New Report Encapsulates Why Voters are Rejecting Ernst After Six Years Spent Threatening Health Care and Losing Touch with Iowans

This morning, a deep dive by the Wall Street Journal into Iowa’s Senate race painted a clear picture as to why Senator Joni Ernst’s re-election campaign is in full desperation mode after Iowans “soured” on Ernst for failing to fight for them in Washington.

According to the report, voters are holding Ernst accountable for breaking her promise to be an “independent voice for Iowa.” Instead, Ernst sold out Iowans to her corporate special interest donors and has sided with Mitch McConnell 97% of the time, while repeatedly voting to gut coverage protections of pre-existing conditions and advancing Big Oil’s agenda at the expense of Iowa farmers.

Additionally, Ernst’s “missteps on the campaign trail” – including her humiliating soybean scandal and spread of COVID-19 conspiracy theories – have portrayed her as “out of touch with Iowa voters” and were a deciding factor for some swing voters to cast their ballot against Ernst.

Wall Street Journal: Tight Iowa Race Takes Center Stage in Fight for Senate Control

By: Lindsay Wise

October 23, 2020

Key highlights:

  • Some of Ms. Ernst’s own missteps on the campaign trail have provided grist for Democrats’ efforts to portray the senator as out of touch with Iowa voters struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and recession.

  • On Aug. 31, at a campaign stop in Black Hawk County, Ms. Ernst echoed a debunked claim that health-care professionals are inflating the number of deaths from Covid-19 to get larger insurance reimbursements. She later apologized, but the episode turned off some voters.

  • Leie Bomar, 48, from Van Meter, said she is unemployed because of the pandemic, and Ms. Ernst’s remarks disturbed her.

  • “I was already leaning a little bit against her but that was just kind of the last straw,” she said.

  • Then at a debate last week, a moderator asked Ms. Greenfield to name the break-even price of a bushel of corn and asked Ms. Ernst for the break-even price of soybeans. Ms. Greenfield correctly gave the price of corn as about $3.68 per bushel, noting that the break-even price would depend on the farmer’s debts. Ms. Ernst stumbled. “You grew up on a farm, you should know this,” the moderator chided. Ms. Ernst incorrectly guessed $5.50 per bushel. The right answer was about $10.

  • Other Iowans have soured on the senator. Doug Martens, a registered Democrat who crossed party lines to cast his ballot for Ms. Ernst in 2014, said he was impressed by her military background and her famous pitch, in a hog-castration ad, that she would “make ‘em squeal” in Washington.

  • The 60-year-old middle manager in manufacturing from Benton County doesn’t feel that she turned out to be the independent voice for Iowa that he had hoped. He is upset with Ms. Ernst for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and repelled by what he perceives to be her embrace of Mr. Trump. He said he would be voting for Ms. Greenfield instead.

  • “I don’t think she’s delivered on any of her promises when she went to Congress six years ago,” he said of Ms. Ernst. “She’s made herself a Washington insider.”