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Ernst holds narrow lead over Democratic challenger in Iowa: poll

Ernst holds narrow lead over Democratic challenger in Iowa: poll
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE (R-Iowa) holds a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield less than a week before Election Day, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. 

The poll, which included responses from 1,225 likely Iowa voters, found that Ernst has 48 percent support, while Greenfield has 46 percent. The difference is within the report’s 2.8 percentage point margin of error. 

Quinnipiac’s Oct. 7 poll had Greenfield with 50 percent support, compared with Ernst’s 45 percent. 

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Thursday’s results came as Quinnipiac also reported that the presidential race is statistically tied in the Hawkeye State, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE getting 47 percent support and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE at 46 percent. In the university’s Oct. 7 poll, Biden held a slight lead over Trump, 50 percent to 45 percent. 

"In 2016, the Hawkeye State gave the president a nine-point win, and in 2014, elected Republican Joni Ernst as the first female Senator from the state by eight points,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release on Thursday’s findings. “But now, less than a week until Election Day 2020, both the presidential and Senate races are too tight to call.” 

The polling comes the same day Greenfield’s campaign announced it would resume events after initially pausing a bus tour Wednesday when it came to the campaign’s attention that some staffers had come into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Her campaign said Thursday that since it was made aware of the contact, Greenfield and the group of staffers have all taken tests and received negative results. Greenfield has tested negative twice this week.

Greenfield is challenging Ernst, a first-term senator, in what has become the second most expensive Senate race in the country. 

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With five days left before Election Day, other polls have also shown Greenfield and Ernst running neck and neck. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, labels the Iowa Senate race a “toss-up.”

With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, the Iowa race between Greenfield and Ernst could help decide which party controls the Senate.