Thursday, October 16, 2014

Senate Update - 16 October

Yesterday, we wrote about how Colorado is slipping away from Democrats, and today, we have even more evidence of that.  Quinnipiac released a poll showing Senator Mark Udall trailing Cory Gardner by six points.  Gardner now has the largest average polling lead of the cycle, at just over 3%.  That brings Udall's chances of re-election down to only 35%.  

In contrast, the Democratic candidate from Georgia continued to get good news today as a local poll showed her ahead by one point against the Republican, David Perdue.  As we've discussed many times before, this polling bounce for Nunn was somewhat expected.  The revelation of Perdue's outsourcing comments seems to have ignited a fire for Democrats in the state.  Nunn's chances of winning rose from 38% to 43%.

One final poll today was both good and bad for either party.  Rasmussen Reports released a poll of Arkansas showing Tom Cotton ahead of Democratic Senator Mark Pryor by only three points.  While three points is certainly a decent lead, it is down drastically from the seven point lead Cotton had last month.  Further, it's slightly less than the current average of polls, indicating that the race could have tightened.  Bill Clinton visited the state last week, and if this is the beginning of a bounce due to his trip, expect more polls to show a closer race.

So, you may have expected Democrats' chances to increase today instead of decrease. The shift towards the GOP in Colorado effectively cancelled out the gains the Democrats made in Georgia, and Arkansas stayed relatively the same (if not slightly better for the Democrat).  But now that we are less than three weeks from the election, the model begins eliminating polls from greater than two weeks ago.  

Many of these polls now being cut out of the model were much more favorable towards the Democrats than the ones still included, thus lowering the overall chances of the Democrats. This is usually a smoother, less noticeable process, but in this case, there were multiple polls on one day showing good results for the Democrats.  All in, the GOP's chances have risen to 61.4%, their best result since September 29th (64%).

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