Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Senate Update - 29 October

On the whole, Democrats didn't get great news out of today's polls.  We saw two new polls out of Georgia, as well as a poll in Iowa and one in Kansas.  Republicans saw their chances of taking the majority increase to 65.7%, up from 64.4% yesterday.  

Let's begin with the good news for "Democrats".  That is, the poll from Kansas showed the Independent leading Senator Pat Roberts by two points.  Orman's average lead now is about one point, which would translate to about a 58% chance of victory on election day. However, that doesn't include state fundamentals, which bring his chances down to 52%. Still, that is higher than his chances yesterday, which were at 49%.  

Iowa, in contrast, gave Joni Ernst a slight advantage.  A new Quinnipiac poll put her up by four points over her challenger, Bruce Braley.  Still, because we have so many polls from this race, her average lead didn't change much.  She now has about a 61% chance of winning next week, up from 59% yesterday.

Finally, the two polls in Georgia showed a statistically tied race, which is probably best described as bad news for the Democrat, Michelle Nunn.  Her lead had been growing until a couple days ago, and it seems the race has reverted back to a tie.  The first poll, from SurveyUSA, had Perdue leading by three points.  The second poll, conducted by Rasmussen, showed a tie.  

Either way, this race looks headed for a runoff, as either of the candidates would need to win by about three or four points in order to get 50% of the vote.  And that is why it is probably bad news for Democrats.  The conventional wisdom is that in a runoff election, turnout will likely be lower, which usually helps the Republican.  Still, there is a week left, and it could be that the pollsters are missing something on either side.  But more likely, we won't know the fate of the Georgia race until January.

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