Republicans Poised to Make Big Gains in House, Senate

The GOP candidate is likely to win in the Arkansas senate race.


On the eve of the 2010 election, polls show Republicans with a several point advantage among likely voters nationwide. And when voters cast their ballots tomorrow, a majority of them say they will have President Obama and national issues on their minds, according to recent surveys. Democrats hold a slight edge among registered voters, shows one poll, but voter turnout may make all the difference in virtually deadlocked Senate races in Colorado, Nevada, and Washington. Meanwhile, the GOP is poised to win Senate seats currently held by Democrats in Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Democratic candidates Sen. Barbara Boxer in California and Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut are leading their Republican opponents. But Arkansas' Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln trails by double digits in a state where a majority of likely voters want to repeal the healthcare reform law. House seats held by first and second term Democrats in New Hampshire and Nevada are especially vulnerable to a Republican takeover, according to most recent polls. With hours to go until Election Day, here is today's poll roundup:


A USA Today/Gallup poll shows Republicans with a 55 percent to 40 percent lead among likely voters on the national generic ballot, and 48 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. The poll estimated 45 percent of registered voters will cast their ballots in the 2010 election. Among those who say they are "absolutely certain" to vote, 75 percent have chosen or are leaning toward the Republican candidates compared to 68 percent for Democrats.

A Pew Research Center study shows Republicans with a 48 percent to 42 percent advantage over Democrats among likely voters on the national generic ballot. The same poll in mid October showed Republicans with a 10 point advantage. Democrats have a 44 percent to 43 percent advantage among registered voters.

A separate Gallup poll shows 38 percent of likely voters are casting their ballots in opposition to Obama, while 24 percent say their vote is in support of the president. [See photos of Obama behind the scenes.] But 37 percent say their vote has nothing to do with Obama. Additionally, 41 percent say their vote reflects national issues, while 21 percent are voting based on local or state issues. Twenty three percent say their vote reflects the candidate's character and experience.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Alaska Senate

Polls show mixed results for the three-way Senate race in Alaska. The Dittman Research poll shows write-in candidate and incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski leading GOP nominee Joe Miller 37 percent to 27 percent, and Democrat Scott McAdams with 23 percent. The Democratic firmPublic Policy Polling released a survey that shows Miller leading with 37 percent and Murkowski and McAdams both taking 30 percent. Miller's favorability rating is 36 percent in this poll compared to McAdams' 50 percent. Among likely voters, 37 percent approve of the job Murkowski is doing as Senator while 53 percent disapprove. 

Arkansas Senate

Incumbent Democrat Lincoln trails Republican lawmaker John Boozman by 19 points, according to a Rasmussen poll. Boozman, a four-term congressman, leads the state's senior senator 55 percent to 36 percent among likely voters, with 4 percent undecided. The poll also found that 70 percent want to repeal the national healthcare reform law, and 77 percent of those voters back Boozman. Obama has a 61 percent job disapproval rating in the state. 

California Senate

Three-term Democratic Senator Boxer leads Carly Fiorina 50 percent to 46 percent, according to a survey released today by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Boxer holds the same edge among independents. However, 50 percent have a negative view of Boxer, while 44 percent view Fiorina unfavorably. 

[See who is donating money to Boxer.]

Colorado Senate

Polls show mixed results for the Senate race between incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck. According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, Buck leads Bennet 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters. The poll also shows Republicans edge Democrats in voter enthusiasm 59 percent to 52 percent, with 34 percent of independents claiming they are "very enthusiastic" about voting. Obama's approval rating is 40 percent among registered voters in the state, but 51 percent say the president inherited the current economic situation. A study by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows the pair locked in a statistical dead heat. Buck edges Bennet 49 percent to 48 percent, with a 3 percent margin of error. Buck also has a 50 percent to 46 percent lead among independents.[See who is giving money to Bennet.]