It’s crunch time. The lines are being drawn, the late, final strategies are forming, and voting is underway in many places (my own ballot is filled out and ready to mail). Last week all the polls fell into a fairly narrow band and gave Republicans historic gains.
So let’s see if that’s sustained, or if the Democrats are closing it up late.
Later today I will find out what my Senate projection says are the four closest Senate races are, but for now, here are what I think those four currently are, and the latest polling on each:
Illinois between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk, Nevada between Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid, Washington between Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi, and West Virginia between Republican John Raese and Democrat Joe Manchin.
To my eye, the polling in the Delaware Senate race is shown no movement whatsoever, even in light of Republican Christine O’Donnell’s famous start to her television ad campaign. Democrat Chris Coons is still comfortably ahead of her.
There’s a chance that future ads and coming debates will change the race of course, but as of now I’m thinking that the fat lady is going to catch a flight to Delaware after doing her warmup in Ohio.
The long string of single digit gaps we’ve been seeing in the Connecticut Senate polling has been halted, but Republican Linda McMahon is still keeping surprisingly competitive with Democrat Richard Blumenthal.
Three new polls have opened the race up a bit from before. PPP, Fox News/POR, and CT Capitol Report/MRG don’t give McMahon reason to cheer relative to last week, as she fell back some, but the race does not appear to be entirely out of reach for her at this point.
Every time one candidate or the other rattles off a few polls in his or her favor in the Nevada Senate race, some people rush to call it momentum or a real change in the race. I disagree.
I see this new Fox/POR poll as just another random bounce in a race that’s staying even between Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid.
It’s October. The baseball games start to count for more, and in the National League where men are men, and players play on the field, the games become riveting managerial duels. Yes, I know I just lost readers. My Dodgers are home now and I can say what I want.
The polling is also getting more exciting though, as even the Gallup Poll is moving to a Likely Voter model. Let’s see where we are versus last week’s 49 seat Republican gain.
Democrat Patty Murray had a great week earlier this month. The Elway Poll and the CNN/Time poll both coming in and giving her nine point leads over Republican Dino Rossi changed some feelings about the race.
But SurveyUSA already came in since to show the race closing, and now Fox News/POR coming in similarly, it’s pretty easy to say the race is close to a tie now.
Any political party must work as a team to win. While the primary process will become at times a competitive and even divisive, any inability to set those feelings aside and back the nominee will give the party trouble.
A few Republicans this cycle know what kind of trouble that is, but none has more than Dan Maes against Democrat John Hickenlooper for Colorado Governor. He got opposition from the national party, and he’s collapsed in the polls.