Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa speaks during the Freedom Summit, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

Iowa Republicans say Joni Ernest ‘has what it takes’ to be president


Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst may still be a newcomer in the Senate, but some people in her state feel she would be fit for a higher office some day.

A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll found that 58% of Republican likely caucus voters said Ernst “has what it takes” to be president. Another 11% of likely Democratic caucus goers said the same.

RELATED: Joni Ernst delivers official GOP response, but not the only one

The junior senator waged and won an $85 million Senate battle last fall against Democrat Bruce Braley, garnering headlines for an ad that promised to make Washington “squeal.” A rising star in the Republican Party, Ernst delivered the official Republican State of the Union response just days before the survey was conducted. Ernst is a fresh face in the party, and the poll signals her Republican constituents are excited about the senator’s prospects.

Photos of the colorful characters at the Iowa Freedom Summit
Speakers included Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin, among others.

Still, 26% of Republican respondents felt she “does not have what it takes” to be president, and another 16% said they weren’t sure. Democrats responded with overwhelming opposition to the idea of Ernst as president: a full 82% of Democrats said Ernst does not have what it takes to be president. 

“So far, she’s underdeveloped,” Republican poll respondent John Sabotta, a 42-year-old retail worker, said, according to The Des Moines Register, “and she used some simple phrases repeatedly.”

The poll surveyed 402 likely Republican caucus-goers and 401 likely Democratic caucusgoers between Jan. 26-29.