Rasmussen Poll shows Tightening Senate Race

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’?

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5 Responses to Rasmussen Poll shows Tightening Senate Race

  1. BlueWashington says:

    I don’t want to see the glass as half empty, but I’m really concerned about the New Jersey race. What’s the story with Menendez? It seems like he can’t pull away from Kean. I know Kean’s father was a popular governor there – put what’s the story?

    Here in the great state of WA, Cantwell did very well in her primary last night. She’ll defeat McGavick – you heard it here – it will be under 5% ultimately, but she’ll take him.

  2. What I don’t understand, is why have they once again forgotten about Louisiana. There are 7 seats and all are up for the taking this year. 5 of those seats are held by republicans. One of those seats are being pursued with vigor by Stacey Tallitsch.

    There are two seats right now that are held by dems. The one held by Jefferson of the frozen money memory, and Charlie Melancon who re-facing Romero. Romero got the backing of both like minded monsters, Vitter and Jindal.

    To really throw salt on a wound, Vitter And Jindal announced it right out in court house square in my very own city! So what does that tell you? The fact that it was done right here, in the 3rd district parish that was worse hit by Rita shows me what they are up to. Charlie Melancon is going to need some big time help! I hope we send Romero packing again. I also hope Stacey whips Jindal black and blue come November.

  3. Ginny Cotts says:


    Jersey is definitely on the ‘needs lotsa work’ list. Dave from P commented a while back that Kean’s popularity is an issue that Menendez has to overcome. Since it is basically inherited from his Dad, it should be vulnerable to a good campaign. And there is time for that.

    Glad to hear Cantwell is still likely. Seems to me she has done a good job by WA and should fall into the ‘other candidates should not be re-elected but mine is good’ category.


    The house races are looking even better for Dems in the polls I’ve seen. I am not sure about the hurricane states specifically but wonder how well the polls can work in areas where many people are displaced, without power, etc.

    Is Melancon on any of the help lists? DFA or the others that highlight races needing support? The DCCC is stretched thin but I think they are in the best shape they have been in for decades.

    Unfortunately, the disruption of life in the harder hit areas also translates into less time for people to volunteer for the candidates. The observation by Judis that the movement of the Reagan Democrats had already started and is continuing, makes me think that many of them will be further motivated by the hurricane debacle.

  4. Ginny,

    I’m not sure about the DCCC or DFA. Do you have a link there? Melancon beat Romero the last time, but this time, I see something I hope they don’t get away with. If you look at what I mentioned, you can see where they will go with it. They will try to hit Charlie with Storm related issues.

    Terrebonne Parish happens to be in the western extremes of the third district. It got slammed by Rita, and then both Vitter and Jindal come to the parish seat to do the annoucement. Take a look at the artical in the paper. The idiot does not hide what a carbon copy of his two thugs in arms he is. he actually has his pic with one of his signs in the paper, and get this, it does not say republican, but blatently says “Conservative Craig Romero with his two fellow nutjobs in the background.

    Vitter and Jindal also said Romero is a proven conservative who would work for traditional family values and to lower taxes, unlike Melancon, who they say voted to end tax cuts.

    Sounds familiar? Also worthy of mention, is the fact that Jindal took the time to speak at a church here in Houma while he was in town. I will post on that later.

  5. Ginny Cotts says:


    Democracy for America highlights candidates selected by members from the area – they require I think 4 nominations that give solid reasons to support the candidate.

    Tom Vilsacks Heartland Pac does the same but the nomination criteria/process is different.

    MoveOn has a similar campaign but it is more a matter of developing groups in an area to work on what they see as the local needs and is more comprehensively designed for both GOTV and helping to persuade voters to back progressive candidates – especially door to door campaigns.

    Act Blue has Tallitsch and Melancon on their site. They also have Jefferson??

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has 435 races to help and although your races are part of it, pressure could get them more of the pie.