Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is too close to call, while New Hampshire’s battle is tilting in favor of the incumbent, according to a new Marist/NBC News poll.
Both are currently Democratic-held seats, and Republicans see both as opportunities. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the Senate.
In Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat, and State Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, are in a 43-43 tie. Each runs strong in their own party, and “a gender gap also keeps this a close matchup,” said a Marist analysis.
Braley is leading among women, Ernst among men. And, Marist noted, “A notable proportion of Iowans have yet to form an opinion about each of these candidates.”
They’re vying to replace Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, who is retiring.
In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, has opened up an 8 percentage point lead over former Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican.
“The gender gap is the difference in this contest,” Marist found. Shaheen has a 25 percentage point lead among women, while Brown leads among men by 9.