A new poll shows the woman running for the Republican U.S Senate nomination has a nearly two to one margin of support over the nearest competitor.
The poll from Public Policy Polling put the support for Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst at 34% of those questioned. Mark Jacobs is being backed by 18% followed by Sam Clovis at 14% and Matt Whitaker at just six percent.
Since the last poll in April, Ernst gained 21% and Clovis six percent while Jacobs support dropped by a couple of points.
In a matchup involving presumptive Democratic nominee Bruce Braley, Ernst's trails the congressman by six percent 45-to 39%. Braley's lead over the enitre Republican field averages seven percent the same as in the last poll in April.
The Ernst campaign announced Thursday that 20120 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney would campaign with Ernst May 30th in stops in Cedar Rapids and Davenport.
The same poll shows the lead Governor Terry Branstad had over his Democratic challenger has dropped into the single digits but not by as much as some other polls have indicated this spring.
The results give Branstad a 48%-40 % lead over Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch which is down from a more than 10 point lead earlier this year.
Other recent polls have shows Branstad's lead anywhere from 15% to just a couple of points and within the margin of error.
The poll shows the electorate divided over the governor's job performance with 42% approving and 43% disapproving.
Senator Hatch is still relatively unknown to a lot of people with 60% of the respondants saying they have no opinion of him one way or the other.
Â@The poll surveyed 913 voters May 15-19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3%.