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Most of the political oxygen today, at least on the polling front, has been sucked up by that trio of CBS/Quinnipiac polls in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And, sure, three fresh polls showing Obama leading by 6-11 points in three absolutely pivotal states certainly qualifies as big news.

The equally big news, however, is that those same CBS/Q polls also had great news for Democrats eager to hang onto the U.S. Senate. Couple them with some pretty decent polling on the House level, as well, and it was a pretty darned good day to be a Democrat, at least on the horserace/data front.

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)

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

NATIONAL (YouGov): Romney d. Obama (46-44)

CONNECTICUT (PPP): Obama d. Romney (51-43)

FLORIDA (CBS/Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (51-45)

OHIO (CBS/Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (50-44)

PENNSYLVANIA (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (53-42)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
AZ-01 (North Star Opinion Research for Paton): Ann Kirkpatrick (D) 46, Jonathan Paton (R) 43

AZ-02 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Barber): Rep. Ron Barber (D) 53, Martha McSally (R) 40

AZ-02—D (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Barber): Ron Barber 77, Martha McSally 13

CA-09 (Lake Research Partners for McNerney): Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) 49, Ricky Gill (R) 33

FL-SEN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 47, Connie Mack IV (R) 40

FL-SEN (PPP): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 45, Connie Mack IV (R) 43; Nelson 45, Mike McCallister (R) 40; Nelson 46, Dave Weldon (R) 39

FL-SEN—R (PPP): Connie Mack IV 47, Dave Weldon 14, Mike McCallister 10, "Someone Else" 6

MI-SEN (Foster McCollum White/Baydoun): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 53, Pete Hoekstra (R) 43; Stabenow 51, Clark Durant (R) 43

MI-SEN—R (Foster McCollum White/Baydoun): Pete Hoekstra 40, Clark Durant 24, "Another Candidate" 15

MO-SEN (Rasmussen): John Brunner (R) 49, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 43; Sarah Steelman (R) 49, McCaskill 43; Todd Akin (R) 47, McCaskill 44

MO-SEN—R (Internal poll, as reported by Dave Catanese): John Brunner 29, Todd Akin 27, Sarah Steelman 25

OH-SEN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 51, Josh Mandel (R) 39

OH-16 (GBA Strategies for Sutton): Rep. Betty Sutton (D) 42, Rep. Jim Renacci (R) 40, Jeffrey Blevins (Lib) 12

PA-SEN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Sen. Bob Casey (D) 55, Tom Smith (R) 37

WI-SEN—R (PPP): Eric Hovde 28, Mark Neumann 25, Tommy Thompson 25, Jeff Fitzgerald 13

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

One has to look pretty hard to find a poll among the 22 posted today that isn't good news for the Democrats. In fairness, you can cite one—that Connecticut presidential poll is pretty lousy news, comparably speaking. But with the president still leading by eight points, it is pretty difficult to call it a disaster for the Democrats.

Some may also want to cite the Rasmussen poll showing Claire McCaskill trailing all GOP comers. But that is actually not as bad as it looks on first blush. For one thing, the margins are actually several points closer than they were the last time the House of Ras visited the Show-Me State. For another, the GOP primary poll that Dave Catanese tweeted about shows that Todd Akin, the poorest performing Republican in general election trial heats against the incumbent, appears to have primary election momentum as they head towards primary day. So, in a pretty bleak election cycle, both of those facts are a rare spate of good news for Team McCaskill.

Everything else, meanwhile, is coming up roses on this first day of August, at least relatively speaking.

Those Quinnipiac polls, part of their new partnership with CBS News and the New York Times, are particularly welcome for the Democrats. It is the only poll of recent vintage to give Bill Nelson any daylight when paired with likely GOP nominee Connie Mack IV. They also give potentially embattled Democratic freshmen Senators Sherrod Brown and Bob Casey double-digit leads. Brown had long been considered a more attractive target for the GOP than Casey, but the Democrats have to be heartened to see both of them in relatively comfortable position.

In other polling news ...

  • Another poll that is good news, at least tangentially, for the Democrats: that new PPP poll in Wisconsin's Senate primary shows a very real probability of a fratricidal three-way battle right down to the wire. This confirms a poll by right-leaning We Ask America, who also saw a bit of movement away from self-funder Eric Hovde and towards former congressman Mark Neumann. If this becomes a three-way dead heat, the chances of the GOP being able to coalesce around their eventual nominee drops fairly dramatically. That, of course, is all to the good for Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who is merely sitting and biding her time as she awaits the identity of her opponent in the general election.
  • Meanwhile, today's lulzy poll of the day may well be that internal poll for former state legislator Jonathan Paton in Arizona's 1st district. For one thing, it claims a 23-point lead for Mitt Romney in a district that Arizona homeboy John McCain only won by a handful of points. Yeah, I am dubious. What's more: Paton's campaign crew apparently went to the Dave Rouzer school of poll releases. Once again, kids: if your race is generally considered to be a coin flip, or even a race where you might be the slight favorite (in Rouzer's case), there is absolutely nothing to gain from releasing a poll showing that you are behind. Especially if there are foundational issues with the poll (like this one) that mean that this poll is almost certainly several points too optimistic for your side. If Paton is really running 26 points behind Mittens, is there any chance he is even within double-digits of Kirkpatrick? Either it was a bad poll, or it was a bad idea to release it.
  • Is something afoot in Michigan? Forever and a day, it has seemed like Pete Hoekstra had become the de facto nominee of the GOP, and was certain to go heads-up with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in November. But a new poll by a local pollster has him leading just 40-24 over charter schools chief Clark Durant. Yesterday's EPIC-MRA poll, as it happens, also had Hoekstra at 40 percent, and only got to their published 51-27 lead over Durant by pressing undecideds. This would hint that Hoekstra's edge in the primary is real, but it is also really soft. This might be a race that could break late for the challenger. At a minimum, it is worth watching.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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