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.
I notice a trend: when people mock reasonable sample sizes (as though multiplying out 500 terms isn’t powerful enough math for anyone), it only seems to be when their preferred candidates are losing, and never the other way.
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.
I still have the Washington Senate race as one of the four closest, despite Republican Dino Rossi taking a decent lead over Democrat Patty Murray in recent polling. This is why: both candidates have been capable of rattling off good polls, and one new result at any time can come out in favor of either candidate.
Tuesday is not only Soylent Green day, but it is also Senate Projection day now. Last week was pretty big for Republicans, and if the trend from then continues, we could see +8 be the projection, as well as a double digit chance of a majority shift.
In theory some races should start to tighten and others should just blow wide open, constraining the options Republicans have to gain further. But will the theory carry over to practice?
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.