The Campaign Spot

Iowa Republicans: We’re Happy With the Senate Polls

The Republican party of Iowa e-mails:

CNN: GOP Remains Happy About Iowa

CNN’S JOHN KING: “There’s a big senate race, Tom Harkin, the senator hosting the steak fry, he’s retiring. In the race to succeed him, another brand new poll that we are releasing now. Look at this dead heat. Bruce Braley is the Democrat, he’s a congressman. You see him on the right of your screen there, 49 percent. Joni Ernst, 48 percent the Republican candidate. If you are the Republicans, you are happy here, because Iowa is a blue state. President Obama carried it comfortably twice and you have a dead heat in Iowa. Republicans slightly ahead in some of the red states that has to be a cause of concern.”

THE WASHINGTON POST’S JACKIE KUCINICH: “Well, Joni Ernst came out very strong from a five-way primary and I think it’s helped her and Bruce Braley has suffered from some unforced errors, with his comments about Grassley not being a lawyer. Right now if you look at the number this is a fight over the middle. Democrats are voting for Bruce Braley and Republicans are voting for Joni Ernst. It’s that middle they’ll be fighting for and it’s a very soft middle, because they don’t know where they’re going to go yet.”

CNN’S JOHN KING: “Do these numbers shock you? This was the state that launched President Obama, we’ve been making little jokes about it, but this is where he beat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. It was his launching ground into the national politics. Look at the president’s approval rating right now in Iowa: 37 percent approve and 56 percent disapprove. Again in a normal midterm year that would tell me if that number holds and that race is still that close on Election Day, that tells me the Republican is going to win because of voter intensity and the anti-president sentiment.” (CNN, Inside Politics, 09/12/14)

“If you’re a Republican, you’re happy here.” Ernst is keeping it close, sure. But if she loses a close one — a distinct possibility — then no, Republicans won’t be so happy on Election Night. Note that the race is tied, or a slight Braley lead, with the president’s approval rating so abysmal in Iowa. Braley is running 12 percentage points ahead of Obama’s approval rating.

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