The Corner

Sabato Rating Shifts Iowa to ‘Lean Republican’ From Toss-Up

Iowa “leans Republican,” according to Larry Sabato’s assessment of the Senate race between Representative Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) and Republican state senator Joni Ernst.

“We have long thought that Ernst’s folksiness could pay off here if Democratic attacks on some of the more conservative parts of her rhetoric and record did not pan out,” Sabato and Kyle Kondik write for the Crystal Ball.“With a month to go, she seems to be staying out of trouble, and the Republican lean of this year’s midterm combined with Braley’s much-derided campaign suggests to us that Ernst really is leading here: We’re moving the Iowa Senate race from Toss-up to Leans Republican. It’s worth noting that Democrats argue the race is a tie, but even if that’s the case, it might be easier for Ernst to get to a plurality than Braley in this kind of environment.”

Ernst’s break for the lead is coming at a good time, as early voting in the state began on September 25.

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