Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gubernatorial Update - Incumbents Watch Out

Sometimes, it's difficult to make sense of what the polls are really telling us.  There were many new polls, and most of them showed that the 'tossup' races are moving away from the incumbents (or incumbent party, as is the case in Massachusetts).  

Let's begin there.  Though the Democrat, Martha Coakley, is not the incumbent, her party is. Today, a WBUR poll found the Republican leading by a point.  What is more significant is that the same polling agency had found Coakley leading by three points just two weeks ago. While Massachusetts is a very liberal state, Baker now has the advantage, with a 52% chance of victory.

There were actually two new polls out from Colorado today; one showing the Republican with a two point advantage and the other showing the incumbent Governor with a whopping seven point lead.  This is one case in which the incumbent now has slightly improved odds of winning.  Hickenlooper's chances are now also at 52%.

On to Florida, where we have yet another 'tie' result between Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist.  Despite Scott not leading in any polls, the model actually shifted towards him by 1% (now at 46% chance of re-election) due to some prior polls having less weight.  The state is certainly earning its swing state status this year and promises to come down to the wire.

The final two polls of note were in Georgia and Wisconsin.  In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal is fighting for his political life against Jason Carter, who is only two points behind in the latest SurveyUSA poll.  The firm's previous poll had the race tied, but again, due to older polls dropping out, Deal's lead has actually decreased.  He now only has a 60% chance of winning, down from 63% yesterday.

And in Wisconsin, Rasmussen Reports has found Mary Burke to be leading Governor Scott Walker by one point.  While the poll is obviously within the margin of error, it represents a three point shift in Burke's direction since last month.  Burke now has a 54% chance of beating the incumbent Governor, up from 49% yesterday.

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