Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

This morning USA Today and Gallup released polling from five of the most hotly contested Senate races this year. While the numbers provide further indication that the Democrats are headed towards picking up seats this November, they indicate the road to a majority in the Senate will be difficult.

  • PA-Sen: Democratic state Treasurer Bob Casey leads Republican Senator Rick Santorum by 18 percent among likely voters, 14 percent among registered voters.
  • MN-Sen: Democrat Amy Klobuchar leads Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy by 10 percent among likely voters and 7 percent among registered voters.
  • OH-Sen: Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown leads GOP Senator Mike DeWine by 6 percent among likely voters, 2 percent among registered voters.
  • MT-Sen: Democratic state Senate President Jon Tester leads Republican incumbent Conrad Burns by 3 percent among likely voters, though Burns holds a 2 percent edge among registered voters.
  • MO-Sen: GOP Sen. Jim Talent leads Democratic state Auditor Claire McCaskill by 6 percent among likely voters, though the race is tied among registered voters.

Given the fact that the Senate seat in Minnesota, which for some time appeared to be the Republicans' best opportunity for a pick-up this year, is trending away from Kennedy and that likely voter polling shows Democratic leads against incumbent Republican Senators (not to mention other surveys that show Lincoln Chafee and perhaps even George Allen in real jeopardy this year), it seems fairly safe to say that the Democrats will see a net increase in Senate seats this year. Nevertheless, as mcjoan notes over at Daily Kos, "we have a lot of ground to cover" in trying to win that sixth seat and control over the Senate.

Tags: MN-Sen, MO-Sen, MT-Sen, OH-Sen, PA-Sen, Senate 2006 (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

What these polls really show me is the edge Democrats have in the excitement factor.  With the exception of the MO poll, the Democrats' positions get stronger when the polls switch from registered to likely voters.  It remains to be seen whether this is due to excitement over Democrats or disillusionment over Republicans.  It does speak well to the benefit of a 50-state strategy that can harness winds of change like this, though.

by I voted for Kodos 2006-09-01 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

It might also show more about USA Today's screening method. They might have had preconceived notions that Democrats are more motivated and excited to vote, and thus weighted the sample accordingly.

by adamterando 2006-09-01 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Let's be realistic. We need 7, not 6.
Lieberman has become the de facto Republican in the Connecticut race. Even though he has said he will caucus with the Democrats, we must not assume that it will work out that way.  
There will be a price he will owe for the Republican endorsements, money, personal appearances and suppression of support for Schlesinger. If it came down to Lieberman's vote to determine control of the Senate, I think he'll screw us. Even if he doesn't in the beginning, a 51-49 Democratic margin that includes Lieberman will be as precarious as the Republican margin was in 2001 before Jeffords finally had enough.

If we hold all of our own seats (I keep saying "we" even though I'm actually not a registered Democrat myself), we need to take 7 of the 10 Republican seats (I'm including Lieberman (Party of One-CT) that are legitimately in play. I'm also assuming Sanders (I-VT) will win and then caucus with the Democrats

Things are looking best in PA. We've got good
shots in OH, MT and RI. It's very possible we can win in CT, MO and VA. The numbers look hopeful in TN, but I'll believe a black man winning in a southern state when I see it. Finally, AZ and NV are legitimately in play. If we take 7 of those, including CT, it'll be 51-49 without Lieberman.

by farrellsports 2006-09-01 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

No, the Democrats will only need seven if Lieberman actually caucuses with the Republicans.

If Lieberman wins and doesn't caucus with anyone, six seats would make it 50D-49R-1I. If he caucuses with  the Republicans, it would be 51R-50D with Cheney breaking the tie.

Hopefully, Ned Lamont will make sure we never find out which way Lieberman will caucus.

by wayward 2006-09-01 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races
If Lieberman doens't caucus with anybody, I think it will be 49D-50R-2I (Sanders-VT)
by faithfull 2006-09-05 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Sanders WILL caucus with the Democrats and is being endorsed by the DNC and DSCC.

by wayward 2006-09-18 05:51PM | 0 recs
Barnburner
Frankly, I've been surprised and encouraged by all the recent polls out of Ohio. I figured Brown would be trailing in the mid single digits at this point and the race would tighten as it became more engaged. For him to be up in the beginning of September bodes well for that seat.
Also, it appears that Santorum- in spite of a few polls showing him with some momentum- is done.
I'm confident about Tester in Montana and Whitehouse in RI (hell if Linc loses the primary its o-v-e-r).
But the fifth and sixth races are where it gets tough. Can McCaskill overcome the fundraising gap in a red state? And can Harold Ford or Jim Webb really make a move?
Right now I see the Democrats netting 4 seats. Given that we're actually defending more seats than the GOP this year, that's solid.
by AC4508 2006-09-01 10:40AM | 0 recs
I would be thrilled with +4

Two years ago the conventional wisdom was we were playing defense this cycle. And remember, we netted +5 from this exact block of seats in 2000. To pick up +6 would be a net transfer of 1/3 of the seats in two cycles, which would be incredible. A couple months ago I hoped for +3, now that's up one seat due to the Rhode Island situation which I thought was an unlikely pickup previously.

The key race is Missouri. If we can somehow pull that one off it means a huge night, in senate and everywhere else. Via all traditional criteria McCaskill should not have a chance.

by jagakid 2006-09-01 12:48PM | 0 recs
voter ID requirements will screw us in MO

Subtract two or three percent from McCaskill's vote because of disenfranchisement on election day.

Also, the proportion of white evangelicals in the population of MO is closer to rock-solid Republican deep south states than to swing states in the midwest and mideast. I think this is an extreme longshot. In my view we have better chances at VA or NV.

I am optimistic about CT, RI, PA, OH, and MT. I put our odds of getting two on top of those below 50/50.

by desmoinesdem 2006-09-01 02:52PM | 0 recs
voter ID also suppressing OH voters

but I am encouraged that the poor polling for both Blackwell (R) OH-Gov and incumbent DeWine (R) OH-Sen -- especially Blackwell, who trails Strickland by 57-32 according to Rasmussen -- will "depress" though not "suppress" a lot of Republican voters statewide.

In addition to all the other problems Republicans are having in Ohio (Gov Taft - 19% approval, "coingate", and lest we forget, Blackwell's 2004 vote-counting shennanigans -- see http://savetheballots.org/), they must long for the days of the gay marriage initiative.

by OH Mark 2006-09-01 05:58PM | 0 recs
These are Federal Elections

and the states should not be able to suppress the vote by establishing these B.S. rules.  It's just a new face on Jim Crow.  

When the Democrats re-take the Congress, one of the first pieces of legislation should be to establish federal rules for the conduct of federal elections. Partisan state officials like Blackwell or Katherine Harris should never ever be in a postion to alter the outcome of federal elections ever again.

by Bear83 2006-09-01 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

does anyone know why zogby never polls the montana race, and it is never listed as a district in contention?  

by gobacktotexas 2006-09-01 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Hope is not a plan.

Unscrupulous republicans close strong while mealy-mouthed, timid democrats have found innovative ways of turning apparent victories into last-minute defeats.

Double down folks and enough with the premature triumphfulism.

by adaplant 2006-09-01 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Talent is surging in Missouri after a recent TV buy... hopefully Mccaskill counters, hard.

by AaronE 2006-09-01 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Talent is surging in Missouri after a recent TV buy...

In the present environment you've got to ask the question, "Is that all that $2.5 million gets you?"

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also running ads for Talent.

Yesterday I received the following from Claire McCaskill's campaign:

In the past seven weeks, Jim Talent and his Republican allies have spent nearly $2.5 million on radio and television while I have only spent $200,000. And yet after all of his media, USA Today poll shows that Senator Talent and I are still tied among registered voters.

"No" Talent has been inundating the airwaves with smarmy "I'm a non-partisan workhorse for you" television ads.

A Democratic friend of mine attended one of Talent's "meet the locals" schticks here in town along with one of her republican friends. In a town of 15,000 there were less than 20 people in attendance. My friend, a Gulf war I veteran, asked Talent about the lack of oversight in spending in Iraq. He dodged the question. Several times. The veteran's republican friend chimed in, also asking about the lack of oversight. Talent still tried to dodge the question.

Claire McCaskill is working "out state" Missouri hard

The coordinated campaign has staffed our local headquarters. That we even have a headquarters in an "off year" election is astonishing. The volunteers are coming out.

This past Thursday I stopped by in the early afternoon - one of our local Democratic icons, now  in her late eighties, was working the phones like a pro for Claire Mccaskill, calling targetted voters. On a quiet Thursday afternoon. "Hello, this is Doris...I'm a volunteer calling for Victory 2006. Is this Georgeanna. Why, dear, you have such a lovely name. Can I ask you a few questions? In the upcoming election..."

by Michael Bersin 2006-09-02 02:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

The one factor on our side is the tendency of nearly all close races to go with one party during a Senate cycle.  In 2004, Charlie Cook rated nine Senate races as tossups.  Republicans won eight of those nine.

We may either be really screwed or get back a tenuous control of the Senate.  Intellectually, I see us picking up four seats.  The "political gods" seem to be saying that we are more likely to pick up either more seats or fewer.

by David Kowalski 2006-09-01 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Call me a pessimist, but I am very nervous about any race that doesn't have the Democrat with a double-digit lead, or damn close to it.  A six-point lead isn't enough anymore, what with Diebold and Republican election officials challenging likely Democratic voters, especially in Ohio.  Sherrod Brown needs more than a six-point lead.

by brilliantatbreakfast 2006-09-02 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup Polls Five Key Senate Races

Well, I WANT to be an optimist re: OH-Sen. I look at the trending in the polls and DeWine seems stuck in the low 40s while Brown has climed from mid-30s to high 40s. Brown, I think, has the momentum, and as I said in my earlier post, I don't think the Republicans have anyone "sexy" enough (read: Voinovich) at the top of the ticket to GOTV.

I think Brown has a better than even chance of pulling this one out. And if the trends hold, he might have close to a double digit lead by October.

by OH Mark 2006-09-02 06:39PM | 0 recs

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