The Feldman poll came out first, but as an internal Democratic poll, it was easy to shrug off. Then came PPP over the weekend showing similar numbers. But PPP works with Democrats, so it was easy for the political media to shrug that off.
But that changed today. That Quinnipiac University poll, sponsored by the New York Times and CBS News, confirmed that Baldwin turned around what was a significant deficit while dragging Thompson back from the magical 50 percent mark. Ditto with that Marquette University poll. So even though the latter poll is almost assuredly too optimistic, fact is Baldwin's surge is real, and it's big.
Her big numbers confirm what we've seen pretty much everywhere else being polled—Democrats are in the ascendency. In fact, the latest batch of polling looks so crazy good, that it may be (knock on wood!) the first hints of the fourth wave election in a row. That's why Republicans are freaking out! Indeed, GOP hopes of a Senate pickup are slipping away at the same time as Democratic hopes of making gains pick up:
Democrats are now favored to retain control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast, breaking a summer stalemate during which control of the chamber appeared about equally likely to go either way.Odds are still greatest that we lose some seats, but the trends and momentum are with our candidates.
An unusually large number of Senate races remain competitive, meaning that a wide range of outcomes are still possible. Republicans have about a 10 percent chance of winning a net of at least six seats from Democrats, according to the forecast, which would give them control of at least 53 seats next year. However, there is also about a 20 percent chance that Democrats could actually gain Senate seats on balance, giving them at least 54.
Those of you worried about complacency have nothing to worry about—the big question for November isn't whether Pres. Barack Obama will win. That race is a done deal. The big question is whether he will have a House and Senate that will work with him. With Harry Reid already promising filibuster reform, and with some of the worst Democrats exiting the chamber, we have an opportunity to genuinely upgrade the Senate.
And to do that, we'll have to work our asses off and dig deep into our pockets. This isn't about keeping control anymore. It's about expanding our majority and improving it exponentially with the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Chris Murphy and the rest of our endorsed Senate candidates.
So if you need to feel like you're down 10 points, as silly as that is, then this is the challenge for you. We are genuine underdogs to expand the Senate majority. Me, I like to embrace the fact that we are winning, and our job is to do everything possible to win even bigger.