After reading a post that broke down the polling for the AR senate race along partisan lines, I thought I would use HuffPo's create your own poll aggregator to see if there is a similar trend among the other 2014 senate races. Unfortunately there seems to be a dearth of polling in most of the races, especially of the nonpartisan kind (sometimes only one or two), so it was difficult to get any meaningful results. They do, however, have 2012 polls with the create your own feature, so I decided to separate the the (D), (R), and unaffiliated polls to see how they stacked up versus reality.
Here's a quick breakdown of the closest states along with the national numbers separated by partisan affiliation. Note that I included Rasmussen, We Ask America, and Gravis in the (R) column as they are most definitely (R) affiliated, and did not include any internet polls. The numbers given are % Obama-% Romney.
State - (D) polls - Nonpartisan - (R) polls - Actual Result - (D-A) - (NP-A) - (R-A)
OH 3.8 3 1.2 3 .8 0 -1.8
FL 2 -2.4 -.6 .9 1.1 -3.3 -1.5
VA 3.4 .1 .1 3.9 -.5 -3.8 -3.8
WI 4.6 5.1 1.4 6.9 -2.3 -1.8 -5.5
IA 7.1 4.4 2 5.8 1.3 -1.4 -3.8
CO 4 .8 .1 5.4 -1.4 -4.6 -5.3
NV 4.7 3.5 2.9 6.7 -2 -3.2 -3.8
PA 5.2 3.3 2.3 5.4 -.2 -2.1 -3.1
NH 2 2.5 2 5.6 -3.6 -3.1 -3.6
NC -2.2 -1.4 -5.7 -2 -.2 .6 -3.7
National 2.2 .5 -.7 3.9 -1.7 -3.4 -4.6
AVG -.8 -2.4 -3.7
MEDIAN -.5 -3.1 -3.8
It's pretty shocking when you break it down. The dem pollsters were the best pollsters, off by an average of less than a point, and that less than one point error was in favor of Romney. The nonpartisan pollsters were actually closer to the republican pollsters than the dem ones oddly enough. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that the dem polls were dominated by PPP, which is an excellent pollster, although the other dem polls were roughly in line with PPP's results. The republican pollsters were dominated by Ras, one of the worst pollsters, although again the other (R) pollsters had similar results to Ras.
With that in mind, what are the best (ie Dem) pollsters saying about the 2014 senate races?
KY: Grimes +1, GA: Nunn +4.3 (v Kingston), NC: Hagan +3.2, AR: Pryor +.5, LA: Landrieu +.7, CO: Udall +3.1, IA: Braley +5, MI: Peters +5.7, AK: Begich +5 (v Sullivan)
Note that there aren't a lot of polls out there, and 90% of these are from PPP. I'd like to do the same thing with the 2010 races, but the create your own feature was not available for those races. Long story short, it seems like the democrats are fairly well placed to mitigate their losses in the senate, and I for one believe the chances of the republicans taking over the senate have been vastly overblown. Hopefully there will be an increase in polling volume in the near future to see if these numbers hold.