Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Democrats Improve On Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Feb 27, 2009 at 1:04 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Things have improved a bit for Democrats in their congressional prospects for 2010: "Democrats have pulled slightly further ahead this week in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys found that 41% of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 37% said they would choose the Republica." 

Minnesota Recount: Court Hands Coleman Big Setback

Posted Feb 26, 2009 at 1:18 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The three-judge panel reviewing the results of the US Senate recount in Minnesota has handed Republican Norm Cokeman a big setback. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: "Ballots that Norm Coleman wants to count took a beating in testimony on Tuesday, while ballots he thinks are illegal were protected by the judges hearing the U.S. Senate trial. In the latest in a series of setbacks for Coleman, the three-judge panel refused to preserve identifying marks on counted absentee ballots that he claims have been rendered illegal by recent rulings of the court. The decision hampers the ability of Coleman, a Republican, to challenge ballots tallied in the final phase of the recount, when DFL Al Franken took a 225-vote lead."

Buris Not Resigning As Illinois Senate, But Also Will Not Run in 2010

Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 1:20 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) met with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday afternoon and delivered two distinct messages: "he will not resign in the wake of the controversy surrounding his appointment by the ousted Gov. Blagojevich and he will not run for the seat in 2010. Burris has finally realized that not seeking election next year is the least price he will pay."

FL Republican Gov. Christ Well Situated For Either 2010 Reelection or US Senate Run

Posted Feb 24, 2009 at 1:56 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist is well situated for either reelection or a US Senate run in 2010. He would be heavily favored to win the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate and beats a generic Democrat handily in a general election match up, 48% to 25%. However, a plurality of respondents want Crist to remain as governor with 57% favoring his re-election.

Republicans Urging Former NY Governor Pataki To Run For Senate In 2010

Posted Feb 23, 2009 at 1:11 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to the local TV news station, NY1, "a spokesman for former Governor George Pataki says he has met with a top Senate Republican, as rumors swirl that the party is pushing him to run for Senate. The Associated Press is reporting that during the visit, Senator John Cornyn of Texas approached Pataki about running in 2010 for the seat held by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand was appointed just last month by Governor David Paterson, after Hillary Clinton vacated the seat to be secretary of state. Pataki is working for a private law practice and has not commented on the possibility of returning to public life."

Situation Looking Good For Democrat Al Franken In Minnesota Recount

Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 1:04 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Things are looking up for Democrat Al Franken in the Minnesota recount post-game. As Politico reports on its website: Does Republican norm Coleman have any real chance of retaining his Senate seat? The answer, "according to state political and legal analysts, is that it would take a miracle. Miracles do happen in politics — but four weeks into a court case that will decide the winner of Minnesota’s tortured Senate race, the GOP incumbent is facing just-about-insurmountable hurdles to overcome the 225-vote deficit he was saddled with at the end of the official recount. The court itself has not yet counted a single vote. Instead, a three-judge panel is considering a pool of disputed ballots and steadily ruling which are legitimate and should be counted, and which should be thrown out. Coleman wants most of the ballots included, believing they will tilt the election in his favor."

"But so far, the court’s decisions favor the Democratic challenger, comedian and author Al Franken, experts say. And that trend is expected to continue. 'Norm Coleman’s life support system is slowly weakening,' said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The latest blow came Friday, when the judges considered 19 different categories of rejected absentee ballots and ruled that 12 of the categories had to be thrown out. That lowered the number of absentee ballots eligible for inclusion from about 4,800 to around 3,300 — down from about 12,000 at the beginning of the trial."

illinois Democrats Do Not Prefer Burris In 2010

Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 1:15 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Chicago Tribune poll reports that more Illinois voters want to see Democratic Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn run for Senate in 2010 than newly-appointed Democrat Sen. Roland Burris. 48% of registered voters would like to see Quinn run, 15% do not want him to run and 37% are undecided. Voters want Burris to run by a narrower margin--37% to 33%, with 29% undecided.

Both New Governor and Senator in NY Trail Democratic Rivals

Posted Feb 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Quinnipiac University survey reveals that "both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and the man who appointed her, Gov. David Paterson (D) trail Democratic primary challengers in 2010. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) trounces Paterson, 55% to 23%, in a possible gubernatorial primary. And Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) beats Gillibrand in a Democratic U.S. Senate primary, 34% to 24%, with 39% still undecided. Quinnipiac observes: "The Caroline Kennedy mix-up still haunts Gov. David Paterson... Three quarters of New Yorkers heard about the nasty news leaks. They think Kennedy was treated unfairly, but most don't blame Paterson for the leaks."

Republican PA Senator Specter Taking A Hit For His Support of Stimulus Package

Posted Feb 17, 2009 at 1:39 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was one of three Republicans to support the stimulus package now making its way through Congress. His support appears to hurt him with many voters in the state, a possible problem for his 2010 reeelection effort. Tatest Rasmussen Reports survey in Pennsylvania roports that just 31% voters say are more likely to vote for Specter because of his position on the stimulus package while 40% are less likely to do so."

Court Rules Against Coleman in MN, Big Setback For Republican

Posted Feb 16, 2009 at 1:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the three-judge panel evaluating the recount of the Minnesota US Senate race has made a major ruling against Republican Norm Coleman: Dealing a blow but not a knockout to Coleman's hopes, the judges "tossed out most of the 19 categories of rejected absentee ballots they were considering for a second look, making it clear that they won't open and count any ballots that don't comply with state law. On its face, the ruling looked to be a victory for DFLer Al Franken, whose lawyers had urged the judges to turn down 17 of the 19 categories and said Friday that they had very nearly done it. But Coleman's attorneys saw it differently, saying that the ruling leaves untouched about 3,500 of the 4,800 rejected absentee ballots they want the court to open and count, enough to make it possible for Coleman to overcome Franken's 225-vote certified recount lead."


Republican Gov. Christ Early Favorite in 2010 FL US Senate Race

Posted Feb 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Political Wire reports that a soon to be released Strategic Vision poll in Florida shows Gov. Charlie Crist (R) the runaway favorite in the 2010 U.S. Senate race should he decide to run: "Among Democrats, Rep. Ron Klein leads the pack with 12%, followed by Rep. Kendrick Meek at 10% and 66% still undecided. Among Republicans, Crist leads the field with 54% support, followed by Rep. Connie Mack at 14%. In general election match ups, Crist beats each of the Democrats by more than 25 points, though pollster David Johnson suggests name recognition is the key factor at this point in the cycle."

PA Republican US Senator Arlen Specter Highly Vulnerable in His 2010 Reelection Bid

Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 2:10 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Pennsylvania Republican US Senator appears to be highly vulnerable in his upcoming 2010 reelection bid. When Pennsylvania voters were asked in a new Quinnipiac survey if Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) deserves re-election, 40% said yes while 43% said no.

Meg Whitman Files For 2010 Run For CA Governor

Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 3:23 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The Sacramento Bee reports that former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman officially submitted her bid to explore a run for governor on Monday: "The move by the billionaire businesswoman sets up what's expected to be an expensive, 17-month auction between herself and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the 2010 Republican primary."


Republicans Favored in 2009 Governor's VA Governor's Race

Posted Feb 09, 2009 at 2:16 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey, the Republicans appear to have an advantage in the upcoming 2009 Virginia Governor's race: "Republican Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell has a three-to-nine point lead against three hopefuls for the Democratic nomination in this year’s closely-watched Virginia gubernatorial contest . . . the lone Republican gubernatorial candidate topping his best-known opponent, Terry McAuliffe, by seven points, 42% to 35%. In December, he held a five-point edge over McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidant, major Democratic fund-raiser and former national party chairman. McDonnell is even further ahead of Rep. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County – 39% to 30%. The two men were tied two months ago. Brian J. Moran, a former state delegate from Alexandria, led McDonnell by four points in the earlier survey but now trails by three, 39% to 36%."

Minnesota US Senate Recount: Franken Asks Court To Instate Him, Now

Posted Feb 06, 2009 at 12:44 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that lawyers for Democrat Al Frenken asked Minnesota's highest court on Thursday to certify him as the winner of his tight Senate race with Republican Norm Coleman without waiting for the outcome of his rival's legal challenge: The court "heard oral arguments on Franken's request for a certificate of election now, at least on an interim basis, so that Minnesota's empty seat can be filled without waiting the months it may take for the courts to resolve Coleman's separate lawsuit over the recount, which gave Franken a 225-vote advantage. The justices took the case under advisement and didn't say when they might rule, but their many questions suggested they were skeptical of Franken's arguments."

Democrat Jon Corzine In Trouble IN 2009 NJ Governors Race

Posted Feb 05, 2009 at 2:07 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Quinnipiac University poll suggests that Democratic Governor is falling behind in his reelection race: Corzine is  "slipping behind former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, though the challenger also was far from the 50% mark. Christie led Corzine by 44% to 38% . . . with 16% voicing no opinion. The 6%-point margin in the hypothetical matchup is an exact reversal from that in a Nov. 19 Quinnipiac poll, which showed Corzine up by 42% to 36%."


Minnesota US Senate Recount: Court Rules In Coleman's Favor

Posted Feb 04, 2009 at 2:07 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The endless Minnesota Senate race may not be over, after all. The three-judge panel reviewing the recount ruled on Tuesday that nearly 4,800 rejected absentee ballots may be reconsidered in the U.S. Senate recount trial. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune,"the court granted Democrat Al Franken’s request to limit the universe of ballots that Republican Norm Coleman can seek to have counted, rejecting Coleman’s attempt to have about 11,000 rejected absentee ballots reconsidered. But Franken had asked the judges to limit the review to only the 650 ballots cited by Coleman when he filed his lawsuit last month challenging the recount. With Franken holding a 225-vote lead after the recount results were certified, the 4,800 ballots that may be reconsidered would appear to be enough to put the ultimate outcome in doubt. The court order indicates that any of the ballots that complied with state law should be counted, along with those where errors occurred through no fault of the voter."