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With the presidential race in a bit of a holding pattern (especially with most of us waiting a few days to see what sea change, if any, emanates from the president's historic announcement on Wednesday), today's Wrap discussion will focus on the Senate.

Markos noted earlier this week that the conventional wisdom on where the balance of power in the Senate will come to rest after November has shifted markedly. Whereas once a Republican majority post-2012 was a foregone conclusion, a series of shifts in key races (case in point: the Mourdock nomination in Indiana) have put some races back into contention.

However, champagne corks should remain unpopped: not only are victories in those shifting races still far from guaranteed, but there are also some Democratic races that everyone presumed would remain in the "D" column that are right on the edge of concern. Two of those races had polls drop today that underscore that point: Ohio and New Jersey. Democrats are still the betting favorites in both, but neither incumbent is likely to feel very comfortable right now.

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)

NATIONAL (North Star Opinion Research for Resurgent Republic--R): Obama d. Romney (49-42)

NATIONAL (Public Religion Research Institute): Obama d. Romney (47-38)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (49-45)

OHIO (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (45-44)

WASHINGTON (SurveyUSA): Obama d. Romney (50-36); Obama d. Romney and Ron Paul (40-27-20)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
FL-18 (Frederick Polls for Murphy): Patrick Murphy (D) 45, Rep. Allen West (R) 45

MA-SEN (MassInc): Elizabeth Warren (D) 43, Sen. Scott Brown (R) 41

NJ-SEN (Fairleigh Dickinson): Sen. Robert Menendez (D) 42, Joseph Kyrillos (R) 33

(2013) NYC-MAYOR (Quinnipiac): Christine Quinn (D) 48, Ray Kelly (R) 33; Bill DeBlasio (D) 46, Kelly 34; William Thompson (D) 46, Kelly 34

OH-SEN (PPP): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 45, Josh Mandel (R) 37

OH-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 46, Josh Mandel (R) 40

TX-SEN--R (Perception Insight for a pro-Dewhurst SuperPAC): David Dewhurst 57, Ted Cruz 16, Tom Leppert 12, Craig James 4

WI-GOV (Rasmussen): Gov. Scott Walker (R) 50, Tom Barrett (D) 45

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...

  • A trio of Senate races saw new polling releases today, and all of them are within single digits. That the race between incumbent GOPer Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts is a coin flip should surprise absolutely no one. However, Ohio is clearly tightening, with both PPP and Quinnipiac showing Republican challenger Josh Mandel drawing ever closer to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. And, in a poll that should surprise a lot of folks, a new FDU poll out of New Jersey shows freshman Sen. Robert Menendez with a decidedly unimpressive 42-33 lead over his little-known GOP challenger, state legislator Joseph Kyrillos. There have now been more than a dozen Senate races in this cycle with at least one poll showing a competitive race in the single digits. Anyone claiming that they have a solid grip on the direction of the Senate come 2013, it must be said, is dreaming a little bit.
  • Meanwhile, two national polls, both of which show Barack Obama with solid leads, highlight the presidential end of Thursday's edition of the Wrap. The Resurgent Republic poll is particularly intriguing, because it is a GOP-affiliated organization finding the Republican nominee down seven points. Plus, if you click on the polling memo, you find that there were some attempts to frame the poll with some economic questions prior to the trial heat. To no avail: not only does Obama do quite well in the survey, but the Democrats also lead the Congressional generic ballot test by five points in the poll (45-40). President Obama, meanwhile, also does well in a new poll conducted on behalf of the Public Religion Research Institute. Among the more interesting findings there, as the Chicago Tribune noted earlier today, is the fact that Mitt Romney runs eleven points behind George W. Bush's 2004 numbers among evangelical voters (though he still holds a mammoth 68-19 lead with that segment of the electorate).
  • At the statewide level, in the name of being reality-based, I have to give the House of Ras a bit of credit. I more or less mocked their finding the other day that Ron Paul would drain votes equally from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Yet, in Washington state, SurveyUSA finds the exact same thing. Without Paul in the mix as an Indie candidate, Obama leads Romney by fourteen points. With Paul added to the ballot, the lead actually is cut to thirteen points, with Paul taking a rather eye-popping 20 percent of the vote.
  • I noted in the intro that the community of elections junkies are eagerly anticipating the polls in several days which will tell us the impact, if any, of the president's decision to state his support for marriage equality. If you can't wait that long, check out this exceptional bit of analysis from our own community on this question. It aggregates a year's worth of polling on the matter. A must-read.
  • Finally, one poll that didn't make the cut above the fold because of the vague nature of the information. For those who had "Smoky Joe" Barton on your potential casualty list in TX-06, a new (internal?) poll out today from Shaw and Associates would seem to disabuse anyone of that notion. Barton, according to the poll, leads a multicandidate Republican field with 62 percent of the vote. Texas holds its primaries at the end of this month.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

    by Steve Singiser on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:00:05 PM PDT

  •  Speaking about Angus (King, not Hudson the butler (12+ / 0-)

    of Upstairs Downstairs :) ) I was impressed with him on Tweety's show. He seems responsible and thoughtful, and that was before he said he'll vote for Obama.

    And anyway, he has a great moustache.

  •  Re: the Ron Paul thing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Bailey2001, Gooserock, Fury, Odysseus

    I know a lot of young voters -- part of Obama's base -- who are pretty Libertarian on social and economic issues, and would vote for Paul over Obama, and Obama over Romney.

  •  Quinnipiac found Menendez at +9 last month. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Mark27, askew, pademocrat, MichaelNY

    So it is tightening, but the tightening happened last month, apparently.  I wouldn't call +9 precarious.

    Now Sherrod Brown's shrinking lead does concern me...  

  •  Whoever thought a repub senate in 2012 (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, jaysunb, jj32, TomP, Fury, Woody, MichaelNY, R30A

    was a foregone conclusion? I certainly never thought that, figuring we would lose ND & NE but not seeing any other current dem seat switching. Now that we may keep ND and flip MA, ME, NV and AZ, the possibility of adding seats to the senate is real.

  •  Even the GOP non tracking polls show (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, LordMike, askew, Fury, pademocrat

    Obama better off than the daily tracking polls. Interesting.

  •  The Thing about NJ is (7+ / 0-)

    that incumbent democrats have historically have mediocre polling, but at the end of the day they end up winning anywhere btw 5-10 points or more. Another thing to point out NJ is unique because we don't have a media market. The northern half of the state is in the New York MM, and the southern half is in the Philadelphia MM. So it a good chance that Menendez is more known in North Jersey where he represented in the US House, Newark and Jersey City which is right in the backyard in NYC, and not well known in South Jersey. Plus he's a freshman senator so it's likely he's not well known through out NJ. And plus the only elected office in NJ is Governor, and the 2 senate seats.  

    •  Bradley was the last NJ Democrat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      who overperformed the national party. For better or worse, I would guess that Menendez and Lautenberg are viewed as being from the Toricelli/Williams/Thompson wing of the party.

      also known as "AquarianLeft" on RedRacingHorses

      by demographicarmageddon on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:16:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're very right on Bradley (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG

        he's was very popular and won by huge margins except for '90 when he had a close race against Christine Whitman where he won 50-47. What I think we should do in NJ is to amend the state constitution in make AG, SoS, State Tres. an elected offices instead of appointed ones. Like we did in '05 with Lt. GOV

        •  Goes to show. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Christopher Walker

          Bradley was the only  senator we actually liked & we almost tossed him out anyway. When Menendez (who does know how to campaign) rolls  huge majorities out of the Latino neighorhoods, plus the usual strong Democratic GOTV,  hard to see what Kyrillos has got to stop him.

          "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

          by DJ Rix on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:00:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I saw that in addition to (0+ / 0-)

    the closeness of the race in Ohio, according to Quinnipiac, Florida is also tight.  Should I be concerned?  Ohio seemed a lot better a week ago.  

    I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

    by Delilah on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:14:42 PM PDT

    •  Q has had it close for a while. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash, jj32, Delilah, MichaelNY

      PPP still has Obama in the mid single digits in Ohio.  Q has always had low numbers for Obama there, I believe.

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        You're right... PPP numbers are what I was thinking of from last week and Q DOES show tighter races.  Thanks -- I appreciate the response.

        I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

        by Delilah on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:19:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  PPP polled it last weekend (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash, Delilah, MichaelNY

      Obama 50-43 Romney. But Ohio would not be a blowout; a narrow lead there is fine.

      In Florida Suffolk U had Obama up 46-45 earlier this week but that is consistent with what we have been getting latetly from there.

      •  Ah yes -- Suffolk (0+ / 0-)

        that's what I was thinking of with regard to Florida.  And I did like the PPP numbers for Ohio so today's Quinnipiac polling data evoked my nerves.  Thanks for replying -- I appreciate it.

        I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

        by Delilah on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:18:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  my take on it.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmojo, Delilah, Fury

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/...

         I just don't see Obama doing any worse then Kerry or Romney doing near as good as Bush did in 2004. It seems Obama may just be pulling New Hampshire & Iowa from toss-up according to Real Clear Politics to lean Obama. It also seems there's no way for New Mexico to go GOP as it did in 2004 ,Colorado seems to be drifting towards what New Mexico is now  and Nevad not far behind that.

         IMHO Obama CAN POSSIBLY win without Ohio,Virginia,North Carolina,Missouri ,Arizona or Florida. Now again IMHO just the fact that Arizona is a toss-up,with Indiana,Georgia,South Carolina,and Montana just
      leaning R" shows Romney has VERY FORMIDABLE problems in the electoral college.

         As a disclaimer I add that alot can change between now and November so keep your guard up.

      •  sorry my link failed.. (0+ / 0-)

        I had added Iowa,New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada to Kerry's total It came up to 272.

      •  That's helpful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        I do think if Obama can hold the Gore/Kerry states, hold Iowa and new Hamp, and then take the western firewall states of Colorado, New Mex, and Nevada, it is a done deal without Ohio or Florida or Virginia or NC ( I am not counting on Missouri or Arizona or even Montana although I think we should put up a fight).  I just like have multiple pathways to sure victory with Ohio and Virginia specifically.  The tightness in Ohio made me nervous since last week's PPP numbers seemed better.  Thanks for taking the time to respond== much appreciated.

        I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

        by Delilah on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:16:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NYC Gov numbers so depressing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, MichaelNY

    Nothing but corruption and sleaze. Since I moved to NYC the mayoral field has been pitiful. Quinn and de Blasio are solidly corrupt developer shills who are bought and sold from day one. And I know Bill from his City Council days. Ray Kelly is fucking nuts. Thompson may be the best of those listed but that isn't saying much. There really are some good politicians in NYC. Why don't they get anywhere?

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:05:57 PM PDT

  •  John Raese has many more months to say many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    more stupid things

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:08:19 PM PDT

  •  Complete disconnect in daily polls ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, happymisanthropy

    ... vs. national periodic polls.

    Both Gallup & Rasmussen show Romney leading.

    But nearly every non-daily tracker shows Obama leading.

    What gives ??

  •  Maybe I'm just overly political (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    but I live in NJ and I certainly wouldn't call Kyrillos little-known. He's all over the freakin' place. Or so it seems to me.

    The braying sheep on my TV screen make this boy shout -- make this boy scream -- I'm going underground...

    by jamfan on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:14:15 PM PDT

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I'm sure he's well-known in Monmouth County, but has he actually been airing any ads or sending direct mail in other parts of the state? Closed-door fundraisers in Morris County mansions don't count.

      22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:18:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty good polling or Dems (5+ / 0-)

    Non-tracking polls have Obama leading by nice margins with Mitt in the low 40's.  Q is Q, but we have a lot of data points showing Obama leading in the state of Ohio.  Q was not very Obama favorable in 2008 except at the end.

    I am glad tO see Romney underperforming among evangelicals.  Also very glad to see that Obama is performing well in a lot of blue states.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:46:51 PM PDT

  •  Romney is ahead of Obama... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, MichaelNY, MHB

    From my loving, but misguided mother. He's going to win! I said yes, Mississippi, Alabama and the rest of the red states. It's the electoral college that counts. But, I dont think we keep N. Carolina. Not after the blowout vote last week. The crazies are stirred up and will vote in force. I hate national polling.

    What's the difference between a conservative and a bucket of shit? The bucket.

    by dsr2008 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:55:36 PM PDT

  •  We must do everything in our power (8+ / 0-)

    to stop the horrific Josh "the Empty Suit" Mandel. He is corrupt, unqualified and totally contemptuous of voters, refusing to share his positions on most major issues because "he's not in office yet." He has zero interest in the elected office he holds — state — and clearly never intended to apply himself to the job since he started running for Senate within a month of being sworn in, has missed numerous major meetings in favor of fundraising junkets, and has hired a bevy of ultra-unqualified cronies for top jobs in the office. He has thumbed his nose at FEC requirements and public records requests. His record in the legislature — four years as a state rep — was one of utter non-achievement.

    The "tightening" is probably due to the massive dollars — more than $7 million and counting — that have been spent by outside groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads since December, smearing Sherrod Brown with laughable lies. They are dead-set on purchasing this race for this empty shell of a candidate who, if they are successful, they will be running for President for soon.

    He's a slick, boyish VETERAN VETERAN DID I MENTION I'M A VETERAN who is a puppet of his deep-pockets corporate donors. He's owned lock, stock and barrel by Big Everything.

    If Ohio elects him over the dedicated, knowledgeable, compassionate, and accessible Sherrod Brown, it will be a tragedy.

    http://www.sherrodbrown.com/

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

    by anastasia p on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:09:53 PM PDT

  •  Do we at least get the House? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

    by Troubadour on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:23:06 PM PDT

  •  Gallup and Ras (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lina

    have well-known Republican biases.  I'm not worried about the Presidential race.  At all.  I've said elsewhere that this will be a blow-out.  Obama will win more than 400 EVs.  

    That said, what I find mystifying and frustrating is the MA Senate race.  How in the hell can that stuffed shirt be ahead of Elizabeth Warren???  I know they're spending a lot of money against her, but doesn't she have a good amount of money herself (some of it mine)??  Is it that she's not as charismatic?  I just don't get it.  MA should be an easy pick up for us.

  •  Obama Is Going To Take NJ (5+ / 0-)

    by 15 points or so.  There is no way a nobody like Kyrollos beats Menendez.  Menendez's numbers merely reflect the unpopularity of all politicians there.

  •  Solid Lead? (0+ / 0-)

        You call Obama's handful of points lead over Romney solid? You keep reciting all the bad news for Romney's incompetent campaign and all the good news that Obama can pile on, so where's the 10-12 point spread? And Romney hasn't even picked a running mate. What if that was New Mexico's Governor? Would it give Romney New Mexico? Probably not, but you can bet it would tighten the race there and a whole lot of other states as well. The  Superpacs are still just doing their warmups, probing for weaknesses and susceptibilities, not in the Obama campaign, IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!
         Remember 2010? When for no good reason at all, other than a 120 day avalanche of propaganda, Nancy Pelosi and a Democrat Majority were swept out of the House, AND, the National Dialog was completely changed to "the evils of big government and debt" from "Hope and Change" or whatever it was before?
         Romney is not the one walking on thin ice here folks. He has no responsibilities other than walk back from the usual political  gaffes and sort out the dirty laundry when it comes up, Obama has to run a government and a country until the election with little margin for error. This is not a rosy picture, and you ought to stop painting it like an electoral cake walk.
         Repeat, where's the 10-12 point spread?    

    •  I usually don't post stuff like this, but (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your "concern"! When is the last time a Democrat won a presidential election by 10 points?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri May 11, 2012 at 01:31:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So What (0+ / 0-)

        Who cares when the last time a Democrat won a presidential election by 10 points, my "concern" is about the next one. So go ahead and pat yourselves on the back about the landslide that has the Democrats holding the Senate, taking back the House,  and reelecting Obama, I hope so. I think it 's just a little early to pop the corks.
        Wait till the Superpacs spend a Billion, the economy takes a nosedive, or a vast assortment of unexpected and unfavorable events happen. This is an Electorate that put George Jr. back in Office, after Swift Boating John Kerry, swept Nancy Pelosi aside just two years ago, and can turn on anyone for any number of reasons. Howard Dean's momentary rant and George Allen's faux pas likely cost them nominations. Its a fickle crowd and I hope you take it serious, besides, it's the poll spread I was referring to, that was plain, wasn't it? And so where's the big lead Obama should have with all the good news?

        •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

          If you have nothing to say about history, I'm not interested in your phobias about the present. Even Reagan didn't win by 10% in 1980.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:57:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No Surprise (0+ / 0-)

            That you would twice sidestep the question I raised. Here it is again slightly altered to keep up my interest , lets see if you can make a plausible answer.

            Where's the big lead Obama should have in the polls with all his good news and all the bad news for Romney?  

  •  Ahh, New Jersey . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . Frankly, I'm glad the polls show some tightening there; it means the GOP will throw more money down that drain, diverting vital resources from other places. The Garden State continually proves to be fools' gold for Repubs at the federal level, and I don't see why this year will be any different.

    29, chick, Jewish, solid progressive, NY-14 currently, FL-22 native, went to school in IL-01. Mitt Romney: the Kama Sutra candidate. There's no position he hasn't tried!

    by The Caped Composer on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:50:43 AM PDT

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