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In Iowa Senate race, women like the man, men like the woman

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 8:55 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 9:46 a.m.

There’s a very different gender gap in Iowa--men prefer the Republican candidate--a woman--while women prefer the Democrat, who’s a man.

A new Quinnipiac University poll founds that Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic nominee for Senate, has a 47 to 36 percent edge among women. State Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, is up 44 to 40 percent among men.

Overall, Braley leads Ernst, 44 to 40 percent. They’re vying for the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, in what’s likely to be one of the year’s biggest Senate battlegrounds. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the Senate.

"When Quinnipiac University surveyed Iowans in March, Joni Ernst was an unknown. Now she is as well-known as Bruce Braley, and his double-digit lead has all but evaporated," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

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

Quinnipiac surveyed Iowa registered voters June 12 to 16. Margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

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