Poll of Iowa Senate Race Shows Contest Remains Exceedingly Close

Democrat Bruce Braley is supported by 45 percent of likely voters, while Republican Joni Ernst has the backing of 44 percent.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) debates Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst at the Galvin Fine Arts Center on October 11, 2014 on the campus of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images

As Iowa continues to be pummeled with television ads and visits from the biggest names in American politics, a Loras College Poll of Iowa's Senate race shows the contest remains extremely close.

In results released Tuesday, Democrat Bruce Braley is supported by 45 percent of likely voters, while Republican Joni Ernst has the backing of 44 percent. Eight percent remain undecided and two percent plan to vote for another candidate, according to the poll. Braley’s advantage is well within the 2.9 percentage point margin of error.

“This year’s Senate race may simply come down to turnout,” Christopher Budzisz, the poll's director said in a statement. “Given President Obama’s low approval ratings in Iowa, Republicans expect to have more motivated voters and an Election Day turnout advantage.”

Among those who have already cast their ballots during Iowa's early voting period, Budzisz said Braley had a six-point edge. Braley also has a small advantage among independent voters, 43.8 percent to 40.4 percent. The survey was conducted Oct. 21-24.

Braley received a campaign visit Monday from Vice President Joe Biden and will be joined on the trail later this week in separate visits by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. Ernst is campaigning Tuesday with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

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