OR-Sen: Merkley on Brink of Defeating Smith

Public Policy Polling (10/28-30, likely voters):

Jeff Merkley (D): 51

Gordon Smith (R-inc): 43

Dave Brownlow (C): 4

(MoE: ±2.6%)

Those are beautiful numbers, but these are even better: 59% of likely voters have filled in their ballots so far, and of that group, Merkley is ahead by 59-37. My crude back-of-the-cocktail napkin analysis says that Smith would have to take roughly two-thirds of the outstanding vote in order to pull off a win here. And while Smith leads among likely voters who have yet to complete their ballots (by 51-39 over Merkley), that’s not enough to erase the strong early edge that Merkley has built up.

Bonus finding: Obama leads McCain by 56-42.

UPDATE by Crisitunity:

Rasmussen (10/30, likely voters, 10/14 in parentheses):

Jeff Merkley (D): 49 (47)

Gordon Smith (R-inc): 46 (47)

Some other: 4 (n/a)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

Rasmussen polls Oregon too, and the results are good, with Merkley up by 3. Now 3 might not seem that confidence-inspiring compared with other pollsters’ numbers in this race, but bear in mind that a) this is the first time Merkley has sported a lead in a Rasmussen poll, and b) Rasmussen keeps on not including Dave Brownlow of the Constitution Party, who is bleeding off votes on Smith’s right flank (although this time they do report that 4% plan to vote for ‘some other’ candidate).

MN-Sen: Franken Ahead in PPP Poll, Behind in Mason-Dixon

Public Policy Polling has a fresh survey right out of the oven (10/28-30, likely voters):

Al Franken (DFL): 45

Norm Coleman (R): 40

Dean Barkley (IP): 14

(MoE: ±3.0%)

Coleman takes 85% of Republicans and Franken holds 81% of Democrats, with Barkley taking a roughly equal share from each party. That’s pretty good news, but it’s tempered by a pair of recent polls — including one by Rasmussen — showing Coleman with the lead. Here’s the other:

Mason-Dixon (10/27-28, likely voters):

Al Franken (DFL): 36

Norm Coleman (R): 42

Dean Barkley (IP): 12

(MoE: ±4.0%)

I admire all you brave souls who have taken a stab at this race in our predictions contest thread. This one is real tossup.

MN-Sen – PPP: Franken leads Coleman 45-40-14

A new PPP poll just released shows Al Franken leading Norm Coleman 45-40, with 14 giong to Barkley.  

Also, Obama leads Minnesota by a big 57-41 margin. Obama may just drag Al Franken across the finish line first.


The race for US Senate in Minnesota is close, but Al Franken has a definite lead at this juncture in the contest.

Only 76% of Obama voters are planning to vote for Franken, quite a difference from the 85% of McCain supporters going for Coleman. But with Obama headed for a dominant victory in the state, it looks like as of today his coattails would be enough to bring Franken across the finish line.


Also just released is a set of PPP polls for West Virginia, where McCain leads Obama 55-42.


DSCC Drops Five Million in Georgia!

According to: http://www.nj.com/us-politics/… and http://www.californiachronicle…

make it clear that the DSCC is going all out in Georgia. They’ve spent 2.8 million on hardhitting ads against Chambliss, and at their current rate are set to spend FIVE million by election day. Which is a lot even for an insanely expensive state like Georgia. This is about what I thought they should do, how far in I thought that they should go. They’re raising the stakes.  

I think what they’re really trying to to do is ensure that the race goes to a runoff, as Chambliss is hovering in the upper 40s. After that watch as the DNC and DSCC spend like 20 mil to take the race away from a completely beaten, demoralized Republicans, like with Ciro against Bonilla last time. He as way behind, got outspent, and still won big. Imagine how exacted all the Democrats are going to be, and Republicans aren’t even going to be bothering to show up at the polls. The turnout in a runoff definitely favors the Democrat in those kinds of conditions.

P.S. Please vote in my poll, I use it as a counter to see how many people have a read a post I’ve made, thanks.  

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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Daily Spending Update

South Carolina Republican Party is worried about Henry Brown and dropping money into the race.

NRA is shooting it up for their gang:

Don Young – $66K

Ric Keller – $44K

Bachmann – $35K

Jon Porter – $29K

Saxby Chambliss – $26K

Mark Souder – $26K

Robin Hayes – $24K

John Shadegg – $23K

Tim Bee – $16K

Mitch McConnell – $15K

John Sununu – $12K

Jeb Bradley – $12K

**Not sure how popular the NRA is in Manchester, Las Vegas, and Orlando, but hey all three of these are going to lose anyway.  Why not waste NRA money.

League of Conservation Voters is attacking:

Kay Hagan – $28K

Saxby Chambliss – $16K

Trust in Small Business has come with $22K in support of Saxby Chambliss.

Families First in wasting money:

Joe Baca – $11K

Michigan Republican Party is spending $22K for Tim Walberg, but a mere $100 for Joe Knollenberg.

Minnesota Republican Party has also come out with a $63K attack ad against Madia.

Emily’s List is throwing money to support a few also:

Carol Shea-Porter – $20K

Alice Kryzan – $17K

The poor Republican Party is really desperate to win NJ-3, spending $187K here.  If Republicans are spending this much in NJ then this must be another Scott Garrett radical.  However, they’re also spending $175K in NJ-7, an unlikely win at any cost for them.

They’re also helping out two that previously received nothing.  Virgil Goode is getting $96K and Thelma Drake $45K, all of course attacks ads.

Defenders of Wildlife have come out with a $25K attacks against John Shadegg.  Hey Johnny!!  Where’s the GOP when you need them the most?

After the NRCC spent against Nancy Boyda the DCCC has come through with a $165K buy.

Spending by both parties on behalf/against Jean Schmidt must indicate that Schmidt is behind.  Just in time for Halloween…the witch is gone!!

Is this really true?  The DCCC has spent $19K for David Scott.  Hey Democrats..better send lawyers to monitor the polls in this African-American district.

Americans for Legal Immigration must be broke:

$170 against Lindsey Graham

$1,350 for Elizabeth Dole

Actually, if I lived in SC this is one Republican I would vote for.  The Democrat is a radical conservative extremist.

International Assoc. of Firefighters have thrown in help too…$31K for Jeanne Shaheen and $32K for Kay Hagan.

Ohio Republican Party has thrown in $50K for Kurt Schuring

Tennessee Democratic Party has thrown $19K for Lincoln Davis

Nebraska Democratic Party has thrown $11K for James Esch.

Noticeable findings: Randy Kuhl, Phil English, Joe Knollenberg, Bill Sali, Illinois 11th, and Missouri 9th have seen dramatic cutbacks from the NRCC.  Looks like these seats have been conceded in order to fight for other important seats to the NRCC: Ric Keller, Jean Schmidt, Thelma Drake, Virgil Goode, and Wyoming AL.

It also looks like the NRCC has provided Paul Kanjorski relief in order to attack John Murtha.  At this point I think Kanjorski may narrowly survive (not an assessment I had a week earlier).

The Great Swing State Project Predictions Contest: 2008 Edition

Just as we did in 2006, the Swing State Project is having a downballot election prediction contest. We’ve handpicked fourteen hot House and Senate races (and one gubernatorial race) from all across the country for you to think hard about and submit your best guesses.

The rules are simple: Only one entry per person will be accepted (so if you post multiple revisions, we’re only going to look at your last post), submitted as a comment in this thread (e-mail submissions will be junked). Submissions will be accepted until midnight Eastern on Monday, November 3rd.

What we’re interested in is the final margin between the Democratic and Republican candidates (except for the tiebreaker), and the goal is to have the lowest score possible. So if you think that Debbie Cook will beat Dana Rohrabacher by a score of 55-45, what we care about is that you think it’s going to be D+10. If she wins 53-47, that’s D+6, so you get four “error points” added to your score. (Remember, fewer points = better.)

This also means that if Cook wins 50-40 (and third parties take the rest), you’ve still “nailed it” according to our system and get a perfect score of zero for the race. If, on the other hand, you call it D+10 and it winds up being R+10, you’ll get 20 points added to your score.

So let’s cut to the chase! Here are the races that we’ve selected:

WA-Gov: Gregoire (D) v. Rossi (R)

AK-Sen: Stevens (R) v. Begich (D)

MS-Sen-B: Wicker (R) v. Musgrove (D)

CA-46: Rohrabacher (R) v. Cook (D)

FL-25: M. Diaz-Balart (R) v. Garcia (D)

LA-01: Scalise (R) v. Harlan (D)

NE-02: Terry (R) v. Esch (D)

NH-01: Shea-Porter (D) v. Bradley (R)

NM-02: Tinsley (R) v. Teague (D)

NY-13: Straniere (R) v. McMahon (D)

OH-02: Schmidt (R) v. Wulsin (D)

PA-11: Kanjorski (D) v. Barletta (R)

TX-22: Lampson (D) v. Olson (R)

WY-AL: Lummis (R) v. Trauner (D)

And the tiebreaker:

MN-Sen: Coleman (R) v. Franken (D) v. Barkley (IP)

Ideally, your entries should look something like:

WA-Gov: D+6

AK-Sen: R+8

And so forth. However, for the tiebreaker (MN-SEN), please predict the EXACT FINAL SCORE for each candidate. You are free to predict final scores for the other races as well, but you’ll make our lives a lot easier if you list the expected margin first as shown above.

Once again, the deadline for your submissions is midnight Eastern on Monday — so get your predictions in soon. The top three finishers (ie, those with the lowest overall scores) will be treated to some of SSP’s favorite chocolate babka (as pictured here).

Have at it!

Larry Sabato makes his (nearly) final picks


Presidential Race:

Obama –  364 EV

McCain – 174 EV


Dem gains of 7-8 Seats

Dem Pickups – AK, CO, NH, NM, NC, OR, VA

Rep Pickups – None

Projected Run-off – GA


Dem Gains of 25-35 Seats

Democratic Pick-up (29)  

AK-AL (Young)  

AZ-01 (OPEN)  

CA-04 (OPEN)  

CO-04 (Musgrave)  

CT-04 (Shays)  

FL-08 (Keller)  

FL-21 (L. Diaz-Balart)  

FL-24 (Feeney)  

IL-10 (Kirk)  

IL-11 (OPEN)  

KY-02 (OPEN)  

MI-07 (Walberg)  

MI-09 (Knollenberg)  

MN-03 (OPEN)  

MN-06 (Bachmann)  

NC-08 (Hayes)  

NJ-03 (OPEN)  

NM-01 (OPEN)  

NM-02 (OPEN)  

NV-03 (Porter)  

NY-13 (OPEN)  

NY-25 (OPEN)  

NY-26 (OPEN)  

NY-29 (Kuhl)  

OH-15 (OPEN)  

OH-16 (OPEN)  

PA-03 (English)  

VA-11 (OPEN)  

WA-08 (Reichert)

Republican Pick-up (3)

TX-22 (Lampson)    

PA-11 (Kanjorski)    

FL-16 (Mahoney)  

Dem Races Too Close To Call (9)

FL-25 (M. Diaz-Balart)  

ID-01 (Sali)

IN-03 (Souder)  

LA-04 (OPEN)

MD-01 (OPEN)  

NE-02 (Terry)

NJ-07 (OPEN)

OH-01 (Chabot)



No Gain to Dem gain of 1

Dem Pickups – MO

Rep Pickups – None

Pick TBA Monday – NC

NY-26: Lee Leads by 14

SurveyUSA (10/28-29, likely voters, 9/24-25 in parens):

Alice Kryzan (D): 34 (37)

Chris Lee (R): 48 (48)

Other/Undecided: 18

(MoE: ±4.1%)

Sigh — what an ugly picture this is. The “Other/Undecided” vote is especially high for a SUSA poll, and perhaps that number includes a few folks who are intending to pull the lever for Jon Powers, who is still stuck on the Working Families Party line. Indeed, a full 20% of Democrats are in that column.

SSP currently rates this race as Lean Republican.

MN-Sen: M-D poll says Franken down six

Mason-Dixon is now out with a poll showing Al Franken down 42-36.  Is this another GOP-leaning M-D poll, or is Al really tanking?  M-D does seem to suggest that Dean Barkley is hurting Franken a lot more than Coleman.  I am definitely beginning to worry about this one.

From Political Wire:

Though Sen. Barack Obama holds a decent lead in Minnesota’s presidential race, his party’s U.S. Senate candidate is lagging behind.

A new NBC News/Mason-Dixon survey finds Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) leading challenger Al Franken (D) by six points, 42% to 36%, with 12% favoring Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley.

Analysis: “If Coleman puts daylight between Franken’s numbers and his own on Election Day, he may have Barkley to thank.  While he has shored up 89% of voters who identify as Republicans, with  only 4% defecting to Barkley’s camp, only about three out of four Democrats say that they support their party nominee, with 17% of Democratic voters favoring the Independence Party candidate over Franken.”


LA-Sen: A Dead Heat?

OnMessage Inc. for John Kennedy (10/27-29, likely voters, 10/14-16 in parens):

Mary Landrieu (D-inc): 45 (47)

John Kennedy (R): 44 (42)

(MoE: ±3.3%)

A pollster we’re friendly with (who’s gone into the field in this race many times) sums this poll up in one word: bullshit. He thinks it’s likely juked to suck in a little last-minute PAC money and to ward off demoralization in the final weekend. YMMV, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

UPDATE: A new Loyola University poll has different result (10/24-26, likely voters):

Mary Landrieu (D-inc): 49

John Kennedy (R): 34

(MoE: ±4.5%)

The same poll has McCain leading Obama by only 43-40, which seems a bit on the optimistic side.