Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst,
who was catapulted onto the national stage in March with a viral campaign ad claiming she had Washington pork-cutting skills from her days castrating hogs, is continuing her flashy assault on the airwaves in a bid to prevail over businessman Mark Jacobs, The Washington Post
Ernst launched a second ad last week, again aimed at drawing attention to build the momentum needed to win the June 3 primary. The spot shows Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, stepping off her Harley-Davidson wearing a black leather jacket, and firing multiple precision shots at a shooting-range target intended to represent Obamacare.
"It's very edgy. I will admit that," Ernst told the Post.
With just three weeks until the primary election, the most recent polls
put the mother, grandmother, and former farm girl in a slight lead, albeit within the polls' margins of error.
She also boasts of prominent endorsements, including former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin
and former 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"I consider myself the frontrunner," Ernst told the Post.
The race continues to be close, however. One ongoing challenge is to overcome the significant funding advantage held by Jacobs, a former Wall Street and Texas energy industry executive, who has spent at least $1.6 million of his own money on the campaign, the Post reported.
Separately, some polling indicates Ernst is struggling among female voters, according to The Iowa Republican
, which could be evidence of the downside to the stark images she is projecting, and have also become the subject of debate among her strategists, the Post reported.
Winning the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin has become the latest target of the GOP, which has become bullish about its Senate prospects in November. However, regardless of the outcome of the Republican primary, a GOP victory against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, a four-term congressman and former trail lawyer, still remains a reach.
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