KY-Sen: Large, large trouble for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
First, Democrat Bruce Lunsford's internals show a three-point race:
Garin Hart Yang for Bruce Lunsford. Likely voters. MoE 4.4%.
McConnell (R) 48
Lunsford (D) 45
Not bad, not bad at all.
Even Mitchie's own polling shows him falling like a stone, leading by single digits, and under 50% against Lunsford:
Voter/Consumer Research for Mitch McConnell. 10/5-8. Likely voters. MoE 3.6%. (9/7-9 results)
McConnell (R) 47 (52)
Lunsford (D) 38 (35)
Considering that Mason-Dixon and SurveyUSA both have Lunsford within the margin of error, there doesn't seem to be much doubt that McConnell is in serious trouble.
Second, Republicans in the Senate are already preparing for the doomsday scenario of losing their Dear Leader:
Schumer said Wednesday that Kentucky and Georgia — where GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is in an unexpectedly tough race — are now on his radar as potential pickups given recent polling.
"They’re both tied. Our private polling mirrors the public polling that these are even-steven races. We believe we can win in both of those states. We’re devoting resources to them. In fact, you can go on our Web site. Our first Kentucky ad starts today," Schumer said.
And with voters nationwide increasingly unhappy with incumbents, particularly of the GOP variety, Republicans for the first time are quietly grappling with the possibility that they could face a 60-vote Democratic majority in the Senate and a potential leadership shake-up in November.
AK-Sen: Venerable Ivan Moore Research shows a slim but substantial lead for our man Mark Begich, facing off against corrupt incumbent Ted Stevens in Alaska:
Ivan Moore Research. 10/3-6. Likely voters. MoE 4%. (9/20-22 results)
Begich (D) 49 (48)
Stevens (R) 45 (46)
There is a realistic possibility, however, that Stevens, the indicted incumbent, may score an acquittal prior to the November election, which could completely alter the dynamic of the race.
MN-Sen: Finally, Al Franken has a slim lead in Minnesota, according to Rasmussen:
Rasmussen. 10/9. Likely voters. MoE 4%. (9/18 results)
Franken (D) 43 (47)
Coleman (R) 37 (48)
Barkley (IP) 17 (3)
Franken now merits a slight edge in Pollster's average, which may merit moving this race to "Tossup" status.
NE-Sen: Scott Kleeb's latest ad:
OK-Sen: Andrew Rice brought in over $900,000 last quarter in the small, staunchly Republican state of Oklahoma:
Senator Andrew Rice, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, announced today that he raised more than $900,000 from July 1 through September 30, and in a sign of broad grassroots support, the average contribution was only $108. Since the start of his campaign, 61% of Rice's contributions have come from Oklahomans. Furthermore, the Rice campaign welcomed over 3,000 new individual donors in the third quarter.
Ninety-two percent of Rice's contributions are from individuals. In contrast, fully one-third of contributions to Jim Inhofe's campaign are from special interest political action committees.
"We are proud of the strong support Senator Rice has from everyday, hard-working Oklahomans," said Geri Prado, Rice's campaign manager. "Jim Inhofe has spent nearly $1 million on misleading negative attack ads funded by special interest groups who see Inhofe as their number one protector in Washington."
MN-03: First off, Minnesota Democrat Ashwin Madia raised a ridiculous amount of money in Q3 - nearly $1 million.
Ashwin Madia, the DFL-endorsed candidate in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, today announced that his campaign had raised $997,632.24 during the Third Quarter 2008 filing period. Federal law requires public reporting of all funds raised from July 1 to September 30.
Since announcing his candidacy in October 2007, Madia has raised a total of more than $2.1 million.
Second, two recent polls conducted on this race show Madia with a slim lead; the latest from SUSA has the Democrat up three, a six-point swing, in this open-seat battle for the seat of the retiring Republican Jim Ramstad.
SurveyUSA. 10/6-7. Likely voters. MoE 4%. (8/26-28 results)
Madia (D) 46 (41)
Paulsen (R) 43 (44)
Dillon (IP) 8
Madia's got the lead, and he's got the money to seal the deal. Rumors are afloat that the NRCC is scaling back their ad buys in the district as well.
NY-25: We'll be sending at least one Orange to Blue candidate to Washington next year:
Kiley & Company for Dan Maffei. 10/2-3. Likely voters. MoE 4%. (August results)
Maffei (D) 49 (38)
Sweetland (R) 31 (26)
Hawkins (G) 8
That's a commanding lead for Maffei; given his considerable money advantage, it looks impossible to overcome.