Former Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel (D) has a narrow lead over former congressional staffer David Young (R), according to a new poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and obtained by The Hill.

ADVERTISEMENT
Appel leads Young by 47 percent to 44 percent in the poll, conducted by Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the DCCC.

That's within the poll's margin of error and a slight uptick for Appel since the DCCC last polled the race in early August and found the candidates tied at 46 percent. Both sides have been spending heavily on the air in the district since then.

Partisan polls should always be taken with a grain of salt, and the DCCC wouldn't share President Obama's approval rating in the swing district or the partisan breakdown of the polling sample. A recent Loras College poll of the race showed Appel with a six-point lead, though Democrats have privately admitted that poll was a bit bullish for their party. Strategists in both parties say Appel and Young are locked in a tight race in the district.

Young recently had to trim back his own ad buy, canceling a week of reservations because he's short on campaign cash, but outside groups on both sides have been pounding the airwaves in recent weeks, with the National Republican Congressional Committee launching a particularly hard-hitting spot late last week, knocking Appel for saying she opposed pulling suspected terrorists' passports.

The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 15-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.