Poll: Republican leads in Iowa Senate race
© Cameron Joseph

A new poll from Des Moines Register finds Iowa state Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP frets about Trump's poll numbers GOP senators caught off guard by Shanahan withdrawal Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate MORE (R) leading Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa) by 6 percentage points.

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Ernst edged Braley 44% percent to 38 percent among likely voters in a race that has been considered deadlocked for months.

With less than 40 days until the Nov. 4 election, Ernst is ahead nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents.

The race between Ernst and Braley is considered one of the most competitive in the country and pivotal in the GOP's drive to win the Senate majority.

They're running to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who's retiring after 30 years in office.

The Iowa Poll of 546 likely voters in the 2014 general election was conducted Sept. 21-24 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.