The Iowa Republican senator has trailed Democratic businesswoman Theresa Greenfield in every major poll since early August.
Democratic businesswoman Theresa Greenfield outraised Iowa's incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst by more than $21 million in the third quarter of 2020. Greenfield's record $28.7 million haul was about four times Ernst's $7.2 million total, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
In 2014, Ernst defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley for the seat left open by the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin by a margin of 52% to 44%. In that entire race, the candidates' combined donations totaled $24 million.
Prior to June 30, Ernst had raised $14.4 million and Greenfield $11.6 million. But with the third-quarter numbers added, Greenfield now has nearly doubled Ernst's fundraising totals.
Greenfield's new money lead has corresponded with her polling advantage.
Since the beginning of August, Greenfield has been ahead of Ernst in every major Iowa poll, according to RealClear Politics, and has a 4.8 point average lead.
Ernst's poll numbers in the swing state are even worse than those of Donald Trump, who is running behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by an average of 1.2% in Iowa. Trump won the state and its six electoral votes by nearly 10 points in 2016, but has struggled this time around.
On Wednesday, Trump admitted during a campaign rally in Des Moines, citing different polling numbers: "For me, to only be up six, I'm a little bit concerned. I'll tell you that because nobody is going to do for Iowa or what I did for Iowa." He added: "I may never have to come back here again if I don't get Iowa. I'll never be back."
It is unclear why Ernst is even less popular in Iowa than Trump: According to FiveThirtyEight, she has voted with him more than 91% of the time, including votes in favor of his Supreme Court nominees, his tax cuts for the rich and corporations, his proposed Obamacare repeal, and his siphoning of funds intended for military families to pay for his southern border wall.
In recent weeks, Ernst has come under fire for lying about her record on protecting insurance coverage for preexisting health conditions and for breaking her promise never to ram through a Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.