Democrats Try to Tag Iowa Senate Candidate Joni Ernst as the Next Sarah Palin

Joni Ernst (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Joni Ernst (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Democrats are trying with all their might to turn Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Iowa, into the next Sarah Palin.

Indeed, the polarizing former governor of Alaska has endorsed Ms. Ernst, a state senator and 20-year military vet. And Ernst is handy with a gun, which she unloaded at a firing range in an ad during the primaries. In another catchy ad, she talked about castrating hogs – perhaps the Iowa equivalent of field-dressing a moose?

“Joni Ernst would be another tea party vote in the Senate,” the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says in its latest spot, part of a reported multi-million-dollar ad campaign against her. “Palin, Ernst: too extreme for Iowa.”

Democrats’ investment in defeating Ernst shows how crucial the race is. If the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D) goes Republican, Democrats can pretty much kiss their Senate majority goodbye. So far, the Democrats’ nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, hasn’t caught fire, though the race is still a tossup in solidly purple Iowa.

Another problem for the Democrats is that Ernst really isn’t “tea party.” In her surge to the top of the Republican heap in the June 3 primary, she won endorsements across the GOP spectrum – from Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas to 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the US Chamber of Commerce.

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SOURCE: Linda Feldmann
Christian Science Monitor