Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Poll: Braley Leads in Iowa Despite Disapproval for Obama

Despite poor approval ratings for the president in Iowa, the Democratic candidate for Senate led all of his potential Republican opponents in a poll released Wednesday.

Quinnipiac University’s latest poll found that Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley would defeat each of the six Republicans tested for this open-seat race. His closest competitor was former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, whom Braley led 43 percent to 40 percent.

Democrats are hoping to hold the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin in this presidential swing state. President Barack Obama’s falling approval rating — which was down to 38 percent, despite winning the state in both 2008 and 2012 — could prove an impediment to Braley’s campaign. For now, though, 54 percent of voters said Obama’s ability to run the country did not play much of a factor in their choice for Senate.

That bears out in Braley’s leads over the other GOP contenders. He led by no less than 6 points against state Sen. Joni Ernst, radio host Sam Clovis, businessman Mark Jacobs, former Senate aide David Young and Bob Vander Plaats, an evangelical Christian activist who has not announced whether he will run for Senate.

Which Republican advances from a potential nominating convention may have the biggest effect on which party wins the seat. Still, Quinnipiac assistant polling director Peter A. Brown said in a release that Obama’s “overwhelmingly negative job approval — including thumbs down from 15 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independent voters — could be having an impact on the prospects for Iowa Democrats who do face the voters in 2014.”

The poll of 1,617 registered voters was conducted Dec. 10-15. The margin of error was 2.4 points.

The race is rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Layla

    Prediction: Braley is going to lose this race.

  • Yankeekid18

    That’s my hope- this Iowan will be voting AGAINST Bruce Braley!

  • mabramso

    Hard to say. At this point, the GOP doesn’t have any particularly strong declared candidates. If they can come with one, or if one of the lesser known candidates turns out to be better than expected, then they might be able to pull it off if the wind is at their back (which is more likely than not).

  • teapartyidiots

    Iowa likes split government. I think they keep one Dem and one Republican senator.

  • Joe

    Looks to me like Clovis is the strongest of the Republicans running for the nomination.

  • mabramso

    I had never heard of him before, so I looked him up. He seems like somewhat of a novice, though I like his background, since I am a retired Air Force officer. :-) From what I have read, Ernst is the establishment candidate and perhaps a frontrunner. But who knows at this point.

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