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We could call this, perhaps, the calm before the storm on the polling front. After three consecutive days north of the half-century mark, the data load retreats today, back into the low forties. When all is said and done, we have 42 polls to peruse today.

As has been the case for far too many days this cycle, the news is almost ridiculously mixed. If you are a fan of Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) or Alex Sink (FL-Gov), you are pretty gleeful today. If you are a Jack Conway (KY-Sen) or a Libby Mitchell (ME-Gov) supporter, today's numbers are more likely to make you despondent.

We have data on those races, and dozens more, in the Thursday edition of the Wrap...

THE U.S. SENATE

THE ANALYSIS: Inexplicably, stomping a head is apparently less offensive to the delicate sensibilities of Kentucky voters than a mean television ad. Despite the post-debate assault tied to a Paul volunteer, the Republican still enjoys a lead in the high single-digits, which are actually improvements for Paul with both pollsters. Meanwhile, Charlie Crist might be starting to consolidate Democrats, but it looks like it is too late. Despite Kendrick Meek dropping to the teens, Crist can only pull within seven of Marco Rubio. Like Dan Maes in Colorado, Crist is going to need Meek in single digits to harbor any hopes of pulling off the upset. In the "as expected" news, both Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rob Portman (R-OH) maintain wide leads.

THE U.S. HOUSE

THE ANALYSIS: On paper, this would qualify as a pretty bad day for the blue team. But most of the bad data has caveats attached: the SUSA poll in VA-05 shows a marked improvement for Perriello, who has been routinely down by twice that margin in SUSA's assessment of the race. The Michigan poll that shows Schauer down double digits is pretty dubious, given that two public polls in the past week have given Schauer a lead in the mid-single digits.

Critical Insights is somewhat upside down in the Keystone State, becoming the only pollster showing Paul Kanjorski out in front, but showing Chris Carney (who has led in some public polling) down badly to Republican Tom Marino. SurveyUSA brings bad news in North Carolina, where Bob Etheridge has not recovered.

There is some good news for Dems here: both Rush Holt (NJ-12) and John Larson (CT-01) seem to have repelled surprising challenges, while Doug Hoffman, even from the sidelines, continues to haunt the GOP in upstate New York. And in Florida, a Republican pollster only has David Rivera holding onto the GOP-held 25th district by a single point.

THE GUBERNATORIAL RACES

THE ANALYSIS: If there is a bright spot for Dems, it is in the gubernatorial races. California's "gold standard", the Field Poll, confirms the movement away from Meg Whitman. Meanwhile, another gazillionaire (Rick Scott) appears to be fading, as Alex Sink has moved into the lead with two different pollsters who preferred Scott not long ago. Meanwhile, Colorado and Minnesota look better and better for Democrats, while Frank Caprio's shot across the bow at President Obama seems to have bought him third-place status.

THE RAS-A-POLL-OOZA
Ras is still on the Rick Scott island (in stark contrast to everyone else today), and they see a Jim Huffman boomlet that absolutely no one else sees. This is great news, oddly enough, for Democrat John Kitzhaber, because giving Wyden an almost inconceivable 11-point edge against Huffman might also cast doubt on their gubernatorial poll (which showed Republican Chris Dudley with a four-point edge). Meanwhile, they also have Carly Fiorina stronger than anyone else, but still trailing.

CA-Sen: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
FL-Gov: Rick Scott (R) 48%, Alex Sink (D) 45%
ME-Gov: LePage (R) 40%, Cutler (I) 26%, Mitchell (D) 26%
OH-Gov: John Kasich (R) 48%, Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 44%
OR-Sen: Sen. Ron Wyden (D) 53%, Jim Huffman (R) 42%
WA-Sen: Dino Rossi (R) 48%, Sen. Patty Murray (D) 47%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 07:50 PM PDT.

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