As the final full week before the 2010 election begins, President Obama and other high profile Democrats are trying to protect the vulnerable members of their party. While both parties are making last-ditch efforts to attract voters who haven't made up their minds, a new poll shows Republicans may have the advantage there: among the one third of likely voters who say they are undecided, more prefer the GOP candidate over the Democratic one. Other polls show that Senate seats being vacated by Democrats Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Evan Bayh of Indiana are likely to be taken over by Republicans. And House races in Massachusetts and Michigan, where Democratic incumbents Bill Delahunt and Bart Stupak are retiring, are in statistical dead heats. Meanwhile, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio has a double digit lead and Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer is leading in California. Here is today's poll roundup:
An Associated Press/GfK poll shows one third of likely voters either have not decided who they will vote for in the midterm or could change their minds. Of those voters, 45 percent say they prefer a Republican candidate while 38 percent would support a Democrat. Also, 50 percent say they want a challenger to beat their district's incumbent, and 59 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
A Rasmussen poll released today shows 43 percent of likely voters say neither congressional Democrats nor Republicans represent the American people. However 50 percent say there is no need for a third party, while 38 percent say there is a need.
Boxer holds an eight point lead over Republican Carly Fiorina, according to a USC/Los Angeles Times conducted by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the Republican firm American Viewpoint. Boxer, a three term incumbent, edges former Hewlett-Packard CEO Fiorina 50 percent to 42 percent among likely voters, a lead statistically unchanged from the previous month's poll. The poll shows Obama's approval rating in the state at 54 percent.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican nominee Ken Buck are in a dead heat, according to a Denver Post/Survey USA poll released today. Bennet and Buck each received 47 percent support among likely voters, with 1 percent undecided.
Democrat Richard Blumenthal leads Republican Linda McMahon by 13 points, according to a Rasmussen poll released today. Among likely voters, 56 percent support Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, while 43 percent back former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO McMahon. Blumenthal's lead increased by eight points from the same poll released two weeks ago.
Republican Marco Rubio holds a double digit lead in Florida's three-way Senate race, according to a Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times poll, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Among likely voters, 41 percent back Rubio, 26 percent support Independent Gov. Charlie Crist and 20 percent support Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Among Democratic voters, 42 percent back Meek while 36 percent support Crist. But among independents, 40 percent back Crist.
Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias are statistically tied in the race for President Obama's old Senate seat, according to two polls. In a Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey released Saturday, Kirk, a five-term lawmaker, holds a slight edge over Giannoulias, 43 to 41 percent among likely voters, with a 4 percent margin of error. The poll also shows that 68 percent say jobs and the economy is the most important issue in this election, with government spending coming in at second. Obama's approval rating is at 51 percent in this poll. A Chicago Tribune poll released today shows Kirk leading Giannoulias 44 percent to 41 percent, with a 4.7 percent margin of error. Among independents, 50 percent support Kirk while 28 percent support Giannoulias.
Republican Dan Coats holds an 18 point lead over Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth, according to an Epic-MRA research survey released Monday. The poll shows Ellsworth trailing Coats 35 percent to 53 percent. The candidates are competing for the seat held for 12 years by Sen. Bayh, who is retiring from the Senate.