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.
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.
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.