Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Poll: Iowa Senate race a dead heat

The race for the open Senate seat in Iowa is going down to the wire, according to the new poll from Monmouth University — though the Democrats might also have an ace in the hole, thanks to early voting efforts.

Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst has 47 percent, compared to Democratic Rep. Braley with 46 percent. The survey of likely voters was conducted from Oct. 18 to 21, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

From the pollster's analysis:

In the U.S. Senate race, early voters support the Democrat Braley by a 54 percent to 41 percent margin over Ernst. However, Ernst has a 50 percent to 42 percent advantage among the two-thirds of the electorate who have yet to vote.

"Having votes in the bank helps Braley in this tight race. Ernst has to count on her voters coming out in the next week and a half," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey. [Monmouth University]

The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate.