Who is Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst?

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Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is locked in a tight race against her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield as she seeks a second term in the U.S. Senate.

A number of close battles are underway for Senate seats, and each is critical in determining which party will control the upper chamber of Congress, which approves cabinet nominations and judgeships. The winner of the Iowa seat could mean the difference between Democratic and Republican control.

Ernst, a Red Oak, Iowa, native and former Army combat company commander, has enjoyed a late surge in the polls that has boosted her ahead of Greenfield.

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The final Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll showed Ernst has a 4-point lead over Greenfield, her first in the poll that is seen as the gold standard for the state. Meanwhile, an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics showed Ernst with a 2-point lead over Greenfield.

For Ernst, jobs and the economy are the top issues on the ballot.

“Iowans want to know that they’re going to have jobs to go to,” Ernst told Fox News. “They don’t want to see their business shut down.”

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The senator has also pledged to protect the renewable fuel standard, which requires transportation fuel sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels, and supports strong trade deals, both of which are critical for Iowa’s farmers.

Ernst believes Iowans want to be protected and has spoken out against defunding the police.

While Ernst has voted against the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, on four separate occasions, she is in favor of protecting Americans who have preexisting conditions.  

Other issues important to Ernst include cutting government waste, balancing the budget, increased border security and protections for veterans. She also supports the rights of the unborn and the Second Amendment, or the right to bear arms.

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Ernst is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in addition to the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, Small Business and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry committees.

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