Elections

GOP’s Ernst pulled ahead in tight Iowa Senate race

Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) AP

Republican Joni Ernst has opened up a 6 percentage point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Earlier surveys by other pollsters this month had shown Braley with a slight lead, and the race remains too close to call.

The Quinnipiac survey, conducted Sept. 10-15, found Ernst, a state senator, with a 50-44 percent edge among likely voters. She leads by 7 among independent voters, who are likely to decide the race to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

"The tale of independent voters tells you all you need to know about the Iowa Senate race," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, in a press release. "The key to any comeback by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley will be chipping away at her lead among independents."

By a 45 39 percent margin, Iowa likely voters have a favorable opinion of Ernst. Braley gets a 38 percent favorability rating, while 41 percent view him unfavorably.

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