The Campaign Spot

Iowa Pollster: ‘This race looks like it’s decided.’

Good Sunday morning, Iowa voters!

Joni Ernst has charged to achieve a 7-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in a new Iowa Poll, which buoys the GOP’s hope that an Iowa victory will be the tipping point to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate.

Ernst, a state senator and military leader, enjoys 51 percent support among likely voters. That’s a majority, and it’s her biggest lead in the three Iowa Polls conducted this fall. Braley, a congressman and trial lawyer, gets 44 percent, according to The Des Moines Register’s final Iowa Poll before Tuesday’s election.

“This race looks like it’s decided,” said J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the poll for the Register. “That said, there are enormous resources being applied to change all that.”

Some Republicans have been concerned about the early vote trending in favor of Democrats — a 7,000-vote lead, compared to an 18,000-vote lead four years ago, with less competitive races — and various other polls showed a close race.

For what it’s worth, the Iowa Poll’s final results have been strikingly close to the margins on Election Night the past two cycles. The final Iowa Poll in 2012 gave Obama a 5-point lead. He won by 5.2 points.

The final Iowa Poll in 2010 showed heavily favored incumbent senator Chuck Grassley head by 31 points. He won by . . . 31.3 points.

The final Iowa Poll in 2010 for the governor’s race showed Terry Branstad winning by 12 points. He won by 9.7 points.

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