A Loras College poll released Thursday had the Iowa lawmaker in a statistical dead heat against Patty Judge, his Democratic challenger. Grassley led by only one point, 46-45, against the former lieutenant governor. That nominal advantage was well within the poll’s four-point margin or error.
Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm, released a survey earlier last week showing Grassley with a 7-point lead. But even that margin hardly suggests safety for the incumbent.
“When I see a poll like the Loras poll or the [Public Polling Policy] poll, if I’m Grassley that makes me nervous. …That’s trouble,” said David Peterson, a political science professor at Iowa State University and editor of the academic journal Political Behavior. “I think he’s clearly more vulnerable than he’s been in past elections.”
Democrats and outside groups pounced on the polling.
Judge’s campaign blasted out the Loras College poll, noting Grassley “is consistently polling in the 40s for the first time since his election to the Senate in the 1980s.”
“We’re obviously excited about that poll,” Sam Roecker, Judge’s campaign manager, told The Hill. “This is unprecedented for Chuck Grassley.”