DES MOINES — Former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge of Albia holds a slight lead over Cedar Rapids state Sen. Rob Hogg heading into the final weekend of campaigning before Tuesday’s primary that will decide the Democratic Party’s nominee in the U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released Thursday.
Judge, a former state senator and Iowa agriculture secretary, was favored by 37 percent of the 1,361 likely Democratic primary voters, with support for Hogg at 31 percent.
The poll was conducted by Burlington radio station KBUR-AM 1490.
Trailing were former state Sen. Tom Fiegen of Clarence at 6 percent and former state Rep. Bob Krause, a veterans’ advocate from Fairfield, at 3 percent.
Twenty-three percent of those polled were undecided.
“The closeness of the Senate race was somewhat of a surprise to me,” said Robin Johnson, a political-science professor at Monmouth College who hosts a political segment for the Burlington radio station. He said he expected Judge’s previous statewide experience would have put her support closer to 50 percent.
According to the poll, Judge’s lead over Hogg increased to 41 percent versus 32 percent when undecided Iowa voters were asked which candidate they leaned toward in the Senate contest.
The automated phone survey, conducted May 31 and June 1 by Remington Research Group, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
The winner of Tuesday’s Democratic balloting will face GOP incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley in November’s general election.
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“There is a dearth of any real polling data on the Democratic Senate primary,” said KBUR News Director Rob Sussman. “The lack of voter interest in this race is leading some to speculate that this could be one of the lowest turnout elections the state has seen in years.”