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Hawkish Iowans Good News for Joni Ernst And GOP


“2014 voters are hawkish,” according to J. Ann Selzer, after conducting an Iowa poll for The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics.

That can’t help but be more good news for a Republican Party as we move toward the November elections. The GOP is traditionally seen as the more hawkish of the two parties when it comes to national security and foreign affairs. 

The issue of how to deal with Islamic militants who are on a brutal offensive in Iraq has become a topic in Iowa’s tense, nearly tied U.S. Senate race. 

Fifty-nine percent of Iowa’s likely voters want to leave open the option of using boots on the ground to deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an extremist group that has captured cities in Iraq, terrorized the populace and in August began releasing video of hostage executions.

“The hawkish sentiment aligns more with Republican Joni Ernst’s thinking than Democrat Bruce Braley’s,” according to the Des Moines Register, adding that Braley has been taking heat over a June vote to bar funding for troops to fight ISIS in Iraq.

Finally, to the extent this poll is indicative of the national mood, it likely benefits Republicans in other competitive states, as well.

Braley said last week that Congress should reconvene to talk about the limitations of the president’s authority to use U.S. armed forces against terrorists, and to talk about how “to keep us from getting bogged down in another decade-long land war.”

ISIS is a threat that needs to be eliminated, “but we can’t do it as the world’s police force. We have to do it as a community of nations,” he told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board. He also warned about arming people who could “end up using weapons against us.”

Ernst, a military commander and Iraq War veteran, has said she supports the decision to launch air strikes in Iraq and Syria and to arm moderate rebels in Syria, which Braley also has supported. In a guest opinion piece published on last week, Ernst wrote that “more may be required.”


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