WATERLOO, Iowa (Legal Newsline) – Despite the millions of dollars being spent to persuade voters, the latest poll shows U.S. Rep. and Senate-candidate Bruce Braley still tied with his Republican rival, state Sen. Joni Ernst, a tea party favorite.

A Friday Rasmussen Reports poll showed the candidates at 43 percent a piece.

In late August, a Public Policy Polling survey had the candidates tied at 42 percent.

Between the candidates and outside groups, millions of dollars are being spent to capture Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin.

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register reported $13.8 million has already been spent on broadcast TV commercials, with Braley and Ernst spending around $1.2 million a piece.

Outside groups account for 84 percent of the pro-Braley ad spending and 79 percent in support of Ernst, the article states.

Groups opposing the candidates are also spending big.

On Sunday, the League of Conservation Voters began airing a TV ad blasting Ernst for her remarks on doing away with the Environmental Protection Agency and privatizing social security.

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 is a plaintiffs lawyer by trade and former head of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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