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Goal Thermometer
Last month, we polled three GOP-held state Senate recall elections in Wisconsin, showing that we have a path to victory. We also said we planned to conduct additional polling on the recalls. Here's the latest on the other three Republican Senate seats.

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos (7/21-24, likely voters, no trendlines):

SD-14:

Fred Clark (D): 49
Luther Olsen (R-inc): 47
Undecided: 4
(MoE: ±3.3%)

SD-2:

Nancy Nusbaum (D): 47
Rob Cowles (R-inc): 51
Undecided: 2
(MoE: ±3.1%)

SD-8:

Sandy Pasch (D): 47
Alberta Darling (R-inc): 52
Undecided: 1
(MoE: ±2.6%)

Taken in concert with our last round of polling (conducted a month ago), PPP shows Democrats with a big lead in one race, narrow leads in two races, and trailing by five points or less in three races. In this newest batch, Democratic state Rep. Fred Clark has a small edge against Luther Olsen, which makes this race one of our three best pickup opportunities. Clark's own internal polling (PDF) confirms this, showing him ahead as well (by an even larger margin).

The other two freshly polled races here are, as you can see, also very tight. The difficulty in the Cowles and Darling races, of course, is that both Republicans currently poll just above 50% and there are only a handful of undecided voters left. That means Democrats need to pull off some combination of activating voters who otherwise didn't seem likely to vote, scooping up the undecideds who remain, and peeling off any wavering Republicans. A strong finish — including a strong ground game and get-out-the-vote operation — can make this possible. Of course, while we only require three seats to wrest control of the state Senate from Scott Walker's henchmen, we need to keep pressing on all fronts to make sure all of these races continue to stay close and get closer — and of course we'd like to win all six.

I should also add that while PPP has been on a tear lately, only a very poor analyst indeed would consider his or her own polling infallible, especially in elections as unusual as these. So it's worth noting that state Rep. Sandy Pasch recently released an internal poll, too, which showed her (PDF) leading Alberta Darling by one point, 47-46. Even more importantly, the trendlines showed Pasch surging upward, since she had trailed by a 48-39 spread in May. What's most remarkable about this is that Darling has widely been considered the toughest Republican nut to crack — not only is her district nicely gerrymandered to benefit her, and not only has her fundraising been monstrous thanks to her chairmanship of the Senate's finance committee, but our earliest round of polling back in March showed her to be in the strongest position among the six recall targets. So the fact that Pasch has made this race competitive really stands out. I think a lot of people also expected Rob Cowles to have a wider lead, so I'm heartened by Nancy Nusbaum's numbers as well.

But as I say, we need to make sure these races stay competitive. Election day is just two weeks from today — Aug. 9. Right wing groups are pouring in tons of money. So please consider a contribution of $9 to help these Democrats seal the deal and stun the world. We can stop Scott Walker and send a message to the entire country. Let's make it happen.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Daily Kos.

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