Friday marks the end of another week of hard campaigning, with just 18 days until 2010 election. High profile Democrats like former President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama hit the trail this week. And polls indicate it may have worked. After Clinton visited West Virginia earlier this week, Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin opened up a 10 point lead over Republican John Raese, according to a new Marshall University poll. Manchin has been distancing himself from President Obama in recent weeks, as both the president and the healthcare reform law are unpopular in the state. Today's Senate polls show states like Ohio and New Hampshire, which Obama won in 2008, are leaning to the right, and show more Republican enthusiasm than Democrats. Here is the latest roundup of key races:
A Gallup Poll released today shows Obama's averaged job approval rating higher than that of Congress, 52 percent to 26 percent. This margin is higher than the same poll's results during the past five administrations, excluding George H. W. Bush, who had a 30 point lead. Gallup shows Obama's current job approval ratings at 44 percent.
A Rasmussen Reports survey released today shows 60 percent of likely voters prefer a congressional candidate who would work to cut federal spending, 84 percent of them are Republican.
And NPR today released a poll by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies of 96 battleground House seats. In the 58 competitive seats currently controlled by Democrats, the survey found, the overall GOP lead has narrowed since June from 8 points to 3 points.
The two Republicans in the three-way Alaska Senate race are in a statistical tie, according to the latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters. With a 4.5 percent margin of error, Tea Party-backed Republican nominee Joe Miller has 35 percent and incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost her primary to Miller but is running as a write-in candidate, has 34 percent. Democrat Scott McAdams has 27 percent. Less than a month ago, just after the ousted incumbent jumped back into the race, the same poll showed Murkowski trailing Miller, 27 percent to 42 percent.
New Hampshire Senate
Republican former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who narrowly won her primary, continues to hold a wide lead over two-term Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes. According to a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll released Thursday, Ayotte holds a 50 percent to 35 percent lead over Hodes among likely voters, with 12 percent undecided. Among independents, Ayotte also leads by an even wider margin, 49 percent to 29 percent. The survey also shows that in New Hampshire, there is greater enthusiasm among Republican voters. Ayotte has a 63 percent to 25 percent lead among voters excited about the 2010 election. Ayotte and Hodes are competing for the seat of Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who is retiring. Obama won New Hampshire in 2008 with 54 percent of the vote.
Republican former Rep. Rob Portman has a wide lead over Democratic Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher 58 percent to 36 percent among likely voters, according to a University of Cincinnati poll released Friday. Portman and Fisher are running for the seat of Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is retiring. The poll also shows Republican former Rep. John Kasich leading incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland 51 percent to 43 percent. The report indicates that self-identified Republicans have an advantage over Democrats in terms of voter enthusiasm and intention to vote.
West Virginia Senate
Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin has opened up a 10 point lead over Republican John Raese, according to a Marshall University Poll released Friday. The poll shows the popular governor leading the West Virginia businessman 48 percent to 38 percent, with a 4.6 percent margin of error. The survey was conducted shortly after former President Bill Clinton visited West Virginia to campaign for Manchin. Early voting is already underway in West Virginia. Manchin and Raese are fighting to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Robert Byrd's term.