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’m adding a fifth seat to my four close Senate battleground seats. I’d previously listed West Virginia, Washington, Illinois, and Nevada as the key battleground for the Senate as we approach election day, but it’s increasingly difficult for me to see a difference between Washington and California.
So, the race between Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Carly Fiorina joins the list.
And it’s already time for the second installment of the new Tuesday version of my Senate projection. Republicans fell back a little after making new highs last week, but I can think of a few seats where Republicans might bounce back from that.
Then again, I can think of a race or two where the Democrats could regain more ground, so we shall see.
Republican Pat Toomey has been rather comfortable in the Pennsylvania Senate polling. He hit double digits in the last Rasmussen poll a week ago, and Democrat Joe Sestak hasn’t led a poll since one weird outlier in the middle of May.
For PPP to show Sestak up today is definitely surprising, and noteworthy, but it’s possible this is an outlier.
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.
The directions of the two Republican candidates here in California had been pretty much moving as expected for most of the campaign season. The abortion-friendly Republican Meg Whitman was leading Democrat Jerry Brown, while the abortion opponent Republican Carly Fiorina was falling further behind Democrat Barbara Boxer.
New polling though, such as the latest from Ipsos for Reuters, seems to contradict that.
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.