Braley Leads All Republicans in Latest Senate Poll

First Congressional District Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, center, with his wife Carolyn, left, speaks to a large group of supporters following his win over Ben Lange at the Black Hawk County Democrat election party at the UAW hall Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Waterloo, Iowa. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)

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By Adam Carros

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Democrat Bruce Braley leads all potential republican challengers to fill Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat in the latest poll out Wednesday, despite the same poll showing a lean in favor of republican policies.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Iowa's first district congressman winning hypothetical races against each of six republicans running for Senate. The closest race is against former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, whom Braley leads 43% to 40%, a statistical dead heat.

The same poll, though, suggests Braley will face a challenge next November. It found 46% of Iowa voters want republicans to control the U.S. Senate, while 41% favor democrats.

Three key issues could shape that thinking. 52% of Iowans in the poll are less likely to support a candidate that backs the Affordable Care Act. 45% are less likely to vote for a candidate pushing for stricter gun control laws. And 46% don't want a candidate who supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Potential Senate race poll results:
-Bruce Braley (D) 43%, Matt Whitaker (R) 40%
-Bruce Braley (D) 44%, State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) 38%
-Bruce Braley (D) 46%, Mark Jacobs (R) 37%
-Bruce Braley (D) 44%, David Young (R) 36%
-Bruce Braley (D) 45%, Sam Clovis (R) 34%
-Bruce Braley (D) 46%, Bob Vander Plaats (R) 40%

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