Sunday, November 04, 2012

Senate Polls - The Final Weekend

As we head into the final polling days before election day (48 hours!), the senate races have mostly only gotten better for the Democrats.  Before this election cycle, the consensus was that the Republicans would take over the senate due to Obama's negative favorability rating combined with a stacked deck of blue seats on the line.  But Republican candidates have totally screwed the pooch this year due to their rape gaffes basically. That recent large uptick in the average median poll spread graph was due entirely to Richard Mourdock.

The median poll spread shows Democrats increasing their majority in the senate by one seat to 54.  The biggest caveat to that is the fact that it still shows Dems picking up Arizona, where there were only three polls released in October (and where there will be at least one new poll released today). On the other hand, it shows Heitkamp and Tester losing in North Dakota and Montana, so one could argue that it is actually not strong enough for Democrats.

(For the presidential race graphs, click here)


North Dakota (R+4) (based on 4 latest polls from Mason-Dixon, Pharos, Rasmussen and Forum/Essman) - Far too few polls to really judge what's going on.  Two polls came out last week: one showed Heitkamp up two, one showed Berg up two.

Arizona (D+1) (based on 3 latest polls from Rasmussen, BRC and PPP) - No polls came out this past week. Do Arizonans not have phones?

Montana (R+0.5) (based on 4 latest polls from Rasmussen, Pharos, PPP and Mason-Dixon) - This is another circumstance where my methodology gives a weird result.  There hasn't been a poll showing Denny Rehberg on top of Jon Tester since a September 23 Mason-Dixon poll (a new one will come out today or tomorrow).  But Tester's numbers are (45, 46, 48, 49) and Rehberg's are (44, 47, 48, 48), Rehberg is up by a half point.

Nevada (R+1) (based on 6 latest polls from Survey USA, Marist, PPP, Rasmussen, Suffolk and WeAskAmerica) - There was only one new poll last week, by Survey USA, and it showed Heller up 6 on Berkley.  Berkley hasn't been up in a poll since September 25.  I think this one point margin is too close.


Missouri (D+4.5) (based on 4 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Mason-Dixon, PPP and Rasmussen) - The grandaddy of all rape gaffers, Todd Akin continues to trail in polls including two released this week.  No poll has shown an Akin lead since that fateful day in August when he gave that interview to KTVI in St. Louis.

Indiana (D+5) (based on 3 latest polls from Rasmussen, Howey/DePauw and Pharos) - Finally two independent polls were released last week, both showing pro-lifer Joe Donnelly leading pro-lifer Richard Mourdock, but despite having the smaller lead shown for Donnelly, it was the Rasmussen poll that was the most effectual in moving the spread from Mourdock+4 to Donnelly+5.

Wisconsin (D+2) (based on 8 latest polls from PPP, WeAskAmerica, St. Norbert, Marist, Rasmussen, Marquette, Mason-Dixon and Quinnipiac) - Seven new polls were released in Wisconsin this past week, and Tammy Baldwin led in all but one of them, an unusual poll from St. Norbert that showed Obama winning by 9 (4.5 points above the median) but Baldwin losing by 3.  Still unexplained, at least to me, is why there was a rape-gaffe-like plummet in Tommy Thompson's numbers in September.  

Nebraska (R+7.5) (based on 4 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Gravis, Pharos and the Omaha World-Herald) - The Omaha World-Herald poll from October 27 showing Deb Fischer up by only 3 is single-handedly responsible for WeAskAmerica and Gravis's entrance into Nebraska's polling universe.  Predictably these polling firms showed Fischer way up (by 12 and 13).


Pennsylvania (D+6) (based on 9 latest polls from PPP, Susquehanna, Franklin & Marshall, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rasmussen, Pharos, Muhlenberg, Quinnipiac and Siena) - Pennsylvania recovered enough from the power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy to have two polls released today, but unfortunately one of them was from Susquehanna, the worst, most partisan independent polling firm in my database.  But the one-point lead they showed for Casey was actually an improvement from an earlier more outlandish poll.  Other than that earlier Susquehanna poll, no poll has shown Tom Smith with a lead since ... ever.

Connecticut (D+4) (based on 7 latest polls from PPP, Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, UConn and Siena) - One post hurricane poll was released this week showing Chris Murphy with the largest lead of any independent poll this cycle, 9 points.  Interestingly, Linda McMahon's median line looks like the southern border of Oklahoma.  This is only bad news for her, as she is now in the part of the Red River that starts to turn south towards Shreveport.

Massachusetts (D+3.5) (based on 8 polls from PPP, Kimball, Suffolk, Boston Globe, Rasmussen, MassINC, Western New England U., and UMass) - There were four polls that came out last week, and they were a mixed bag.  Probably the most surprising was a Boston Globe poll that showed a tied race when they had shown Elizabeth Warren up 5 a month before.  Still, the other non-partisan polls looked good for Warren, and Rasmussen's latest even showed her up 5.


Florida (D+6) (based on 13 latest polls from Marist, Mason-Dixon, WeAskAmerica, Gravis, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, PPP, Rasmussen, Susquehanna (VSS), Pharos, Fox News, Suffolk, and the Washington Post) - This race is over and has been for a long time.  But the chart looks like a left-facing alligator, or maybe a sparkplug, so it's still interesting.

Ohio (D+6) (based on 13 latest polls from Columbus Dispatch, Marist, Rasmussen, U. of Cincinnati, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, Pharos, PPP, Gravis, Suffolk, Fox News, WeAskAmerica and the Washington Post) - 11 new polls came out this week and none of them showed Josh Mandel with a lead, though a Rasmussen poll went full-on Republican and called the race a tie.  More intriguingly, a Marist poll put Sherrod Brown up by only 5, still not exactly a toss-up but much closer than expected (the same poll had Obama up 6, making this one of only four polls in my database showing Obama polling ahead of Brown.  There are 62 Ohio polls in my database).  It still looks like Brown will win comfortably, but it is less of a slam dunk than in prior weeks.

Virginia (D+3) (based on 9 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Roanoke College, Quinnipiac, Gravis, Washington Post, Rasmussen, PPP, Marist and Suffolk) - It actually was not a good polling week for Tim Kaine.  There were three polls released: up 4, down 5 and tied.  The movement in the median spread reflected undecideds finally choosing one way or another more than anything else.  Overall neither Kaine nor Allen really has any polling momentum going into the final three days of the campaign. 

But even the Unskewed Polls guy is apparently saying Democrats will win a majority.  

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