Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa leads her Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley, by nearly seven points in a new poll from Loras College. Fresh off her victory in the GOP primary Tuesday, Ernst has 48 percent support from likely voters in a new poll from Loras College. Braley, a four-term congressman, has 41.7 percent support.
The poll also found 42 percent have a favorable opinion of Ernst, who broke onto the scene with her memorable campaign ad where she talked about cutting spending in Washington like she castrated hogs on the farm where she grew up. Twenty-nine percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of Ernst, a state senator and Iraq War veteran. Braley's favorable and unfavorable numbers, meanwhile, are at 36 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
President Obama is underwater with Iowa voters, with 54 percent disapproving of his job and 42.5 percent approving. The sample featured 39 percent Republicans, 36 percent Democrats, and 24.7 percent independent or no party.
The Loras poll is the best poll for Ernst so far. The Real Clear Politics poll average shows Braley with a slight advantage to succeed retiring Democrat Tom Harkin in November. A Rasmussen Reports poll released today showed Ernst with a more modest 1-point lead.