Rasmussen Reports hits two of the biggest prizes in Election 2010, and in true Rasmussen fashion, find the Republican candidates doing better than any other pollsters in America.
That, and a few other choice headlines from the world of the campaign trail, grace the Thursday evening edition of the Wrap.
NY-Gov: Rasmussen Claims Giuliani Within 3 of Cuomo
It might be a moot point now, but our first stop on the Rasmussen Reports "Hey, The Democrats Are Going to Lose Everywhere" Tour is in the Empire State. The pollster claims that Rudy Giuliani is within three points of Democrat Andrew Cuomo in a prospective 2010 gubernatorial matchup. A trio of polls taken within the last month or so by Siena and Quinnipiac gave Cuomo leads of 7-12 points over Giuliani.
Meanwhile, when paired against incumbent Governor David Paterson, Giuliani wins by nearly 30 (57-30), which while slightly more robust than most polling, is certainly in the ballpark of what other surveys have found. As we have seen in other polls, Paterson-Lazio is a tossup (41-37 Lazio) while Cuomo-Lazio is a wipeout (57-29 Cuomo).
Also, at the close of the day, Marist released a poll of the electoral picture in New York. The poll might explain Giuliani's purported move--he leads Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand by 14 points (54-40), but he trails Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial race by ten points (53-43) in the same survey.
Rasmussen also teased that they will have Senate results on Friday.
CA-Gov: Rasmussen Becomes First Pollster To Claim Tie in Gov's Race
In a battle between former Democratic Governor (and state Attorney General) Jerry Brown and the leading Republican candidate, former tech executive (and sometimes voter) Meg Whitman, the team over at Rasmussen claims that the race is...a tie. At present, Rasmussen says that Brown gets 41% of the vote, as does Whitman. The pollster does give Brown leads over both Tom Campbell (42-33) and Steve Poizner (43-32). Other pollsters have had the race reasonably close (including a mid-summer Daily Kos/R2000 poll that had Brown leading 42-36). But no one has had them even, and the most recent poll before this one (an early October Field Poll--PDF) gave Brown a substantial advantage. One sign that this poll might be a touch skewed is that it claims President Obama's approval rating in California is 55%, which is considerably lower than other pollsters have had in the state. It also claims that Whitman has 84% name recognition (with a 47/27 favorability spread), which seems a bit optimistic, to be sure.
AR-Sen: Zogby and Right Wing Group Try To Throw Scare Into Lincoln
In perhaps an attempted counterweight to September's Daily Kos polling in the state (or the later polling done by the PCCC, Zogby teamed with the "League of American Voters" (identified by Pollster as a "conservative non-profit opposed to health care reform legislation") to poll the state of Arkansas. The three polls had one thing in common: like the two that came before it, the Zogby Poll gave Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln a narrow two-point edge over leading Republican candidate Gilbert Baker (41-39).
The departure, and it was a substantial departure, was on the issue of health care reform. While both the Daily Kos poll and the PCCC poll showed a political price to be paid for any stifling of reform by the Senator, the new poll by Zogby and their anti-reform sponsor claims that 48% of Arkansas voters would be less likely to support Lincoln if she supports health care reform. This was a marked difference from the late October PCCC poll, which showed that just 15% of voters would be more inclined to support Lincoln if she stifled reform by joining a Republican filibuster.
NJ: New Rutgers Poll Shows Support For Gay Marriage in Garden State
Perhaps this will silence some of the breathless tradmed speculation that Chris Christie's narrow win for Governor was somehow indicative of a major lurch to the right in New Jersey. A new poll out from Rutgers/Eagleton shows that there is at least modest support for extending gay marriage to the state of New Jersey. 46% support gay marriage in the state, according to the survey, versus 42% who are in opposition. Furthermore, if the state legislature were to pass a law allowing for same-sex marriage, 52% would accept that law. Just 40% would call for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, as well.
IN POLITICAL NEWS...
- AR-02/SC-05/ND-AL: In an early ad buy (but far from a blitz, more on this later), the NRCC is using a Democrat to bludgeon three other potentially vulnerable Democrats on the health care issue. The NRCC is targeting Vic Snyder of Arkansas, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, and John Spratt of South Carolina. The ad uses the words of Democrat Dan Boren of Oklahoma, who vocally opposed health care reform. The Democrats claim that the ad buy is a mere $6300, and the article notes that--in the ultimate example of preaching to the converted--the ads will only be running on Fox News. DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer took a pretty good shot across the aisle in his commentary: ""Given the NRCC's embarrassing defeat in NY-23 where they spent nearly a million dollars on a candidate that ultimately dropped out, this wouldn't be the first or the last time the NRCC flushed its money down the toilet."
- TX-Gov: Speaking of broadcast time, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is taking to the airwaves, launching what her campaign calls a significant buy of radio time in the state. Polls show her flagging campaign losing ground to Governor Rick Perry. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, a new candidate entered the fray today: Farouk Shami, a Houston businessman who has made his fortune in the hair-care industry. Shami's name had been mentioned previously, and there are undoubtedly no shortage of people clamoring for a matchup between the Hair-Care King of Houston and the man best known as Governor Goodhair.
- FL-Gov: In an interesting piece, the St. Petersburg Times is calling out likely GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill McCollum (the state Attorney General) for having a double standard vis-a-vis Scott Rothstein, the politically-connected South Florida lawyer recently cracked by the Feds for orchestrating a $1 billion Ponzi scheme. The Times notes that McCollum slapped the righteousness on thick when he demanded that both Democratic rival Alex Sink and the Florida GOP return any contributions from the tainted donor. They also note that he is curiously silent on the $200,000 donation received in late 2008 by the Republican Governor's Association. As one of the most high-profile races in one of the largest states in the union, it is likely that McCollum will be availing himself of some of the RGA's largesse within the next year, which would easily explain his reticence.
- SC-03: Mike Huckabee has tried to earn some chits (for a future national bid, presumably) by lending his name to races around the country (Marco Rubio in Florida, for example). He has done it again in an open-seat race to replace Gresham Barrett in South Carolina. He has penned a fundraising appeal for Rex Rice, one of the many GOP contenders in the field to replace Barrett, who is running for Governor.
- IA-03: Perpetually targeted Democrat Leonard Boswell might have a unique challenger in 2010: former Iowa State wrestling coach Jim Gibbons is announcing a bid for Congress. He would not be the first wrestling coach in the Congress: Ohio's archconservative Rep. Jim Jordan was an assistant coach on the D-1 level before being elected to Congress.
- CO-04: Betsy Markey has received a new potential challenger for her seat in northeastern Colorado. It is unlikely, though, that Dean Madere, who works for a local heating/air conditioning company, is going to have the resources to hang in a Republican primary with a group of candidates that got off to a substantial head start. The favorite is probably still state legislator Cory Gardner.