Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Happy New Year! We're Off Until Next Monday, 4 January 2010

Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 7:31 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

PollTrack would like to wish you a Happy New Year! We're off until next Monday, 4 January 2010.

AR, CT, NV Senate 2010: Democrats in Trouble

Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 2:15 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

In another sign that Democrats may suffer loses in the 2010 mid-term election, Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Harry Reid (D-NV) all now have disapproval ratings above 50%, according to recent polling. As Tom Jensen observes: "Politics is full of surprises and who knows what unexpected things will happen in the next year but if I had to pick three Senators running for reelection right now who will be cleaning out their offices at this time next year it would be Dodd, Lincoln, and Reid. Once voters have decided the disapprove of you it's very hard to overcome that. "

Lieberman Less Popular With Americans

Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 2:21 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Survey, CT Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman's favorable rating with Americans has dropped almost 10-points in the past two weeks, from 40% to 31%. Perhaps most ominously for his political future, Lieberman's greatest decline--a 14-point drop--came among independents.

Republicans Forging Ahead On Generic Ballot

Posted Dec 28, 2009 at 2:50 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, Republican candidates now lead Democrats by +8% in the latest "generic congressional ballot. The national telephone survey reported that 44% would vote for their district's Republican candidate; 36% percent would choose the Democratic.


Support For Democratic Party Declines: A Harbinger of Midterm Loses?

Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:32 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, "less than a year after Inauguration Day, support for the Democratic Party continues to slump, amid a difficult economy and a wave of public discontent" . . . . For the first time, less than half of Americans [47%] approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing, marking a steeper first-year fall for this president than his recent predecessors. Also for the first time this year, the electorate was split when asked which party it wanted to see in charge after the 2010 elections. For months, a clear plurality favored Democratic control."Also telling in the survey: the president negative number is nearly the same as his positive rating: 46%. Do these numbers presage a significant loss of Democratic seats in next year's congressional elections. It's still early, but this kind of erosion has, in the past, led to a significant loss of seats in the midterm.

MO US Senate: Presumptive Candiates Very Close

Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:12 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Rasmussen Reports survey suggests that the 2010 US Senate race in MO is very close between the two likely nominees for the open Senate seat: The poll of 500 likely voters gave Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carbahan a two point lead over Repubican Rep. Roy Blunt--46% to 44%.

PA US Senate 2010: A Dead Heat

Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:23 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A just released Quinnipiac University survey reports that if the 2010 US Senate Election in PA were held today, incumbent Senator Arlen Specter (D) and former Rep. Pat Toomey would be in a dead heat, tied at 44 percent. In the Democratic primary, Specter is surprisingly strong, boasting a 20 point lead over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), 50 percent to 30 percent, according to the poll in the Democratic primary scheduled for April 2010.

CA Gov. 2010: Jerry Brown Leads The Pack

Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:12 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to a new Public Policy Institute of California survey, Democrat Jerry Brown leads all three potential Republican rivals in California's race for governor. Brown bests Republican Meg Whitman, 43% to 37%, Republican Tom Campbell, 46% to 34%, and Republican Steve Poizner, 47% to 31%. Whitman leads the Republican primary pack with 32%, followed by Campbell at 12% and Poizner at 8%.

Colorado US Senate 2010: Democratic Appointee Struggling

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

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton appears to be the Republican with the best shot of beating either of the potential Democratic candidates in Colorado’s race for the U.S. Senate. According to the poll, Norton bests incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet 46% to 37%. Benet was named to the Senate by Democratic Governor Bill Ritter after Senator Ken Salazar became secretary of the Interior. Eight percent (8%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided. Additional bad news for the Democrats: Bennet "has a challenger in his own party, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Norton beats Romanoff 45% to 34%, little changed from the previous survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided, while seven percent (7%) like another candidate."

NY Gov. 2010: Democrat Paterson Approval Higher

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

According to several new polls, incumbent Democratic Gov. David Paterson's approval number is slowly but surely inching upward. A new Quinnipiac poll in New York, which mirrors the finding in a Siena Institute poll released yesteday, finds that Paterson's approval rate is now 40%, up from 30% in October. However, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) still leads Paterson, 60% to 23%, in a possible Democratic primary race for governor.

Nevada US Senate 2010: Is Health Care Sinking Harry Reid?

Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:39 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Is Senator Harry Reid stewardship of health care legislation hurting his 2010 reelection chances in Nevada? According to Rasmussen, the answer may be yes: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to lag behind all potential Republican challengers in next year’s U.S. Senate race in Nevada, according to new Rasmussen Reports telephone polling in the state. For now at least, his championing of the president’s health care plan appears to raise further red flags for the Democratic incumbent. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Nevada voters oppose the plan, while 44% favor it. More significantly, however, those numbers include 49% who strongly oppose the plan while only 23% strongly favor it."

Ohio Governor: Are Democrats Loosing A Key Swing State?

Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:34 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Are Democrats about to loose the highest office in one of the nation's most important swing states, Ohio? The answer, at this early stage, could be yes: "Unemployment in Ohio has jumped to 10.5%, the state is wrestling with an $851 million budget shortfall, and Governor Ted Strickland has proposed delaying a tax cut approved in 2005. Add it all together, and it’s a tough environment for the incumbent Democratic governor who now trails his expected general election opponent by nine percentage points in an early look at the 2010 race." In the poll, Republican John Kasich gets 48% of the vote while Strickland picks up just 39%. Three percent (3%) say they’d prefer a third-party candidate, and 11% are not sure who they would vote for. In September, the two men were essentially even.

Houston Mayoralty 2009: City Becomes The Largest To Elect Gay Leader

Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

As per The New York Times: "Houston became the largest city in the country to elect an openly gay mayor Saturday night, as voters gave a solid victory to the [Democratic] city controller, Annise Parker. Cheers erupted at Ms. Parker’s campaign party as her opponent, Gene Locke, a former city attorney, conceded defeat after it became clear he could not overcome her lead of 53% to 47%. Throughout the campaign, Ms. Parker tried to avoid making an issue of her sexual orientation and emphasized her experience in overseeing the city’s finances. But she began her career as an advocate for gay rights in the 1980s, and it was lost on no one in Houston, a city of 2.2 million people, that her election would mark a milestone for gay men and lesbians around the country."

Harry Reid Failing In Home State

Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:38 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Despite his commanding role as Majority Leader, Democratic US Senator Harry Reid is not very popular in Nevada, a problem that is imperiling his 2010 reelection effort: "Nevadans aren't warming up to Sen. Harry Reid, despite plenty of early advertising designed to boost his image, a new poll shows. Just 38% of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Senate majority leader, the same percentage as in October and 1 point higher than in August. The survey of 625 registered Nevada voters by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research suggests the promotional bombardment that Reid launched more than six weeks ago has yet to hit its target. "I'd be worried,' said Michael Franz, an assistant professor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, who studies political advertising. 'I'd stop if I had aired ads for two or three weeks and it wasn't moving the needle.' According to the poll commissioned by the Review-Journal, 49% of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Reid, while 13% were neutral." According to the survey, in hypothetical general election match ups, Sue Lowden (R) leads Reid, 51% to 41%, while Danny Tarkanian (R) leads 48% to 41%.



CT US Senate 2010: Democrat Chris Dodd Lags Behind Republican Challengers

Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 1:07 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

The notion that Democratic US Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is one of the most vulnerable incumbents is borne out by a new Rasmussen Reports survey. The poll finds Dodd attracting just 35% to 40% of the vote against three possible Republican challengers: "Former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons is still his toughest opponent, leading Dodd 48% to 35%. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate in this contest, and 11% are undecided. Those figures are a slight improvement for Simmons since September. The newest Republican in the race, Linda McMahon, the ex-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, earns 44% of the vote to Dodd’s 38%. Eight percent (8%) opt for another candidate, with nine percent (9%) not sure. Long-shot candidate Peter Shiff, the widely-known president of Euro Pacific Capital, is essentially even with Dodd and holds a one-point edge, 40% to 39%. In their race, eight percent (8%) like some other candidate, and 14% are undecided."

MA US Senate: Martha Coakley Wins Democratic Nomination

Posted Dec 08, 2009 at 1:15 PM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to the Associated Press, MA Attorney General "Martha M. Coakley [is] projected to win Tuesday's primary election in the race for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy's storied seat . . . She [is] projected to face State Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, on Jan. 19. Massachusetts has not sent a Republican to the Senate in 37 years, so Ms. Coakley has the stronger chance of laying claim to the seat."

MA US Senate: Does Today's VERY Low Turnout Hurt Coakley

Posted Dec 08, 2009 at 11:00 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Talking Points Memo reports that the turnout in today's Democratic primary in the Massachusetts' US Senate race is exceedingly low: "As of 3 p.m. ET, only 35,000 people had voted in Boston, less than 10% of the city's registered voters. The Boston Herald speculates that the lower turnout could possibly benefit Rep. Mike Capuano, who is widely seen as the underdog against state Attorney General Martha Coakley. For what it's worth, Capuano's home town of Somerville, where he served as mayor before his election to Congress in 1988, is having a relatively higher turnout -- at 1 p.m., it was a whopping 12.5 percent."

MA US Senate: Martha Coakley Ahead, But By How Much?

Posted Dec 08, 2009 at 1:38 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

According to the Boston Phoenix, polls on today's Democratic primary for the US Senate in Massachusetts are contradictory: The "internal polls of different candidates in the US Senate race seemed to be saying very different things. . . . Tom Kiley, pollster for Michael Capuano, and Celinda Lake, pollster for Martha Coakley, both confirmed for me today what I reported yesterday. Kiley says his poll, taken Sunday and Monday of this week, has Coakley around 35%, and Capuano 7 points behind, in the high 20s. Lake says her poll, taken Sunday through Tuesday, has Coakley at 41%, and Capuano at 20%. (Both have Pagliuca roughly around 10%-12% and falling slightly; Khazei around 7-10% and rising slightly; and some 15%-20% undecided.)  So one poll has a 7 point lead, and the other has a 21 point lead. That's an enormous discrepancy . . . Lake also insists that she is seeing absolutely no trending decline in Coakley's support, whereas Kiley says Coakley's support has dropped slowly but steadily"


Atlanta Mayoral Runoff: Kasim Reed Declared Winner

Posted Dec 07, 2009 at 1:30 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

For those of you following the mayoral runoff in Atlanta--with its razor thin margin of victory on 1 December: Kasim Reed has now been certified the winner, though it appears likely that his opponent, Mary Norwood "plans to ask for a recount. But Reed said he must act as though he will be Atlanta’s next mayor. Only a few weeks remain before his new job starts, he said, and he has to begin the complex task of transition."

MA US Senate: Coakley Still Ahead, But Capuano Is Gaining

Posted Dec 04, 2009 at 1:29 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

With a spate of new endorsements from powerful Massachusetts politicos, Rep. Mike Capuano is now solidly in second place in the Democratic primary for the Massachusetts Senate special election, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll of likely Democratic primary voters. State Attorney General Martha Coakley continues to leads the primary pack, at 36%. Capuano is in second at 21%. Investor Stephen Pagliuca and community activist Alan Khazei are tied for third at 14%.

NY Senate 2010: Is Giuliani The GOP's Best Hope?

Posted Dec 03, 2009 at 2:04 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Is former NYC Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani the GOP's best hope of defeating incumbent US Senator Kristen Gillibrand next year? A new Rasmussen Reports poll has Giuliani leading Gillibrand, 53% to 40% among likely New York voters. The poll, conducted Nov. 23, is nearly identical to a Marist poll of registered voters reporting at +14% lead for Giuliani, 54% to 40%.

"Enthusiasm Gap": Will it Hurt The Democrats In 2010?

Posted Dec 02, 2009 at 1:20 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

A new Research 2000/Daily Kos survey reports a striking "enthusiasm gap" in the intention of Democrats and Republicans to voter in next year's congressional election: "The results were, to put it mildly, shocking:

Voter Intensity: Definitely + Probably Voting/Not Likely + Not Voting

Republican Voters: 81/14
Independent Voters: 65/23

Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will "definitely not vote" in 2010 than are Republicans."

Will this gap adversely effect the 2010 midterms?  PollTrack beliebes that while this is not a good sign for Democrats, it's still too early to tell. Stay tuned.

MA US Senate: Will New Spate Of Endorsements Shake Up Race

Posted Dec 01, 2009 at 1:13 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Political Wire wonders whether a new spate of political endorsements could slice into Attorney General Martha Coakley's lead in the Democratic primary to fill the US Senate seat vacated by the late-Edward Kennedy: "In a move that could shake up a fairly sleepy race, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis endorsed Rep. Michael Capuano for the senatorial seat left open by the death of Ted Kennedy . . .In the last week, Capuano has also been endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and Diane Patrick, Gov. Deval Patrick's wife. With just over a week to go until the Democratic primary, all polls have shown Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) with double-digit leads over Capuano, who polls second, and political newcomers Alan Khazei (D) and Stephen Pagliuca (D) . . . Interestingly, the Boston Globe endorsed Khazei this morning."