POLITICS
05/22/2014 12:44 pm ET Updated May 22, 2014

Mitt Romney Heading To Iowa To Stump For Joni Ernst

Mitt Romney is heading back to Iowa.

The former 2012 Republican presidential nominee, who lost the state to Barack Obama by almost 6 percentage points, will campaign next week on behalf of hog-castrating veteran Joni Ernst, who is facing off against four other candidates in the state's contentious GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D).

"We need Iowa to have a voice in the U.S. Senate that will protect and promote traditional conservative values, and Joni's proven record in the state senate, her decades of leadership as a military officer, and her commitment to the values that were passed on to her as a girl on a Montgomery County farm make it clear to me that she is the very best Iowa has to offer," Romney said in a statement, according to The Des Moines Register.

Ernst currently leads the GOP field by a comfortable margin, according to a new survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. The GOP primary will take place June 3. The winner will face Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who has maintained a steady 6-point lead over Ernst in recent months.

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