Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Poll: Democrat Bruce Braley on top in crucial Iowa Senate race

Forecasts of the 2014 midterms agree that Republicans have a pretty good shot of reclaiming control of the Senate. And Iowa, where the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin (D) has created a wide-open race, is one of the GOP's best chances to pick up a seat.

However, a Loras College poll out Monday finds Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley with just under a five-point lead, topping Republican Joni Ernst 45.3 percent to 40.5 percent among registered voters. Previous polls painted the race as a total toss-up, but there now appears to be a hint of momentum behind Braley.

Also notable in the new survey: Among voters who have heard of them, 39.5 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Ernst, while 33.7 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Braley.