September 17, 2014 - Republican Up 6 Points In Iowa Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Big Gender Gap As Men Back Ernst By 17 Points Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format

Neutralizing the traditional Democratic lead among women voters, Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst leads U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat, 50 - 44 percent among likely voters in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin in Iowa, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Ernst leads among men 56 - 39 percent, while Braley leads among women by a smaller 50 - 44 percent margin, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. This survey of likely voters can not be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

The Republican also leads 50 - 43 percent among a key political group, independent voters, and 87 - 7 percent among GOP voters, while Braley takes Democrats 90 - 7 percent. While l5 percent of Iowa voters say they might change their mind, 84 percent say their mind is made up.

Their U.S. Senate vote is mainly a vote against President Barack Obama, 28 percent of Iowa likely voters say, while 12 percent say it is a vote mainly for Obama and 58 percent say the president is not much of a factor in their Senate vote.

"The tale of independent voters tells you all you need to know about the Iowa Senate race," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

"These independents are perhaps the most important voter bloc in the electorate and State Sen. Joni Ernst is ahead 7 percentage points among them, just about her overall lead. 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 have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Iowa likely voters favor the Republican on key character traits:
  • Ernst is honest and trustworthy, voters say 55 - 28 percent, well ahead of Braley's 45 - 36 percent.
  • Ernst cares about their needs and problems, voters say 52 - 37 percent, edging Braley's 48 - 37 percent.
  • Ernst has strong leadership qualities, voters say 60 - 25 percent, ahead of Braley's 48 - 34 percent leadership measure.
"Sen. Ernst's television commercials and campaign have presented her as a born and bred Iowan, who never lost her farm girl values. She should pay her strategists and media folks quite well because up until now they have sold that message effectively," Brown said. "The fact that more voters think she cares about their needs than does Braley is telling. That is a measurement that many Republicans, even winning GOPers, lose.

"Some pundits back east may have made fun of her shooting hog ads, but they send an effective message to Iowans that she is one of them.

"There is also a message to President Barack Obama in these numbers. Almost three in 10 voters say theirs is mainly a vote against the president, a troubling number for Democrats. Only 12 percent say they are voting to back the president.

"If these results show up in other states, it could produce the kind of wave for which Republicans are hoping."

From September 10 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,167 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

4. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bruce Braley the Democrat and Joni Ernst the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Braley or Ernst? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Braley               44%     7%    90%    43%    39%    50%
Ernst                50     87      7     50     56     44
SOMEONE ELSE(VOL)     1      1      2      1      1      1
DK/NA                 4      4      1      6      4      4
 
 
4a. (If candidate chosen q4) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q4..........
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q4
                     Tot    Braley Ernst
 
Mind made up         84%    84%    84%
Might change         15     15     15
DK/NA                 1      -      1
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Bruce Braley favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            38%    11%    79%    33%    33%    43%
Unfavorable          41     70      6     43     45     37
Hvn't hrd enough     20     19     15     23     21     18
REFUSED               1      1      -      2      1      1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of Joni Ernst favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            45%    80%     7%    44%    51%    40%
Unfavorable          39      8     80     36     34     43
Hvn't hrd enough     15     12     14     18     14     16
REFUSED               1      1      -      2      1      1
 
 
7. Would you say that Bruce Braley - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  45%    23%    81%    38%    41%    48%
No                   36     58      5     40     43     30
DK/NA                19     20     13     22     16     22
 
 
8. Would you say that Bruce Braley - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  48%    23%    85%    44%    43%    52%
No                   37     63      5     38     44     31
DK/NA                15     14     10     18     13     17
 
 
9. Would you say that Bruce Braley - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  48%    25%    84%    42%    39%    56%
No                   34     58      4     36     42     27
DK/NA                18     17     12     22     19     17
 
 
10. Would you say that Joni Ernst - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  55%    87%    19%    56%    61%    49%
No                   28      4     59     26     24     32
DK/NA                17      9     22     19     16     18
 
 
11. Would you say that Joni Ernst - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  52%    86%    15%    53%    57%    48%
No                   37      9     72     34     32     41
DK/NA                11      5     13     13     11     11
 
 
12. Would you say that Joni Ernst - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  60%    85%    33%    59%    62%    58%
No                   25      5     50     23     21     28
DK/NA                16     10     17     18     18     14
 
 
13. Do you think of your vote for United States Senator as a vote for Barack Obama, or as a vote against Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
For Obama            12%     2%    32%     7%     8%    15%
Against Obama        28     52      2     27     29     27
Not a factor         58     45     63     62     62     54
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      1      4
 
 

Demographic Summary