Democrat trailing by 6 in Iowa Senate race

Des Moines Register:
The ground under Bruce Braley has shifted.

The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is 6 points behind his GOP rival, Joni Ernst, according to The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll of likely voters.

Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked. She leads nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents.

"Very interesting, and good news not just for Ernst but also for the GOP's chances of taking the U.S. Senate," said national political prognosticator Larry Sabato of "Sabato's Crystal Ball."

Just seven months ago, political analysts considered Braley almost a shoo-in for a seat held for 30 years by liberal Democrat Tom Harkin.

Still, the 6-point deficit isn't insurmountable with 37 days left until the Nov. 4 election, political analysts say. Twelve percent of likely voters remain undecided.

Some of the vulnerabilities for Braley, a lawyer and eight-year congressman: He isn't winning in his home district, in northeast Iowa. Two-thirds of likely voters think it's a problem that he missed a large percentage of Veterans Affairs Committee meetings in the U.S. House. Fifty-nine percent think his role in crafting the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is a problem.

And he's suffering badly with rural voters. Only 15 percent support him compared with 58 percent for Ernst. One potential reason: Two-thirds of likely voters who live in the country are bothered by a remark he made about Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley that's been perceived as besmirching farmers.
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There seem to be a lot of issues that are working against him including his own conduct or lack thereof.   Ernst is also an attractive candidate who has connected with rural voters in a way that a trial lawyer cannot.  I think she is going to make a great senator.  For those who think Obamacare is not an issue the 59 percent who think Braley's role in crafting the legislation is a problem say otherwise.  This is also another case where the "war on women" meme falls on its face.

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