This morning, Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifts Iowa’s Senate Race from “Toss-up” to “Leans Democratic,” writing: “The soybeans gaffe seems symptomatic of Ernst’s reelection effort”
Senator Joni Ernst’s humiliating “soybean blowup” in last week’s Senate debate continues to reap attention across the country. Ernst’s gaffe – what MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called the “most ‘ouch’ debate moment in all of 2020” – has made local and national headlines and even seeped into her campaign stops over the weekend.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: Senator Ernst “may have had the most ‘ouch’ debate moment of all of 2020 … it is sure something to see Ernst go from hog-castrating outsider to Beltway Joni in less than one full senate term!”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “Joni Ernst is the incumbent Republican senator in Iowa. She is not doing great in her battle for re-election, for increasingly obvious reasons.”
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: “Senator Joni Ernst was already facing a tough re-election fight in Iowa. And then, this …. an uncomfortable moment.”
Just this morning, Sabato’s Crystal Ball noted the major scandal while shifting Iowa’s U.S. Senate race from “Toss-up” to “Leans Democratic,” writing: “Though her down-to-home image plays prominently into her campaign, she didn’t know the break-even price of soybeans, an important cash crop for the state. Greenfield, by contrast, nailed the price of corn when asked.”
The nightmare coverage would be bad enough if this were the only scandal haunting Senator Ernst. However, her controversy-prone campaign continues to face pressure over her increasingly shady dark money scandal, and Ernst is still struggling to explain why she spread of COVID-19 conspiracy theories that downplay the seriousness of the crisis. Added to the fact that Ernst’s campaign has no message or strategy, her ongoing humiliations help explain why she refused to meet with key editorial boards, skipped nonpartisan candidate forums, and trails in the polls.