As Thomas indicated earlier, a new Washington Free Beacon/Polling Company poll has Joni Ernst up in Iowa. To be sure, with 40% undecided and her lead within the margin of error, not too much can be inferred from this individual poll. That said, momentum appears to be on her side. This is the second poll this month that shows her with a slight lead, despite being outspent 100-1 by the establishment candidate, Mark Jacobs.
In these types of races, name recognition is often the key. Jacobs probably thought he could spend his way to the nomination, but hasn’t been able to create any daylight between himself and Joni Ernst with his spending binge. This is not a good sign for the Jacobs campaign. Governor Palin’s big rally on April 27th will suck most of the oxygen out of the room and provide Joni Ernst with a huge boost in name recognition across the Hawkeye State. Look for her to begin pulling away after that. Should she prevail in the GOP primary, Ernst will have a real shot at beating the ambulance-chasing Democrat frontrunner, Bruce Braley, in November. In addition to being a poster-child for everything that’s wrong in Washington, Braley committed a gaffe of epic proportions last month:
So in the space of about 30 seconds, next to a table covered with booze, Braley promised a bunch of well-heeled trial lawyers he’d do everything he could to thwart tort reform, insulted the intelligence of everybody who didn’t attend law school including long-time Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, and mocked … farmers. In Iowa. That’s quite an accomplishment, and one Joni Ernst is uniquely capable of exploiting.
I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Bruce Braley. The Republican primary is June 3rd. You can support Joni Ernst by donating to her campaign here.