Poll: Iowa Senate race still too close to call

Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst (left) and Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley are vying to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate.

Story highlights

  • The latest poll in the Iowa Senate race shows the contest is still a dead heat.
  • Braley is gaining with independents and women, while Ernst leads with men.
  • About 10 percent of likely voters said they could still change their mind.
  • Ernst could benefits from Republican Governor Terry Branstad's 15-point lead.
The tight Senate race in Iowa just won't budge.
The race opposing Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley is still locked in a dead heat according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Ernst just barely edges out her Democratic rival by two points 45-43, a lead that keeps her within the poll's margin of error.
The contest could tilt the balance of power in Washington in a year when Republicans are favored to take back the Senate.
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The results from the survey of 967 likely voters in Iowa echoes the two other nonpartisan polls in this month which also showed Ernst with a razor-thin one- to two-point edge.
Now, the two candidates will fight for undecided voters and the 10 percent of likely voters who said they could still change their mind before Nov. 4.
And while the overall numbers don't appear to be shifting, Braley's camp can look to the pulse of Independents for a campaign pick-me-up less than three weeks away from Election Day.
The poll revealed a big swing in independent support, with Braley converting a seven-point deficit in Quinnipiac's September poll into a five-point lead among the key voter bloc. Braley now leads with independents 48% to Ernst's 43%.
Braley also continued to pick up support among women, who favor him over his female GOP foe by a 13-point margin.
Ernst, meanwhile, kept her lead among men at a 56% to Braley's 39%.
"Voters are choosing partisanship over gender when it comes to making their ballot choice," Quinnipiac University Polling Director Peter Brown said in a release.
Ernst will look to pick up on the benefits of votes voting for the same party down the ballot as Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to slide cleanly through the polls.
Branstad has a 15-point lead according to the Quinnipiac poll.