The Iowa Senate Race Looks Like a Toss-Up

The Story:

Incumbent Joni Ernst (R) and challenger Theresa Greenfield (D) are the contenders for one of the US Senate seats from Iowa. Although incumbents almost always start with advantages, this contest is worth watching, in large part because Senator Ernst has become closely tied to the administration of Donald Trump in the public mind, and because that is a dangerous tie in Iowa of late. Trump’s trade wars have lost Iowa’s farmers overseas customers.


According to the quantitatively minded political website Five Thirty Eight, Sen. Ernst has voted in line with the President’s wishes 91% of the time over the last three and a half year. This is not as perfect a Trump score as Georgia’s Senator Loeffler (100%), but it is perfect enough to be a potent talking point for Ms Greenfield.

The Thing to Know:

In late June, GOR Research’s polling showed Greenfield ahead, 49% to 47%. Another recent poll, by the Des Moines Register, shows a slightly larger gap, 46% to 43%, also putting Greenfield on the plus side. In both polls, the difference between the candidates is less than the margin of error, but even seeing the race as a dead heat can’t be a comfort for Senator Ernst.

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