Went onto Real Clear Politics website (loved and praised by my Libertarian ex-roommate) this morning to take a look at the latest rankings at the Presidential, Senate and Congressional rating. It shows Obama ahead by one, House Republicans up by .1& and the Senate ranking map just got interesting. Check out the link below:
RCP is not my favorite site in terms of poll crunching. I strongly prefer PPP's polls because I think they are the most accurate and I'd rather refer to TPM's model even though they include Rasmussen's ridiculous polling. But there were a few things that caught my eye.
First off, Missouri and Florida are now in the Lean Democrat category. RCP is including Rasmussen's latest poll and Mason-Dixon's latest poll. Obviously Todd AKin's comments are hurting him and helping Claire McCaskill. I personally believe the Mason-Dixon poll over the Rasmussen poll but because of the high Evangelical electorate in MO, I am personally still going to rank this race as a Toss Up.
Florida on the other hand i've always considered to be a Lean Dem. Like Senator Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Bill Nelson gets a good chunk of the Republican vote as PPP showed in earlier polling but they now show Nelson with a two point lead from August 1st:
Looks like Florida will be the next big state PPP will poll but RCp gives Nelson a six point leave over Connie Mack and Quinnipac and Rasmussen show Nelson with bigger leads from more recent polling. I believe this is a Leans Dem race but we will need to keep our eye on it.
Indiana and North Dakota have now been put in the Toss Up category. This puts a smile on my face because for a long time RCP had them in the Lean Republican category. Heidi Heitkampt has more name recognition and Rick Berg was only elected to the house back in 2010. Just like Josh Mandel in Ohio, Berg quickly gave up a position he was just elected to to run for a higher office. That factor is probably why Berg is having a hard time sealing the deal. According to RCP, Berg has a 5 point lead but it only calculated three polls, Rasmussen && Forum/Essman have Berg in the lead with LVs but Mason-Dixon has a much bigger polling sample of LVs (625, whereas Rassmussen only polled 400 LVs and Forrum/Essman only polled 500 LVs) I also figured it was a matter of time until RCP realized that Richard Mourdock was going to make this race way more competitive and I have faith in Joe Donnelly pulling off a win in the end. RCP only average two polls, Rasmussen giving Mourdock a two point lead with LVs (polled back 7/31-8/1) and an old Howey/DePauw poll from late March showing both Donnelly and Mourdock tied. Not much polling on these two races and I am confident we can win these races but I will still consider them Toss Ups.
Michigan, Ohio & Connecticut have all been moved to the Toss Up category. RCP calculated these latest averages after including the highly questionable Columbus Dispatch and Ohio U. polls giving Sherrod Brown a 3.6 point lead over Josh Mandel. Nate Silver did a terrific analysis on the Columbus Dispatch poll. Personally, I still rate this race as Lean Dem but still a race we all need to keep an eye and keep helping Sherrod Brown win. Mandel keeps pushing the lie that Brown and Obama are trying to block Veterans from voting which of course is bull shit.
RCP also included the bogus Mitchell Research poll and the Baydoun/Foster poll which give Pete Hoekstra a one to two point lead with Likely Voters. Nate Silver just did a post claiming that Michigan is not in the Toss Up category for the Presidential race but nothing about the Senate race.
Personally, I believe Debbie Stabenow is poised to win and RCP gives her a 4.8 point lead. I would rank this race as Lean Dem/Toss Up because there's a shot the GOP might pull it's from Missouri and into this race.
The latest Quinnipac put Linda McMahon ahead of Murphy by three points with 1472 LVs polled. RCP gives Murphy a .6 lead. McMahon has a lot of money on hand because she is self funding her campaign. I still believe we can beat her and hold onto this seat so I will rank this as Toss Up/Lean Dem.
Nevada and Wisconsin have been moved into the Leans Republican category. TPM has Heller ahead by 1.8 points and has crunched way more polling numbers than RCP:
RCP has only crunched the highly questionable SurveyUSA poll and a Rasmussen & AFP/Magellan poll from mid to late July but the latest PPP still shows the race as a toss up with Heller with a modest lead, 47% for heller and 45% for Berkley:
With Obama still leading in Nevada and the changing demographics in nevada I believe we can win this seat. Berkley will need Obama's mojo and continued help from Harry Reid. Personally, I think Reid wants to retire in 2016 and he does not want Dean Heller to become the Senior Senator from nevada. Reid and Berkley are both passionate about preserving the Yucca Mountain area from being turned into a wasteland and Reid is not going to rest until Berkley is elected. I would honestly rate this as Toss Up/Leans Dem.
It's not surprising that WI is in the Leans Republican category after being in the Toss Up category. Tommy Thompson has the name recognition but Tammy Baldwin is gearing up for one long fight and i am confident we can win this race. Thompson's been out of the game after pulling a Romney on revealing his tax returns and recently discovering that he is the original author of the No Exceptions, radical pro-life agenda that is now part of the GOP platform and Thompson's past stumbles on the Presidential campaign give Baldwin a lot of ammo. Obama can win Wisconsin but he needs to emphasize having a Democratically controlled Senate. Thompson right now has a 7.8 lead over Baldwin. I rank this as Toss Up/Leans Republican.
Montana, Virginia and Massachusetts are still in the Toss Up categories and I would honestly rate these races as Toss Ups as well. RCP gives Scott Brown a .8 lead over Elizabeth Warren, a pure Toss Up rating between Jon tester and Denny Rehberg (the majority of their polls calculated are Rasmussen's) and Tim Kaine a .6 edge over George Allen. I believe we can hold onto VA and MT and we will take back MA but all three of these races are legit Toss Ups.
Arizona has been in the Lean Republican category for a while but the polling numbers they crunched are interesting. Rasmussen gives Flake a 16 point lead after polling 500 LVs on 6/26 and they included the PPP from 7/23-7/25 that polled 833 RVs and shows them tied but what really grabbed my attention was the Magellan poll from 4/30-5/2 that polled 909 LVs and gives Flake a 4 point lead. Grant it this poll was probably conducted when it looked like Wil Cardon might be able to pull off an upset victory but the game has changed since then. TPM has crunched more numbers and has Flake at 41 and Richard Carmona at 35.7, RCP has Flake at 43 and Carmona at 36.3:
I doubt Obama will be able to pull an upset victory in Arizona but Flake recently stated he'd like to do away with the 17th Amendment that calls for the direct election of Senators. Lets see if Flake says anything else crazy. Carmona is a decorated former Surgeon general, Doctor and a great campaigner. He out raised Flake over a week ago:
If Carmona keep up the momentum and paint Flake as too extreme even for Arizona and get enough centrists voters who would be voting for both Obama and Romney on his side, he could pull off an upset victory. Plus Carmona is of Latino descent and he can carry the Latino vote for sure but of course it's Arizona. For now, I rate this as Leans Republican/Toss Up.
Of course Nebraska is in the the Likely Republican category but there hasn't been any new polling from Nebraska. I read a diary recently that claimed that Bob Kerrey won the debate against Deb Fischer but who knows. I've always figured this seat to go to the GOP but unless Kerrey can tie Fischer to the Ryan Plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, he has a long road ahead. However, Kerrey has brought in a lot of out of state money but claims that of the 11,509 total individual donors, 5,045 are Nebraskans: