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...
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.....