A new poll showed Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, with a narrow lead, 44 percent to 40 percent, over his Republican opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst, in the competitive race for Senate.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, released Wednesday morning, comes a couple weeks after Ernst's resounding victory in the Republican primary that local operatives say put this race in play . Ernst and Braley are vying for the seat currently held by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who is retiring. According to the survey, Ernst — one of the few female Republican Senate candidates this cycle — did not fare as well with female voters compared to Braley. Female survey respondents favored Braley, 47 percent to 36 percent, over Ernst. But male survey respondents favored Ernst over Braley, 44 percent to 40 percent.
Also in the poll, independent voters were split between Ernst and Braley at 38 percent. Democrats and Republicans were each solidly behind their party's nominee.
The results were based on live phone interviews with 1,277 registered Iowa voters from June 12 through June 16, using both cell phones and land lines. The margin of error was 2.7 percentage points.
The race is rated Leans Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.