DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, defeated her Democratic challenger, Theresa Greenfield, 51.8 percent (863,670) to 45.1 percent (753,314). Libertarian candidate Rick Stewart came in third with 2.2 percent (36,821) followed by independent candidate Suzanne Herzog with 0.8 percent (13,762).
Greenfield led in most of the polls until mid-October. The Real Clear Politics poll average had Ernst up by 1.4 percent. Only the Des Moines Register‘s Iowa Poll and InsiderAdvantage had poll results within the margin of error of the actual results, and InsiderAdvantage was almost spot on.
The most recent polls:
- Public Policy Polling: Greenfield 48 Ernst 47 (Greenfield +1)
- InsiderAdvantage: Ernst 51 Greenfield 45 (Ernst +6)
- Emerson: Greenfield 48 Ernst 44 (Greenfield +4)
- Des Moines Register: Ernst 46 Greenfield 42 (Ernst +4)
- Quinnipiac: Ernst 48 Greenfield 46 (Ernst +2)
- WHO-TV 13: Greenfield 51 Ernst 46 (Greenfield +6)
Greenfield’s defeat came after over $100 million of out-of-state money was invested in the race by her allies.
“For those of you that voted for me, I want to thank you. And, just as I have for the last six years, I will spend the next six working every single day to live up to the honor you have given me as your United States Senator,” Ernst said during her victory speech at the Iowa GOP Election Night party.
“But I’d also like to say something to every Iowan, whether you supported me or not. This has been a very difficult year, and a very challenging election. For all of us. People on both sides feel divided. Emotions, and those wounds, are very, very raw. But the election is over and it’s time to start the healing. To turn down the rhetoric, and start listening once again. And we have to start listening, because we are all Americans. There is far more that unites us than divides. And the challenges that we face – whether it’s COVID, to the economic recovery ahead of us – they are too great for any individual to do alone,” she added.
Ernst outlined her priorities for her second term.
“Service, folks, is more than a word to me – it is a mission and it is a way of life. In the Senate, I’ve honored to continue serving Iowans every single day, working with Democrats and Republicans to get results for Iowa. We have a lot more work to do over the next six years. So we are going to be rolling back job killing regulations; we are going to ensure that our farmers have the ability to succeed and continue to fight for biofuels; we will strengthen our economy and defeat this virus; and make certain that our veterans are cared for and that our men and women in uniform have the needed resources; and that our working families and seniors are supported; and, an initiative of Senator Grassley, is lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs; and as a survivor myself, continuing to advocate for those that are sexual assault and abuse survivors; we have to continue securing additional trade deals, like we just did with China, and we have to stop their bad practices; and you know folks, there is so much more there is for us to do,” she said.
Greenfield conceding the race said their fight doesn’t stop because they lost.
“Folks, it’s been a long night and unfortunately we came up short. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we all put in. This race was never about me — it’s about creating a future that works for all Iowans. And that fight doesn’t stop tonight. Thank you,” she said on Twitter.