Teacups are rattling in the hands of Democrat consultants across the land, as another closely-watched neck-and-neck race suddenly turns into a big lead for the Republican candidate… and it’s the race to fill the seat left behind by left-wing dinosaur Tom Harkin, no less. The Des Moines Register calls it the latest twist in an “amazing race”: The ground under Bruce Braley has shifted. The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is 6 points behind his GOP rival, Joni Ernst, according to The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll of likely voters. Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked. She leads nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents. “Very interesting, and good news not just for Ernst but also for the GOP’s chances of taking the U.S. Senate,” said national political prognosticator Larry Sabato of “Sabato’s Crystal Ball.” Just seven months ago, political analysts considered Braley almost a shoo-in for a seat held for 30 years by liberal Democrat Tom Harkin. And just yesterday, as George Will noted at the Washington Post, the RealClearPolitics average had Ernest ahead by a statistically insignificant 0.2 points. Will
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