Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Ohio 2010: Next Year's Senate Race Looks Tight

Posted Sep 30, 2009 at 1:47 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Acording to a Rasmussen survey, things are looking very tight in next year's US Senate race in Ohio: "Next year’s U.S. Senate race in Ohio is a neck-and-neck battle for Republican Rob Portman no matter which Democratic candidate he faces, according to the first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in the state. Portman is in a virtual tie with Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher 41% to 40%. Six percent (6%) of Ohio voters favor some other candidate, and 14% are undecided. The former GOP congressman is also essentially even with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, leading by a similarly insignificant 40% to 38% margin. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they will vote in this race."

NY Mayor: Bloomberg Well Ahead

Posted Sep 29, 2009 at 2:18 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A recently released Quinnipiac poll of New York City voters reports that Democrat William Thompson achieved no bounce after his primary victory and trails Mayor Michael Bloomberg by 16 points, 52% to 36%. This gives Bloomber a lead of +16%, a whopping margin for an election that is only five weeks away.

VA Governor 2009: Race Continues to Tighten

Posted Sep 28, 2009 at 1:30 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Insider Advantage survey in Virginia's gubernatorial upcoming race shows that things are continuing to tighten: Republican Bob McDonnell bests Democrat Creight Deeds by +4%--48% to 44%.

CT US Senate 2010: Democrat Chris Dodd Still Lags

Posted Sep 25, 2009 at 1:47 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a recent poll, Democratic incumbent Senator Chris Dodd lags behind his hypothetical GOP challenger in his 2010 reelection race in Connecticut: Dodd trails Republican Rob Simmons, a former three-term congressman, by a significant margin. Simmons leads Dodd 49% to 39% percent  Businessman and former Ireland Ambassador Tom Foley, virtually unknown to Connecticut voters, also tops Dodd 43% to 40%.

NY Mayor: Bloomberg Still Comfortably Ahead

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

In New york City's upcoming mayoralty race, independent incumbent Michael Bloomberg continues to hold a significant lead over his Democratic challenger, Bill Thompson, according to a new Marist Institute poll: "Early numbers show the incumbent, [Bloomberg], with 50% of registered voters compared with 39% for his Democratic challenger, New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson.  10% say they are unsure.  In a [July, a Marist survey], 48% reported they backed Bloomberg, 35% supported Thompson, and 17% were unsure. When looking at those all-important likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Bloomberg has 52% to Thompson’s 43%." Significantly, Bloomberg is at or above the crucial 50% mark. One major reason for Thompson' troubles: lukewarm Democratic support, with 43% of party members supporting Bloomberg and 46% behind Thompson.

Approval for NY Democratic Gov. Paterson Falls To 20%

Posted Sep 23, 2009 at 1:52 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Wondering how poorly New York Democratic Governor David Paterson is doing with voters in his state? What is undoubtedly one of the lowest approval ratings for a sitting governor, only 20% of New Yorkers think he is performing well in office while 34% say he is doing a poor job.  As a recently released Marist Poll concludes: "Paterson has had no luck climbing out of the political basement. In Marist’s June survey, the governor garnered a 21% approval rating.  On month prior, he chalked up 19%. The news for Governor Paterson gets even worse.  When looking at party, he is even scraping bottom with his fellow Democrats.  Just 24% of Democrats say he is doing well as governor.  12% of Republicans and 22% of non-enrolled voters agree."

NJ Governor 2009: Corzine Narrows The Gap (Slightly)

Posted Sep 22, 2009 at 1:03 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As of Monday evening, it appears that incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine has narrowed the gap slightly with his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, in the upcoming race in New Jersey. Christie now leads by +7%--44.5% to 37.5%, with independent candidate Chris Daggett at 8.5%--a modest improvement from a month ago. The good news for Corzine: his standing has improved and Daggett, whose momentum shows signs of slowing down, seems to be taking more votes away from the Democrat than the Republican. The bad news for Corzine: he is well below the 40% mark, a very dismal place for an incumbent to find himself.

VA Governor 2009: Race Is Tightening

Posted Sep 21, 2009 at 1:32 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As of Sunday evening, the PollTrack polling average in this year's gubernatorial race in Virginia suggests that Democrat Creigh Deeds has made modest inroads against his GOP challenger, Bob McDonnell. The Republican now leads by +4.5%--47.8% to 43.3%--a more than fifty percent drop in support for McDonnell from a month ago. A just released Washington Post poll has even better news for the Democrat: "Dramatic shifts among independent female voters and Northern Virginians over the past month have propelled" Deeds to within four points of Bob McDonnell (R) in the race for Virginia governor, 51% to 47%.Stay tuned.

AG Coakley Way Ahead In Race To Succeed Kennedy In Mass US Senate

Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 1:19 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Suffolk University poll in Massachusetts give Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley a commanding lead for January's primary to replace Senator Edward Kennedy: "Voters were asked to choose from among potential Democratic Primary candidates, some of whom have since withdrawn from the fray. They chose Coakley (47 percent), Capuano (9 percent), U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (6 percent) and City Year founder Alan Khazei (3 percent). Thirty-three percent were undecided. Voters who chose Lynch were surveyed again after he dropped out of the race on Tuesday." Even in this four person race, PollTrack observes, Coakley is close to the all important 50% mark, an impressive showing.

Democrats Appear To Recover in Ohio 2010

Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 1:10 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

While the Democratic brand has taken a bit of a beating in Ohio recently--the President's approval rating in the state is lower than the national average--the party's candidates for Senator in 2010 seem to have picked up steam: A new Quinnipiac poll reports a improvement for Democrats since their lackluster numbers this summer. The respective primaries of the two parties are as follows: [1] Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate: Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher has a 26% to 17% lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D), with 55% still undecided. [2] In the GOP primary, former Rep. Rob Portman (R) leads businessman Tom Ganley (R), 27% to 9%, with 61% still undecided. In the general election, Democrat Fisher tops Portman, 42% to 31%, and beats Ganley 41% to 29%. Brunner tops Portman, 39% to 34%, and beats Ganley 39% to 31%.

CO US Senate 2010: Colorado Democratic Incumbent Vulnerable

Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 1:19 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Rasmussen survey, Colorado’s appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is in trouble in his 2010 bid to fill out his full term. He now find himself in a toss-up with two potential Republican challengers, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier. (Bennet leads Buck 43% to 37%. "With Frazier as the opponent, Bennet is essentially even. The numbers are 40% for Frazier and 39% for the incumbent." As Rasmussen correctly notes, "any incumbent who polls less than 50% is considered potentially vulnerable."

NJ Governor 2009: Corzine Inches Slightly Closer to Republican Chris Christie

Posted Sep 15, 2009 at 1:06 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As of Sunday night, PollTrack's aggregate of polls in New Jersey's upcoming race for Governor suggests that incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine is doing slightly better against his Republican challenger Chris Christie. Christie leads Corzine, 46.6% to 39.0%, an aggregate lead of +7.6%, considerably down from his +10% lead of a month ago. Still, with Corzine way below 50% (he doesn't even graze the 40% mark), his battle remains uphill, to say the least.

VA Governor 2009: Democratic Creigh Deeds In Serious Trouble

Posted Sep 14, 2009 at 1:41 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With PollTrack's aggregate numbers in Virginia's upcoming gubernatorial race indicating a substantial Republican advantage--Bob McDonnell now leads Democratic Creigh Deeds, 51.3% to 42%--the Democrats path has grown narrower. With six week to go, the GOP candidate is now well over the KEY 50%, with an aggregate lead of +9.3%. Not an insurmountable lead, but daunting nevertheless.

An individual poll from one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2008 Election Cycle--SurveyUSA--suggests an even more dire situation for Deeds and for Democrats in general in the state: "In statewide elections in Virginia today, two months until votes are counted, Republicans sweep, taking the statehouse away from the Democrats and holding the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General offices . . . For Governor, McDonnell appears undamaged and today defeats Deeds. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released five weeks ago, the race has tightened slightly, not dramatically. There is movement to Deeds in the Washington DC suburbs, where a 15-point McDonnell lead has evaporated, but there is no GOP erosion in the rest of the state. There is softening in McDonnell's support among voters age 50+, but that is offset by gains for McDonnell among voters age 35 to 49. Of those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and who are judged by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in November 2009, 13% cross-over for McDonnell, twice the number of McCain voters who cross-over for Deeds." McDonnell holds a +12% lead in the survey. 

NJ Governor 2009: Corzine Improving His Standing

Posted Sep 11, 2009 at 1:50 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Two new polls suggest slightly contrary views of this year's gubernatorial race in New Jersey. One, from Democracy Corps (D) poll, reports that Republican challenger Chris Christie holds a scant three-point lead on Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, 41% to 38%, with independent Chris Daggett receiving 10% of the vote. The poll also finds that Corzine's standing has improved over the past month, with his favorable rating now at 36% from %st month (still a somber number for an incumbent seeking reeelection). Yet, an new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Christie with a healthier eight point lead--46% to 38%.

Massachusetts US Senate: Attornery Genral Martha Coakley Leads

Posted Sep 10, 2009 at 12:25 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new survey by Rasmussen finds a clear leader in the January 2010 race to replace Ted Kennedy for Massachusetts US Senator: "State Attorney General Martha Coakley is the early leader in the Democratic race to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of longtime Massachusetts Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy . . . Coakley, the only officially declared candidate for the post, [pulls in] 38% of the vote. But one-in-four primary voters (25%) are undecided. Next is Stephen Lynch, a U.S. congressman from South Boston, with 11% support, followed closed by Rep. Ed Markey, the state’s senior member of the U.S. Huse of Representatives, with 10%. 7% favor another congressman, Michael Capuano of Somerville, while just 3% support Rep. John Tierney, the U.S. congressman from Salem. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate."

NJ Governor 2009: Corzine Continues to Trial Republican Chris Christie

Posted Sep 09, 2009 at 1:39 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's poll average for the gubernatorial race in New Jersey suggests that Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine still has his work cut out for him, though the race has grown considerably closer and his opponent Chris Christie does not come close to the 50% mark. As of Sunday night, Republican Christie leads Corzine 47% to 39.5% for an aggregate lead of +7.5%.

VA Governor 2009: Republican McDonnell Maintains Healthy Lead

Posted Sep 08, 2009 at 1:25 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's polling average for the gubernatorial race in Virginia, now just two months away, suggests that Republican Bob McDonnell remains in a very strong position. As of Sunday evening, McDonnell leads his Democratic challenger R. Creigh Deeds 51.3% to 42%,for a solid lead of +9.3 points. Significantly, McDonnell has remained at or above the all-important 50% mark for months.

50% of South Carolina Voters Want Sanford To Go

Posted Sep 07, 2009 at 1:23 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As the specter of impeachment proceedings rises, exactly one half of South Carolina voters want Governor Mark Sanford, embattled in a sex scandal, to go. 50% responding to the survey said they were for Sanford's resignation; 37% believed he should remain in office; and 14% had no opinion.

VA Governor 2009: Race Tightening?

Posted Sep 04, 2009 at 1:50 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to one survey, the race for Virginia Governor has tightened up considerably over the past month, with Republican Bob McDonnell "now leading Creigh Deeds 49% to 42%. A PPP survey released in early August had the contest at 51% to 37%. The main reason for the narrowing is increased interest in the election among Democratic voters. While we were looking at an electorate for this fall that supported John McCain by an 11 point margin a month ago, that’s now narrowed to 4 points as more Obama supporters express their intention to vote in the off year election. The key to this race continues to be the significant imbalance among independent voters. They support McDonnell by a margin of 60% to 29%. That’s been a trend in our polls, as the Republican held leads of 19 and 21 points with those voters in our July and August surveys. Attacks on McDonnell do appear to be having some effect: his favorability has seen a slight decline from 54/26 a month ago to now 53/31. Deeds’ numbers are now 47/35, relatively similar to 43/32 on the previous survey." Yet, another, even more recent poll by Rasmussen, indicates that little has changed, with McDonnell's lead at a solid +9%--51% to 42%.

Are Democrats in Trouble in 2010?

Posted Sep 03, 2009 at 1:05 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A number of political observers now argue that the Democrats are set to loose a large number of seats in the House of Representatives in next year's mid-term election. As Politico reports, "some of the most prominent and respected handicappers can now envision an election in which Democrats suffer double-digit losses in the House — not enough to provide the 40 seats necessary to return the GOP to power but enough to put them within striking distance. Top political analyst Charlie Cook, in a special August 20 update to subscribers, wrote that “the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and congressional Democrats . . . At the mid-August Netroots Nation convention, Nate Silver [from the popular website, FiveThirtyEight] predicted that Republicans will win between 20 and 50 seats next year. He further alarmed an audience of progressive activists by arguing that the GOP has between a 25 and 33 percent chance of winning back control of the House."

NJ Governor 2009: Quinnipiac Says Corzine Has Not Narrowed The Gap

Posted Sep 02, 2009 at 1:34 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new poll by Quinnipiac University suggests that Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine has NOT narrowed the gap with his Republican challenger in New Jersey: "Corzine is losing the battle of the attack ads in his campaign for reelection and now trails Republican challenger Christopher Christie 47% to 37% among likely voters, with 9% for independent candidate Christopher Daggett . . . . This compares to a 46% to 40% Christie lead, with 7% for Daggett, in an August 11 survey . . . Corzine leads 74% to 15% among Democratic likely voters, with 7% for Daggett. Christie leads 86% to 8% among Republicans, with 4% for Daggett, and 46% to 30% among independent voters, with 16% for Daggett."

MA US Senate: Special Election For Kennedy's Seat Set For January 19, 2010

Posted Sep 01, 2009 at 1:42 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

If Massachusetts sticks to the succession law as now written, the special election for Ted Kennedy's US Senate seat would be held in January: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has slated January 19, 2010 as the date voters will choose a successor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. According to the Boston Globe,"State law requires the governor to set the process for a special election in motion “immediately’’ upon a Senate vacancy. [The Massachusetts Secretary of State] said he calculated the date after meeting with House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray, and top Patrick aides. Under the schedule set by state law, a Jan. 19 election would require a Dec. 8 primary" PollTrack will have full coverage of the race once it's underway.