Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley’s recent criticism of a fellow senator, who he described as a farmer that never went to law school, has significantly hurt his standing among likely Iowa voters, according to a new Washington Free Beacon poll.
The Free Beacon poll found that 50 percent of likely Iowa voters surveyed would be less likely to vote for Braley after his comments, while 21 percent would be more likely. The Polling Company, Inc. conducted the survey.
Braley, a four-term congressman and former trial lawyer, made the comments to a group of lawyers at a January fundraiser in Texas. Braley told the lawyers that he would be their “voice” in Congress and warned that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school,” could be the next Senate Judiciary Committee chairman if Republicans retake the majority this fall.
More than 50 percent of respondents said Braley’s remarks showed he was out of touch with most Iowans and has a higher regard for lawyers in Texas than farmers in Iowa. Nearly 60 percent agreed that Braley had harmed his chances for winning the Senate seat.
Many voters identify with farmers rather than lawyers in Iowa, where more than 90,000 farms are located. A recent Free Beacon analysis found that Braley has received more than $4 million in campaign contributions from lawyers and law firms since 2005 and has a long history of advocating their interests.