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Image: Chuck Grassley speaks during his debate with Mike Franken, in Des Moines, Iowa,
Chuck Grassley during his debate with Mike Franken, in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 6. Charlie Neibergall / AP file

Midterm elections roundup: Iowa poll shows close Senate race

The new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley leading by just 3 points.

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This weekend’s Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, long considered the gold standard in the state, had a message for those looking past the state’s Senate race. 

In it, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, leads Democratic challenger Mike Franken by just 3 points among likely voters, 46%-43%. Independent voters have swung toward Franken since July, the poll shows, with the challenger also performing well with non-religious voters, those with college degrees, urban/suburban voters and women. On the flip side, Grassley does best with evangelicals, rural voters, men and older voters. 

Even more, Grassley’s job approval is under water for the first time in the history of the poll (more than 15 years), with 44% approving of his job performance and 48% disapproving. And 60% called Grassley’s age (he’s 89) a concern, while 34% called his longevity an asset. 

Taken together, it’s all a reminder that Grassley is likely to be facing his toughest challenge yet.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Colorado Senate: Politico profiles how Republicans and their Senate nominee, Joe O’Dea, are trying to score an upset in Colorado to help them expand the map. 

Ohio Senate: Republican nominee J.D. Vance told The Washington Examiner that “I think McConnell’s going to be the majority leader” as the GOP leader’s aligned super PAC has sunk millions into boosting his bid. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board endorsed Vance’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan. 

Pennsylvania Senate: Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, is spending an additional $5 million in Pennsylvania, per spending figures provided first to NBC News. That brings the group’s investment to $42 million so far. And Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman picked up an endorsement from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Arizona Governor: The Arizona Republic looks at how while the state’s GOP nominees for Senate and governor are campaigning together, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs are going their separate ways.On Wednesday, Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin will campaign with Lake, who repeatedly dodged Sunday on whether she’d accept the result of the election if she loses. 

Florida Governor: President Biden will travel to Florida one week before Election Day for an event with Democrat Charlie Crist.  

New York Governor: Former President Trump endorsed GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in his gubernatorial bid. 

Oregon Governor: The presence of Betsy Johnson, a Democrat-turned-nonaffiliated gubernatorial candidate, continues to cast significant uncertainty on Oregon’s gubernatorial race, keeping the door open for the state to elect its first Republican governor in 40 years. 

Wisconsin Governor: Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and GOP nominee Tim Michels debated Friday and showcased their significant policy differences

Wisconsin-03: The AP examines voters’ willingness to shrug off Republican nominee Derrick Van Orden’s presence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when rioters entered the building. Van Orden maintains that he did not take part in the riot.