Monday, October 13, 2014

Senate Update - 13 October

Democrats had a pretty rotten polling day today.  Multiple polls were released today showing the Republican candidate doing better than previously thought, if only slightly in some cases.  Overall, that increased the GOP's chances of a Senate takeover to 57.6%.

Survey USA, in conjunction with High Point, released three surveys from North Carolina, Colorado, and New Hampshire.  The North Carolina poll showed Kay Hagan tied with Tillis. This is significant because it's the first race to show anything but a lead for Hagan since late August.  Hagan's chances dropped from 65% to 58%.

In New Hampshire, Survey USA found Senator Jeanne Shaheen up by only two points over Scott Brown.  This is also a slightly smaller lead than her average has been.  However, her overall average has stayed the same due to some polls dropping out from weeks ago.

And in Colorado, Republican candidate Cory Gardner got more good news with the poll showing him up by four points against Senator Mark Udall.  Gardner now has a 60% chance of victory.

Another two polls were also harmful to the Democrats' Senate prospects.  Rasmussen had Iowa's Joni Ernst up by three points.  Their previous poll of the state a couple weeks ago had the race at a tie.  Therefore, Braley's chances have now decreased from 47% to 44%. Additionally, PPP found Kansas Independent Greg Orman up by only three points.  The race has clearly tightened since the Democrat, Chad Taylor, dropped out of the race and Orman had opened up a large lead.  Orman now only has a 55% chance of winning, making Kansas officially the most competitive race in the nation.

There were, however, a couple bright spots for the Democrats today.  A poll in Georgia showed Michelle Nunn tied with her Republican rival, the first poll to show Perdue not leading since his "outsourcing" scandal broke last week.  However, the Republican's chances didn't diminish much based just on this one poll, as numerous others over the past two weeks have shown Perdue with a slim 3-4 pt advantage.  

Finally, and and in what is perhaps the biggest news of the day, a Republican-leaning firm found South Dakota Republican with only a four point lead over the Democrat, Rick Weiland.  We noted last week after a poll showed Rounds up by only three points over the independent that we needed more information and polling results before the model would reflect a close race.  That is still true, to an extent.  The model now gives Rounds a 91% chance of victory, down from 99% before this new poll.  If we get more polls showing similar results, Weiland's chances will rise.

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