Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Coleman Concedes After Court Rules That Democrat Franken Won MN US Senate Race

Posted Jun 30, 2009 at 8:51 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Republican Norm Coleman has conceded the 2008 US Senate race in Minnesota to Democrat Al Franken, after the state Supreme Court ruled this afternoon that Franken won. The court ruled unanimously in Franken's favor.

Ohio Democratic Governor Less Popular

Posted Jun 30, 2009 at 2:05 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A Public Policy Polling survey out of Ohio indicates that incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland's approval rating has declined to 43%. In a hypothetic 2010 general election match up, he leads Republican John Kasich by just two points, 44% to 42%. PPP continues: "Strickland has seen a decline in popularity among both Democrats and Republicans. Where previously 70% of voters within his party gave him good marks, now just 62% do. And the percentage of Republicans disapproving of him has increased from 59% to 72%. His numbers with independents are relatively steady."

Arelen Specter In Serious Trouble In PA

Posted Jun 29, 2009 at 2:09 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Former Republican, now turned Democratic, US Senator Arlen Specter is in deep trouble in his 2010 PA reelection bid, according to a new Franklin and Marshall survey: His job approval rating has dropped from 52% to 34% over the past three months. Even more ominous for Specter is that the proportion of state residents who believe he deserves re-election has declined from 40% to 28%. His numbers are tepid even among members of his recently adopted party: 43% of Democrats say Specter deserves re-election; 39% say no. In a hypothetical primary match up with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), Specter leads 33% to 13%. Nevertheless, and quite significantly, 48% remain undecided.

Most Vorters in South Carolinia Want Gov. Sanford To Resign

Posted Jun 26, 2009 at 1:14 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Can Gov. Mark Sanford survive his extramarital affair and mysterious disappearance from the state? Can an ultra-conservative "family values" Republican--who proudly condemns gay marriage, gay adoption and even civil unions for gay couples--live down a growing consensus that he is both hypocritical and unethical (he used state funds to travel to Argentina to carry on his illicit affair)? The answer would appear to be no. Two polls suggests that Sanford is in serious trouble: SurveyUSA reports that 60% of South Carolinans believe the embattled governor should resign; 34% think he should remain in office. InsiderAdvantage finds 50% of the state's voters want him to resign; 42%  said he should remain in office.

Democrat Incumbent Governor Corzine Continues To Do Poorly in New Jersey

Posted Jun 25, 2009 at 1:40 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The political landscape continues to look bleak for incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey. With the general election a little more than four months away, a new Strategic Vision poll in New Jersey finds Republican Christopher Christie leading Corzine by an impressive 12 points, 51% to 39% with 8% undecided.

Democrats Ahead In Ohio 2010 US Senate Race

Posted Jun 24, 2009 at 1:35 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Public Policy Polling survey suggests that both potential Democratic nominees in Ohio's 2010 US Senate race would defeat their Republican rival in a hypothetical match up in the race to succeeded retiring GOP Sen. George Voinovich: Lee Fisher leads Rob Portman, 41% to 32%; Jennifer Brunner holds a similar 40% to 32% advantage over Portman. PPP continues: "Anyone trying to figure out whether Brunner or Fisher would make a stronger general election candidate or which has a leg up in the primary will not find it from this poll, as their numbers are nearly identical across the board."

NY Gov. Paterson Remains Very Unpopular

Posted Jun 23, 2009 at 12:52 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Siena Institute Poll, incumbent New York Governor David Paterson remains very unpopular with voters: His approval rating is just 31%. In a hypothetical Democratic primary match up, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo crushes Paterson, 69% to 16%. In general election match ups, Rudy Giuliani would also crush Paterson, 57% to 27%, while Cuomo would beat Giuliani, 49% to 40%.


Illinois US Senate: Voters Do Not Want Burris To Run

Posted Jun 22, 2009 at 2:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A poll out from Rasmussen reports that voters would prefer that incumbent (and embattled) Illinois US Senator Roland Burris not seek reelection in 2010. The Democrat, who was appointed to fill the seat of President Obama, is not popular: "61% of voters now say they would definitely vote against [the Senator] if he runs for a full term in 2010 . . . That result is up from 54% back in April. Burris was named to the Senate by since-impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich . . . 6% of voters would definitely vote for Burris, while 32% say their vote would depend on who runs against him."

New Poll: VA Gubernatorial Race Now A Tie

Posted Jun 19, 2009 at 1:33 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A just released DailyKos/Research 2000 poll reports that Republican Bob McDonnell is now edging Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race--45% to 44%. Given the poll's margin of error of +/- 4 points, the race is essentially tied. The public appears to have a better of the Republican, who has a favorability rating 55% to 36%; Deeds is at 47% to 35%.

Do Democrats Have An Opening In 2010 NC Senate Race?

Posted Jun 18, 2009 at 2:37 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

In a state that is trending slightly Democratic these days--Obama won it in 2008--the Democrats may have an edge in the 2010 US Senate Race. Public Policy Polling reports that a mere 29% of North Carolina voters think incumbent Republican senator Richard Burr deserves another term, "with 49% saying it’s time to give someone else a chance . . . 22% are unsure. Even among Republican voters just 49% say Burr deserves another term. 34% of independents and 11% for Democrats do. These numbers reflect one aspect of Burr’s precarious position that has not gotten a lot of play, which is that even voters in his own party are not that enthused about him, something that could pose a problem in turning out GOP voters with this race at the top of the ticket next year. Tested against a generic Democratic candidate, Burr trails 41-38. One thing he does have working in his favor is a 39-32 lead with independents, but he’s not showing the level of crossover support at this point that he would need to get reelected.

Democrat Deeds Leading In 2009 VA Governor's Race

Posted Jun 17, 2009 at 1:41 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The Democrats appear to now hold a slight edge in Virginia's race for Governor. According to an Anzalone Liszt Research (D), Democrat Creigh Deeds (D) leads Republican Bob McDonnell, 42% to 38%. (The poll was conducted for the Democratic Governor's Association, so it may have a partisan tilt.) Deeds has a slightly higher favorability rating, as well: Deeds favorable ratio is 48% to 14%; McDonnell's 43% to 19%.

New Poll: Bloomberg Way Ahead In New York Mayoralty

Posted Jun 16, 2009 at 1:47 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new poll out from Quinnipiac University suggests that incumbent NY mayor Michael Bloomberg will hab a very easy time come his November reelection bout against presumptive Democratic nominee and New York City Comptroller, William Thompson. According to Quinnipiac, Bloomberg, who will run as an indepdent, bests Thompson 54% to 32%. The election at this point looks like a romp for the popular mayor. He currently leads Thompson in all sectors of the political spectrum--49% to 40% among Democrats; 71% to 12% among Republicans; and 59% to 26% among independent voters.

Connecticut US Senate: Christopher Dodd Doing Better in 2010 Reelection Bid

Posted Jun 15, 2009 at 2:28 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A Quinnipiac University survey suggests that the propects of incumbent Democratic  Senator Christopher Dodd have much improved in his 2010 reelection bid: The poll finds Dodd gaining on former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT). However, Simmons still leads by six points, 45% to 39%, in a 2010 Senate match up. Simmons led by 16 points in early April. Against State Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R), Dodd leads 41% to 39%." Still much work lies ahead for dodd if he is to move into a comfortable position for reelection. PollTrack, at this early stage, rates the race a toss-up.

VA Governor: New Poll Shows Democrat Deeds In The Lead

Posted Jun 12, 2009 at 1:53 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With the Democratic primary for Governor over in Virginia, a new poll by Rasmussen reports that the Democrat, R. Creigh deeds leads Republican challenger, former Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, by six points, 47% to 41%. 2% favor another candidate and 10% are undecided.The race is somewhat of a rematch: McDonnell beat Deeds in the 2005 state attorney general’s race by less than 400-votes, one of the closest elections in Virginia history.

New Jersey Governor 2009: Incumbent Democrat Corzine Trails Christie

Posted Jun 11, 2009 at 1:49 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine continues to trail his Republican challenger, according to a new Quinnipiac poll: GOP candidate Chris Christie leads Corzine 50% to 40%, among likely voters. The road to November seems particularly steep for Corzine: "Most New Jersey voters say he does not deserve re-election; that things have gotten worse since he became Governor and that personally he is cold and businesslike, not warm and friendly."

Not Even Close: Creigh Deeds Wins VA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Posted Jun 09, 2009 at 4:36 PM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

It's not even Close. Creigh deeds wins the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary by a wide margin. Here is the result from the VA Board of Elections, with nearly all of the vote counted:


Last Reported: Jun 9 2009 10:31PM EST

R. Creigh Deeds
159,324 49.73% Precincts Reporting:
    2,499 of 2,504 (99.80%)

Voter Turnout:
    320,369 of 4,959,506 active voters (6.459%)
    320,369 of 5,071,226 total voters (6.317%)
Votes by County/City

Votes by District

Terry R. McAuliffe
84,640 26.41%

Brian J. Moran
76,405 23.84%

Tunrnout Low In VA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Posted Jun 09, 2009 at 5:38 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The New York Times reports that voter turnout appears to be very low in Virginia in today's Democratic gubernatorial primary: "Democratic voters in Virginia trickled to the polls Tuesday, as heavy morning rains dampened what was already expected to be a low turnout for the close of an unusually contentious, expensive and closely-watched primary for governor. The race is one of two elections for governor this year — the other is in New Jersey — and both national parties are strongly involved. Democrats hope to continue their party’s recent winning streak in this historically conservative state . . . Polling stations in McLean, Arlington and Alexandria looked more like ghost towns as poll workers outnumbered voters three to one during what was supposed to be the before-work rush around 8 a.m." With turnout expected at no greater than 10%, PollTrack suggests that the outcome of the election could be skewed in favor of the most well-organized candidate. Pre-election polls showed Creigh Deeds surging ahead, picking up the lion's share of undecided voters.

2009 Virginia Governor's Race: May Be Tough For Democrats Come November

Posted Jun 09, 2009 at 1:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Whoever wins today's primary for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Virginia, one senior politician's on-the-ground oberservation about the mood of voters in the state should give Democrats reason to be concerned: Democrat Douglas Wilder, who became the country's first African-American governor when Virginians elected him in 1989, "thinks that no matter who emerges victorious from the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, the party will find it awfully tough to defeat Republican candidate Bob McDonnell in November. Wilder said there's something in the air' that makes him think Virginia voters aren't prepared to elect a Democrat to the governorship for the third straight time. Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have won the last two gubernatorial elections in the commonwealth. Before that, Republicans won two consecutive victories with George Allen and Jim Gilmore. 'Each time around, voters say, "Wait a minute, no one's supposed to be here forever," and I think Virginians like to see that degree of balance,' Wilder said in an interview with CNN. 'They like to mix it up. I think the guy who can ride that horse to show some grasp of the independent voter, rather than just the Republican or Democratic voter, will be successful. That's key.'"

Another Poll Reports Deeds Pulling Ahead in VA Democratic Primary

Posted Jun 08, 2009 at 4:44 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A poll from one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2008 national cycle, SurveyUSA, also reports that Creigh Deeds is pulling away in Virginia's Democratic primary for Governor: "24 hours until votes are counted in the Democratic Primary for Governor of Virginia, momentum shifts to Deeds . . . In 4 identical SurveyUSA tracking polls, Deeds' support has gone from 22% to 26% to 29% to today 42%. Deeds finishes ahead of Terry McAuliffe, whose support has declined in each of the 4 tracking polls and who ends at 30%. Brian Moran, who has treaded water in 4 tracking polls, finishes 3rd, at 21%."

Deeds Take Significant Lead In VA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Posted Jun 08, 2009 at 2:29 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a Public Policy Polling survey released late yesterday, Democrat Creigh Deeds has taken a healthy lead in Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary. The poll also shows the formerly large bloc of undecided voters breaking for Deeds: "Two days before the election Creigh Deeds has opened up a commanding lead in the Democratic primary for Governor of Virginia. Deeds is now at 40%, followed by Terry McAuliffe at 26% and Brian Moran at 24%. In the last week Deeds has gained 13 points while McAuliffe and Moran have each advanced by just two. Deeds now leads in every region of the state except Hampton Roads, including a 38-35 lead over Moran in northern Virginia, where just two and a half weeks ago Deeds was polling at only 11%. Deeds is up over 50% in the parts of the state outside Washington DC/Richmond/Hampton Roads."

VA Governor: Another Poll Shows Deeds In The Lead

Posted Jun 05, 2009 at 6:13 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Another poll, this time from Suffolk University,  shows a close race in VA's Democratic primary for Governor: "Virginia voters give Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds (29%) a slight lead over opponents Terry McAuliffe (26%), and Brian Moran (23%), leading up to the June 9 Primary, with a significant 22% still undecided.  The poll shows that all three candidates are within the statistical margin of error and any one of them could ultimately emerge as the Democrat to face Republican Bob McDonnell in November.

Daily Kos/Research 2000: VA Democratic Governor's Primary Too Close To Call

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

A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll reports two key observations in next week's race for the Democratic nomination for Governor in Virginia: Former leader Terry McAuliffe has fallen behind the pack, and that the numbers all fall well within the poll's margin of error. The uphot: the race is too close to call. Here are the numbers: state Sen. Creigh Deeds at 30%, former state Rep. Brian Moran at 27%, and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry mcAuliffe at 26%.

Rasmussen: Christie (r) Has Big Lead Over Corzine (d)

Posted Jun 05, 2009 at 1:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new poll released after the results of Tuesday's GOP primary became known to voters in New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie has a sunstantial lead over incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine: "The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows Christie with 51% of the vote while Corzine is supported by 38%. Last month, before the primary, it was Christie with 47% of the vote and Corzine with 38%. The slight increase in support for Christie may reflect a temporary bounce from his primary victory. Still, voters recognize that it’s tough for a Republican to win statewide races in the Garden State. Just 43% say that Christie is likely to end up as the next governor while 41% say Corzine will be re-elected. New Jersey polls often show Republican candidates doing well in the spring with Democrats gaining ground in the fall. Corzine is expected to heavily outspend Christie which could add to that trend. A Republican has not won a statewide election in the Garden State since 1997." A real sign of Corzine's troubles: his approval rating is stagnant at 41%, while 53% of NJ voters have at least a "somewhat favorable" opinion of Christie. 

Survey USA: VA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Too Close To Call

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

According to a new poll by Survey USA, one of the most accurate and reliable polsters of the 2008 cycle, next week's Democratic gubenatorial primary in Virginia is too close to call. And a number of signs point to the increasing volatility of a race that former Democratic party chairman Terry McAuliffe had appeared to be walking away with: 6 days till Virginia voters choose the Democratic nominee for Governor, there is unusual volatility in SurveyUSA's tracking graphs, reflected in the newest data gathered for WJLA-TV Washington DC and WDBJ-TV Roanoke. Overall, former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe remains on top today with 35%, state senator Creigh Deeds has 29%, former state delegate Brian Moran 26%. But, enough is happening below the surface to add considerable drama to Tuesday's outcome. Half of Survey USA likely voters say they may yet change their mind. Among voters who say their mind is made up, Deeds leads, with McAuliffe and Moran a half-dozen points back. Where is the volatility? Men are breaking for Moran."

Is Terry McAuliffe Loosing Steam in VA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary?

Posted Jun 03, 2009 at 2:22 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Is Terry McAuliffe in trouble in his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Virginia. A new survey suggests that the former DNC head may not be as far ahead as some recent polls have suggested: The SurveyUSA poll reports that in four Northern Virginia counties -- Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Price William -- challenger Brian Moran (D) "remains a force" with just one week until voters head to the polls. Moran leads with 43% in the DC suburbs, followed by McAuliffe (D) at 27% and Creigh Deeds (D) at 20%. PollTrack suggests that since this region makes more than a quarter of the state's likely Democratic voters--and often has very high turnout--the race may be far from over for Moran. Another survey actually reports that McAuliffe is no longer the presumptive leader: Public Policy Polling reports that Creigh Deeds now leads at 27%, followed by Terry McAuliffe at 24%, and Brian Moran at 22%.
But the race remains very close, since these numbers are well within the poll's margin of error. The PPP survey suggest that it is Deeds who might have the momentum: Over the last month Deeds has gone from 14% to 27% while McAuliffe has dropped from 30% to 24% and Moran has pretty much stayed in place.

Christie Handily Defeats Lonegan in NJ GOP Gubenatorial Primary

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 3:52 PM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Well, New Jesey Republican chose the more moderate of the two main rivals for the GOP nomination for Governor: With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Christie had 162,210 votes to 124,196 for Mr. Lonegan, or 55 percent to 42 percent. Assemblyman Rick Merkt drew 3 percent, according to the Associated Press. PollTrack can now call the GOP primary for former US federal prosecutor, Christopher J. Christie.

Does Democrat Corzine Want To Run Against Lonegan?

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

See post below, New Jersey Governor 2009: Incumbent Jon Corzine (d) Trailing Republican Rivals to get a sense of why Democratic incumbent NJ governor Jon Corzine may favor the more conservative Lonegan as his GOP challenger. It is no accident that Lonegan--who does 4% less well than Christie in a hypothetical match up against Corzine--is both more conservative and more appealing to the Republican base than Christie. But will GOP voters choose to endorse the candidate who appears to have a better chance of defeating Corzine of the candidate who remains truer to hardline Republican principals? We will know later tonight.

Today's NJ GOP Primary: Could Lonegan Score An Upset?

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 9:48 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Could former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, very popular with the party faithful in New Jersey, score an upset over the presumptive leader in today's GOP primary for Governor, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie? Well, hard to say. But two factors could produce the perfect storm for a Lonegan upset: light turnout, which would favor the candidate most likely to do well among GOP diehards and the spate of very negative TV commercials adainst Christie run recently by incumbent Democratic Govorner Jon Corzine. So, are these commercials actually meant to defeat Christie in the primary, in order for Corzine to run against a candidate possible less appeal to middle-of-the road voters and independents? Or has Corzine misculated, running commercials against a candidate he (perhaps prematurely) believes is the presumptive GOP nominee? PollTrack's guess: the former seems to be the more likely scenario. 

Vote Going Smoothly In NJ GOP Primary

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 9:31 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, voting is going smoothly in today's NY GOP primary for Governor: "It's been a relatively clean day of polling across the state in the Republican race for governor, according to officials from all three GOP camps. So far, the campaigns of Chris Christie, Steve Lonegan and Rick Merkt said they have encountered virtually no problems with their voters being disenfranchised at the polls or experiencing major problems with voting machines. State election officials have also reported no problems at the polls. The Secretary of State's Office, which oversees elections, has so far not had to deal with any major elections problems, according to agency spokeswoman Susan Evans."

Today's NY GOP Gubernatorial Primary: Christie Headed For Victory

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 1:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

In their campaign to unseat incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey, Republicans are appatently prepared to nominate Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll. Christie leads former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan by a whopping 24%--54% to 30% in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination that will be decided in today's primary. This represents a marked improvement for Christie from numbers he received las week from a Rasmussen Reports poll, which showed him leading Steve Lonegan by 11 points, 46% to 35%.

New Jersey Governor 2009: Incumbent Jon Corzine (d) Trailing Republican Rivals

Posted Jun 01, 2009 at 4:00 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 survey, incumbent New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine continues to trail BOTH possible Republican rivals in his reelection bid. The survey reports the General Election Match-Ups as follows:

Chris Christie (R) 46%
Jon Corzine (D) 39%
Undecided 15%

Steve Lonegan (R) 43%
Jon Corzine (D) 40%
Undecided 17%

The Daily Kos analysis continues: "First, the bad news: incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine trails both potential Republican challengers in a general election. With the GOP primary coming up, likely nominee Chris Christie has, at present, a seven-point edge over Corzine. The non-establishment conservative candidate in the race, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, enjoys a slight lead as well of three points. There is a little bit of good news for Corzine in these numbers, however. For one thing, his numbers versus his Republican opponents appear to be holding steady, compared to other recent polling in the race. His numbers had been heading south, but there is at least some sign that his poll numbers have bottomed out."

Nevertheless, PollTrack notes that it is difficult to see these numbers as anything but discouraging for a sitting governor a mere six-months from the Election Day.