Normally, your humble Wrap curator tries to go for the pithy opener here. But...Hell...with 40 polls on the agenda today, we simply don't have that kind of time, now do we?
Let's dive in...hope you have a free hour!
AK-Sen: Pair of polls say Murkowski could win, but.....
Two new polls out today in the highly intriguing three-way battle for Alaska's seat in the U.S. Senate paint a picture of a potential write-in victory for Lisa Murkowski. A CNN poll puts the Republican nominee (Joe Miller) at 38%, with Murkowski on his heels at 36%. Democrat Scott McAdams, the least known of the three, lingers behind at 22%. Later in the day, a Cracium Research poll made an even stronger case that Murkowski is viable, claiming a double-digit lead for the incumbent who is being compelled to forge a write-in campaign. In that poll, Murkowski leads Miller 41-30, with McAdams back at 19%. There is a major caveat, however. Both polls mentioned Murkowski by name on the trial heat, in effect giving her an advantage (her name on the ballot next to Miller and McAdams) that she will not enjoy in November. These polls underscore how terribly difficult it is to poll a race where there is a prominent and potentially viable write-in option.
CA-Sen: Boxer feeling California love, especially among RVs
There is nothing but good news for the Blue team in the latest CNN poll out of the Golden State. Even with the more restrictive likely voter screen, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer enjoys a nine-point lead over Republican Carly Fiorina (52-43). With the universe opened up to all registered voters, it simply becomes a rout, with Boxer leading Fiorina by a 56-37 margin.
CO-Sen: Bennet pulls into a narrow lead in new DSCC poll
It is a Democratic poll (so use your salt accordingly), but new numbers for the DSCC by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner gives Democratic Senator Michael Bennet a statistically insignificant two-point lead over Republican Ken Buck. The margin is two points (48-46), according to the GQR poll. Furthermore, they did a "temperature reading" on voter sentiments towards the candidates, and found that Bennet is incrementally more liked (43 to 37) than Buck.
FL-Sen: Rubio up double-digits according to new CNN poll
Benefitting from the Crist-Meek split among all voters center and left, Marco Rubio continues to maintain a double-digit edge, according to the new polling from CNN. Rubio leads with 42%, followed by both Crist (31%) and Meek (23%). Even with the wider group of registered voters, Rubio maintains a lead in the mid-to-high single digits (38 to 31) over Crist, with Meek creeping northward to 25%.
IL-Sen: Pair of polls confirm close race, threat of third party spoiler
New numbers from both PPP and CNN make it very clear that the U.S. Senate race in Illinois is a true coin-flip, with the two polls offering a split decision on their projection. The PPP poll was the more pessimistic of the two, with Republican Mark Kirk staked to a four point lead over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias (40-36). Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones could prove to be a spoiler, given his 8% of the vote. Meanwhile, the CNN poll puts Giannoulias in the lead, but by the barest of margins. The poll puts the Democrat ahead of Mark Kirk by a single point (43-42), with Jones sitting on 8%. Under the hood of the poll, it seems clear that Jones support with liberals (double digits) means that he is keeping Kirk at parity with the Democrat. Among the larger universe of registered voters, one will note, Giannoulias' lead expands to four points (42-38).
NC-Sen: PPP latest to confirm Burr lead growing more solid
Once a toss-up, it now seems evident that Republican Richard Burr has consolidated his position in his bid for re-election. The latest piece of evidence was the thirteen point lead (49-36) for Burr found in the latest PPP poll in the state. Libertarian Michael Beitler is well behind (4%). Burr has led Marshall by single digits throughout the summer, but other pollsters (SUSA, Rasmussen, Civitas) hinted that Burr's lead has grown this month.
PA-Sen: Two polls hint at Sestak rebound versus Toomey
Democrats have to be heartened by a new poll out of the Keystone State, and can be heartened by at least a part of another one. It looks from the newest numbers as if Democrat Joe Sestak might be making his long-awaited move on Republican Patrick Toomey. The Franklin and Marshall poll provides good news for both parties, depending on which screen you are buying stock in. Giving us a ton of permutations, F&M finds that Toomey leads Sestak by just three points (32-29) among registered voters. However, as they go forth from there, the pollster gets more bullish on the GOP nominee. Among likely voters, the margin moves to nine (38-29). When leaners are included, the margin moves to twelve points (46-34). The news is considerably better, however, in Susquehanna Research's new poll of likely voters in Pennsylvania. The sometime-GOP pollster (who does some independent work, as well) put Toomey at 45%, with Sestak at 42%. Among those locked into their candidates, the race is almost tied (31-30 Toomey).
AZ-05: New Dem poll gives Mitchell three-point edge
Harry Mitchell's campaign has received a lot of Democratic love as of late, with multiple polls by Democratic pollsters putting him up over Republican David Schweikert. The latest offering comes from Bennett Petts Normington, which gives Mitchell a three-point lead (44-41) over the Republican with likely voters. Interestingly, this poll is one of the first to indicate identical margins in the race whether the screen is for registered voters or likely voters: Mitchell leads 43-40 among RVs.
AZ-07: It's not a tie, but GOP pollster claims race is close
You might recall a couple of weeks ago when a GOP lobbyist went on local TV in Arizona claiming the race between incumbent Democrat Raul Grijalva and Republican Ruth McClung was a dead heat. At the time, both parties denied any polling to that effect. Right on cue, here comes some polling on the race from the GOP candidate's campaign. It's not a dead heat, but if this poll is correct (which is a pretty sizeable if, given that the pollster is an unknown), it's closer than normal. The poll has Grijalva leading the little-known Republican challenger by seven points (42-35). The poll was conducted by someone called American Political Consultants, who has not conducted a poll in the last two years (at least none that I could find). So, let's just say there is some cause for skepticism. There is a big difference between a polling firm doing a poll for a campaign, and a PR/consulting firm doing a poll for a campaign.
CO-02: Even right-wing pollster gives Polis a double-digit lead
The new (and wildly prolific) GOP pollsters at Magellan Strategies are back at it again, and in a race that is on absolutely no one's radar screen. They poll the heavily Democratic 2nd district, and claim that Republican Stephen Bailey is within a dozen points of freshman Democratic incumbent Jared Polis (48-36).
FL-08: Conservative FL website claims Grayson down seven in new poll
Florida's Sunshine State News, from a cursory glance at their frontpage (which includes...wait for it...the slogan "Fair and Balanced"), looks to be a right-wing site. Thus, it might not be much of a surprise that they contracted with a subsidiary of sometimes-GOP pollsters Susquehanna Research to conduct a poll of the 8th district. It will probably be less of a surprise to discover the Republican in the lead. The poll claims that Republican Daniel Webster leads Democratic incumbent Alan Grayson by seven points (43-36), with third-party candidates nabbing 9%.
ME-01/ME-02: Democrats have double-digit leads, in new poll
New polling from local public pollsters Critical Insights shows that Democrats maintain a double-digit advantage over their GOP challengers in both of the state's congressional districts. The closer race is in the 2nd district, where incumbent Michael Michaud's lead over Republican Jason Levesque is narrowing rapidly. What was once a twenty-point lead is down to a dozen points (44-32), according to the poll. Meanwhile, 1st district Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree is actually looking at a bigger lead than before, opening up a comfortable lead over Republican Dean Scontras (54-26).
NJ-03: Adler leads in tight race, margin depends on the screen
One thing we can say for sure: the new Rutgers poll has Democratic freshman John Adler with a lead over well-heeled GOP challenger Jon Runyan. What is less clear (PDF file): whether that lead is small (and statistically insignificant) or more healthy. Among registered voters, the lead is nine points (40-31). With a tighter likely voter screen, the lead evaporates badly, down to just a pair of points (41-39). Tea Party candidate John DiStefano gets around 6% of the vote either way.
NC-07: Civitas/SUSA poll says add another Dem to the target list
The SUSA buzzkill tour, with an assist from the right-leaning Civitas Institute, heads to the Tar Heel State, where their new survey claims that longtime Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre actually trails Republican challenger Ilario Pantano. The poll gives Pantano a lead of a single point (46-45), which the pollster claims blows up to a double digit lead among those "most likely to vote."
VA-02: New GOP internal puts Dem incumbent down by seven
On the heels of an NRCC internal which claimed that he was up by five points, the campaign of Republican Scott Rigell unleashed a confirming poll of their own. The poll, from Public Opinion Strategies, claims a lead of seven points for the GOP challenger over Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye (42-35). Conservative Indie candidate Kenny Golden polls at 5%. Along the same lines as the Civitas/SUSA NC-07 poll, this polling memo claims that among the most likely voters, the GOP lead stretches into the double digits (49-35).
VA-05: SUSA still doubling down on the Hurt rout meme
Give SurveyUSA credit for a ton of consistency. Even though Dem internals, and even a few GOP internals, show a considerably closer race, SUSA is still clinging to the notion that Republican Rob Hurt holds a twenty-three point lead (58-35) over Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello. Hard as it might be to believe, this is actually incrementally better than last month's SUSA poll, which had Hurt out front by twenty-six points. Right-wing Indie Jeffrey Clark sits at 4% of the vote, according to SUSA's latest poll.
WI-07: Duffy responds to Lassa with internal showing big lead
Give the campaign of GOP candidate Sean Duffy some credit--their rapid response is pretty sweet. On the heels of a poll from Democrat Julie Lassa showing a pure coin-flip, team Duffy responded with a poll of their own today, a Public Opinion Strategies poll showing the Republican leading Lassa by thirteen points (47-34).
RACE FOR THE HOUSE: NRCC polling dump--day two
The NRCC, the campaign wing for House Republicans, are now into their second day of dumping internal polling. Focusing on the Midwest, the numbers are relentlessly ugly for Democrats in five Dem-held seats:
IL-17: Bobby Schilling (R) 44%, Rep. Phil Hare (D) 43%
IN-08: Larry Bucshon (R) 41%, Trent von Haaften (D) 20%
MI-01: Dan Benishek (R) 40%, Gary McDowell (D) 24%
WI-07: Sean Duffy (R) 52%, Julie Lassa (D) 38%
WI-08: Reid Ribble (R) 57%, Rep. Steve Kagen (D) 39%
(click the link for the ID's of each pollster. The NRCC used different pollsters for each survey)
AK-Gov: Parnell pulling away, according to CNN poll
Incumbent Republican Sean Parnell is well in control in his re-election bid, according to a new CNN poll of the race. The poll shows Parnell leading Democrat Ethan Berkowitz by nineteen points (57-38) among likely voters, with scarcely any difference when the field is expanded to registered voters. Democrats originally hoped that the well-known Berkowitz (who gave longtime Congressman Don Young one hell of a scare in 2008) would provide a heated challenge to the new incumbent, who took over for Sarah Palin when she abruptly quit in 2009.
CA-Gov: Even among LVs, Brown suddenly rolling on Meg Whitman
In what is the best polling result for the Democratic nominee in months in the Golden State, a new CNN poll has Democrat Jerry Brown with a nine-point lead (52-43) over Republican Meg Whitman among likely voters. Among registered voters, Brown takes his first double digit lead in months (52-39). Other pollsters have confirmed movement to both California Democrats throughout the second half of this month.
CT-Gov: Q poll (predictably) puts GOP within striking distance
Given a very generous sample (better for the GOP than the 1994 exit polls in the state), it is no surprise that the new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut puts Republican Tom Foley in the best position he has been in all year vis-a-vis Democratic frontrunner Dan Malloy. The new poll puts Malloy up on Foley by three points (45-42). You'll recall that yesterday's Senate poll showed a similar sharp movement.
FL-Gov: CNN sees sharp reversal in state's gubernatorial race
If CNN is correct, there is an entirely new dynamic in the battle to replace Charlie Crist in the Florida statehouse. Their new poll moves Republican Rick Scott into a narrow lead (47-45) over Democrat Alex Sink among likely voters. Most recent polling has had Sink staked to a lead in the mid-single digits. Worth noting: among the wider universe of registered voters, Sink moves back into a lead of a single point.
IL-Gov: Is Quinn back from the dead? CNN poll says "yes"
The most interesting stat from CNN's new wave of polling today may well have been the one least noticed by the media. While California and Alaska got a ton of attention, buried in the weeds was what appears to be a significant comeback for embattled Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. The new CNN poll puts Quinn down by just two points (40-38) against GOP challenger Bill Brady, who has led in the race since March. Interestingly, Quinn's surge comes in spite of a double-digit vote total (14%) for former Democrat Scott Lee Cohen, who is running as an Indie candidate. Among the wider universe of registered voters, the CNN poll has Quinn and Brady tied at 37%.
ME-Gov: Maine Poll shows huge reversal in crowded Gov's race
The Republican coronation of archconservative candidate Paul LePage may well have been a bit premature, according to a new Maine Poll conducted by local pollsters Critical Insights. The pollster, which gave LePage a double-digit lead less than a month ago, now has Democrat Libby Mitchell moving into a narrow one-point lead over the GOP standard bearer (30-29). Independent Eliot Cutler's support also slid back into single digits (9%), meaning there are a load of undecided voters waiting to be persuaded in this final five weeks of the campaign.
MN-Gov: UM poll shows major move to the Democrat in past month
A month after dropping jaws with their assessment that Republican Tom Emmer had moved into a tie with Democrat Mark Dayton, a new poll by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute shows that Dayton has moved into a double digit lead over Emmer. The new poll has Dayton at 38%, Emmer at 27%, and Independent Tom Horner doing very well at 16% of the vote. The pollster's assessment of the surge brings hope to Democrats--they see a significant tightening of the enthusiasm gap in the state.
OH-Gov: Dem poll puts Strickland in unfamiliar position--the lead
If a new poll from Benenson Strategies (and sponsored by something called the Campaign for a Moderate Majority) is to be believed, the electoral resurrection of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is complete. The poll claims a lead of a single point for Strickland over Republican John Kasich (41-40). While statistically insignificant, it has psychic significance, given that it is the first poll to have Kasich trailing in months.
PA-Gov: F&M poll confirms movement to Onorato, race now toss-up
Another race that is trending Democratic over the last two weeks is the open-seat gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania. The latest to confirm the trend is the Franklin and Marshall poll of the race, which puts Democrat Dan Onorato within a handful of points of GOP frontrunner Tom Corbett. Among registered voters, the lead for Corbett is down to just three points. Better news for Onorato: unlike the Senate race, screening for likely voters and pressing leaners does virtually nothing to pad Corbett's lead. His lead is augmented by only an additional point, with Corbett staked to a 41-37 lead under those parameters.
Amazingly, with the flood of polling today, virtually none of it comes from the House of Ras. What does come, however, is pretty damned predictable. For example, if every other pollster sees a Strickland surge in Ohio, leave it to the Ras-sies to actually suggest that John Kasich has padded his lead from last month.
CO-Sen: Ken Buck (R) 51%, Sen. Michael Bennet (D) 43%
FL-Sen: Rubio (R) 41%, Crist (I) 30%, Meek (D) 21%
NV-Sen: Sen. Harry Reid (D) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
OH-Gov: John Kasich (R) 50%, Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 42%