As summer finally arrives in Southern California (albeit a few months late), the politics game is also heating up. For a weekend edition of the Wrap, we have quite a bit of data to peruse.
Indeed, we have 23 polls to check out today, including a rarity--Democratic internal polling at the House, Senate, and gubernatorial level. Also, a Republican pollster shocks the Silver State with both Reids looking better than they have in months, and Ras has their most Ras-esque performance in weeks.
All that (and more!) in the weekend edition of the Wrap...
CA-Sen: Field Poll confirms movement to Boxer, LAT confirms
The Field Poll, long considered the gold standard of California polls, weighed in on the U.S. Senate race at the end of the week, and found that Barbara Boxer's recent resurgence in the polls may well be legit. Field found Boxer leading Republican challenger Carly Fiorina by six points (47-41). Just tonight, a new LA Times poll (conducted by the Univ. of Southern California) confirmed the movement, putting Boxer up 51-42 among likely voters. Boxer has been all over the airwaves, juxtaposing positive advertising on jobs with a brutally effective attack on Fiorina's tenure at HP. It clearly is having an impact, as Fiorina's momentum has been stalled, if not reversed.
KY-Sen: DSCC poll shows Conway on the move
A Benenson Strategies poll, conducted on behalf of the DSCC, shows Democrat Jack Conway within striking distance of Republican Rand Paul in the Bluegrass State. The poll, conducted earlier in the week, set the margin for Rand Paul at just three points (45-42). Public polling in the state has been hard to come by in the past couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see if the next wave of public polls confirm a tightening race or not.
MO-Sen: Is another GOP open seat tightening, as well?
Another Democratic internal, this one a little further west than Kentucky, comes to a similar conclusion--the Democratic nominee closing in on the GOP frontrunner. The poll, by Garin Hart Yang, gives Republican Roy Blunt a lead of just a single point (41-40) over Democrat Robin Carnahan. A poll taken for the Democratic Party of Missouri earlier in the week showed Blunt up by just four points (with leaners included) against Carnahan.
NV-Sen: Indie pollster says tie, while GOP pollster says Reid leads
This is counterintuitive, and more than a little interesting: a new poll by the GOP polling outfit Public Opinion Strategies is one of the first to show some daylight between Democrat Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle. The poll, taken for the Retail Association of Nevada, gives Reid a five-point lead (45-40) over his GOP rival. Meanwhile, a Mason Dixon poll has the race still as a coinflip, with both candidates sitting on 43% of the vote.
NC-Sen: GOP pollster confirms growing gap in Burr race
Granted, this is a GOP-friendly polling outfit, but the crew from Civitas Institute has gone into the field in their home state of North Carolina, and they see a widening lead for incumbent Republican Richard Burr. The new poll has Burr leading Democrat Elaine Marshall by twenty points (49-29). This echoed recent polling from both Rasmussen and SurveyUSA. This week could provide a key test of the true state of the race, as PPP also heads back to their home state to take the temperature on this once-close contest.
AZ-01: Slightly dusty Dem internal says incumbent leads narrowly
Congressional Quarterly got their hands on some Democratic internal polling taken right after the August 24th primaries in Arizona, and the news is (at best) mixed for Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick. The poll, conducted by Lake Partners, gives the Democrat a four-point lead over Republican challenger Paul Gosar (43-39). The polling memo also says that after "tough messaging" for the incumbent on the informed ballot test, Kirkpatrick held her lead. Republican pollsters have released multiple polls in the district putting Gosar in position to take this seat back for the GOP.
FL-22: GOP candidate plays dueling internal polls with Klein
Just days after Democratic incumbent Ron Klein's campaign released an internal poll showing them leading Republican Allan West by eight points, West's campaign decided to provide a numerical counterweight, dropping their own poll from Wilson Research. The poll showed West out in front by six points (48-42) over Klein. Interestingly, the poll showed both candidates with positive net favorabilities, though it claims that West (+12, 39/27) does a bit better on that count than Klein (+3, 41/38).
MI-01: Dem pollster says tough race, 3rd party a potential spoiler
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has headed into northern Michigan, and they find an uphill slog for the Democrats to hold Bart Stupak's seat in the 1st district. The GQR poll puts Republican Dan Benishek out in front with a 41-38 lead over Democratic state legislator Gary McDowell. Interestingly, the poll shows the potential for a major third-party impact in the race, as Indie candidate Glenn Wilson nabbed 12% of the vote.
PA-16: Herr internal poll indicates potential shocker
If a new poll being promoted by the campaign of Democrat Lois Herr is legit, then the Dems just might have a race to add to the target lists. The campaign internal poll, conducted by PPP (who mostly releases internal polls but does some campaign work), has incumbent Republican Joe Pitts leading by just seven points (41-34) over Herr, who is seeking a rematch against the six-term Republican incumbent.
CA-Gov: New LAT/USC poll puts Brown up five over Whitman
After ceding the airwaves to Republican Meg Whitman for the better part of the year, the counterattack for Democrat Jerry Brown has clearly paid some dividends. A new Los Angeles Times poll (conducted by the Univ. of Southern California) gives Brown a five-point lead over Whitman (49-44). There has already been some grumbling on Twitter (from the Whitman team, in particular) that the sample seems to lean heavily to the Democrats. While this is more than a tad amusing (can't help but notice that they haven't complained about polls that have had samples more GOP-leaning than any exit poll in decades), it is worth a small caveat vis-a-vis the results.
ME-Gov: Dem internal poll says Mitchell still alive, within four
Remember that one of the caveats for releasing internal polls when you are behind is if other polling out there shows you getting thumped. That may well be the catalyst for this release by the campaign of Democrat Libby Mitchell in Maine. GQR, polling on Mitchell's behalf, found that Republican frontrunner Paul LePage leads Mitchell by just four points (38-34), with Dem-turned-Indie Eliot Cutler back at 10%. LePage has led by double digits in a handful of public polls, including a PPP poll earlier this month.
NV-Gov: Conflicting polls paint rosier picture for Dems
Either way you slice it, things are looking up for Democrat Rory Reid in Nevada. While he still faces an uphill fight in the Silver State, it appears that his campaign has cut into the vast lead held by Republican Brian Sandoval. Surprisingly, the GOP pollster (Public Opinion Strategies) had the more optimistic outlook for Reid the younger. That poll, conducted for the Retail Association of Nevada, has Sandoval leading by just six points (45-39). That is, by a wide margin, the closest margin of any poll of recent vintage. The other poll, conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Mason Dixon, had a wider gap for Sandoval. Even at that, the fourteen-point GOP lead (51-37) is less than has generally been registered in recent weeks.
NY-Gov: Marist also gives Cuomo a big lead in Empire State
We now have the entire spectrum of possible outcomes in the state of New York, as Marist College chimes in with their data on the state of the suddenly interesting gubernatorial race. Their conclusion: the race could be close at some point, but it isn't now. The pollster has Democrat Andrew Cuomo at 52% of the vote, well ahead of both Republican nominee Carl Paladino (33%) and Conservative nominee Rick Lazio (9%). Lazio hinted on primary night that he was going to fight onward to November, but he has since gone quiet.
Rasmussen goes as GOP-friendly as we've seen them in quite a while with their collection of polls to close out the week. They put themselves on a gubernatorial island, for example, by putting Rick Scott in the lead in Florida and Tom Emmer out in front (albeit barely) in Minnesota. Wall-to-wall, though, it is a very Ras-sy weekend.
AL-Sen: Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 58%, William Barnes (D) 30%
FL-Gov: Rick Scott (R) 50%, Alex Sink (D) 44%
MN-Gov: Tom Emmer (R) 42%, Mark Dayton (D) 41%, Tom Horner (I) 9%
ND-Sen: John Hoeven (R) 68%, Tracy Potter (D) 25%
OK-Gov: Mary Fallin (R) 60%, Jari Askins (D) 34%
SC-Gov: Nikki Haley (R) 50%, Vincent Sheheen (D) 33%
TX-Gov: Gov. Rick Perry (R) 48%, Bill White (D) 42%
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