If you’re in the Joni Ernst camp, then yesterday was probably a very exciting one given that the Des Moines Register’s latest poll showed the GOP senate hopeful 7 points ahead of her Democratic opponent Rep. Bruce Braley [emphasis mine]:
Joni Ernst has charged to achieve a 7-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in a new Iowa Poll, which buoys the GOP's hope that an Iowa victory will be the tipping point to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate.
Braley has lost vote share since an early October Iowa Poll (he dropped from 46 percent to 44 percent) while Ernst has increased her share (from 47 percent to 51 percent now).
Another sign of trouble: Braley is losing by 3 points in his home congressional district in left-leaning northeast Iowa. In the early October poll, he was up by 1 point there.
But let’s not break out the champagne yet. Fox News’ poll had the race virtually tied, with Ernst leading Braley 45/44:
Both Ernst (94 percent) and Braley supporters (95 percent) have a high degree of vote certainty, and both candidates receive strong backing from their party faithful (89 percent and 90 percent respectively).
Independents prefer Ernst over Braley by 46-30 percent.
The reverse gender gap continues, as women are more likely to back Braley by 13 points, while more men support Ernst by 15 points.
Ernst is also helped by the fact that a 55-percent majority of Iowa likely voters disapproves of the job Obama is doing. Just 40 percent approve.
It’s a bad sign for Braley that undecided voters disapprove of Obama’s performance by a wide 25-point margin.
In addition, those who have already voted back Ernst by 61-31 percent.
Another good thing favoring Republicans is that a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that voters prefer a GOP-led Congress by a slim margin. Guy will have a more in-depth analysis on the poll avalanche that took place over the weekend on Monday.