A Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” released tonight shows Republican Joni Ernst has a seven percent lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race.
Ernst broke the news to supporters at a rally this evening in Cedar Rapids.
“You will be the first to know tonight. The Des Moines Register Iowa Poll was just released at 7 p.m. and in the United States Senate race, Joni Ernst — and this is due to you, folks — is up seven points,” Ernst said with a smile, as the crowd erupted into cheers.
Ernst has been talking about “momentum” the past few days as she’s campaigned around the state.
“We have had a phenomenal couple of months,” Ernst said early this morning at a campaign stop in Ames.
Democrats quickly called the new Iowa Poll results an “outlier” as no other public polls released this past week have given Ernst that much of an edge. The Democrats have stressed their get-out-the-vote effort to encourage unlikely voters to cast a ballot early and Braley himself made the pitch to the crowd gathered for a rally in Des Moines this afternoon.
“We need your help: phone calls, door knocking, picking up those absentee ballots,” Braley said.
This morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke by phone with a group of “Progressive Change Campaign Committee” activists who volunteered to make calls for Braley today. Reid suggested Iowa’s senate race is the lynch pin to keeping the senate in Democratic control.
“If we win Iowa, we’re going to be just fine,” Reid said. “…Iowa is critical. There’s no other way to say it.”
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack spoke at Braley’s rally in Des Moines earlier today and Vilsack repeatedly used the word “critical” to describe the stakes.
“I wish I could come out and speak to each one of you individually,” Vilsack said. “I wish I could grab you by the shoulders and explain to you how significant this election is.”
In 2013, Vilsack decided to remain as U.S. Ag Secretary rather than run for the seat Democrat Tom Harkin has held for 30 years. Harkin and Vilsack will campaign with Braley Sunday. Ernst will make three campaign stops with Governor Terry Branstad and other Republican candidates on Sunday. The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll showed Branstad holding a 24-point lead over Democratic challenger Jack Hatch.