Before the sun was up on Monday, Republican Joni Ernst was already shaking hands and getting encouragement from voters, as she used a stop at a bagel store to kick off what Republicans hope is the linchpin of their nationwide drive to take over the U.S. Senate on Election Day.
“My prediction is that Iowa voters will carry the day and I will be elected,” Ernst told a local television station in a live interview.
“Finish strong,” one backer told Ernst as they hugged. “Give ’em hell,” he added.
Ernst told the crowd of backers to do “one more thing” for her election bid, as she started a 24 hour tour that will end up tomorrow morning in her home town in southwestern Iowa.
“Whether it’s a phone call, whether it’s knocking on your neighbors’ door, it’s that one more thing,” Ernst said to cheers at CJ’s Bagels.
“We have to get the vote out,” Ernst added.
A victory would make Ernst the first woman to ever be elected to the Senate in Iowa; her morning event was marked by obvious enthusiasm amongst her supporters and campaign workers, who think they have the momentum, though polls continue to be mixed on this race.
In the live interview Ernst did from the bagel shop, she also took time to blast retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who warned voters not to vote for Ernst just because she’s “really attractive” and “sounds nice.”
This race could be crucial to GOP hopes to take charge of the Senate, as a loss anywhere – Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Georgia, you name the state – could derail Republicans hopes.
“The whole point is get out the vote,” a smiling Ernst said, hoping the next 24 hours will provide her party with a victory in the Hawkeye State.