Raleigh, N.C. – PPP's newest Iowa Senate poll continues to find a tight race with Joni Ernst slightly ahead of Bruce Braley. Ernst is ahead 44/42 when all the third party candidates are included, and 45/43 in a straight head to head. The 45/43 advantage for Ernst is identical to what we found on our last poll of the race in late August.
Even though the horse race numbers haven't changed much, this is the first time we've found Ernst with a better net favorability rating than Braley. Ernst is at -4 with 42% of voters rating her favorably to 46% with a negative opinion, numbers that are up from a -10 spread at 36/46 in August. Meanwhile Braley's numbers continue their slow decline- he has a -7 rating with 37% rating him favorably and 44% holding an unfavorable opinion, down from -4 at 37/41 last month. Braley's favorability has dropped a net 17 points from where it was when we first polled a Braley/Ernst match up in July of 2013 and he was at +10 (34/24).
Both candidates have a pretty good lock on their party base. Only 5% of Democrats are crossing over to support Ernst, and just 8% of Republicans are crossing over to support Braley. The key for Ernst is with independent voters- she has a 45/35 advantage with them.