Swing State Pres

Friday, October 3, 2014

Senate Update Election 2014: Wake Up, Democrats, and Get Working...Republicans Lead 52-48

If you are a Democrat, you may be tired of all those desperate pleas by party stalwarts that clog your email every day.  Whether it comes from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or your local Congressman, each one has a subject line with some variation of: “Disaster!” or “Certain Doom!”  They sound hysterical...but actually, what they are saying is getting increasingly close to the mark when it comes to the Senate races.

In the last month the playing field has tilted to the right, and with less than five weeks to go, the GOP has a solid chance of taking the Senate.  If the election were held today, I have the Republicans gaining control of the Senate by a 52-48 margin.  It’s crunch time for Democrats:  time to wake up, pull out the wallets, and hit the phones.

There are now eleven battleground states.  I have added New Hampshire and Kansas to the group (as I previewed in my last update), along with the nine I have previously identified.  The Democrats need to win 6 of them to maintain the Senate at 50-50 plus Joe Biden.  The Republicans also need to win 6 of them to take control at 51-49.  And right now, the GOP is ahead in seven of those battleground races, their strongest position over the last year:


Oct 17,
Mar 23,
Jul 21,
Sep 2,
Oct 2,

2013
2014
2014
2014
2014
Democrats Total
52
51
52
51
48
Dem Not Up
34
34
34
34
34
Dem Solid
11
10
11
11
10
Dem Lean
4
2
1
2
3
Dem Toss-up
3
5
6
4
1
Rep Toss-up
2
3
1
3
2
Rep Lean
3
3
1
0
5
Rep Solid
12
13
16
16
15
Rep Not Up
31
30
30
30
30
Republicans Total
48
49
48
49
52

What has changed in the last four weeks?  It’s hard to say.  President Obama’s approval rating has not budged over the past four months, still at 43%.  But the generic ballot has shown modest movement, from the Dems being up by 0.5 points to the GOP now up by 1.4 points.  Not earth-shattering, but that is the type of modest shift than can transform borderline elections.

Of the eleven races, only one is completely unchanged:  Michigan is still a Democrat Lean for Rick Peters.  Two races have moved more in the Democrat’s direction, North Carolina, where Kay Hagan has extended her lead over Thom Tillis, and Kansas, where wildly unpopular incumbent Republican Pat Roberts is in danger of losing to Independent Greg Orman.  Orman’s cause was greatly enhanced when the Democratic candidate, Chip Taylor, dropped out the race a few weeks ago in a purposeful bid to improve the chances of unseating Roberts.  There is no guarantee that Orman will caucus with the Democrats, but I am assuming he will.

But the other eight races have all moved toward the GOP:

·        Four have “flipped” to the GOP column:  Iowa, Alaska, Colorado and Louisiana
·        Three that were “toss-ups” that I had in the GOP column have moved to be GOP Lean:  Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky
·        And one seat the Democrats are still leading in has gotten tighter, moving from “solid” to “lean”:  New Hampshire

Here is the full chart of every race, and the latest polling in the battleground states, and then follows a brief profile of each battleground race as it stands now.  The blue rows are the solid Democratic races, the white are the 11 battlegrounds, and the red rows are solid Republican.


Inc.

Retiring/
Dem
Rep
Poll
Current
State
Party
Incumbent
Running
Candidate
Candidate
Margin
Status
Delaware
D
Coons
Running
Coons
Wade

Solid Dem
Hawaii
D
Schatz
Running
Schatz
Cavasso

Solid Dem
Illinois
D
Durbin
Running
Durbin
Oberweis

Solid Dem
Massachusetts
D
Markey
Running
Markey
Herr

Solid Dem
Minnesota
D
Franken
Running
Franken
McFadden

Solid Dem
New Jersey
D
Booker
Running
Booker
Bell

Solid Dem
New Mexico
D
Udall
Running
Udall
Weh

Solid Dem
Oregon
D
Merkley
Running
Merkley
Wehby

Solid Dem
Rhode Island
D
Reed
Running
Reed
Zaccaria

Solid Dem
Virginia
D
Warner
Running
Warner
Gillespie

Solid Dem
New Hampshire
D
Shaheen
Running
Shaheen
Brown
Dem +6
Lean Dem
Michigan
D
Levin
Retiring
Peters
Land
Dem +5
Lean Dem
North Carolina
D
Hagan
Running
Hagan
Tillis
Dem +4
Lean Dem
Kansas
R
Roberts
Running
Orman (I)
Roberts
Ind +3
Tossup Ind
Iowa
D
Harkin
Retiring
Braley
Ernst
Rep +3
Tossup Rep
Alaska
D
Begich
Running
Begich
Sullivan
Rep +4
Lean Rep
Colorado
D
Udall
Running
Udall
Gardner
Rep +4
Lean Rep
Louisiana
D
Landrieu
Running
Landrieu
Cassidy
Rep +4
Lean Rep
Arkansas
D
Pryor
Running
Pryor
Cotton
Rep +4
Lean Rep
Georgia
R
Chambliss
Retiring
Nunn
Perdue
Rep +5
Lean Rep
Kentucky
R
McConnell
Running
Grimes
McConnell
Rep +5
Lean Rep
Alabama
R
Sessions
Running
none
Sessions

Solid Rep
Idaho
R
Risch
Running
Mitchell
Risch

Solid Rep
Maine
R
Collins
Running
Bellows
Collins

Solid Rep
Mississippi
R
Cochran
Running
Childers
Cochran

Solid Rep
Montana
D
Walsh
Retiring
Curtis
Daines

Solid Rep
Nebraska
R
Johanns
Retiring
Domina
Sasse

Solid Rep
Oklahoma
R
Inhofe
Running
Silverstein
Inhofe

Solid Rep
Oklahoma
R
Coburn
Retiring
Johnson
Lankford

Solid Rep
South Carolina
R
Graham
Running
Hutto
Graham

Solid Rep
South Carolina
R
Scott
Running
Dickerson
Scott

Solid Rep
South Dakota
D
Johnson
Retiring
Weiland
Rounds

Solid Rep
Tennessee
R
Alexander
Running
Ball
Alexander

Solid Rep
Texas
R
Cornyn
Running
Alameel
Cornyn

Solid Rep
West Virginia
D
Rockefeller
Retiring
Tennant
Capito

Solid Rep
Wyoming
R
Enzi
Running
Hardy
Enzi

Solid Rep

BATTLEGROUND STATES

Here is a brief review of the nine battleground Senate elections in 2014.  In general, I use the last five non-partisan polls, using only polls in the last month, with a minimum of three.

·        AlaskaDemocratic incumbent Mark Begish will face former Attorney General Daniel S. Sullivan.  Polling in Alaska is very tough for a variety of reasons, and this makes it tough to call.  What polls exist, however, are consistent, with Sullivan leading by 4 points on average.  Lean Republican.

·        Arkansas:  Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor will face Representative Tom Cotton in a red state the GOP considers among the most likely for it to swipe. Cotton’s lead is up to four points in recent polling.  Lean Republican.

·        Colorado. Incumbent Democrat Mark Udall is being challenged by Republican Representative Cory Gardner. Udall did well in polls from the summer, but Gardner has been the consistent leader in September, on average by – yet again – four points.  Lean Republican.

·        Georgia:  Republican David Perdue’s lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn has grown to five points. Lean Republican.

·        Iowa:  Democratic Representative Bruce Braley is in a tough race to inherit the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin, and now trails State Senator Joni Ernst by three points on average.  Toss-up Republican.

·        KansasIndependent Greg Orman, as stated, has cleared the field in opposition in incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, and leads by three points on average.  Lean Independent; I’m assuming Orman would caucus with the Democrats..

·        KentuckySenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has opened up a five point lead over Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lunderman Grimes.  Lean Republican.

·        Louisiana:  Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is embroiled in a back-and-forth race with GOP challenger Representative Bill Cassidy, with Cassidy now ahead by four points on average.  Louisiana has an odd format…Election Day is more or less an open primary, requiring the winner to attain at least 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.  Cassidy has cracked the 50% mark in two of the last five polls.  Note:  If on election night, the GOP is up 50-49 and neither Louisianan achieves 50%, we will all have our eyes glued on the run-off to see which party takes the Senate; the run-off will be on December 6, 2014Lean Republican.

·        MichiganDemocratic Representative Gary Peters’ has a growing lead over former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in the race to replace retiring Democratic incumbent, Carl Levin.   Peters is up by five points on average, and more so in the most recent polls.  Lean Democrat.

·        New HampshireFormer Masschusetts Senator Scott Brown has made up some ground in this race, where Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen used to have a double-digit lead; now it is six points.  Lean Democrat.

·        North CarolinaDemocratic incumbent Kay Hagan has expanded her lead over Thom Tillis, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, now up to a four-point lead.  Lean Democrat.

I have the GOP up 52-48, but most of the races are still in play.  It may come down to the ground game…so get on those phones.
 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment