Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Senate Update - 14 October

There are officially only three more weeks until election day, and despite what the media has been saying, the race for the Senate is still a relative tossup.  True, the GOP are still slight favorites to win, but would you really put a lot of money on a bet that wins less than 60% of the time? 

That being said, neither party really benefited much today.  In addition to three new polls, there was news in some states that will certainly continue to have an effect on the races there.  For instance, Democratic internal polling has shown that Georgia's David Perdue has been weakened by the revelations that "most of his career" was spent outsourcing, and perhaps even more damaging, a clip of him saying he was proud of that.  Therefore, the DSCC has decided to invest an extra $1M into the race, a sign of confidence that Michelle Nunn may pull off the upset.

On the flip side, after the Kentucky debate last night, in which Alison Lundergan Grimes failed to have a breakaway moment, the DSCC has decided to pull their funding in that race.  And with only three weeks to go, the various campaign committees are going to have to be very selective about where the money is spent.  More on that in a later post.

On to the polling.  A Rasmussen poll of Alaskans had the Republican, Sullivan, up by three points.  This is slightly less than the five point lead the last Rasmussen survey found, but it still fits with the overall impression that the race is leaning in the GOP's direction.

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan got some decent results with a poll showing her leading Thom Tillis by three points.  This race has been getting tighter in recent days, but Tillis has yet to lead in a single poll.

Finally, the Republican pollster Remington Research Group found Senator Pat Roberts leading Greg Orman by two points in Kansas.  There have now been numerous polls showing this race as a true tossup, and it is now rated as one in the model.  Each side has an exactly 50% chance of winning.

Note: As we get closer to election day, the model will become more "certain" of a candidate's lead and how that translates into electoral success.  For example, a two point lead in August would be relatively easy for the opponent to overcome as opposed to a two point lead with only a week left before voting.  Because most of the races are currently slightly favoring the GOP candidates, expect this to strongly help the GOP's chances of winning the Senate. 

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