David Yates Jun. 18, 2014, 6:01pm

WATERLOO, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - A new poll shows women are favoring U.S. Rep. and Senate-candidate Bruce Braley over state Sen. Joni Ernst, a woman and tea party favorite.

On June 3, Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, captured 56 percent of the primary vote to overcome her male Republican rivals.

Braley, a plaintiffs lawyer by trade and former head of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, was the only Democrat running for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin.

Iowa women back Braley 47-36 percent, while men support Ernst by a 44-40 percent margin, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, offered a theory on why women were supporting Braley and men Ernst.

"The unusual split is due to some degree the fact that women tend to lean Democratic, while men lean Republican," Brown said.

Overall, Braley leads Ernst 44-40 percent, the poll shows.

Quinnipiac's findings are in contrast to a June 9 Vox Populi Polling survey, which showed Ernst leading Braley by a 49-44 percent margin.

Vox Populi Polling is a firm made up of Republicans, including Mary Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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