Late last week, I speculated that the Memorial Day holiday might lead to a fairly light polling week. I further speculated that if that wasn't the case, it'd be because of a slightly higher volume owed to the Texas primaries today and the big set of races up next week.
Yeah, so much for my skills of prognostication. It's not a particuarly heavy day (roughly a dozen polls on tap), but it is by no means Monday Light. And only two of the polls up on tap deal with races pending in the next 10 days.
So, here is hoping that my skills of political analysis are stronger than my skills at telling the future.
On to the numbers!
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-45)
CALIFORNIA (LA Times/USC): Obama d. Romney (56-37)
COLORADO (Project New America): Obama d. Romney (48-44)
MICHIGAN (PPP): Obama d. Romney (53-39)
(2014) FL-GOV (Florida Opinion Research): Charlie Crist (D) 48, Gov. Rick Scott (R) 34A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
IL-10 (Internal poll for Schneider): Rep. Bob Dold (R) 39, Brad Schneider (D) 39
MO-SEN (PPP): Todd Akin (R) 45, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 44; McCaskill 44, Sarah Steelman (R) 44; McCaskill 46, John Brunner (R) 44
MO-SEN—R (PPP): Sarah Steelman 28, John Brunner 25, Todd Akin 23
NM-SEN—D (Albuquerque Journal): Martin Heinrich 51, Hector Balderas 26
NM-SEN—R (Albuquerque Journal): Heather Wilson 66, Greg Sowards 20
NM-01—D (Albuquerque Journal): Eric Griego 33, Michelle Lujan Grisham 33, Martin Chavez 20
NC-GOV (National Research--R): Pat McCrory (R) 48, Walter Dalton (D) 38
VA-08—D (Gravis Marketing for Shuttleworth): Rep. Jim Moran 19, Brian Shuttleworth 16
- Strangely, in the heat of primary season, the only poll released today testing a primary race is a completely absurd one, in the little-noticed Democratic primary in Northern Virginia (VA-08) between veteran Rep. Jim Moran and businessman and Naval veteran Bruce Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth's campaign dropped an internal in which two-thirds of the voters were undecided, and Moran was only up 19-16. Of course, it seems a bit farfetched to suggest that an 11-term incumbent who has outspent his primary opponent 13-to-1 is really up only three. But it also seems farfetched that so much of the jury would be out on a guy who was first elected to Congress 22 years ago. Even if he were unpopular and ripe for a primary challenger, a 45-40 result would make more sense than a 19-16 one.
- We get two other downballot polls of the "sponsored poll" variety. In IL-10, we get a poll that, candidly, strikes me as a touch underwhelming. The newly drawn Illinois 10th district is a pretty Democratic patch of turf, and incumbency or no, the general consensus seemed to be that Bob Dold! would be swimming upstream here a bit. Now, polling analysts will note, perhaps correctly, that 39 percent is a terribly weak starting point in a general election campaign. While that's true, it is also true that said maxim matters less in a post-redistricting election, because Dold! will indeed have a certain degree of upside, as he, too, has to introduce himself to new voters. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the same GOP firm that had Romney narrowly up on Obama last week in the Tar Heel State also (unsurprisingly) had GOP gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory leading Democrat Walter Dalton.
- PPP has new numbers in Missouri, and those have to be seen as pretty dark news for the Democrats. While incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill is roughly even with her Republican rivals, her raw vote total (44-46 percent), and her job approval numbers (40/50) make it hard to be terribly upbeat about the prospects for November, barring a big shift in public opinion. Notably, the best general election option for the GOP is running third in the Republican primary trial heat. However, this is not a Richard Mourdock situation, or a Christine O'Donnell/Sharron Angle-esque moment. The three Republicans are very close in that primary poll, and all of them perform similarly against McCaskill.
- There are three statewide presidential polls out today, and all of them are pretty decent news for the Democrats. President Obama has a small lead in Colorado, and double-digit advantages in both Michigan (which was considered a possible target on Mitt Romney's path to 270 earlier this year) and California. Also, for the first time in a couple of weeks, Obama has at least a slight lead in both daily tracking polls.
- Finally, from Florida, a very presumptuous piece of data, but one that just proved too damned irresistable. If Charlie Crist were to change parties, and if he were to run for governor, and if he somehow won the Democratic nomination in what could be a pretty large field, he would start out with a double-digit lead over unpopular right-wing incumbent Gov. Rick Scott. Of course, none of those three variables may be in play two years from now. What seems true at this point, however, is that Scott (who has sported woeful favorability numbers) has to be considered very vulnerable in his bid for reelection, as we sit roughly halfway into his term.