Friday, October 20, 2006

Latest Senate-Race Polling and Musings

It's hard to believe that it's almost November 7 but here's my latest notes and random thoughts on the hot Senate races.

Races that are effectively over: Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington. Jim Pederson simply did not begin soon enough at beating Arizona Republican Jon Kyl over the head about the minimum wage and his ties to the big pharmaceutical companies… Pederson finally did, but too late to overcome the natural incumbent edge. And, in Nevada, Democrat Jack Carter never really did get any traction in unseating the GOP's John Ensign.

But, if you can find a Republican arrogant and dumb enough to place a wager -- and that shouldn’t be hard to do -- put the rent money on Debbie Stabenow (MI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Bob Casey (PA) or Maria Cantwell (WA)…Those are done.

Look out Hillary Clinton…'s average of the last five major polls has Republican challenger John Spencer pulling to within 30 points.

And then there's the really big ones… It's closer than we would like, but Ben Cardin still takes out Michael Steele in Maryland and Montana Democrat Jon Tester ends the pain and embarrassment for Big Sky Country residents and puts GOP goofball Conrad Burns out to pasture. Robert Menendez will win in New Jersey and I suspect by more than the polls have been suggesting.

Hello Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio -- Republican Mike DeWine starts his new lobbying job with [insert GOP donor name here] in January.

I've just got a good feeling about the amazing campaign that's been waged by Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee… And the five-poll average from has Sheldon Whitehouse up by an average of six points over Republican Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. The interesting nugget in the Rhode Island race is that the recent Rhode Island College poll still had a huge 23 percent listed as "undecided." In this race, that makes sense and it's also why Democrats should stay focused and not underestimate Chafee.

As for Connecticut…. Sigh. My heart and head fight over this one every day. And I have dark, bad thoughts about Joe Lieberman that I never thought I would have for another Democrat -- sorry, ex-Democrat. This race is a mystery at this point. Lieberman's up significantly in the polls but I simply believe that way more real Democrats are going to show up on election day and that Lamont will win a tight victory.

Races that will make us all stay up into the wee hours of the November 8 morning: Virginia and Missouri. George Felix Allen is ahead in almost every poll and has way more money that Democrat Jim Webb, but it's very hard to get a grip on what will really happen with this on election night.

In Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill and incumbent Jim Talent are locked up tighter than Duke Cunningham's private prison shower room, with almost every poll showing one or the other with a very slim lead. Do they use Diebold machines in Missouri? One more thing about this race: Don't believe any poll that shows either candidate with a big lead -- like the SurveyUSA poll giving McCaskill a nine-point edge over Talent. The reality is, that this is a dead heat and all Democrats need to turn out.

And now the latest polls:

  • SurveyUSA 10/14-10/16 Kyl (R) 48% Pederson (D) 43%
  • Ariz. Univ. 10/11-10/16 Kyl (R) 49% Pederson (D) 33%
  • Rasmussen 10/15-10/15 Kyl (R) 51% Pederson (D) 42%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Lieberman (I) 49% Lamont (D) 43%
  • SurveyUSA 10/08-10/10 Lieberman (I) 53% Lamont (D) 40%
  • Univ. of Connecticut 10/04-10/09 Lieberman (I) 48% Lamont (D) 40%
  • Quinnipiac 10/11/06 Nelson (D) 61% Harris (R) 33%
  • SurveyUSA 10/15-10/17 Cardin (D) 46% Steele (R) 46%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Cardin (D) 51% Steele (R) 43%
  • Rasmussen 10/10-10/10 Cardin (D) 53% Steele (R) 44%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Stabenow (D) 48% Bouchard (R) 44%
  • Detroit Free Press 10/08-10/11 Stabenow (D) 48% Bouchard (R) 35%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Klobuchar (D) 50% Kennedy (R) 43%
  • Star Tribune 10/06-10/11 Klobuchar (D) 55% Kennedy (R) 34%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Talent (R) 50% McCaskill (D) 47%
  • Rasmussen 10/12-10/12 Talent (R) 45% McCaskill (D) 44%
  • SurveyUSA 10/09-10/11 McCaskill (D) 51% Talent (R) 42%
  • Bennett, Petts 10/09-10/11 McCaskill (D) 48% Talent (R) 43%
  • Rasmussen 10/18-10/18 Tester (D) 49% Burns (R) 46%
  • Montana State U. 10/10-10/15 Tester (D) 46% Burns (R) 35%
  • Rasmussen 10/11-10/11 Tester (D) 50% Burns (R) 44%
  • Rasmussen 10/17/06 Ensign (R) 52% Carter (D) 43%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/16/06 Ensign (R) 52% Carter (D) 43%
New Jersey
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Kean (R) 47% Menendez (D) 45%
  • Rasmussen 10/11-10/11 Menendez (D) 44% Kean (R) 40%
  • Quinnipiac 10/04-10/10 Menendez (D) 49% Kean (R) 45%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Brown (D) 49% DeWine (R) 45%
  • CBS News/NY Times 10/11-10/15 Brown (D) 49% DeWine (R) 35%
  • Quinnipiac 10/10-10/15 Brown (D) 53% DeWine (R) 41%
  • Univ. of Cinci 10/09-10/14 Brown (D) 52% DeWine (R) 45%
  • Rasmussen 10/12-10/12 Brown (D) 48% DeWine (R) 42%
  • SurveyUSA 10/09-10/11 Brown (D) 54% DeWine (R) 40%
  • Rasmussen 10/16-10/16 Casey (D) 55% Santorum (R) 43%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Casey (D) 52% Santorum (R) 44%
Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island College 10/02-10/04 Whitehouse (D) 40% Chafee (R) 37%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Corker (R) 49% Ford (D) 42%
  • Rasmussen 10/11-10/11 Ford (D) 48% Corker (R) 46%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Allen (R) 50% Webb (D) 47%
  • Rasmussen 10/12-10/12 Allen (R) 49% Webb (D) 46%
  • Washington Post 10/10-10/12 Allen (R) 49% Webb (D) 47%
  • Rasmussen 10/17-10/17 Cantwell (D) 53% McGavick (R) 38%
  • Zogby Interactive 10/10-10/16 Cantwell (D) 52% McGavick (R) 45%
  • SurveyUSA 10/13-10/15 Cantwell (D) 51% McGavick (R) 43%