Remember Joni Ernst? She’s the pig-castrating, conservative candidate for Senate out of Iowa who took the internet by storm earlier this year with her campaign video claiming she’ll “make big spenders squeal” when she gets to Washington.

Since she kicked off her campaign, Ernst has been seen as a long-shot to take the seat that had been held for 30 years by Democrat Tom Harkin, but a recent poll shows that her Dem opponent Bruce Braley is now running defense.

Via the Des Moines Register:

Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked. She leads nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents.

“Very interesting, and good news not just for Ernst but also for the GOP’s chances of taking the U.S. Senate,” said national political prognosticator Larry Sabato of “Sabato’s Crystal Ball.”

Just seven months ago, political analysts considered Braley almost a shoo-in for a seat held for 30 years by liberal Democrat Tom Harkin.

[Sorry for the autorun video]

We still have almost 40 days to go until Election Day, but the fact that Ernst has clawed her way from complete deadlock to a six point lead among likely voters should have Braley seriously worried.

Predictably, the left has gone into full meltdown mode over the poll:

(Batsh*t looney like a fox, considering she’s up by 6 over a sure thing.)

The left may be desperate to compare Ernst to an Akin or a Mourdock, but it doesn’t look like snark has been able to derail Ernst’s momentum with rural voters; 58% support her, and that has a lot to do with derogatory remarks Braley made about Chuck Grassley:

“I think he has an attitude about the voters and life in general which was indicated by what he said about Chuck Grassley,” said Democrat Dianna Fuhrmeister, a poll respondent who grows garden vegetables for a living in rural Iowa City. “He thinks he knows better than us.”

Braley’s remark, made at a private fundraiser in Texas last winter, seemingly disparaged Iowa’s popular 33-year senator for being a farmer, not a lawyer. Braley apologized to Grassley after the caught-on-tape remark was released in March. But that gaffe and others prompted the national political news outlet Politico last week to slot Braley’s campaign as No. 1 on its list of “the worst campaigns of 2014.”

Although the race had been seen as Braley’s to lose, the fact that he’s lost ground with rural voters, farmers, and independents (Ernst is up double digits with this demographic) could spell disaster for Democrats’ chances to keep a seat that has exponentially increased in value since Republicans began their crusade to take back the Senate and wrest power from Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Update: Via Byron York The Des Moines Register front page:

Des Moines Register front page Ernst senate poll 9-28-2014