Coupled with other recent polling, Democrats have to feel reasonably pleased that they have a puncher's chance at making gains, given that there is a fairly broad list of races that appear, at this point, to be competitive.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)
NATIONAL (YouGov): Romney d. Obama (45-44)
MICHIGAN (Mitchell Research): Romney d. Obama (45-44)
MICHIGAN (PPP): Obama d. Romney (53-39)
NEW YORK (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (55-32)
PENNSYLVANIA (PPP): Obama d. Romney (49-43)
CA-26 (Tulchin Research for Brownley): Julia Brownley (D) 48, Tony Strickland (R) 44A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
FL-13 (DCCC IVR Polling): Rep. Bill Young (R) 49, Jessica Ehrlich (D) 35
MI-SEN (Rasmussen): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 46, Pete Hoekstra (R) 40; Stabenow 47, Clark Durant (R) 39
MI-14—D (Foster McCollum White for Fox 2 News Detroit): Rep. Gary Peters 45, Rep. Hansen Clarke 27, Brenda Lawrence 10, Mary Waters 1, Bob Costello <1
NY-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 57, Wendy Long (R) 24
NY-24 (Normington Petts for House Majority PAC): Dan Maffei (D) 44, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) 40
NC-GOV (National Research for Civitas—R): Pat McCrory (R) 47, Walter Dalton (D) 37, Barbara Howe (L) 6
Now, let me caution against irrational exuberance—none of the House polls listed above are necessarily a surprise. It's tough to find anyone who thinks Ann Marie Buerkle is a betting favorite for re-election against the man she narrowly unseated in 2010—Democrat Dan Maffei. The district is blue, and today's statewide Q poll confirms that Buerkle is getting absolutely zero help at the top of the ticket. In fact, some might be surprised that Maffei is only up four on the GOP incumbent (though the sample composition, as it relates to 2008 presidential numbers, shows this to be a fairly favorable sample for the GOP).
Meanwhile, the newly drawn California 26th went pretty solidly for Barack Obama in 2008, which would also make it less than headline news that the Democratic nominee in the district has a lead. However, the June 6th open primaries were a bit of a buzzkill for Democrats statewide, and the 26th was no exception. Republican Tony Strickland nabbed 44 percent of the vote, versus just 27 percent for Democrat Julia Brownley. If you buy stock in this Tulchin Research poll (and this is, surely, plausible), supporters of moderate GOPer-turned-Indie candidate Linda Parks (who snagged 18 percent) are turning primarily to Brownley.
Finally, the DCCC clearly wants to make the case that longtime veteran Republican Rep. Bill Young can be had in the newly-configured Florida 13th. Even though Young has a sizable lead in the DCCC's own polling (with a 14-point edge), it is worth noting that among "strong" or committed voters in the race, the Young lead dips to six points (36-30). It is also worth noting that Ehrlich is still comparably unknown.
On balance, not a bad polling day for the blue team downballot.
In other polling news...
- The polling at the top of the ballot, on the other hand, is pretty lousy for the Democrats. It is the first time in a very long time that Mitt Romney has led in three separate polling samples released on the same day (albeit by infinitesimal margins), although all three pollsters have given Romney leads in the not-too-distant past.
Also, a Mitchell Research poll in Michigan claims a dead heat in the state, with Mitt Romney staked to a lead of a single point. However, that poll does have one curiosity. It gave the president solid leads of 5-10 points with younger voters (18-39, where Obama led by 10) and older voters (60+, where Obama led by 5). Where Romney forged his "lead" was with voters 40-59, where Romney enjoyed a 10-point lead. I haven't crunched the math, but that seems to assume a substantial share of the electorate will be 40-59 years of age, something that is not borne out by the 2008 exit polls. Plus, of course, PPP also polled the state this weekend, and found a dramatically different result. Rasmussen polled recently, as well, and essentially split the difference.
- Ramussen keeps with a recent trend of note: presidential toplines that seem to hit close to the fairway, which are then coupled with downballot polls that make you scratch your head. They did this in Ohio a while back, when they implied that Barack Obama was running at almost identical margins as Sherrod Brown, a parallel performance that no other pollster had caught. They do it again here, with identical six-point margins for Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in their poll of Michigan. Again, every other pollster has had Stabenow in a better position than Obama. In some cases, that position was substantially better for Stabenow than it was for Obama in Michigan. Given PPP's huge margin for Obama in Michigan, however, I would not be shocked if they have them on parallel tracks, as well, when they drop their Senate poll in the coming days.