Lots of new polls: GOP doing better in Senate, Dems in the House

We’re a little more than 2 weeks away from the congressional election on November 6, and the polls continue to be conflicted. In a nutshell, Republicans are doing better in the Senate, and Democrats are doing better in the House, than each was a week or two ago.

GENERIC BALLOT

The generic ballot — asking voters who GENERALLY they prefer to run Congress, Ds or Rs, still favors Democrats by an average of 7.7%. (As for individual polls, we were up 9 in the latest NBC/WSJ poll released Sunday — that’s great.) Generally speaking, we want to have at least a 7 percent spread to ensure a large enough Democratic wave to take the House, and possibly make some inroads in the Senate. As always, the specific races matter, and on that front, the Senate is so-so, but the House is going well. See below.

DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISING ADVANTAGE

As we discussed in our recent podcast, the Democratic fundraising advantage is huge — an average of 2 to 1, but even larger in key races. Not because Dems are raising historic amounts, but rather because Republicans are raising so little. Not only is this an indication of relative enthusiasm, it also has practical implications, such as permitting Dems to book more media spots in the final few weeks, and do more get-out-the-vote work.

SENATE RACES

Overall, Democratic chances are looking less good for the Senate than they were a week or two ago. Nate Silver says Democrats have a 22% chance of taking the Senate, while Republicans have a 78% chance of holding the Senate. (But don’t despair, things look great for the House — see below.)

Here are some specific races to watch:

ND: Heidi Heitkamp is still in danger. No new polls to report. But she’s still significantly behind. Donate to Heitkamp here.

TX: Nate thinks Ted Cruz has an 80% chance of winning this race, but he says Beto O’Rourke hasn’t lost yet. It’s notoriously tricky to poll Latinos and young people in Texas. Nate says if every eligible voter turns out on election day, then Beto could still have a chance. Donate to Beto here.

MO: Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is still virtually tied with her GOP opponent, conservative Trump-Republican Josh Hawley. The latest poll today has Hawley up by only a single point. This race is still a tie, and has been for a month. This is a race where every dollar and vote counts, so please Donate to McCaskill here.

NV: There are no new polls in the race between Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen and incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller. Heller remains about 1.7% up in the polls over Rosen. That’s eminently winnable. Please support Rosen here.

AZ: Democratic US Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is running against the truly-awful GOP Rep. Martha McSally. McSally is up by only 2 points in the latest NYT poll. Up until now the polls had Sinema ahead, so I’d consider this race basically a tie, providing there’s no consistent slippage in the polls in the direction of McSally. Please chip into Sinema’s campaign here.

TN: Democrat Phil Bredesen is up by 1 point over conservative Republican Marsha Blackburn in a poll that came out Thursday. But the average of the polls still shows Blackburn ahead — this is the first time Bredesen is ahead in recent polls. Still, if this poll is right, it means Bredesen still has a real chance of winning this, and it’s anybody’s race. Please chip in to Bredesen’s campaign here.

FL: Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson is up by 5 points in the latest poll released today Sunday. But, on average, Nelson only has a 1.3% lead over his challenger, Republican Gov. Rick Scott. So this race is still too close, and will depend on turnout. Please chip in to support Nelson here.

HOUSE RACES

In the House, we have better news. Things are still on track for Democrats to possibly — likely? — take control in two weeks. Nate Silver says there’s currently an 85% chance the Democrats will control the House, and only a 15% chance the Republicans will. But, Nate warned that the numbers were really softer than that, because it really depends race to race. Democrats need 23 seats more to control the House. Nate says Dems could win between 10 and 100 seats on election day — that’s a heck of a wide margin. But, because there are so many GOP seats in play (100) and so few Dem seats in play (4 or 5), the odds significantly favor Dems taking back the House. But there’s no guarantee.

Now some specific races, including some really important races you may not have heard about, that are going to decide control of the House

NJ 11: Mikie Sherrill is ahead over her Republican challenger, Jay Webber, by 11 points in a poll released Friday. That’s great news, as the polls consistently show Sherrill to be ahead. You can Donate to Sherrill here.

ME 2: Democrat Jared Golden is running for Congress from Maine’s 2nd congressional district. In two polls released Friday, Golden is tied with his conservative Republican opponent, incumbent GOP congressman Bruce Poliquin, who is pro-life, anti-LGBT, anti-climate, pro-gun and anti-ACA. Poliquin is awful, and Golden can win this. Please chip in to support Golden’s campaign here.

FL 15: Democrat Kristen Carlson is running for Congress from Florida’s 15th congressional district. Carlson is tied in the two most recent polls with her Republican opponent, Ross Spano, who is a far-right, pro-NRA, pro- religious right, anti-ACA, pro-Wall Trumper. This is another seat we have to win, and can. Chip in to support Carlson’s campaign.

MI 8: Democrat Elissa Slotkin is running for Congress from Michigan’s 8th congressional district. Slotkin is behind by 3 points to her pro-Trump Republican opponent, incumbent Mike Bishop, who is pro-NRA, pro-life, anti-LGBT and all the rest. Please chip into Slotkin’s race here.

MI 11: Democrat Haley Stevens is running for Congress from Michigan’s 11th congressional district. Stevens is tied in the polls with her pro-Trump Republican opponent, incumbent Lena Epstein. Stevens is a former Obama official, and she’s great. Epstein ran Trump’s campaign in Michigan, and is God awful on everything. Chip in to support Stevens here.

CA 48: Harley Rouda remains tied with Putin-ally Dana Rohrabacher in CA 48th. This race isn’t getting as much attention, and perhaps it’s because Rohrabacher hasn’t been as in the news of late as he used to be. Old-timers like me know Rohrabacher all too well. He’s AWFUL. He’s not just a Putin ally, he’s the far right of the right. Just an awful Republican. The fact that he’s tied with his Democratic opponent is huge. We have to take this man down. Donate to Rouda here.

CA 22: This one’s a longshot, but a delicious longshot. Treason-weasel Devin Nunes is ahead of Democratic challenger Andrew Janz by 8 points, but with a big enough wave, Janz could surprise everyone. Donate to stop Nunes here.

We talk about a number of these races in our latest podcast, out this past Friday.

That’s it for the latest polls as of Sunday night. I’ll be sending out updates all week. Hang in there folks, we can and must win the House back (and maybe even the Senate). We just need to keep fighting.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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