A couple of races may be more competitive than we previously thought, and at least one race that damned near everyone had notched into the "GOP pickup" column may be far less of a lock for the Republicans than previously thought.
In addition, we may well have the nominee for the most absurd poll of the cycle. And it comes from the House of Ras (or...at least...the House of Ras by a different name).
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (PPP for Daily Kos/SEIU): Obama d. Romney (48-47)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)
ARIZONA (PPP for the League of Conservation Voters): Romney d. Obama (52-41)
FLORIDA (PPP): Obama d. Romney (48-47)
MICHIGAN (EPIC-MRA): Obama d. Romney (48-42)
MISSOURI (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (50-44)
AZ-SEN (PPP for the League of Conservation Voters): Richard Carmona (D) 38, Jeff Flake (R) 38A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
CA-03 (DCCC IVR Polling): Rep. John Garamendi (D) 52, Kim Vann (R) 37
CA-52 (Grove Insight for Peters): Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) 40, Scott Peters (D) 40
CT-SEN (PPP): Chris Murphy (D) 50, Linda McMahon (R) 42; Susan Bysiewicz (D) 45, McMahon 42; Murphy 47, Chris Shays (R) 38; Shays 43, Bysiewicz 40
CT-SEN—D (PPP): Chris Murphy 49, Susan Bysiewicz 32
CT-SEN—R (PPP): Linda McMahon 68, Chris Shays 20
MD-06 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the House Majority PAC): John Delaney (D) 44, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) 42, Nickolaus Mueller (I) 6
MI-SEN (EPIC-MRA): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 49, Pete Hoekstra (R) 35
MI-SEN—R (EPIC-MRA): Pete Hoekstra 51, Clark Durant 27, Randy Hekman 4, Gary Glenn 3
NY-01 (Pulse Opinion Research for Altschuler): Randy Altschuler (R) 47, Rep. Tim Bishop (D) 43
NY-19 (Global Strategy Group for Schriebman): Rep. Chris Gibson (R) 42, Julian Schreibman (D) 32
NY-19 (Public Opinion Strategies for Gibson): Rep. Chris Gibson (R) 53, Julian Schreibman (D) 36
NC-07 (Grove Insight for the DCCC): Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) 53, Dave Rouzer (R) 34
UT-04 (Global Strategy Group for the House Majority PAC): Rep. Jim Matheson (D) 51, Mia Love (R) 33
WI-SEN—R (We Ask America—R): Eric Hovde 23, Tommy Thompson 23, Mark Neumann 17, Jeff Fitzgerald 12
With the standard caveat that two polls doth not a race make, it is hard to think of a race this cycle where the conventional wisdom has been altered dramatically in just two days. But such is the case in North Carolina, as the race between embattled Democratic incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre and Republican Dave Rouzer sure feels like a different race than it did prior to this week.
Before this week, the prevailing assumption has been that the masterful (or awful, depending on your perspective) Republican gerrymander of North Carolina had rendered McIntyre's seat unwinnable for a Democrat, even one willing to buck party lines. On Monday, though, the GOP did themselves absolutely no favors by releasing an internal poll of that race showing the challenger down by four to the Democratic incumbent (44-40).
"But he's under 50 percent!" was the standard reply, but it was a pretty dumb reply. In a race where the consensus is that your candidate is leading, it is hard to figure out the wisdom of releasing a poll showing said candidate to be behind, even if it was by a rather modest margin.
Then, piling on, the Democrats jumped on the meme today, releasing their own numbers, showing McIntyre up by...wait for it...19 points.
Do I think that, come November, McIntyre will drop 55-60 percent on Rouzer and win re-election? Honestly, I don't. But most folks would have wagered prior to this week that the GOP would pick up this seat, along with the other Democratic seats that got swept up in that gerrymander (NC-08, NC-11, NC-13). That looks like a considerably longer shot now than it did on Sunday.
In other polling news...
- Ho-lee Crap! The House of Ras strikes again! Well...kind of. If you are unfamiliar with the polling company called "Pulse Opinion Research", it is essentially Rasmussen's for-rent polling arm. It is the firm that does all the field work for Rasmussen's regular polling, and rents itself out to candidates, all of whom to date have been from the GOP. Randy Altschuler is flogging one such poll today, claiming a four-point lead over incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop. Right away, this seems more than a little optimistic—Altschuler, after all, lost to Bishop in the worst Democratic electoral environment in recent memory in 2010. But the "you gotta be shitting me" is deeper than that: the same poll shows Mitt Romney up 14 on Barack Obama in the district. This was a district that went for Obama by 3 points in 2008. Given that every state poll in New York has shown Obama leading statewide by equal or larger margins than he enjoyed in 2008, an erosion of 17 points in NY-01 seems like more than a little bit of a stretch. What's more: the media reports about the poll point out that Altschuler hired the infinitely more respected firm at Public Opinion Strategies to poll the race in April. Said poll was never released.
- A new poll, conducted by PPP on behalf of the LCV, gives us the first poll in recent memory to show the open GOP-held Senate seat in Arizona dead even between Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Richard Carmona. The poll was done for a progressive group by a Democratic-affiliated pollster, but the sample seems more than fair: the sample went McCain +9 in 2008, and Barack Obama trails Mitt Romney bu eleven points with this slice of the electorate. If Carmona is really running ahead of Obama by that wide a margin, that is exceptionally good news for the Democrats seeking to hold onto the Senate.
- EPIC-MRA has been pretty pessimistic for the Democrats thus far this cycle. Therefore, their latest offering has to be seen as a net positive for the blue team. Obama +6, and Stabenow +14, are excellent numbers for the Democrats. The new numbers represent a net movement in Obama's direction of seven points (remember, Romney led by a single point in the last go-round).