BREAKING: Joni Ernst Tops Dem Challenger in New Iowa Senate Poll

Senator Joni Ernst edges her Democrat challenger Theresa Greenfield 48% to 45% in a new Monmouth Iowa Senate poll.

Ernst vs. Greenfield is considered a pivotal contest and one of a handful with potential to swing control of the Senate.

The same Iowa poll also has Trump topping Biden in the state.

Per Monmouth, in the election for U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Joni Ernst (48%) and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield (45%) are locked in a tight battle. Libertarian Rick Stewart earns 2%, independent Suzanne Herzog has 1%, and another 3% are undecided. The race remains knotted up when looking at likely voters as well, using either a high turnout (48% Ernst and 47% Greenfield) or low turnout (48% Ernst and 47% Greenfield) scenario.

“Ernst won a competitive open seat contest six years ago. Greenfield is giving the incumbent a run for her money to hold onto it,” said Murray.

The poll also finds that 40% of Iowa voters say it is very likely they will vote by mail rather than in person this November. Another 17% are somewhat likely to do this, 12% are not too likely, and 30% are not at all likely. All active voters will receive a vote-by-mail application for the 2020 general election. Just 20% report that they regularly voted by mail in past elections.

Most Democrats (61%) say they are very likely to vote by mail this year, compared to just 19% of Republicans. Just under half (43%) of independents are very likely to vote by mail. Overall, 41% of Iowa voters are very confident that their mail ballot, if they choose to vote this way, will be counted accurately (61% of Democrats, 38% of independents, and 29% of Republicans). However, 32% are very concerned that conducting the November election mainly by mail will lead to voter fraud (59% of Republicans, 27% of independents, and 7% of Democrats).

“The partisan divide on vote by mail will probably not be as stark in the fall as these poll numbers suggest. But any gap could affect the outcome if the margins remain as thin as they are right now,” said Murray.