According to a Rasmussen Poll released September 18th, the race to control the US Senate continues to put the prize in reach of the Democrats.
The battle for control of the U.S. Senate is getting closer—much closer. Little more than a week ago, our Balance of Power summary showed the Republicans leading 50-45 with five states in the Toss-Up category. Today, Rasmussen Reports is changing three races from “Toss-Up” to “Leans Democrat.” As a result, Rasmussen Reports now rates 49 seats as Republican or Leans Republican while 48 seats are rated as Democrat or Leans Democrat. There are now just three states in the Toss-Up category–Tennessee, New Jersey, and Missouri.
Today’s changes all involve Republican incumbents who have been struggling all year. In Montana, Senator Conrad Burns (R) has fallen behind Jon Tester (D). Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) survived his primary but starts the General Election as a decided underdog. Sherrod Brown (D) is enjoying a growing lead over Ohio Senator Mike DeWine (R).
Four other seats are now ranked as “Leans Democrat”—Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maryland, and Michigan.
Virginia is the only state rated as “Leans Republican.”
Democrats have to win all seven states leaning their way plus all three Toss-Ups to regain control of the Senate. While that’s a tall order, recent history shows that it is quite possible for one party or the other to sweep all the close races. The Democrats did so in Election 2000 and the Republicans returned the favor in 2002.
In the Toss up category, Harold Ford Jr has closed a 12 point gap with Republicon Bob Corker for Frist’s Tennessee seat to 1 point. In New Jersey, Tom Kean and Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez have moved 3- 4 points each to change Menendez’ 2 point lead to a 5 point edge for Kean. The Missouri race between Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republicon Jim Talent has changed from even to a 3 point lead for McCaskill.
Virginia’s hot race between ‘Macaca’ Allen and Democrat James Webb, shows a Republicon loss of 2 points from 9 to 7. Most likely before the debate televised Sunday and Allen’s further foot in mouth comments to the reporter ‘casting aspersions’ on his mother’s heritage (Jewish). Regardless of how many Jews there are in Virginia, I think Webb will deny Allen the seat.
The New York Times has also released a new poll today. In Poll Finds Most Americans Displeased With Congress, Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder report:
With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Republican-controlled Congress, with substantial majorities saying that they disapprove of the job it is doing and that its members do not deserve reelection,…
The disregard for Congress is the most intense it has been since 1994, when Republicans captured 52 seats to end four decades of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well.
By overwhelming margins, respondents said that members of Congress were too tied to special interests and that they did not understand the needs and problems of average Americans. Two-thirds said Congress had accomplished less than it typically does in a two-year session;
Mr. Bush’s job approval rating was 37 percent, virtually unchanged from the last Times/CBS News poll …in August.
The poll found indications that voters are paying unusually close attention to a midterm election: 43 percent said they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual. But with turnout promising to be a critical factor in many of the closer Senate and House races, there was no sign that either party had an edge in terms of voter enthusiasm.
The Emerging Democratic Majority covers an analysis by John B. Judis in the New Republic Online (subscription required) titled “Mood Indigo: A Democratic Revival”.
…it’s not just a sudden and fleeting reaction to Bush, but the resumption of a movement among upscale suburban voters and working-class Reagan Democrats. America may not turn blue this year, but it looks as if it is definitely becoming purple.
I’m still wondering if the ‘Katrina Response’ is measurable until the votes are cast. Will that make us ‘ocean blue’?