Wednesday's edition of the Wrap logged more unique polls than any other day on the 2012 electoral calendar thus far. Below you will find (as carpal tunnel sets in for your Wrap curator) 39 different polls on the presidential and downballot races, battles that are now less than 50 days away from their conclusion.
And, looking at the big picture analysis, one has to conclude that the Democrats clearly got the better of the day. For fans of Mitt Romney, the hard reality is that the electoral college map already made it appear that their guy had to draw something akin to an inside straight. And today's polling underscores just how difficult it is going to be for Romney to do so.
Meanwhile, the growing narrative that the Senate is slipping away from the GOP will only be buttressed by today's polling. Several polls, digging even deeper, raise some serious eyebrows and invite speculation that the House, as well, could be in play.
Proper analysis of the big picture awaits you below the fold. For now, however, on to the numbers:
NATIONAL (AP/GfK): Obama 47, Romney 46 (LV); Obama 50, Romney 40 (RV)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama 47
48, Romney 46 45
NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters Tracking): Obama 48, Romney 43 (LV); Obama 49, Romney 38 (RV)
NATIONAL (Pew): Obama 51, Romney 43 (LV); Obama 51, Romney 42 (RV)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking w/Leaners): Obama 48, Romney 48
NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama 49, Romney 44
CALIFORNIA (Field Poll): Obama 58, Romney 34
COLORADO (CBS/Quinnipiac): Obama 48, Romney 47
FLORIDA (Fox News): Obama 49, Romney 44
GEORGIA (InsiderAdvantage--R): Romney 56, Obama 35
MAINE (Maine Peoples Resource Center): Obama 54, Romney 37
MAINE (PPP): Obama 55, Romney 39
MASSACHUSETTS (MassINC for WMUR): Obama 59, Romney 31
MICHIGAN (CNN/ORC): Obama 52, Romney 44 (LV); Obama 51, Romney 42 (RV)
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Rasmussen): Romney 48, Obama 45
OHIO (Fox News): Obama 49, Romney 42
VIRGINIA (CBS/Quinnipiac): Obama 50, Romney 46
VIRGINIA (Fox News): Obama 50, Romney 43
VIRGINIA (We Ask America--R): Obama 49, Romney 46
WISCONSIN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Obama 51, Romney 46
WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama 54, Romney 40 (LV); Obama 54, Romney 39 (RV)
CT-SEN (Univ. of Connecticut): Chris Murphy (D) 37, Linda McMahon (R) 33A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
FL-SEN (Fox News): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 49, Connie Mack IV (R) 35
ME-SEN (Maine Peoples Resource Center): Angus King (I) 44, Charlie Summers (R) 28, Cynthia Dill (D) 15
ME-SEN (PPP): Angus King (I) 43, Charlie Summers (R) 35, Cynthia Dill (D) 14
MA-SEN (MassINC for WBUR): Elizabeth Warren (D) 47, Sen. Scott Brown (R) 42
OH-SEN (Fox News): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 47, Josh Mandel (R) 40
TX-SEN (Frederick Polls for the Sadler campaign): Ted Cruz (R) 49, Paul Sadler (D) 32, John Jay Myers (L) 6
VA-SEN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Tim Kaine (D) 51, George Allen (R) 44
VA-SEN (Fox News): Tim Kaine (D) 47, George Allen (R) 43
VA-SEN (Washington Post): Tim Kaine (D) 51, George Allen (R) 43
WI-SEN (CBS/Quinnipiac): Tammy Baldwin (D) 47, Tommy Thompson (R) 47
WI-SEN (Marquette Law School): Tammy Baldwin (D) 50, Tommy Thompson (R) 41 (LV); Tammy Baldwin (D) 49, Tommy Thompson (R) 41 (RV)
AZ-09 (Anzalone-Liszt for the DCCC): Kyrsten Sinema (D) 48, Vernon Parker (R) 43
IL-12 (Benenson Strategies for HMP/SEIU): Bill Enyart (D) 49, Jason Plummer (R) 41
KY-06 (Mellman Group for the Chandler Campaign): Rep. Ben Chandler (D) 51, Andy Barr (R) 37
NC-09 (Lake Research for the Roberts campaign): Robert Pittenger (R) 38, Jennifer Roberts (D) 37, Curtis Campbell (L) 3
RI-01 (Benenson Strategies for the DCCC): Rep. David Cicilline (D) 46, Brendan Doherty (R) 35, David Vogel (I) 8
TX-23 (Anzalone-Liszt for the Sierra Club): Pete Gallego (D) 43, Rep. Quico Canseco (R) 38
Around lunchtime today, in a fit of smartassedness, I penned the following tweet:
Really, Republicans looking for solace in today's data are more or less confined to either GOP pollsters (Rasmussen and a faintly absurd InsiderAdvantage poll out of Georgia) or Gallup. Even Fox News betrayed them by the end of the day, with new polls showing Obama up five in Florida (an identical margin to last week's NBC/Marist poll), and up seven in Virginia and Ohio (equal or better than last week's NBC/Marist poll). For the first time, the RV sample of the Ipsos-Reuters tracking poll gave a candidate a double-digit advantage, with Obama now staked to a 49-38 lead.
Indeed, at the presidential level, Wednesday's data was a buffet of suck. CBS/Quinnipiac got the day rolling, reversing what had been a narrow Romney lead in Colorado and giving the president modest advantages in both Virginia and Wisconsin. Then the very respected Marquette Law School poll compounded the wound, putting Obama up double digits in the Badger State. Pew got into the game, pointing out that their poll gave Obama the biggest advantage for any incumbent party since Bill Clinton scored a lopsided win over Bob Dole in 1996. Even the Republican polling firm We Ask America conceded a slight Obama lead in a battleground state (Virginia).
Downballot, there were even more reasons for Democratic celebration. That same Marquette poll gave Democrat Tammy Baldwin an almost inconceivable nine-point edge over Tommy Thompson. Even the CBS/Q poll, which had been very bullish for Thompson previously, found the race dead even. Meanwhile, a fourth poll this week gave challenger Elizabeth Warren an edge over Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts. That lead (of five points) made it, at this point, indisputable that Warren has pulled ahead of Brown in this highly anticipated showdown that could determine the balance of power in the Senate. Three fairly clear leads for Democrat Tim Kaine in Virginia were also a welcome sight for the blue team, especially given the fact that virtually all of the polls in the state have been coin flips throughout the cycle.
But the least reported polling story of the day may well have been the most surprising, as well. A raft of Democratic polling releases (versus nil for the GOP) hints that there may be the hint of a wave building at the House level. The polls fell in three categories:
- (1) Democratic "endangered" incumbents looking better than one might anticipate. Surely, Kentucky's Ben Chandler (who was in among the closest races in the nation in 2010) and Rhode Island's David Cicilline (who trailed in early polling this cycle) would fall into this category. There have been other recent examples here, as well, with recent polling boosting the prospects of Massachusetts veteran Rep. John Tierney, as well as North Carolina's Mike McIntyre and New York's Tim Bishop.
- (2) Open seat "toss up" races that feature modest Democratic advantages. Falling into this tier would be Arizona's Krysten Sinema (up five in the "fair fight" AZ-09) and Illinois Democrat Bill Enyart (who trailed early, but now apparently has a lead in IL-12, currently held by the retiring Jerry Costello). Other recent polling gave the Dems the edge in another such race, the open seat race to replace Martin Heinrich in NM-01 (where Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham led by 12).
- (3) GOP-held seats where the Democrats either lead, or are clearly overperforming. The most highly publicized example of this tier today was the slight lead for Pete Gallego in the swing TX-23 currently held by freshman Republican Rep. Quico Canseco. But check out the Democratic polling in NC-09, where a respected Democratic firm (Lake Research) actually has a one point race in the open seat being vacated by the retiring veteran Republican Sue Myrick. This is a race that, quite honestly, is on virtually no one's radar screen. Couple that with other races (like the close polls we saw yesterday in Mike Coffman's CO-06, or Mary Bono Mack's CA-36), and you start to see a semi-realistic path to Democrats chugging their way back towards parity.
Comparing the current election cycle to previous cycles has become all the rage, so let me throw one out there. It is only a few weeks of data, and it has come on the heels of the Democratic convention, but there are some parallels between this cycle and the one that immediately preceded it. The generic ballot tests have turned, to some extent, in the direction of the Democrats (YouGov had the Democratic edge today on the generic ballot test at 44-36). Some Democratic seats thought to be endangered simply aren't, and Democrats are making inroads in some seats that were comparably low on the radar screen.
We need a lot more polling on the House level to draw a conclusion, and right now, it feels like Democrats would have to draw an inside straight to reclaim the House, much in the way that Mitt Romney needs to do so to claim the White House. But, unlike a month or two ago, it is starting to look, at the very least, plausible.