Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

US Senate Race Chart: DEM-56, REP-40, TCTC-4

Posted Oct 31, 2008 at 5:19 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The fundamentals of the races for US Senate suggest a strong Democratic title in the new Congress. With PollTrack moving the Mississippi special race from "Too Close To Call" to "Lean Republican," the new balance of power reads: DEM-56, REP-40, TCTC-4. With the Republicans holding at least 40 seats according to out tabulation, it may be difficult for the Democrat's to meet their expressed goal of achieving a 60 seat majority-- the number needed to end a filibuster and close to the 2/3 required to override a presidential veto. To do so, the Democrats would have to pick Senate seats in some of the reddest states on the map, including Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi. But with Alaska possibly in the Democrats hands, one more wavering--and traditionally red state--may now be out of play for the Republicans. Below you will find updated polling averages for races marked "Too Close To Call." See chart below:

US Senate Race Chart: 31 October 2008

Solid Democrat: Arkanas: Pryor;  Delaware: Biden; Illinois: Durbin; Iowa: Harkin; Massachusetts: Kerry; Michigan: Levin; Montana: Baucus; New Jersey: Lautenberg; Rhode Island: Reed, West Virginia:  Rockefeller; Virginia: Warner (d) vs Gilmore (r) (VA)

Likely  Democrat: South Dakota: Johnson (SD)

Lean Democrat: Louisiana: Landrieu (LA); Colorado: Udall (d) vs Schaffer (r) (CO); New Mexico: Udall (d) vs Pierce (r) (NM); New Hampshire: Sununu (r) vs Shaheen (d); Alaska: Stevens (r)  vs Begich (d)

 

Too Close To Call (with PollTrack poll averages)

 

Georgia: Chambliss (r) 46.2% vs Martin (d) 43.2%

Minnesota: Coleman (r) 40.7% vs Franken (d) 38.7% vs Barkley (i) 14.3%

North Carolina: Dole (r) 44.5% vs Hagan (d) 46.5%

Oregon: Smith (r) 41.0% vs Merkley (d) 44.8%

 

Lean Republican: Kentucky: McConnell; Mississippi (special): Wicker (r) vs Musgrove (d)

Likely Republican: Maine: Collins (ME), Nebraska: Yohanns vs Kleeb (d); Oklahoma: Inhofe (OK)

Solid Republican: Alabama: Sessions ; Idaho: Lish (r) vs LaRocco (d) (ID), Kansas: Roberts (KS), Mississippi: Cochran (regular); South Carolina: Graham Tennessee: Alexander ; Texas: Cornyn; Wyoming (regular): Enzi; Wyoming (special): Barrasso (r) vs Carter (d)


Balance Of Power Tally: DEM-56, REP-39, TCTC-5

Current Balance: DEM-51 (49-D, 2-I) to REP-49

BOLD: Leading In Race 

Italics: Incumbent

Is Barkley Killing Franken In Minnesota?

Posted Oct 31, 2008 at 1:44 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

Is Barkley Killing Franken In Minnesota? A new poll of "likely votes" in Minnesota released yesterday by Mason-Dixon reports incumbent Republican Norm Coleman leading his opponent, Democrat Al Franken by six points, 42-36, with 12% of respondents favoring Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley. The state is not new to third party candidacies, electing independent Jessie Ventura governor a few cycles back. "If Coleman puts daylight between Franken’s numbers and his own on Election Day, he may have Barkley to thank," writes Mason-Dixon, "While he has shored up 89% of voters who identify as Republicans, with  only 4% defecting to Barkley’s camp, only about three out of four Democrats say that they support their party nominee, with 17% of Democratic voters favoring the Independence Party candidate over Franken." For more on this race and the "Third Party Effect" click here.

Stay Up-To-Date With PollTrack in 2009

Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 6:16 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

PollTrack will be offering a range of features in 2009, including essays, analyzes, photos, and videos as well as polling averages and our political director's blog for elections and special elections to be held next year. To receive our newsletter, alerting you to new races and features, send your E-mail address to us through our submissions form on our Voices on the Ground page (let us know that you want to be included in our E-mail list in the body of blog post" box or E-mail us directly to: voices@polltrack.com. We will not share your address with anyone.

Early Voting: What Happens With The Exit Polls?

Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 1:02 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

Early Voting: What Happens With The Exit Polls? With an estimated 30% of all voters expected to cast their ballots early this year, what will happen to the exit polls, surveys that question respondents they leave their polling stations after voting. Such polls have been plagued by problems in recent years, from corrupted samples to outright mis-calling of elections (early rounds of exit polling in 2004 predicted an easy win by John Kerry, exit polls in the Democratic primaries this year were notoriously off. How will pollsters account for the 30% who will be out of their reach on election day, and will their attempted adjustments corrupt or correct the problem. For more on this issue, which could greatly impact media coverage on election night, click here.

POLLTRACK in 2009: What Lies Ahead On Our Website

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 3:05 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

Election 2008 was just the beginning of our new website. In the two weeks following the election, we will provide comprehensive analysis on how things turned out and why as well as voter, political, and cultural reaction to the election. Starting in mid-November, we plan a range of coverage--including continuation of Voices on the Ground, our page where voters speak their minds and serve as our eyes and ears, and Writing on the Wallour page for analysis, opinion, and debate in both national and local contexts. On these pages we will cover the transition of the new president and congress, inaugural events, and local reactions to the new president as well as the way political and cultural events of 2009 impact on voters. Tracking the Nation on our homepage will continue to chart a range of data about the state of the nation. And on our new page, Tracking the Nation Map and Blog, PollTrack Political Director, Maurice Berger, will offer daily updates on voter reactions to the transition and inauguration of the new president and administration as well as local initiatives, referendums, elections, and special elections (e.g. vacated congressional seats) of 2009--providing analysis of the state of these races on the ground as well as ongoing poll averages, from the campaign for mayor and other citywide offices in New York City and Los Angeles to the Governor's race in New Jersey. This page will also have a national map and chart that will allow visitors to track analysis for each state as well as the polling averages for 2009 races and ballot initiatives. We will look at the approval ratings, the implications of special and scheduled elections, and other "on the ground" markers of success for the new administration. And next fall, PollTrack will be up and running with our comprehensive coverage of the national cycle in 2010, US Senate Map and House Chart Map and Blog--with maps, polling averages, charts, and an ongoing blog by our political director on all of the key races, including all competitive US Senate and House elections to Governor's races and other local elections.

How Accurate Are Public Opinion Polls?

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 2:18 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

How Accurate Are Public Opinion Polls? In the last week of Election 2008, voters are left scratching their heads, not sure what to believe about polls. One survey shows Obama up by +15%, another taken over the same period, shows the race almost tied, at +2% Obama. Some pollsters now say it is almost certain that Obama's lead will hold' a few hold out the possibility of a squeaker. What gives? And are pollsters themselves worried that they might be getting it wrong, one way or the other? An article published this morning in the Washington Post tries to sort things out with the state of polling in Election 2008. For the full article click here.

US Senate Race Chart: DEM-56, REP-39, TCTC-5

Posted Oct 28, 2008 at 1:43 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With US Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) now convicted on seven ethics counts in Alaska, PollTrack tentatively moves the state into the leaning Democrat column. It is unclear as of this writing how the Republican party will handle this setback. As has been noted before, it may be difficult for the Democrat's to meet their expressed goal of achieving a 60 seat majority-- the number needed to end a filibuster and close to the 2/3 required to override a presidential veto. To do so, the Democrats would have to pick Senate seats in some of the reddest states on the map, including Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi. But with Alaska possibly in the Democrats hands, one more wavering--and traditionally red state--may now be out of play for the Republicans. See chart below:

US Senate Race Chart: 28 October 2008

Solid Democrat: Arkanas: Pryor;  Delaware: Biden; Illinois: Durbin; Iowa: Harkin; Massachusetts: Kerry; Michigan: Levin; Montana: Baucus; New Jersey: Lautenberg; Rhode Island: Reed, West Virginia:  Rockefeller; Virginia: Warner (d) vs Gilmore (r) (VA)

Likely  Democrat: South Dakota: Johnson (SD)

Lean Democrat: Louisiana: Landrieu (LA); Colorado: Udall (d) vs Schaffer (r) (CO); New Mexico: Udall (d) vs Pierce (r) (NM); New Hampshire: Sununu (r) vs Shaheen (d); Alaska: Stevens (r)  vs Begich (d)

 

Too Close To Call (with PollTrack poll averages)

 

Georgia: Chambliss (r) 46.0% vs Martin (d) 43.8%

Minnesota: Coleman (r) 37.0% vs Franken (d) 37.7% vs Barkley (i) 17.3%

Mississippi (special): Wicker (r) 48.0% vs Musgrove (d) 45.3%

North Carolina: Dole (r) 44.3% vs Hagan (d) 46.3%

Oregon: Smith (r) 41.0% vs Merkley (d) 44.0%

 

Lean Republican: Kentucky: McConnell 

Likely Republican: Maine: Collins (ME), Nebraska: Yohanns vs Kleeb (d); Oklahoma: Inhofe (OK)

Solid Republican: Alabama: Sessions ; Idaho: Lish (r) vs LaRocco (d) (ID), Kansas: Roberts (KS), Mississippi: Cochran (regular); South Carolina: Graham Tennessee: Alexander ; Texas: Cornyn; Wyoming (regular): Enzi; Wyoming (special): Barrasso (r) vs Carter (d)


Balance Of Power Tally: DEM-56, REP-39, TCTC-5

Current Balance: DEM-51 (49-D, 2-I) to REP-49

BOLD: Leading In Race 

Italics: Incumbent

US Senate Race Chart: DEM-55, REP-39, TCTC-6

Posted Oct 27, 2008 at 1:34 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With Democrat Jeanne Shaheen coming on strong in New Hampshire, PollTrack moves the state into the "Lean Democrat" column. PollTrack now believes it is highly likely the party will win enough seats to secure a solid majority. It may be difficult  for the Democrat's to meet their expressed goal of achieving a 60 seat majority-- the number needed to end a filibuster and close to the 2/3 required to override a presidential veto--may be difficult. To do so, the Democrats would have to pick Senate seats in some of the reddest states on the map, including Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi. See chart below:

US Senate Race Chart: 27 October 2008

Solid Democrat: Arkanas: Pryor;  Delaware: Biden; Illinois: Durbin; Iowa: Harkin; Massachusetts: Kerry; Michigan: Levin; Montana: Baucus; New Jersey: Lautenberg; Rhode Island: Reed, West Virginia:  Rockefeller; Virginia: Warner (d) vs Gilmore (r) (VA)

Likely  Democrat: South Dakota: Johnson (SD)

Lean Democrat: Louisiana: Landrieu (LA); Colorado: Udall (d) vs Schaffer (r) (CO); New Mexico: Udall (d) vs Pierce (r) (NM); New Hampshire: Sununu (r) vs Shaheen (d)

 

Too Close To Call (with PollTrack poll averages)

Alaska: Stevens (r) 46.7% vs Begich (d) 47.3% 

Georgia: Chambliss (r) 46.0% vs Martin (d) 43.8%

Minnesota: Coleman (r) 37.0% vs Franken (d) 37.7% vs Barkley (i) 17.3%

Mississippi (special): Wicker (r) 48.0% vs Musgrove (d) 45.3%

North Carolina: Dole (r) 44.3% vs Hagan (d) 46.3%

Oregon: Smith (r) 41.0% vs Merkley (d) 44.0%

 

Lean Republican: Kentucky: McConnell 

Likely Republican: Maine: Collins (ME), Nebraska: Yohanns vs Kleeb (d); Oklahoma: Inhofe (OK)

Solid Republican: Alabama: Sessions ; Idaho: Lish (r) vs LaRocco (d) (ID), Kansas: Roberts (KS), Mississippi: Cochran (regular); South Carolina: Graham Tennessee: Alexander ; Texas: Cornyn; Wyoming (regular): Enzi; Wyoming (special): Barrasso (r) vs Carter (d)


Balance Of Power Tally: DEM-55, REP-39, TCTC-6

Current Balance: DEM-51 (49-D, 2-I) to REP-49

BOLD: Leading In Race 

Italics: Incumbent

The Race Factor

Posted Oct 25, 2008 at 2:30 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

The Race Factor: Will Obama's race have an impact on the outcome of election 2008? This is one of the most discussed and debated questions of this cycle. With Obama as the first African-American candidate to head the national ticket of any major party, the issue remains on the table. A new CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll suggests that the candidate's race may not matter as much as some have feared. CNN's analysis of the results suggests that Obama may, in fact, gain as many votes because of his race as he loses, because some pro-Obama African-American respondents also maintain that race does matter in their decision. For the full CNN analysis click here.

Do It Yourself Exit Poll

Posted Oct 24, 2008 at 2:02 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

Do It Yourself Exit Poll: Writer Joel Stein--not a professional pollster--recently decided to conduct his own "exit poll" of early voters in a key battleground state: Ohio. So on Oct. 9, he traveled to Cincinnati, where people had started voting a week earlier, and camped outside an early-voting site in to conduct America's first 2008 exit poll. The results are both humorous and telling: who choses to participate in these surveys can have an enormous impact on the outcome. For the full Time magazine article click here

Early Voting Unprecedented In The South

Posted Oct 23, 2008 at 8:49 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

Early Voting Unprecedented In The South: A record number of early voters have turned up in a number of southern states. In Georgia, early voting is double what it had been at this point in 2004. As of Wednesday, some 825,000 had cast their ballots, about 15 percent of Georgia's registered voters. In Florida, about 150,000 people casts votes this Monday and Tuesday alone. And in North Carolina more than 500,000 voters have already cast ballots. And while African-African early voting is at 2004 levels in some states (such as Ohio), it's record breaking thus far in NC and GA. Click here for the Associated Press coverage of the dramatic increase in early voting in the south. 

The New York City Term Limits Debate

Posted Oct 23, 2008 at 1:53 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

The New York City Term Limits Debate:  PollTrack will be actively covering a number of local races and referendums next year, including the New York City mayoral and other citywide elections. The New York City Council is due to vote on Thursday on a move to allow Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term despite a poll showing that 89 percent of voters say a referendum should decide the issue. The term limits debate revolves around three issues: whether term limits should be extended one additional term (to three), whether the original law, affirmed by voters in two separate elections in the 1990s, can be emended legislatively, and whether the present mayor should run for a third term. A newly released Reuters article provides excellent background and on the ground reporting on the "term limits" debate.

US Senate Race Chart: DEM-54, REP-39, TCTC-7

Posted Oct 22, 2008 at 9:38 AM
Maurice Berger, PollTrack Poltical Director

With a number of incumbent Republican seats in jeopardy, the Democrats are coming on strong in the battle for control of the US Senate. PollTrack now believes it is highly likely the party will win enough seats to secure a solid majority. The Democrat's expressed goal of achieving a 60 seat majority-- the number needed to end a filibuster and close to the 2/3 required to override a presidential veto--may be difficult. But with McCain's numbers faltering in a number of states where Senate races are too close to call--Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, and even North Carolina--Obama's coattails may be enough to pull in the requisite six seats now need to reach the magic number. See chart below:

US Senate Race Chart: 22 October 2008

Solid Democrat: Arkanas: Pryor;  Delaware: Biden; Illinois: Durbin; Iowa: Harkin; Massachusetts: Kerry; Michigan: Levin; Montana: Baucus; New Jersey: Lautenberg; Rhode Island: Reed, West Virginia:  Rockefeller; Virginia: Warner (d) vs Gilmore (r) (VA)

Likely  Democrat: South Dakota: Johnson (SD)

Lean Democrat: Louisiana: Landrieu (LA); Colorado: Udall (d) vs Schaffer (r) (CO); New Mexico: Udall (d) vs Pierce (r) (NM)

 

Too Close To Call (with PollTrack poll averages)

Alaska: Stevens (r) 46.7% vs Begich (d) 47.3% 

Georgia: Chambliss (r) 47.0% vs Martin (d) 42.2%

Minnesota: Coleman (r) 37.8% vs Franken (d) 40.0% vs Barkley (i) 17.8%

Mississippi (special): Wicker (r) 48.0% vs Musgrove (d) 45.3%

New Hampshire: Sununu (r) 42.0% vs Shaheen 47.9% (d)

North Carolina: Dole (r) 44.3% vs Hagan (d) 47.0%

Oregon: Smith (r) 43.0% vs Merkley (d) 46.7%

 

Lean Republican: Kentucky: McConnell 

Likely Republican: Maine: Collins (ME), Nebraska: Yohanns vs Kleeb (d); Oklahoma: Inhofe (OK)

Solid Republican: Alabama: Sessions ; Idaho: Lish (r) vs LaRocco (d) (ID), Kansas: Roberts (KS), Mississippi: Cochran (regular); South Carolina: Graham Tennessee: Alexander ; Texas: Cornyn; Wyoming (regular): Enzi; Wyoming (special): Barrasso (r) vs Carter (d)


Balance Of Power Tally: DEM-54, REP-39, TCTC-7

Current Balance: DEM-51 (49-D, 2-I) to REP-49

BOLD: Leading In Race 

Italics: Incumbent