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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Two polls show Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leading Republican former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, though the gap has narrowed in the past week. A Quinnipiac University poll shows Blumenthal with a nine point lead over McMahon, 53 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. The poll also shows that the majority of women back Blumenthal, 61 percent to 36 percent, while the majority of men support McMahon, 50 percent to 46 percent. McMahon lead among independents, 49 percent to 44 percent. The same poll last week had Blumenthal leading by 12 points. A Rasmussen poll shows Blumenthal leading 53 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with 1 percent undecided. The same poll last week showed Blumenthal with a 13 point lead.
Republican Marco Rubio has a 14 point lead over independent Gov. Charlie Crist in the state's three-way Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University survey. Among likely voters, 45 percent support Rubio, 31 percent back Crist and 18 percent say they will vote for Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Rubio also leads Crist among independents, 42 percent to 35 percent. But Crist leads Meek among Democrats, 47 percent to 42 percent.
In the race for Obama's old Senate seat, Republican lawmaker Mark Kirk is leading Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias 46 percent to 42 percent, according to a study released today by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Kirk holds a significant lead among independents, 46 percent to 31 percent. Both candidates have low favorability ratings, 39 percent for Kirk and 35 percent for Giannoulias.
In the fight for retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning's seat, GOPer Rand Paul leads Democrat Jack Conway 55 percent to 40 percent. Paul leads among independents 48 percent to 40 percent, and has 34 percent support among Democrats. The poll found that 62 percent disapprove of Obama.
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Sharron Angle are virtually tied in Nevada, according to a Democratic Public Policy Polling survey released today. Angle edges Reid 47 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with a 3.8 percent margin of error, and 52 percent to 38 percent among independents.
Nevada's 3rd House District
First-term Democratic Rep. Dina Titus trails Republican Joe Heck by 10 points, according to a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll. Heck edges Titus 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. Titus has a 43 percent favorability rating in the state. Heck also leads among independents 57 percent to 39 percent. Titus won 47 percent of the vote in 2008 and represents a district that backed Obama two years ago but supported Bush in 2004.
New Hampshire's 1st House District
Two-term Rep. Carol Shea-Porter trails Republican Frank Guinta by seven points, according to a WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll. Guinta leads Shea-Porter 46 percent to 39 percent among likely voters, with 12 percent undecided. The district supported Obama in 2008 but backed Bush in 2004.
Several polls show Republican Pat Toomey edging Democratic lawmaker Joe Sestak. A Quinnipiac University study shows Toomey leading 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters and 52 percent to 39 percent among independents. Five percent remain undecided, while 13 percent say they could change their mind before casting their ballot. A Muhlenberg College /Morning Call poll shows Toomey with a 48 percent to 44 percent edge, with 9 percent undecided. Meanwhile, a Susquehanna Polling & Research survey shows the pair in a statistical dead heat, with Toomey narrowly leading Sestak 46 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, with a 3.46 percent margin of error. Both candidates earned a 35 percent favorability rating. A survey released by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Toomey leading 51 percent to 46 percent, and a McClatchy-Marist College poll shows Toomey leading by seven points.
Three polls show the race between Democratic incumbent Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi in a virtual dead heat. A McClatchy-Marist College poll shows Murray edging Rossi 49 percent to 48 percent with a 4 percent margin of error. The poll also shows 62 percent of Republicans are "very enthusiastic" about voting compared to 52 percent of Democrats. A survey released by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Rossi leading Murray 50 percent to 48 percent, with a 2.2 percent margin of error. Rossi also leads among independents, 54 percent to 42 percent. Of voters who say they have already cast their ballots, 52 percent support Rossi while 47 percent back Murray. A Fox News/Rasmussen poll shows Murray edging Rossi 49 percent to 47 percent among likely voters, with a 3 percent margin of error.
Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold trails Republican Ron Johnson 45 percent to 52 percent among likely voters, according to a McClatchy-Marist College poll. Among those who support Johnson, 56 percent say they are "very enthusiastic" about voting compared to 48 percent of Feingold backers. Obama's approval rating among registered voters is 47 percent, though he won the state in 2008 with 56 percent of the vote.
West Virginia Senate
Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin and Republican businessman John Raese are virtually tied, according to a Rasmussen survey. Manchin leads Raese 50 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with a 4 percent margin of error. Meanwhile, a study by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Manchin with a five point lead over Raese, 51 percent to 46 percent. Manchin's approval rating is 70 percent, while Obama's is 31 percent in the state.
- See a slide show of political predictions for 2010.
- Check out our editorial cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.
- See a slide show of 14 establishment candidates who lost to insurgents.