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The major news event (Predator-Gate) has sucked all the oxygen out of the political news-world this weekend. Still, we do have one new national poll, and it has extremely good news for Democrats.

The Cook Report/RT Strategies poll has President Bush sitting on 40% job approval. The generic ballot is quite amenable for Democrats. Among registered voters, the Democrats enjoy a 14-point edge (49-35). Among likely voters, the spread widens. Among likely voters, the Democrats enjoy an 18-point edge (54-36). Even when held to a narrower pool of "very likely voters" (a heavily GOP subset that gives Bush an even 47-47 job approval split), Democrats held an 8-point lead (49-41).

Rasmussen dipped briefly to 39% on Saturday, and is back at 40% today. Below the fold, find the information on new polls in 13 different races, plus some new predictions from one of the most respected analysts in the game...

AZ-08:  It is starting to become clear why both the DCCC and the NRCC are aiming elsewhere. A new poll by Wick Communications for several local media outlets gives Democrat Gabrielle Giffords an 18-point edge (52-34-4) over Republican Randy Graf in this seat currently held by Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe.

CA-GOV:  Yet another poll, this one by the LA Times, confirms serious slippage for Democratic challenger Phil Angelides. According to the LAT poll, incumbent Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger leads Angelides by 17 points (50-33).

CA-SEN:  For those morose with the gubernatorial poll, this poll might lead some to conclude that this sample is a little skewed to the GOP. The LA Times has this race closer than anyone other than Republican pollster Datamar, showing Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein with just an 18-point edge (54-36) over Republican Richard Mountjoy.

FL-GOV:  Another public poll seems to confirm a real Red trend in the Florida governor's race. Republican Charlie Crist becomes the betting favorite to replace Jeb Bush, with Zogby giving him a 21-point edge (51-30) over Democratic Rep. Jim Davis. Will the Foley issue matter in the Congressman's home state??

MA-GOV:  You know it is bad for the GOP when they are pimping a poll that shows their candidate down by 25. However, I guess it is an improvement over other polls that had their candidate down by 30-40 points. Democrat Deval Patrick still looks exceedingly likely to be the first Democrat to win the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts in nearly two decades. UNH has Patrick leading GOP Lt. Gov Kerry Healey by 25 points (55-30-9).

MT-SEN:  The clock is quickly running out on Conrad Burns, and not much seems to be working for the incumbent Republican Senator. Democrat Jon Tester continues to lead in this race, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll. Tester now leads Conrad Burns by seven points (47-40-3).

NM-01:  Front-paged by Kos, the first real movement in a race that has been marked by Republican leads within the MoE. Incumbent Republican Heather Wilson and Democratic challenger Patricia Madrid are now tied (44-44), according to the Albuquerque Journal poll.

NJ-SEN:  Democrats are getting very concerned here, one must trust. Despite improving numbers in battleground states like Tennessee and Virginia, it is starting to look like the Dems are at risk of giving one back, and in a blue state, no less. Republican Tom Kean Jr. continues to lead Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, according to a Marist poll. The margin, according to Marist, is five points (44-39).

OH-GOV:  Mason-Dixon polls here, and while the US Senate race is getting the lions share of the ink, the Governors race was polled as well. Confirming nearly every other pollster, Democrat Ted Strickland looks increasingly likely to score a pickup in the Buckeye State. Mason Dixon gives Strickland a seventeen-point edge over Republican Ken Blackwell (53-36).

OH-SEN:  The same Mason-Dixon poll confirms a small, but consistent, lead for Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown in his challenge of Republican US Senator Mike DeWine. In the Mason-Dixon poll, Brown leads DeWine by a pair (45-43-2). Obviously, this was conducted before today's MTP debate.

TN-SEN:  Another independent poll confirms that Democrat Harold Ford Jr. has the momentum in this race to replace outgoing Majority Leader Bill Frist. Ford's lead in the Mason-Dixon poll over Republican Bob Corker is a single point (43-42-1).

UT-SEN:  Utah being Utah, this race is only competitive if popular Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson ever decides to run (and perhaps not even then). Against Democratic businessman Pete Ashdown, incumbent Republican Orrin Hatch enjoys a commanding 37-point lead (62-25-3).

UT-03:  A bit lower than his usual margin, perhaps, but Republican Rep. Chris Cannon still enjoys a substantial 27-point lead (53-26-7) over Democratic attorney Christian Burridge.

NEW RACE RATINGS FROM ONE OF AMERICA'S LEADING PUNDITS:  Stuart Rothenberg's Rothenberg Political Report has adjusted ratings in a total of 11 races. Ten of these eleven changes are in the direction of the Democratic Party, a continuing theme in the race-by-race analyses by America's leading pundits.

Here are the changes (he uses slightly different terminology...I changed the wording to reflect terminology commonly used around here):

PA-SEN:  Leans Democratic Takeover to Likely Democratic Takeover
TN-SEN:  Likely Republican to Leans Republican

AZ-08:  Leans Democratic Takeover to Likely Democratic Takeover
FL-16  Safe Republican to Toss-Up
GA-08 Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic
LA-03 Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic
NY-24 Leans Republican to Toss-Up
OH-01 Leans Republican to Toss-Up
OH-06 Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic
PA-10 Leans Republican to Toss-Up
WI-08 Leans Republican to Toss-Up

Another respected pundit, Charlie Cook, changed his ratings on three gubernatorial races. He has moved both Kathleen Sebellius (KS) and Brad Henry (OK) from Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat. He also moved the open Ohio Governor's race from Leans Democratic Pickup to Likely Democratic Pickup.

Apparently, there will be a LOT of polling this week, as Mason-Dixon releases the rest of their polling, and Zogby weighs in with numbers (real polls, not the interactives) on 25 races this week. Stay tuned, kiddies, October is here.

Welcome to the fourth quarter.....

Originally posted to Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 02:34 PM PDT.


THE US SENATE: Democrats Will Pick Up _____ Seats.

0%1 votes
0%0 votes
1%2 votes
3%4 votes
17%22 votes
28%36 votes
25%33 votes
17%22 votes
3%5 votes
2%3 votes

| 128 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, Recs, Comments, Love, Hate..... (26+ / 0-)

    This is going to be a big polling week, I suspect. As I started to do last week, I will have the numbers every day except Saturday.

    Have a good (remainder of the) weekend.....

    "It. Is. About. Winning."

    by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 02:34:33 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Singiser, Ellicatt

    You've hooked me - I watch for these diaries of yours.

    So what's your take on NJ?  Gotta admit it has me concerned.  

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2700+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 02:39:57 PM PDT

    •  You've got me, too! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Singiser

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

      by drchelo on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 02:46:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Definitely Concerned.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, Ellicatt

      I know Menendez has a big Cash-on-Hand advantage, so I am hoping he has held fire until the close here.

      One way to look at it...he is still within the margin-of-error despite an absolute feeding frenzy of negative press involving both him (investigation into business practices) and an aide (caught on tape implying political quid-pro-quo).

      To put it another way, he could not POSSIBLY have a worse two weeks of publicity than he had...and he is still down by less than five points.

      "It. Is. About. Winning."

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 02:50:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just wanted to point out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Singiser, maryru, Ellicatt

    that here in NM-01, Brian Sanderoff (who conducted the poll for the Albuquerque Journal) is counted as a very reputable and very accurate pollster.

    According to Sanderoff, this is the first time that Wilson has not been ahead in the polls in her career.  Since 1998.  (Joe Monahan)

    Also, in the shameless self-promotion front, I diaried the NM-01 poll earlier today.

    Love the diary, Singiser, I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it.

  •  These are encouraging polls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Singiser

    Except for the Florida Gubernatorial race.  Maybe there is some tie between Mark Foley and Charlie Crist, not likely but maybe.  And perhaps homophobic voters might make their own inferences or connections.  I wonder why Davis is polling so poorly.  Here is my hope, the Foley matter supresses GOP turnout.  As a result, we will win even if Democrats aren't that enthusiastic to come out and vote (and I'm not sure Dems will be).

    As for Gropenfuhrer, he seems likely to win.  Angelides has been steadily losing ground since June and he has not found any ways to make it up.  I was hopeful that the anti war campaigning might turn things around but it doesn't seem like it has and that's unfortunate.  But I will hold out hope that Gropenfuhrer will lose.

    •  Regarding Florida.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MakeChessNotWar, SoCalLiberal

      Florida has not been a good state for us in a couple of cycles, ESPECIALLY at the state level. Therefore, while the margin surprises me quite a bit, the general direction of the race does not.

      Unlike a lot of Florida GOPers, Charlie Crist has a rep for being a pretty good guy. I think Florida Dems don't have a case of the hates for him the way that they would have for Gallagher.

      Same thing in California. Too many casual voters seemed to have bought the election year conversion to moderation of our governor. I, for one, do not think that there is a snowballs chance in Barstow of Schwarzenegger staying this political centrist should he win in November. I think the son-of-a-gun SPRINTS back to the conservative wing of his party.

      The trick is going to be connecting voters with that thought. Democrats have been utterly unsuccessful at doing so as of yet. The one Bush/Arnold connection ad was purely AWFUL. I could have produced a better ad on my laptop, for God's sake....

      "It. Is. About. Winning."

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 03:07:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steve Singiser

        The ads that Angelides has run are pretty crappy.  I hate all of the ones with applause in it.  Ugh.  And yeah, I agree on him sprinting back to the right.  Once he's got his victory, he'll do whatever he wants, rather whatever he can get away with.  We'll all be skiing and snowboarding in Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage before we see Arnold continue his centrism and leftist environmental record.  You know, it's against what all the pundits and strategists and consultants say, but Angelides needs to run at his base and he needs to get his base to vote for him.  Because right now Gropenfuhrer has a reluctant base (they may or may not turn out to vote, it won't really matter), but a lot of Democrats and Independents are not voting for Angelides and he needs to find a way to get them back.

        Here is the one positive I look at, Gropenfuhrer doesn't have any coattails.  He's basically running a campaign about himself and a campaign where he's gone so far to the left, he's palatable to very liberal Democrats.  I would be highly surprised if the Republicans gained any assembly or state senate seats this year (well they might gain SD-34) or win any statewide positions (aside from insurance comissioner where we're running Cruz Bustamante).  Conservative Republicans running across the state don't have Arnold there to pick them up.  And it may turnout to be a Democratic year and it won't help Republicans. So in 2010, Arnold will be forced from office and the GOP will have nothing and no one.  Hopefully then we can get some competitive seats!!

    •  Don't Count Florida Out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal, Steve Singiser, maryru

      just yet.  It is looking very discouraging, I'll admit.  But I am heartened by the poll done for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.  Not by the horse race numbers, but by the issues outlook.
      Davis is more aligned with the majority of voters on the major issues here than is Crist.  The BIG question now is will Crist pile up an insurmountable lead before Davis can strike?

      Davis has remained dark since the primary, while Crist has been spending $1 million plus per week. That is where we see the slippage by Davis.  In fact, Davis' numbers are going down, undecideds are up, and Crists' numbers are flat.

      This tells us two things:

      1.  The undecideds are there for Davis to win back. Since they moved from davis to undecided, it is possible that the usual wisdom on how undecideds are going to break will not hold true.
      1.  No public poll has shown how strong or soft Crists' support is. With Davis being closer in tune to the voters on the issues, he still has a chance to peel away the soft support from Crist.

      The question really is, will Davis be too little, too late?

      You can't govern if you can't win.

      by gatordem on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 04:09:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This, Friends, Is Why Money Matters. A lot. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, SoCalLiberal, gatordem

        Everytime a Kossack comes up with the "it's about ideas and the grassroots, not money," I want to crack my head against the wall.

        From what you are saying, it seems like the issues are squarely with Davis, but Crist is being allowed to drive the narrative because Davis is not able or willing to offer a competing vision.

        That, friends, is money. Maybe Davis will hit the air with 15 days to go. But you hit on the key question: will it be too little, too late? We have a similar problem here in California, where Schwarzenegger has built a solid lead with a series of ads that have gone basically uncontested (the state party ran the one lame ad that I have been seen savaging on this site).

        "It. Is. About. Winning."

        by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 04:22:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Update on Money Matters (0+ / 0-)

          Davis is expected on the air this week.  The first spot is said to focus on education.  this was (surprisingly) the number one issue with voters in the Sun-Sentinel poll and Davis is right in tune with the voters on this one.

          I said surprisingly because the other two hot topics lately have been rising property taxes and property insurance premiums.  However, education has been a long term important issue here.

          All I can say about Davis going on the air is:

          Hallelujah!!!!! It's about time. Let's see what happens to those poll numbers now.

          You can't govern if you can't win.

          by gatordem on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 01:38:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Arnold still beatable in CA-Gov (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Singiser

    I hate to sound like a broken record, because I've posted this before, but the LA Times poll is just their heavily GOP-skewed version of the Field Poll that shows Arnold leading 44-34.  The point of both polls is that Angelides has a solid third of the vote with lots of undecideds and Arnold can't get above 50 because his GOP-appeal is weak.

    What needs to happen for Angelides--besides everybody organizing and working and spending like hell on some decent, informative, positive TV ads--is that disgruntled Democrats whose candidate lost in the primary need to stop being mad about that, and start being mad about the fact that our Democratic governorship was illegally stolen from us in a Democratic state by Darrell Issa, a nutty wildcat "election," and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  That, needless to say, is what makes ME mad!

    •  Heh.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      " that disgruntled Democrats whose candidate lost in the primary need to stop being mad about that, and start being mad about the fact that our Democratic governorship was illegally stolen from us in a Democratic state by Darrell Issa, a nutty wildcat "election," and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  That, needless to say, is what makes ME mad!"

      Really?? Couldn't tell :)......

      Actually, I tend to agree with you. I think drawing the 2003 parallel, as well as the Bush parallel, is worth exploring. I just think that the way the first ad did it was just bad. Schwarzenegger has an entire RNC speech where I know he drew some policy positions that put him right in Bush's lap. Why not use THOSE quotes, as opposed to a vague and lame reference to supporting "Geoge W. Boosh," followed by the lame tagline "Is he on your side?" Ugh.

      "It. Is. About. Winning."

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 04:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steve Singiser

        The Angelides ads so far have been weak, and I've said so here and at The Left Coast.  In addition to what you suggest, Angelides also needs some positive ads saying who he is, what he'd do, and, especially, how a public policy that pays its own way by taxing wealthy and corporate property owners now is wiser, sounder, more responsible, and in every way better than Arnold's "no new taxes EVER . .  . until, of course, our children and  grandchildren have to pay them!"

  •  So about TN... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Singiser

    The last 3-4 polls have shown Ford either in a statistical tie or in the lead. it leans R?  How about a toss-up, at least?
    I don't remember where else I looked, but some other pollster changed TN from probably R to no clear leader.
    Come on Stuart, you're killing me here.

    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."- Emerson

    by Sidof79 on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 05:25:21 PM PDT

    •  In His Defense, Sidof79.... (0+ / 0-)

      This change came prior to the latest M-D poll. Before this, the public polls had been pretty mixed, although Ford's own polls showed a decisive movement in his direction. is STILL Tennessee, after all....

      "It. Is. About. Winning."

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 06:59:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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