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Monday, January 25, 2010

The 2010 Election Polling Update

Periodically we will be going through the polling figures for the Senate and House races for 2010.

As Gemimail pointed out earlier, taking the House may be an uphill battle, improbable even, but is not impossible and looks far more possible in today's political environment than it did just 2 months ago.

Rasmussen on Senate Races below:


Democratic incumbent Senator Evan Bayh trails his Republican challenger Congressman Mike Pence 47 percent to 44 percent.


Democratic incumbent Harry Reid trails both potential Republican challengers, Sue Lowden, ex-chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, and businessman Danny Tarkanian.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Nevada finds Reid earning just 36% of the vote against his two top Republican challengers. That’s a seven-point drop from 43% a month ago.


In a match-up with Reid, the GOP’s Lowden now earns 48% of the vote while Tarkanian picks up 50% of the Nevada vote against Reid. . In December, both had 49% support.

In both races, the number of those who prefer some other candidate and are undecided remain in single digits.

In September, Lowden led Reid by 10 percentage points, 50% to 40%, while Tarkanian bested him 50% to 43%.


Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet trails his Republican challenger, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, by 12 points.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Colorado finds the top Republican candidate with a 12-point lead over Bennet, 49% to 37%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and 11% remain undecided.

The results are little changed if Bennet is defeated in the state’s Democratic Primary by former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. In a match-up with Romanoff, Norton also leads by 12 points, 47% to 35%. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate, and 14% are undecided.


Democratic incumbent Blanche Lambert Lincoln trails against all four potential Republican challengers.

State Senator Gilbert Baker leads Lincoln by 12, and State Senate Minority Leader Kim Hendren holds an eight-point edge over the incumbent. Curtis Coleman, a private businessman, and Tom Cox, head of the Arkansas T.E.A. Party, both lead her by 10 points. In reality, however, the numbers reflect very little about the challengers and are best viewed as a referendum on the incumbent.

The two-term senator, who was reelected with 54% of the vote in 2004, appears more vulnerable because of her visible and pivotal role in the Senate debate over health care. Lincoln was the last Democrat to vote for allowing the debate to formally begin, but she took a lower profile in the vote for final passage.


Former Republican turned Democratic incumbent Senator Arlen Specter trails Republican Pat Toomey by 49 percent to 40 percent.

Republican Pat Toomey now leads incumbent Senator Arlen Specter 49% to 40% in Pennsylvania’s race for the U.S. Senate. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters also finds Toomey with a 43% to 35% lead over Democratic challenger Joe Sestak.

Rasmussen on open set races:

Republicans lead open-seat races in Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Ohio. Democrats lead in Connecticut, and the race is close in Illinois.

Sean Trende over at Real Clear Politics asks the very real question of whether the Senate is also in play for 2010.

Last week I challenged the conventional wisdom that the House of Representatives is not in play. After Scott Brown’s five-point victory in Massachusetts, it is worth asking wheter the Senate is in play as well. If a Republican can win in a fairly high turnout election (with about as many ballots cast as in the 2006 gubernatorial election) in Massachusetts, is there anywhere they can’t win?

The answer is that the Senate is competitive – but barely. There are seven Senate seats that Republicans have an excellent shot at winning. After that, the going gets very tough. Still, there’s at least some chance that Republicans can pick up the additional seats needed to get them to 50, which would give them at least partial control of the Senate. The odds are long. But at this point in 2006, no one thought Democrats could retake the Senate, and at this point in 2008 no one thought a filibuster-proof majority was even plausible. Let’s go through the Republican seats up in 2010, and then address the Democratic seats in more detail.

Read the rest for a more detailed analysis.

House of Representative and Governor's races for 2010:


State Treasurer Dean Martin for now looks like the Republican who’s offering the biggest challenge to likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard in Arizona’s race for governor.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Arizona voters finds Martin with a nine-point lead over Goddard, 44% to 35%. In November, the race was a toss-up, with Goddard up by two. Given this match-up, six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, and fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.


Now that Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has said he will step down rather than run for reelection, Democrats may be more competitive in this year's gubernatorial race. Ritter trailed former GOP Congressman Scott McInnis by eight points a month ago.

New Rasmussen Reports polling of likely Colorado voters shows that two of McInnis' potential Democratic opponents are a bit closer than that.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper trails McInnis by just three percentage points, 45% to 42%.

But Hickenlooper appears to be waiting to see what Ken Salazar decides. Salazar resigned as a U.S. senator early last year to join President Obama's Cabinet as secretary of the Interior. If Salazar decides to seek the governor’s mansion, Hickenlooper said, "I'd probably be his first volunteer.”

Currently, McInnis leads Salazar 47% to 41%.


Florida’s 2010 race for governor is looking a little more competitive.
A new Rasmussen reports telephone survey in the state shows state Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, ahead of Democrat Alex Sink 44% to 39%. In October, McCollum had a 46% to 35% lead.


A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Massachusetts finds incumbent Democratic Governor Deval Patrick holding on to roughly one-third of the vote no matter which of the most prominent Republican hopefuls is in the race. The governor posts a single-digit lead in both scenarios, but his challengers are gaining.


Michigan has been reliably Democratic in recent years, but right now Lieutenant Governor John Cherry faces an uphill battle against his leading Republican opponents in the state’s 2010 race for governor.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Michigan voters finds Cherry, the top Democrat in the race, trailing two of his potential GOP rivals by double digits and a third by five points.

Congressman Peter Hoekstra is the strongest Republican hopeful at this juncture, beating Cherry by 14 points – 46% to 32%. Six percent (6%) prefer another candidate, and 16% are undecided.

In a match-up with Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Cherry is the loser 42% to 32%. Again, six percent (6%) like someone else in the race. Undecideds rise to 20%.

The race is slightly closer when the lieutenant governor is pitted against state Attorney General Mike Cox. In that match-up, Cox wins 39% to 34%. Nine percent (9%) favor some other candidate, and 17% are not sure whom they’ll vote for.

New York

Republican hopeful Rick Lazio remains ahead of incumbent Democrat David Paterson but badly trails state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in this year's race for governor in New York.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely New York voters shows Lazio ahead of Paterson 45% to 38%. Nine percent (9%) of voters would opt for some other candidate, while eight percent (8%) are undecided. In November, Lazio led Paterson by four points, 41% to 37%. In September, the two men were tied at 38% each.

But Cuomo who is expected to challenge Paterson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination now leads Lazio by 19 points, 54% to 35%. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) remain undecided. Cuomo had a 28-point lead in mid-November. In late September, Cuomo led Lazio 65% to 26%.


Little has changed in Ohio’s 2010 race for governor, with incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland still trailing his Republican challenger, John Kasich.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state shows Kasich with a seven-point lead, 47% to 40%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.


A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds State Attorney General Tom Corbett ahead of all four of his leading Democratic rivals in potential 2012 match-ups.

Corbett, the front-runner among GOP hopefuls for the job, captures 48% to former Congressman Joe Hoeffel’s 26%. Against Scranton Mayor Christopher Doherty, Corbett wins 46% to 23%.

The attorney general is a 44% to 28% winner over Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato. The closest race is Corbett versus state Auditor General Jack Wagner, with the Republican on top 43% to 30%.

But in every match-up, nearly 10% prefer some other candidate, and roughly 20% are undecided.

South Carolina

With the Mark Sanford scandal still swirling in South Carolina, next year’s race for governor is shaping up to be quite competitive if State Education Superintendent Jim Rex is the Democratic candidate.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in South Carolina finds Rex losing narrowly to two of the top potential GOP contenders and virtually tied with another. If State Senator Vincent Sheheen is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Republicans have a little more breathing room.

Expect many more polls on other states because now reports are in that House Minority Leader John Boehner believes that no Democratic seat is safe and is determined to have a GOP candidate running for each and every House seat.

Republicans aim to have a candidate in every congressional district in this fall's midterm elections, said the top GOP member in the House on Monday.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) asserted that no seat is safe for Democrats after Republican Scott Brown's victory in a special election for the Senate seat in Massachusetts last week.

"There's not a seat in America held by a Democrat that can't be won. Massachusetts proves that," Boehner said this morning during an interview on Fox News. "My goal is to make sure we've got candidates in every single seat in America -- 435 of them."

Ten months until November and the GOP has it's work cut out for them if they want to either take the House or Senate or even simply make it tight enough to where Pelosi and Reid cannot jam through anything and everything on Obama's agenda, whether votes oppose it or not.

Thing is, the Democrats seem to be trying to help the GOP.

Gotta love how they can shoot themselves in the foot so often and so consistently and then just limp over to the next highly unpopular part of their agenda and push even harder.