Ernst had a 50 percent favorable rating and 50 percent unfavorable rating in the poll, while Mr. Braley had a 48 percent favorable rating and a 52 percent unfavorable rating. Ms. Ernst has a 1.2-point lead in RealClearPolitics’ latest average of public polling on the race.

President Obama, who won Iowa in both of his presidential campaigns, has a 44 percent favorable rating and a 56 percent unfavorable rating. Further, 41 percent approve of the way he’s handling his job and 58 percent disapprove.

The online poll of 1,129 likely voters was taken from Oct. 23-29 and has a “confidence interval” — similar to a margin of error — of 3.3 points.

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