Braley leads all GOP candidates in Iowa Senate race

By David Yates | May 22, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - With the Iowa primary less than two weeks away, U.S. Rep. and Senate-candidate Bruce Braley may hold a moderate lead over whichever Republican he ends up facing in November, a new poll suggests.

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

However, on the Republican side, four candidates are seeking their party's nomination on June 3.

Braley holds an average seven-point lead over the GOP contenders, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday.

The poll shows Braley leads Sam Clovis by a 43-34 percent margin, Joni Ernst 45-39, Mark Jacobs 42-36 and Matt Whitaker 43-36.

"Bruce Braley remains the favorite in the Iowa Senate race," PPP President Dean Debnam said. "But there are a lot more votes up for grabs in this contest because the candidates are still so little known, and that leaves more room for movement between now and the fall than in a lot of the other key Senate contests."

Braley holds the lead despite his favorability spread dropping by six points, going from 31-25 in February to 29-29 as of May 21.

In recent months, Braley received heaps of media attentions for his remarks concerning Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

In January, Braley told a group of trial lawyers at a Corpus Christi, Texas, fundraiser he needs their "help" to stop Grassley - an Iowa farmer prior to launching his extensive career in Congress - from becoming the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If the poll is a correct indicator, Braley will most likely be facing off against Ernst, as she currently polls at 34 percent - a huge lead over her closest opponents, with Jacobs at 18 percent and Clovis at 14 percent.

PPP surveyed 914 registered voters from May 15-19.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com.

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