Sep 28 2010
Update: As expected, Murray in WA sank back into the ‘toss up’ category at RCP because a new poll showed her only up by 1% over GOP challenger Rossi (48-47%). Murray is back under 50%, which means she is in for the fight of her political life. And with 5 weeks to go she has been slowly sinking as Rossi has gained support. Right now RCP has it 48 seats for the Dems and 46 for the GOP with 6 toss ups. If CO and IL (or NV) move to the GOP side we will see a 48-48 tie with four toss ups (NV (IL), WA, WV, CT). The GOP looks to be on track to get CT and WV. As usual, WA is coming down to be the state to win to gain control of the senate and stop Obama, Reid and Pelosi.
Update: Rasmussen has come out today with another poll showing GOP candidate John Raese up 48-46%, which would seem to indicate WV is heading to the GOP list soon - end update.
The Democrat battle front this election year has moved from GOP open seats, to Democrat Open seat,s and then to long term incumbent Democrat seats. In the beginning there was Massachusetts, and the ‘surprise’ win by Scott Brown in the special election in January to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. The special election was to be a Democrat cake walk – it turned out to be a harbinger that Democrats ignored as they went on to bribe and slime Obamacare into law. All the while leaving the economic recovery to falter. The big cats got the bailouts, Main Street got the bills for generations to come.
Then Senator Byrd passed away and another deep blue seat looked to be initially in the bag for the Democrats. Right now that WV special election looks to be a GOP pickup, the first GOP senate seat in WV in decades.
All the GOP open seats are holding steady now. Blanche Lincoln of AR was the 2nd Democrat incumbent to fall under the rising tide of voter anger, soon followed on the endangered Democrat list by Russ Feingold of WI. WA, NV, and CA all sport Democrat incumbents in trouble and barely holding on. In NV Reid has not been over 45% for weeks – which means he is cooked. CO is about to be moved out of the ‘toss up’ category, as is probably IL.
The GOP is now easily going to pick up 8 seats, but the question remains can they get 10 or more and take control of both houses of Congress. With DE apparently slipping from ‘likely GOP’ to ‘likely Dem’, the chance of taking control of the Senate seems impossible for a normal election year. But this year is anything but normal.
Today, polling by Qinnipiac is showing a late surge for the GOP challenger for the open seat left by the retiring Dodd in CT, once more put the Senate in play for the GOP according to the RCP average:
Propelled by Connecticut likely voters who say they are “angry” with government, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, is closing in on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat, and now trails just 49 – 46 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to a 51 – 45 percent Blumenthal lead in a September 14 likely voter survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll, conducted by live interviewers.
This is the time in the election cycle when the final direction of the cycle starts to become apparent as the fence sitters and late deciders make their move. It has been predicted by many that this late break will only add to the already lopsided enthusiasm gap and push the GOP to staggering house and senate wins. I concur with those predictions. When you can compare two polls from the same outfit in a short span at this point in the cycle you can get whiff of these last minute breaks.
Blumenthal’s lead went from +6% to +3% (which is in the MoE of the poll) in two short weeks. If this is a steady shift towards McMahon he will be down to 45% easily by November 2 and the GOP will pick up this seat. This trend will not be isolated to deep blue CT, it is just another mark in a national trend sweeping the country.
In fact, I still think WA will sink below the tsunami of voter anger, since Murray is being bolstered by some questionable polls computed into RCP’s average. Barbara Boxer’s numbers in RCP are also skewed by a fictional poll indicating the Democrat base is fired up and ready to send their incumbent back to DC to do more nothing. Given how screwed up the CA state government is, one can legitimately question the thinking of the voters there, but the turn out model in some of those polls are laughable.
In my mind all these skewed polls showing false hope will only depress Democrat numbers on election day. If the Democrat base thinks Boxer or Murray look to eek out wins, I think they stay home and lose the election. If there is a fight to be had, they may come out. If there is no fight, their anger with DC will convince them staying home is the better option. The fight is out of the left.
So I still think the GOP takes the Senate. Look for RCP to move CO to the GOP column soon, followed later by NV and IL. The Democrat blue is being drained from election maps slowly, but steadily.