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.