October 29, 2014 - Ernst Inching Ahead In Iowa Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Branstad, The Iowa Institution, Cruising To Reelection Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Iowa Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst is inching ahead among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race and now has 49 percent to 45 percent for U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Five percent remain undecided.

This compares to results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, showing Sen. Ernst at 48 percent and Rep. Braley at 46 percent.

Today's results show independent voters backing Ernst 50 - 41 percent. Republicans back Ernst 90 - 4 percent. Democrats go to Braley 94 - 4 percent.

The reverse gender gap in this race continues as women back the Democratic man 50 - 42 percent, while men back the Republican woman 56 - 39 percent.

Braley leads 57 - 36 percent among those who already have voted.

Just six days before Election Day, 91 percent of Iowa likely voters who name a Senate candidate say their mind is made up, while 9 percent say they might change their mind.

"As Election Day nears, State Sen. Joni Ernst is closing in on Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat. Her lead over U.S. Rep. Brue Braley inches up to 49 - 45 percent, giving her the momentum with less than a week left in the campaign," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

"Nothing is for sure, but one would certainly rather be in her shoes this morning than Braley's. One piece of good news for the Democrat is that he has a 21-point lead among those who already have voted.

"Ernst's lead is built upon a 9-point lead among independent voters and a larger lead among men than Braley is able to muster among women," Brown added. "And, in what was a strongly negative campaign, she emerged from the mud-slinging with voters liking her a bit more, usually an advantage that tends to translate into votes."

Iowa likely voters are divided on their feelings about the candidates:
  • Ernst gets a 45 - 43 percent favorability;
  • Braley gets a slightly negative 40 - 43 percent likability score.
Governor's Race

State Sen. Jack Hatch, the Democratic challenger in the governor's race, makes no progress in his bid to unseat the Iowa Institution, Republican Gov. Terry Hatch, who leads 56 - 37 percent among likely voters. This is essentially unchanged from the results of an October 23 Quinnipiac University poll.

Men, women, Republicans and independent voters all back the long-time governor, while Democrats back Hatch 85 - 11 percent. Hatch leads 50 - 43 percent among those who already have voted.

Only 7 percent of voters who name a candidate say they might change their mind in the next six days while 93 percent say their mind is made up,

Branstad gets a 56 - 34 percent favorability rating, compared to Hatch's 32 - 29 percent score, with 36 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

"Democrats thought Gov. Terry Branstad might be vulnerable because roughly half of Iowa voters thought he had been in office too long," Brown said. "But his reelection was never in doubt. One key indication: more than a third of voters say they don't know enough about his Democratic opponent to have an opinion. They never bothered to find out because they knew they would be voting for Branstad."

From October 22 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 817 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 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%     1%    85%    30%    32%    42%    50%
Branstad             56     98     11     57     63     49     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      -      2      2      1      1
DK/NA                 5      1      4     11      3      7      6
 
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 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Hatch                37      37      39      37
Branstad             56      55      54      60
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2       1       1
DK/NA                 5       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         93%    93%    93%
Might change          7      7      7
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 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Mind made up         93      91      89      82
Might change          7       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            32%     8%    66%    26%    29%    35%    46%
Unfavorable          29     50      7     26     36     22     23
Hvn't hrd enough     36     40     24     43     32     39     29
REFUSED               3      2      3      6      3      4      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jack Hatch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.................
                     Oct 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            32      31      33      29
Unfavorable          29      31      28      26
Hvn't hrd enough     36      35      36      44
REFUSED               3       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%    93%    17%    56%    63%    50%    49%
Unfavorable          34      3     73     30     29     38     45
Hvn't hrd enough      6      2      6      8      5      7      4
REFUSED               4      2      4      6      3      5      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Terry Branstad favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.................
                     Oct 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 18
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            56      56      56      59
Unfavorable          34      35      34      33
Hvn't hrd enough      6       5       7       7
REFUSED               4       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               45%     4%    94%    41%    39%    50%    57%
Ernst                49     90      4     50     56     42     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      1      2      2      2      3
DK/NA                 5      3      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 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Braley               45      46      45      44
Ernst                49      48      47      50
SOMEONE ELSE(VOL)     2       3       3       1
DK/NA                 5       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         91%    90%    91%
Might change          9     10      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 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Mind made up         91      93      89      84
Might change          9       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            40%     6%    84%    37%    35%    45%    54%
Unfavorable          43     73      8     44     49     38     36
Hvn't hrd enough     14     19      7     15     14     14      8
REFUSED               2      2      1      4      2      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Bruce Braley favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.................
                     Oct 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            40      43      42      38
Unfavorable          43      43      44      41
Hvn't hrd enough     14      11      13      20
REFUSED               2       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            45%    82%     6%    44%    51%    39%    36%
Unfavorable          43      9     86     39     37     48     56
Hvn't hrd enough     10      8      7     14     11      9      7
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      1      4      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joni Ernst favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.................
                     Oct 29  Oct 23  Oct 15  Sep 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2014
 
Favorable            45      48      47      45
Unfavorable          43      42      41      39
Hvn't hrd enough     10       7      11      15
REFUSED               2       2       1       1
 
 

Demographic Summary