Sunday, October 5, 2014

Senate Update - 5 October

There wasn't an update yesterday because no new polls were released.  And what a difference a day can make.  Earlier this morning, no fewer than 40 polls were made public.  The majority of these polls were of Senate races in states that were already safe for one party or the other.  But we also got plenty of new information regarding the "swingier" of the states.  

We'll start with the most competitive states and work our way down to the more safe ones.  Colorado is officially the closest Senate race in the country.  Our model gives each side exactly a 50% chance of winning.  The CBS/NYT/YouGov poll today showed Udall up by three, but that was the first poll so show him up in the past couple weeks, so for now, this race is a true tossup.

In Iowa, Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley got some heartening news.  While the NBC/Marist poll showed his challenger, Joni Ernst, leading by two points, the CBS/NYT/YouGov poll found Braley up by one point.  Both of these are within the margin of error, but the model is still putting a lot of weight on the recent Des Moines Register poll last week which found Ernst up by six points.  At the moment, the race is still leaning towards Ernst, with her chances of winning being 58%.

North Carolina also had two fresh polls today, one showing Hagan up by four and the other having her up by only 1.  Still, Hagan has led in every poll for the last month and a half.  Plus, the results from the CBS/NYT/YouGov poll (Hagan +1) was an improvement over the last poll that agency took of the state (Tillis +1).  Currently, Hagan has a 67% chance of winning re-election.

Next up, we have two states that are equally competitive, but for different parties.  In Kansas, Independent Greg Orman had a great poll and a not-so-great poll released today.  The first, from NBC/Marist, showed Orman up by 10 against Roberts.  However, the other poll had the race tied.  It is odd to have two polls released simultaneously show such drastically different results, but in this case, we simply have to average the two (and use prior information showing the race was leaning in Orman's favor).  Orman has a 68% chance of winning in Kansas.

In Georgia, the Republican, David Perdue, also has a 68% chance of victory.  Two new polls have each shown him with a four point lead against his Democratic challenger, Michelle Nunn.  However, as we noted a couple days ago, these polls are not going to show any effects from Perdue's infamous "outsourcing" comments.  We'll still have to wait a week or so to get those results.  

Still, the closeness of the race in Georgia (relative to some other contests) means the Democrats may have a second path to keeping control of the Senate, one that does not include winning in Alaska, Arkansas, or Louisiana.  This new path would mean Democrats could lose one of either Kansas, Colorado, or Iowa yet still keep the Senate with a pickup in Georgia.

The three races that will be most difficult for Democrats to win are in Arkansas, Alaska, and Louisiana.  In Arkansas, the NYT poll put Republican Rep. Tom Cotton ahead of Senator Mark Pryor by four points.  This result is roughly in line with where the race has been for the past few months.  We will see if former President (and former Arkansas Governor) Bill Clinton's trip to the state on behalf of Pryor moves the needle at all.  Until then, however, Pryor only has a 26% chance of keeping his seat.

The GOP in both Alaska and Louisiana also got heartening news today with polls showing the GOP challenger in each state up by six points.  It would seem as if these are two states Democrats should write off soon in order to concentrate resources in other key battleground states (as should the GOP). In both states the GOP candidate now has a 79% chance of winning.

Finally, the CBS/NYT/YouGov poll found New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen running ahead of Scott Brown by seven points.  For a short bit, it seemed as though the race was getting very close.  However, in the past week there have been multiple polls showing Shaheen with a solid mid-to-high single digit lead over Brown.  Shaheen now has a 81% chance of winning re-election.  

Overall, the Senate picture did not change much at all.  In fact, the GOP's chances of capturing the Senate decreased by only 0.2%.  They now stand as a 57.6% favorite; not exactly a safe bet, but also a surer thing than the Democrats, at this point.  

No comments:

Post a Comment