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As might be expected on the weekend before the weekend before the election, the polling volume for this Saturday edition of the Wrap is seriously elevated. We head close to the half-century mark, with a grand total of 49 polls to peruse, with the serious probability that several more will come with the Sunday papers.

As has been true for much of this month, the data is a real mixed bag. Dems trail in Illinois, but with a few huge caveats that suggest that GOP victories might not be the final outcome in the Land of Lincoln. Meanwhile, the Muhlenberg tracker has shifted in a position that Democrats won't like (at least in the Senate race), while some counterintuitive numbers pop up from the South in Louisiana and South Carolina.

All that (and much, much more!!) in the weekend edition of the Wrap...


THE ANALYSIS: There are a couple of major-league caveats with the Illinois poll. For one thing, curiously, Mason-Dixon chose not to include either the Green or Libertarian candidates in their trial heat. It is hard to know if offering the mere binary option of Kirk or Giannoulias is helpful or harmful to either party, but there is no question it does not represent the choice facing the voters next week. Also, and this could be huge for Giannoulias, there were far more undecided voters on the Democratic side than on the Republican side. Assuming that voters come home in proportion to their partisan leanings, one has to give Giannoulias a bit of an edge. Meanwhile, Louisiana looks competitive for the first time in months, at least according to a Dem poll. As of this afternoon, we haven't seen the retaliatory GOP internal poll, suggesting that the Dem poll might at least be in the wheelhouse. For the second week in a row, Dems release a poll out of the Mountaineer State showing Joe Manchin leading by five points. Finally, not in the Wrap because the data wasn't specific: good news potentially for Nevada, where the inimitable Jon Ralston tweets that Harry Reid's campaign is claiming a consistent six-point advantage in their internal polling.


THE ANALYSIS: The data for this weekend out of the House races has to be considered quite the mixed bag. Democrats have to be a bit unnerved about the status of Chellie Pingree in Maine, a race that lots of pundits had talked about but where the polls had been pretty steady until this latest installment from Critical Insights. The brouhaha over John Adler and allegations about his campaign's involvement in getting a Tea Partyer on the ballot has clearly taken a pound of flesh, as what was once a mid-single digit lead is gone. On the bright side for Dems, longshot GOP bids at John Yarmuth in Kentucky and the venerable John Dingell look like no-shots, and there might be a surprise pick-off opportunity looming in the open seat battle in Michigan's 3rd district. Perhaps on the bright side (though it would be another pickup for the GOP), Jim Marshall's anti-Pelosi, hippie-bashing (literally) campaign in Georgia seems to be really paying off. One GOP pollster had him trailing within the margin of error last month. Now, the "Democrat" is trailing by sixteen points, according to another GOP pollster.


THE ANALYSIS: The eyebrow raiser in the group is the GOP poll showing Tancredo closing to within a single point in Colorado. While the temptation will be to dismiss it as a partisan poll, it is worth noting that Tom Jensen of PPP tweeted that their own polling showed a tightening of the race, as well. This is actually somewhat predictable--the only path to victory for either Tancredo or Maes was going to be one of them becoming marginalized. It looks like Maes is the victim here, with his support dropping in most polls over the last month. The other surprise here is South Carolina, where virtually every pollster has recorded movement towards Democrat Vincent Sheheen. Insider Advantage throws a curveball, putting Nikki Haley in reasonably safe position. In other races, Dems have to be pretty happy about Maryland and Massachusetts, and pretty alarmed by Florida and Maine. Maine is an interesting one, similar to Colorado with half of the ink. LePage is a pure teabagger who probably won't get more than 35-40% of the vote. But as long as Mitchell and Cutler split the left-and-centrist vote, 35-40% will probably be enough.

The House of Ras is definitely clinging to their narrative. They will either look like geniuses or fools in ten days, given their stubborn insistence that Carl Paladino is still in reasonable contract (14 points!) of Andrew Cuomo. One race where they decided to join the rest of the polling world was Pennsylvania, where they have shaved Toomey's lead down to four points.

CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%, Others 4%
CA-Sen: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%, Others 3%
MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 44%, Tom Emmer (R) 41%, Tom Horner (I) 10%
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 51%, Carl Paladino (R) 37%, Others 5%
PA-Sen: Patrick Toomey (R) 48%, Joe Sestak (D) 44%
RI-Gov: Lincoln Chafee (I) 35%, Frank Caprio (D) 28%, John Robitaille (R) 25%
SD-Gov: Dennis Daugaard (R) 55%, Scott Heidepriem (D) 36%
SD-AL: Kristi Noem (R) 49%, Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D) 44%
TX-Gov: Gov. Rick Perry (R) 51%, Bill White (D) 42%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 07:46 PM PDT.

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