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Roy Blunt (R) 45 Robin Carnahan (D) 38 Jerry Beck (C) 5 Jonathan Dine (L) 3
Blunt 41/41/17 Carnahan 41/50/9
Oof. Carnahan is getting hammered in the favorability department, but her situation isn't crazy out of whack once you compare the partisan crosstabs:
Dem Rep Ind Blunt
Favorable 14 68 37
Unfavorable 69 18 41
Favorable 84 7 36
Unfavorable 12 84 48
So what's going on? Our old friend, the intensity gap. I had PPP pollster Tom Jensen break it down:
Robin Carnahan is winning 78% of Barack Obama’s voters and Roy Blunt is winning 76% of John McCain’s voters so if the electorate this year was the same as in 2008 when Missouri was basically a tie, this race would be tied as well. But we find a likely electorate this fall that voted for John McCain by 7 points. This dropoff in Democratic interest is pretty reflective of what we’ve seen across the country so far this election cycle. In the Massachusetts Senate race we found those who showed up had voted for Obama by 20, in contrast to his 26 point victory in the state. Our final Virginia poll last fall found a McCain +1 electorate when Obama won the state by 6 and our last New Jersey survey saw those voting at Obama +11 when he really took the state by 15.
Democrats are not doing badly this year because people who voted for Obama in 2008 are switching over to the Republicans. There’s actually little of that happening in any race across the country. Almost the entire problem for the party is their voters being disengaged. And while there’s no doubt that’s going to hurt big time this November, it means the relevance of this fall’s results to the 2012 election is limited if the Obama machine can replicate its 2008 turnout operation when he’s back on the ballot. The GOP really isn’t growing support- it’s just benefiting from Democratic complacency.
That's the nut of it. If our people turn out, Republicans gains will be minimal. If we don't, we'll suffer accordingly. This poll makes that point clearly -- if our turnout matches our 2008 numbers, this is a tied race, a real nail biter. If the current malaise persists, it won't be so close.