Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Maine Gay Marriage Vote: A Virtual Tie

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's poll average for the so-called "gay marriage" initiative in Maine shows the race a dead heat.


For keeping the law that legalized gay marriage: 48%

Against keeping the law that legalized gay marriage: 47.5%


Lead: FOR gay marriage--+0.5%

NY-23: Conservative Candidate Appears To Best Democratic + GOP Candidates

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 6:29 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's average of polling in New York's 23rd Congressional District for 2009 special election:


Bill Owens (D): 29.6%

Doug Hoffman (I-Conservative): 32.3%

Dede Scozzafava (R): 18.3%


Lead: Conservative Doug Hoffman--+2.7%

NY Mayor: Bloomberg By A Wide Margin

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 6:23 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's average of polling in New York City for the 2009 Mayoral race:

Michael Bloomberg (I, Incumbent): 53.0%

Bill Thompson (D): 36.5%

Lead: Independent Michael Bloomberg--+16.%


VA Governor 2009: Republican McDonnell Sailing To Victory

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 6:18 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's average of polling in Virginia for the 2009 gubernatorial race:


Bob McDonnell (R): 54.6%

Creigh Deeds (D): 40.3%

Lead: Republican Bob McDonnell--+14.3%

NJ Governor 2009: A Dead Heat

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 6:16 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's average of polling in New Jersey for the 2009 gubernatorial race:

Jon Corzine (D, Incumbent): 41.8%

Chris Christie (R): 42.0%

Chris Daggett (I)L 11.8%

Lead: Republican Chris Christie--+0.2%

NY, VA, NJ: Averages This Afternoon

Posted Oct 30, 2009 at 2:48 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Come back later today for PollTrack polling averages for races in Virginia, New Jersey, New Tork City, NY-23 as well as the "gay marriage" initiative in Maine.

NY-23: Who IS In The Leads In Traditionally Republican District?

Posted Oct 29, 2009 at 1:53 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

One recent poll in the special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District, suggests that the Democrat still leads in the traditionally Republican stronghold. According to the Daily Kos (in conjunction with Research 2000), Democrat Bill Owens leads the three-way contest with 35% of the vote, Republican Dede Scozzafava has 30% and Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman is at 23%. The dymamics of this race appear to be fairly obvious: with the moderate Republican and Conservative party candidate splitting the GOP vote, the Democrat squeaks through. Or are they, two polls sponsored by the GOP in the district suggests that the GOP candidate's relatively liberal views--on abortion and gay marriage, for example--have put her in the position of splitting the vote with moderate Democrat Owens. The result: both polls show Hoffman in the lead, their combined aggregate number by +4.5%. Stay tuned.

NY Mayor 2009: Bloomberg Leads By Wide Margin

Posted Oct 28, 2009 at 12:54 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A newly released Quinnipiac poll reports that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expanded his lead over NYC Democratic comptroller Bill Thompson (D) by +18% among likely voters--53% to 35%--with 10% still undecided. These numbers are consusten with other recent polls showing Bloomberg pulling away from his challenger.

VA Governor 2009: Democratic Deeds Campaign Appears To Collapse

Posted Oct 27, 2009 at 6:00 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With a week to go until Election 2009, PollTrack's aggregate poll numbers suggest that the campaign of Democrat Creigh Deeds is collapsing in Virginia. Some polls now show Republican Bob McDonnell ahead by as much as +19%. Our average gives the GOP candidate an aggregate lead of +13.8%, 55.4% to 41.6%.

NJ Governor 2009: Republican Christie Appears to Retake Momentum

Posted Oct 27, 2009 at 3:17 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With the race drawing down to a tie in recent weeks--and Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine showing some momentum in recemt days--New Jersey's upcoming gubernatorial race appears to be shifting back to Republican Christ Christie. PollTrack's polling average has the race with the GOP candidate leading, 41.2% to 39.7%, for an aggregate lead of +1.5% (up quite a bit from the 0.25% lead earlier in the week). More recent polls show Christie with an even bigger lead, on average 2.5%. In the end, it could all come down to turnout.

VA Governor 2009: PollTrack Average Has Republican Up by Wide Margin

Posted Oct 27, 2009 at 2:22 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As of this morning--with one week to go--PollTrack's polling average in the race for Virginia Governor has Republican Bob McDonnell leading Democrat Creigh Deeds by a wide margin--54.3% t0 41.6%--and aggregate advantage of +12.7%.

NJ Governor 2009: A Squeaker?

Posted Oct 26, 2009 at 1:52 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A good deal can change in politics in a month. PollTrack's polling average for New Jersey's upcoming gubernatorial race suggests an upset in the making. Throughout the year, Republican Chris Christie led incumbent Democratic Jon Corzine by a significant margin. Now, it looks like Corzine has the momentum and may squeak through on 3 November. Why? Mostly the continued strength of third-party candidate Chris Daggett, who now polls as much as 20% in some pols and appears to be taking away more votes from Corzine than Christie. Another factor: the relative success of Corzine's spate of negative and clearly effective TV ads against his Republican challenger. As of Sunday night, Christie leads Christie by the hair's breadth--39.2% to 39%--for a lead of just +0.25%. (Daggett now pulls on average, 16% of the vote)

NY Mayor 2009: SurveyUSA Reports BIG Bloomberg Lead

Posted Oct 23, 2009 at 2:49 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

SurveyUSA reports that Independent incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York bests his Democratic challenger, City Comptroller Bob Thompson by a commanding +12%, 53% to 41%. Bloomberg's PollTrack average lead is +14%--52.5% to 38.5%.

VA Governor 2009: PollTrack Average Has Republican up by 13.5%

Posted Oct 22, 2009 at 2:44 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack polling average for the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race has Republican Bob McDonnell up by a whopping +13.5%--54% to 40.5%--over his Democratic challenger, Creigh Deeds.

Gay Marriage Referendum Tied In Maine

Posted Oct 21, 2009 at 3:08 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, "public opinion on Question 1 in Maine, which would reject the state's law allowing same sex couples to marry, is knotted up two weeks before election day. 48% of voters in the state support it and 48% oppose it. With most voters' minds made up the election is not really about persuasion at this point but turnout. Even a small difference in the ability of supporters and opponents of the referendum to get their folks out to the polls could tip the scales with the issue this close. One determining factor could be the age distribution of the electorate. Senior citizens often dominate in low turnout elections and they're strongest in their support of rejecting the law with 54% planning to vote for Question 1 to 40% opposing it. Voters under 65 oppose the referendum by a 50-46 margin but they'll have to come out if they're going to combat the influence of the more conservative leaning older voters."

VA Governor 2009: Democratic Creigh Deeds Well Behind

Posted Oct 20, 2009 at 1:57 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack's poll average in Virginia's upcoming gubernatorial race suggests that the GOP candidate remains in a solid position: Republican Bob McDonnell bests Democrat Creight Deeds by +10.5%--47.5% to 37.0%. A month ago, the race had tightened considerably; now it appears that Deeds cannot make up a deficit that places him 13% BELOW the 50% mark.

Next US Senator from MA: Democrat Martha Coakley?

Posted Oct 19, 2009 at 2:05 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Who will replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in January special election? Right now it looks like  Attorney General Martha Coakley is the heavy favorite in the Democratic primary to be held in December. A Lake Research survey in the state conducted for Coakley's campaign shows their client with a commanding lead. In a four-way race, Coakley leads with 47%, followed by Michael Capuano at 12%, Stephen Pagliuca at 4% and Alan Khazei at 1%. These results come very close to an independent poll released by Suffolk University last month.

NY-23: Is The GOP Candidate Collapsing?

Posted Oct 16, 2009 at 1:44 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The Siena College Research Institute reports that the GOP candidate in the upcoming special election in New York's staunchly Republican 13th district may be in trouble: "In the last two weeks, Democrat Bill Owens has turned a seven-point deficit into a four-point lead over Republican Assembly Member Dede Scozzafava. Owens has the support of 33 percent of likely voters in the 23rd Congressional District, followed by Scozzafava at 29 percent and Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman at 23 percent, up seven points in the last two weeks . . . Owens leads with Democrats and in the eastern portion of the district. Scozzafava leads with Republicans and in the western portion of the district. Hoffman leads with independent voters and in the southern portion of the district. About two-thirds of voters have seen or heard commercials for Scozzafava and Owens, helping Owens and hurting Scozzafava."

The eminent political analyst Charlie Cook provides this reading of the race on his website: "It's never a good sign when the blame game commences before the election even takes place. But that's exactly what's happening in GOP ranks three weeks before voters go to to the polls in the NY-23 special election, at a time when the party's House prospects are booming just about everywhere else. The twist? The 'conservative Republican' spoiler is actually stealing more votes from independents than Republicans."

NY Mayor 2009: SurveyUSA Reports BIG Bloomberg Lead

Posted Oct 15, 2009 at 1:41 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The latest SurveyUSA poll of New York City voters reports a huge lead for incumbent Mayor Mike Bloomberg: "Bloomberg is today at or above 50% in all five boroughs, among young and old voters, among the more educated and less educated, among the more affluent and less affluent, among whites and Hispanics, and among Democrats and Republicans." The numbers for the Mayor are impressive: the poll finds independent candidate Mike Bloomberg crushing his Democratic challenger Bill Thompson, 55% to 38%--a whopping +17% lead.

NJ Governor 2009: Corzine Even With Christie

Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 1:49 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

After trailing for months, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has now pulled within one point of Republican challenger Chris Christie, 40% to 39%, with independent candidate Chris Daggett drawing 13% support, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey in New Jersey: "It was thought that Corzine's only chance at winning was to make voters dislike Christie even more than him, but he actually has seen a gain in his favorability over the last month. While a majority of voters still don't care for him the 37/55 spread is a whole lot better than the 32/60 of a month ago." A new Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey similarly finds Christie with a one point lead, 41% to 40%, with independent Christopher Daggett at 14%. PollTrack believes that the race will come down to Daggett's supporters. If they defect, Christie may well be the beneficiary. If they hold firm, the incumbent could squeak through. Stay tuned, especially to Daggett's numbers as we approach Election Day.

Gay Marriage Ban in 2009 Maine Vote: Nate Silver Examines The Odds?

Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 1:39 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Nate Silver over at has an interesting statistical analysis of the upcoming vote in Maine on a proposed gay marriage ban, design to turn back the clock in a state where gay marriage was recently legalized: "Back in April, I conducted an analysis of the prospects of a gay marriage ban becoming law in each of the 50 states. The analysis found that support for gay marriage bans was strongly tied to two factors: the degree of religiosity in a state, as measured by 2008 Gallup tracking surveys, and the year that the initiative was up for vote -- marriage bans have lost support at a rate of about 2 percent per year, ceteris paribus. That analysis concluded that a Maine is one of 11 states that would probably vote to reject a ban on gay marriage if a referendum were held this year. Mainers, in fact, will soon have a chance to test this proposition. In November, they will go to the polls to vote on Question 1; a yes vote would overturn a law passed earlier this year by the state's legislature that permits gays and lesbians to get married in the state." To read Silver's complete analysis, click here.

VA Governor 2009: Republican Maintains Solid Lead

Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 1:49 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Commensurate with all other rect polling in Virginia's 2009 gubernatorial race, Republican Bob McDonnell continues to hold a solid lead over his Democratic opponent, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll: McDonnell leads Creigh Deeds, 48% to 40% with 12 % undecided. "The poll suggests that McDonnell is heading into the final three weeks of the race largely unscathed from Deeds' continuing focus on McDonnell's controversial 1989 law-school thesis. Further, the poll depicts an electorate, perhaps because of continuing economic anxiety and contentious policy debates in Washington and Richmond, cooling to the dominant Democratic establishment."

NJ Democrat Gov. Another Poll Shows Incumbent Democrat Corzine Ahead

Posted Oct 09, 2009 at 2:36 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Yet another poll, this one a Democracy Corps poll supported by the Democratic party, shows incumbent Jon Corzine ahead in the upcoming race for New Jersey Governor: "Corzine has now moved slightly ahead of Republican Chris Christie, after pulling into a statistical dead heat two weeks ago. Corzine now leads by 3 points, garnering 41 percent of the vote to Christie’s 38 percent and independent Chris Daggett’s 14 percent. Importantly, Corzine has now consolidated the vote among his base, crossing the 80 percent threshold among Democrats and winning more Democrats than Christie does Republicans for the first time. Christie’s standing has declined markedly in the last two weeks, with 42 percent now rating the Republican unfavorably versus just 30 percent who rate him favorably. This net -12 point favorability rating is a 10-point decline from two weeks ago. Corzine is rated favorably by 37 percent of voters and unfavorably by 46 percent, for a net favorability rating of -9 points."

If these results were to be confirmed by independent pollsters, this would be big news, indeed. But so far, Christie still seems to hold onto a very slim lead. A SurveyUSA poll released last night reported that the Republican candidate remains barely ahead of Corzine, 43% to 40%, within the margin of sampling error. Independent Chris Daggett gets 14%.

NYC Mayor 2009: Incumbent Faces Strong Challenger

Posted Oct 08, 2009 at 3:01 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With less than a month to go in New York City's race for Mayor, popular incumbent Mike Bloomberg (I) faces a surprisingly strong challenge from his Democrat opponent, City Comptroller Bill Thompson according to a new SurveyUSA survey: "It's Bloomberg 51%, Thompson 43%. Bloomberg has outspent Thompson 16:1. Bloomberg, first elected in 2001, term-limited until the law was changed to permit him to seek a 3rd term, leads among older voters, trails among younger voters. The Democratic challenger leads in Brooklyn and The Bronx. The billionaire incumbent, who is running on the Republican and Independence Party lines, leads in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Thompson leads among blacks, Bloomberg leads among whites, Hispanics and Asians. Democrats split. Republicans and Independents back Bloomberg."

With very high approval ratings, as high as 70% in recent months, Bloomberg's diminished showing relative to his popularity stems from two problems: voter resentment with his successful attempt to suspend voter approved term-limits in order to run for a third term and the increasing clout of the Working Families Party, a union-supported independent party that usually backs Democrats in New York City races and has a proven ability to increase turnout for its candidates in cycles where overall turnout is moderate to low.

NJ Governor 2009: Poll Reports Corzine Is Gaining Ground

Posted Oct 07, 2009 at 1:38 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Is incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine closing the gap in New Jersey after a year of being consistently behind in the polls? A new Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind Poll would appear to suggest a possible turn around for the embattled Democrat. The survey finds that Corzine now edges ahead of his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, 44% to 43%, within the poll's margin of error. The poll is somewhat irregular in that it does not ask respondents specifically about their support of the independent candidates in the race. Thus, the poll, reports: "Another 4% volunteer they will vote for independent Chris Daggett and 5% say they are undecided. When Daggett's name is read in an interview along with Corzine's and Christie's name, Corzine leads Christie 38% to 37% and Daggett gets 17% of the vote."

A new Rasmussen survey still show's Christie ahead but by a narrower margin. The poll reports that Corzine has pulled to within three percentage points of Christie after trailing his GOP challenger for months: Christie is at 47%; Corzine 44% and Daggett at 6%. 3% remain undecided. PollTrack needs more information in order to determine if the overall dynamics of the race have actually changed. With more polling coming later in the week, will a new trend for Democratic victory emerge? Stay tuned.  

VA Governor 2009: Democratic Brand Suffering As Republican Maintains Large Lead

Posted Oct 06, 2009 at 2:56 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

While the gap has narrowed slightly, SurveyUSA reports that Republican Bob McDonnell maintains a large lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds--a lead which places him well over the all-important 50% mark: "In the election for Virginia Governor . . . one month until votes are counted, Republican Bob McDonnell defeats Democrat Creigh Deeds, 54% to 43%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll one week ago, Deeds has gained ground among women, among voters age 50 to 64, and in Southeast VA. In 4 identical SurveyUSA tracking polls conducted for WJLA-TV in Washington DC and WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, McDonnell has polled at 55%, 54%, 55%, 54%. Deeds has polled at 40%, 42%, 41%, 43%."

Even more troubling for the Democrats, Republicans also maintain considerable leads (by similar margins) in two other statewide races: In the contest for Lieutenant Governor, incumbent Republican Bill Bolling leads Democrat Jody Wagner, former Treasurer of VA and VA Secretary of Finance, 57% to 40%. In the Attorney general contest, Republican state senator Ken Cuccinelli bests Democrat state representative Steve Shannon 53% to 43%.

NJ Governor 2009: Can Democrat Corzine Win?

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

Is Democrat Jon Corzine really closing the gap in his upcoming gubernatorial race in New Jersey against GOP challenger Chris Christie? Can he actually come out ahead on Election Day. The answer, PollTrack believes, is possibly, but that thus far Corzine remains stuck in the same position he's been in since the start of his campaign in January 2009 on: at or below the 40% mark, with little or no movement upward. Even with the recent narrowing of the gap recorded in some surveys, it been a slight decline in Christie's support and not a significant uptick in support for Corzine that accounts for most of the decrease between the two candidates.

In a telling analysis of the race, veteran political analyst Stuart Rothenberg observes of the recent narrowing of the polls: "Corzine's chances of winning re-election now are no better than they were a month ago. The governor continues to be stuck between 38 percent and 42 percent in the ballot test, where he has been for many months, and the fundamentals of the race continue to favor the Republican challenger. Corzine was at 39 percent among likely voters in the newest Quinnipiac survey, not much different from his 37 percent showing at the end of August, his 40 percent showing in early August or his 38 percent showing in mid-July. The most recent Quinnipiac poll showed Christie leading Corzine by 4 points because the Republican's vote has slipped from 46 percent or 47 percent in other Quinnipiac surveys to 43 percent. In turn, Independent candidate Chris Daggett's number in the ballot test has risen to 12 percent in the most recent Quinnipiac poll, up from the 7 percent to 9 percent he had been drawing in other recent Quinnipiac surveys. There is no statistically significant movement from late August to late September among likely independent voters."

PollTrack will continue to cover the race very closely in the coming weeks, in our countdown to Election 2009.

NJ Governor 2009: Incumbent Democrat Corzine Gains Ground

Posted Oct 02, 2009 at 1:37 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

It looks like the race for Governor of New Jersey, that only a month ago appeared to be an easy victory for Republican challenger Chris Christie, is going down to the wire: a new Quinnipiac poll reports that incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has cut challenger Chris Christie's (R) lead in half and now trails by just four points, 43% to 39%, among likely voters. Independent candidate Christopher Daggett gets 12% with 6% undecided. A forthcoming DailyKos/Research 2000 poll shows the race tightening, as well, with Christie now leading by just four points, 46% to 42% with independent Chris Daggett getting 7% support.

Another just released poll reports that Corzine is closing in fast and dramatically: The latest Monmouth University/ Gannett New Jersey Poll finds the "Democrat trailing the Republican by just 3 percentage points among likely voters, down from an 8 point disadvantage last month and 14 points in August. The reasons for this movement include a more energized Democratic base and shifting preferences of independent women. Currently, Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine by 43% to 40% among likely voters, with independent Chris Daggett at 8%. When the vote preferences of all registered voters are taken into account, the race is tied with Corzine at 40% and Christie at 40%. Partisan support has remained relatively stable over the past month. Corzine has a 75% to 8% advantage among likely Democratic voters while Christie enjoys an 86% to 7% lead among likely Republicans and a 49% to 28% edge among likely independents. However, the poll indicates that more Democrats have become interested in the outcome of this campaign and thus are now more likely to vote than they were just a month ago"

The BIG question for PollTrack: how well will Daggett do in the end, a candidate who draws far more votes from Corzine than Christie. If, as history often suggests, Democrats abandon Daggett and come home to the party, the race could easily draw down to a tie, or even a slight lead for Corzine.

VA Governor 2009: Is Democratic Creigh Deeds In Trouble?

Posted Oct 01, 2009 at 2:29 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to one new poll by SurveyUSA, one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2008 election cycle, Democrat Creigh Deeds is in serious trouble in his quest to defeat Republican Bob McDonnell in November's race for Virginia governor. Just weeks ago, it appeared the race was tightening. Another recent survey by Public Policy Polling suggested that the Democrat had narrowed his deficit to 4%. Yet, as of yesterday. SurveyUSA gives McDonnell a whopping +14% lead over Creigh Deeds, 55% to 41%, in the race for governor. A just released Rasmussen poll splits the difference, so to speak, finding a +9% lead for McDonnell, 51% to 42%. Still, the poll indicates that the Republican's position has improved over the past few weeks, yet another red flag for Democrat Deeds.