As always I give the note that any analysis I do of the California Senate race carries an unusual risk of bias because I live here and I have a strong emotional attachment to the outcome.
That said, I’m beginning to notice a pattern in the polling between Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Carly Fiorina that suggests serious, late-breaking movement in favor of the Republican. I see it in the way the polls are moving with their methodologies.
I once said that Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was done. Finished. Had no chance of winning the South Dakota at-large House seat. Was pining for the fjords. Hers was a dead candidacy. She then promptly tied up the race in the polling.
I already have enough egg on my face that I’m genuinely hoping polls like this one hold up, with Republican Kristi Noem ahead, so I can escape without complete embarrassment.
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.
For a while now I’ve been calling the Nevada Senate race tied. Before the primary, Repbublican Sharron Angle led comfortably. Right after the primary, Democrat Harry Reid won 9 of 10 polls. Then came a stretch of polls in the last few weeks of September which included 3 Reid leads, 3 Angle leads, and 2 ties. That was what I easily called a tied race.
But now we’re in a new era of the race, and I’m pretty comfortable in saying Sharron Angle has taken a slight edge.
Since Democrat Joe Manchin, West Virginia Governor and Senate candidate, literally shot a copy of the “Cap and Trade” bill that DC Democrats tend to support, it’s been clear that Republican John Raese’s easy days of running against Barack Obama were going to get harder.
But the new Orion Strategies poll for Marshall University of the race just isn’t credible.
As I’ve not been shy about saying, I have an emotional attachment to the California Senate race. I live here, I’ve always lived here, and in fact Democrat Barbara Boxer was first elected to the Senate when I was first beginning to follow politics, back when I was 14 years old.
So I knew the television ad campaigns would make or break the race for Republican Carly Fiorina, and sure enough, we’re now seeing a tightening trend in the polling.
Republican Chris Dudley led the whole way in the Oregon Governor’s race from May to August in the polling, and led two of three polls in September, but now as October hits, Democrat John Kitzhaber can claim to have taken two of the last four polls.
I wouldn’t suggest that Dudley’s supporters panic or that Kitzhaber measuring for drapes, but I find the new Rasmussen poll to be noteworthy.
October marches on, and so does the House generic ballot polling. Last week Republicans were on the rebound and this week every single generic is showing Republicans back on top, as has not been the case lately.
So let’s see what the damage is.
Yes, yes, I can hear the groans from here already, but when I see two polls one day apart from each other that give diametrically opposite results in the Florida Governor’s race, I get worried.
Republican Rick Scott had similarly erratic polling in his primary race which finished close with 3% final difference, so as his polling against Democrat Alex Sink is swingy, I worry about the need for another divisive recount.