October 23, 2014 - Iowa Senate Race Is Snout To Snout, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Branstad Headed For Place In U.S. History Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format

The Iowa U.S. Senate race is going down to the wire, with Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst at 48 percent among likely voters and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat, at 46 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Four percent remain undecided.

This compares to results of an October 15 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, showing Sen. Ernst at 47 percent and Rep. Braley at 45 percent.

Today's results show independent voters giving Ernst 47 percent to Braley's 41 percent. Republicans back Ernst 91 - 6 percent. Democrats go to Braley 93 - 4 percent.

In the reverse gender gap that marks this race, women back the Democratic man 53 - 40 percent, while men back the Republican woman 55 - 38 percent.

Braley leads 58 - 37 percent among those who already have voted.

With 12 days until Election Day, 93 percent of Iowa likely voters who name a Senate candidate say their mind is made up, while 7 percent say they might change their mind.

"The race to succeed U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin in Iowa could be headed for a photo finish, with State Sen. Joni Ernst on the plus side of a too-close-to-call matchup with U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

"Throughout the campaign, Sen. Ernst has had an edge on likability. If she makes it across the finish line first that may be the key. Her campaign theme that she is the 'farm girl next door' who made good has taken her from unknown state legislator to a serious shot at the United States Senate."

"Rep. Braley has been selling his Washington experience. We'll see on November 4 whether that experience is such a valuable commodity with voters," Brown added.

By a 48 - 42 percent margin, Iowa likely voters have a favorable opinion of Ernst. Braley gets a split 43 - 43 percent likability score.

Governor's Race

In his race for reelection, Iowa's long-time governor, Terry Branstad, has a 55 - 37 percent likely voter lead over State Sen. Jack Hatch, the Democratic challenger.

This compares to a 54 - 39 percent likely voter lead for Gov. Branstad in an October 15 Quinnipiac University poll.

Hatch does not get the usual Democratic advantage among women, who back the governor 49 - 43 percent. The incumbent has a 61 - 32 percent lead among men. He leads 94 - 5 percent among Republicans and 61 - 25 percent among independent voters. Democrats go to Hatch 87 - 11 percent.

Hatch is ahead 54 - 38 percent among those who already have voted.

With 12 days until the election, 91 percent of voters who name a candidate say their mind is made up, while 9 percent say they might change their mind.

Branstad gets a 56 - 35 percent favorability rating, compared to Hatch's split 31 - 31 percent score, with 35 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

"Absent an unprecedented turnaround, Gov. Terry Branstad is going to coast to reelection," Brown said. "If he serves out his next term, he becomes the longest-serving governor in American history."

From October 15 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 964 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 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 @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jack Hatch the Democrat and Terry Branstad the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Hatch or Branstad? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Hatch                37%     5%    87%    25%    32%    43%    54%
Branstad             55     94     11     61     61     49     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      -      5      3      1      2
DK/NA                 5      1      2     10      4      7      7
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jack Hatch the Democrat and Terry Branstad the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Hatch or Branstad? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Hatch                37      39      37
Branstad             55      54      60
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       1
DK/NA                 5       6       3
 
 
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1..........
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    Hatch  Branstad
 
Mind made up         91%    92%    91%
Might change          9      8      9
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
TREND: (If candidate chosen) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN......
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Mind made up         91      89      82
Might change          9      10      18
DK/NA                 -       -       -
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Jack Hatch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Favorable            31%     4%    69%    22%    25%    36%    46%
Unfavorable          31     54      6     32     39     24     26
Hvn't hrd enough     35     40     23     43     33     37     24
REFUSED               3      2      2      3      3      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jack Hatch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            31      33      29
Unfavorable          31      28      26
Hvn't hrd enough     35      36      44
REFUSED               3       3       1
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Terry Branstad favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Favorable            56%    91%    14%    64%    62%    50%    42%
Unfavorable          35      5     76     26     30     40     50
Hvn't hrd enough      5      4      6      6      5      6      2
REFUSED               4      1      5      4      3      4      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Terry Branstad favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            56      56      59
Unfavorable          35      34      33
Hvn't hrd enough      5       7       7
REFUSED               4       3       1
 
 
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....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Braley               46%     6%    93%    41%    38%    53%    58%
Ernst                48     91      4     47     55     40     37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      1      5      4      1      1
DK/NA                 4      2      2      7      3      6      4
 
TREND: 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.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Braley               46      45      44
Ernst                48      47      50
SOMEONE ELSE(VOL)     3       3       1
DK/NA                 4       5       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         93%    93%    94%
Might change          7      7      6
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
TREND: (If candidate chosen) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN......
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Mind made up         93      89      84
Might change          7      10      15
DK/NA                 -       -       1
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Bruce Braley favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Favorable            43%     8%    84%    39%    36%    49%    55%
Unfavorable          43     80      8     41     51     37     35
Hvn't hrd enough     11     11      6     16     10     12      5
REFUSED               3      1      2      3      4      2      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Bruce Braley favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            43      42      38
Unfavorable          43      44      41
Hvn't hrd enough     11      13      20
REFUSED               3       1       1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of Joni Ernst favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....................................
                                                               Already
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Voted
 
Favorable            48%    92%     6%    48%    56%    41%    38%
Unfavorable          42      5     86     39     36     49     55
Hvn't hrd enough      7      3      7     10      6      8      3
REFUSED               2      -      1      2      2      2      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joni Ernst favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            48      47      45
Unfavorable          42      41      39
Hvn't hrd enough      7      11      15
REFUSED               2       1       1
 
 

Demographic Summary