HAMDEN, Conn., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Republican Joni Ernst, buoyed by support from independent voters and men, moved slightly ahead of Democrat Bruce Braley in the Iowa Senate race.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday reported that 49 percent of likely voters planned to vote for Ernst and 45 percent for Braley. Last week, the same poll found voters tilting 48-46 for Ernst.
Only 5 percent said they were still trying to make up their minds.
"As Election Day nears, state Sen. Joni Ernst is closing in on Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat. Her lead over U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley inches up to 49-45 percent, giving her the momentum with less than a week left in the campaign," said Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director. "Nothing is for sure, but one would certainly rather be in her shoes this morning than Braley's. One piece of good news for the Democrat is that he has a 21-point lead among those who already have voted."
The poll found that both candidates have heavy support within their own parties -- 90 percent for Ernst and 94 percent for Braley. But Ernst has a lead of 9 percentage points among independents.
Women tilt toward the male Democrat with 50 percent planning to vote for him and 42 percent for Ernst. The reverse gender gap is even deeper among men, with 56 percent favoring Ernst and 39 percent Braley.