Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst wraps up her 99 county tour.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst wrapped up her 99 county tour Thursday night. She made 112 campaign stops in the past 39 days and held a rally with a crowd of supporters in an Ames brew pub last night.

“Chuck Grassley has set the bar high: 99 counties every year for 34 years,” Ernst said. “Our governor does the 99 county tour which we fondly call ‘the full Grassley.’ Our lieutenant governor does the ‘full Grassley’ and, senator, it is my intent as the next United States senator from Iowa to do the ‘full Grassley’ every year.”

Grassley spoke briefly, just before Ernst, and told the crowd there’s “building enthusiasm” for Ernst as “the polls spread to her advantage.”

“She’s on FOX News more than a sitting senator is,” Grassley said, and the crowd laughed, “so that tells you something as well.”

Congressman Tom Latham of Clive also campaigned with Ernst yesterday (Thursday) as she made stops in his congressional district.

“Let me just say that probably the happiest guy in the country today is Jimmy Carter,” Latham told the crowd in Ames last night, “because Barack Obama is making him look competent.”

Ernst is sounding a confident theme, not talking about “if” she’s elected, but “when” she becomes a U.S. Senator.

“We can do better, can’t we folks?” Ernst asked the crowd. “Yes, we can. Yes, we can and we are going to do better.”

AUDIO of Ernst rally, 28:00

Ernst will campaign through the weekend with Republican Governor Terry Branstad and other Republican candidates for statewide office. On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton will hold a get-out-the-vote rally in Des Moines for Democratic candidate Bruce Braley and then Clinton will headline a Braley fundraiser Saturday evening in Waterloo.

Also Saturday, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will hold events in the Waterloo area to encourage Christian conservatives to vote.