First lady Michelle Obama steps out from backstage as she's introduced by Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn at a voter registration rally on Sept. 8, 2014, in Atlanta.
David Goldman/AP

Michelle Obama to hit campaign trail in Iowa


First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Iowa in October, marking her second trip on the campaign trail within a month.

Earlier this week, she spoke at events on Monday in Atlanta, Georgia in support of Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn. Next, she will travel to the Hawkeye State next month for events with U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic Senate candidate challenging Republican Joni Ernst.

The Des Moines Register on Wednesday reported the first lady’s upcoming plans. The dates and venues of the trip had not been determined yet.

Related: Joni Ernst’s ‘bottom line’

Recent polls show Braley with a slight lead over Ernst, who joined the race last July and won her state’s five-way GOP primary earlier this summer. But the contention remains competitive and one of the tightest in the country. Ernst’s folksy demeanor and ultra-conservative positions have prompted comparisons to former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Although her husband’s approval ratings have dropped, Obama remains popular among Americans. For most of her time as first lady, she has held steady ratings between 60% and 69%, which suggests she still has widespread voter appeal. Obama, who previously visited Iowa to campaign for her husband, has ranked within the top three most admired first ladies, behind Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush. Clinton will return to the early primary state later this month for the first time in more than five years to headline a major fundraiser.

Iowa is considered a swing state, but President Barack Obama carried it twice. Winning the seat could help Republicans take back the Senate later this year.

The general election between Braley and Ernst will take place on Nov. 4. They are vying for the seat currently held by longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.