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Thursday, October 27, 2016

As the 2014 midterm elections draw closer, an avalanche of polling data will emerge on the key races that will decide who controls the House of Representatives, the Senate, and statehouses across the country. What follows is a brief summary of some key polls from the week of March 16:

New Hampshire
Republicans are hoping that former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown’s all-but-certain entrance into New Hampshire’s 2014 Senate race will turn the Granite State into a serious 2014 battleground, but the polls suggest that this may be wishful thinking.

According to an American Research Group poll released Monday, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has a comfortable 50 to 38 percent lead over Brown, with 12 percent undecided. Those numbers are similar to a recent Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll that found Shaheen up 13, and solidify the incumbent Democrat’s status as the frontrunner.

ARG also polled New Hampshire’s gubernatorial race, with similarly strong results for the Democrats. Governor Maggie Hassan leads Republican challenger Andrew Hemingway 45 to 30 percent, with 25 percent undecided — 37 percent of respondents approve of Hassan, while 25 percent disapprove and 38 percent are undecided.

Most polls find Hassan’s approval ratings to be much higher; the first-term Democrat is widely regarded as one of the most popular governors in America.

The woman whom Scott Brown defeated in 2010 looks like she may have more success than her former rival in 2014. A WBUR poll released Thursday shows Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley leading state treasurer Steve Grossman 45 to 14 percent in the Democratic primary for governor, with three other candidates polling in the low single-digits.

Should Coakley advance to the general election, she would also hold a comfortable 41 to 26 percent lead over likely Republican nominee Charlie Baker.

Coakley should not start measuring the drapes at the governor’s office yet, however. Her strong numbers are likely fueled by her 94 percent name recognition in the Bay State, which is well above Grossman’s 60 percent and Baker’s 74 percent. In other words, it’s still far too early to declare Coakley impervious to another upset loss.

Republicans may have gotten some good news this week, when a Survey USA poll found businessman David Perdue leading the field in Georgia’s Republican Senate primary with 29 percent. U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston placed second at 19 percent, followed by Rep. Phil Gingrey at 12 percent, Rep. Paul Broun at 11 percent, and former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel at 10 percent. The close race makes it incredibly likely that the nomination will be decided by a runoff election.

Perdue and Kingston would almost certainly be national Republicans’ top choices to appear on that ballot, as they are considerably less likely to commit a devastating gaffe than the erratic Broun or Gingrey.

The Survey USA poll is an outlier, however; no other survey of the race has found Perdue leading the field, and The Huffington Post’s polling average of the race finds the five top candidates essentially tied in the low teens.

The first poll of Montana’s Senate race since Democrat John Walsh was appointed to fill the remainder of Ambassador Max Baucus’ term did nothing to dispute the notion that the seat is a likely Republican pickup.

According to a Rasmussen survey released Wednesday, Republican congressman Steve Daines leads Walsh 51 to 37 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

Walsh’s appointment was at least partially intended to let him run with the benefits of incumbency, but so far it doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact; the former lieutentant governor still has just 31 percent name recognition in the state he represents in Congress.

Photo: Roger H. Goun via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    Republicans are going to have a tough time in the Northeast, the West Coast, and parts of the Midwest, but they are likely to win big in the South, Southwest, and the Bible Belt. 2014 is going to be a tough year for Democrats.

    • Annemb

      You bet they will!

      We’re working hard in Maine to get rid of LePage and to elect Congressman Michael Michaud. Michaud was in the Maine legislature, is presently a congressman, looking towards being governor of Maine. Michaud has done much for the people of Maine, Americans and all veterans.

      Great post!

    • Barbara Morgan

      That is because in the South Democrats aren’t fighting, the party seems to have already thrown in the towel in many of the Southern States. They have had things happen that could be used against the Republicans in states where most Republican politicans are up for reelection this year including governors, legislatures, a US Senator, and all Republican House members and don’t even comment about them let along use them against the Republicans. Like Republican politicans interference, threats and lies in regards to the no or yes union vote at the VW plant in Chattanooga, TN, The Duke power spill in NC, in SC the governor’s statement about not wanting companies to bring jobs to the state if they are to be union jobs and other incidents.

      • Dominick Vila

        Southern Democrats are so intimidated that their statements and political positions inevitably sound like Republican-lite proposals. None of them want President Obama campaigning for them, as they perceive that as the kiss of death. They all distance themselves from Obamacare and, like you said, they remain silent on anything that would may look as an attack against Republican “values”, which range from anti-abortion to labor unions. Bear in mind that when it comes to Unions, anything that keeps them away is perceived by those who consider themselves conservatives as a plus. The irony of seeing people push for substandard wages and benefit packages because organized labor is an evil institution that would fight for higher wages and better benefits is inescapable, and perplexing.

        • FredAppell

          Your right Dominick and if all they’re concerned about is their own asses, I say good riddance, who needs them. I want Democrats with conviction who don’t back away from their supposed principles just because of a matter of inconvenience. Democrats don’t seem to have a problem defending their beliefs when they feel overwhelming support, but the real test of character is in how they deal with those whom are hostile to their beliefs. In other words, they’re either Democrats in name only or they need to grow a pair.

        • Barbara Morgan

          I don’t agree that Southern Democrats are intimidated. I think that because states like Tennessee where I live are going to have to be fought hard for and the party isn’t willing to fight to turn it blue like it was before 2010 when Republicans took control of it on their lie promise of jobs, jobs, jobs. Even the state Democratic party has said nothing that I can find against the lies of Corker, the the threats of Republican state senator Bo Watson, what corporate Republican Bill Haslam said and Oliver Norquist interference. The fact seems to be that they don’t want to fight back in Tennessee. I have gotten calls raising money for Democrats in other states none raising money to fight the Republicans in Tennessee. I am hoping that a strong independent candidate will be running here because no way will I vote for a Republican neither will I not vote.

  • midway54

    “U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston placed second at 19 percent, followed by Rep. Phil Gingrey at 12 percent, Rep. Paul Broun at 11 percent”

    That this trio is currently in the House of Representatives speaks volumes about the mental state of the Georgia voters, which Fox “News” successfully targets with its bilge. God knows what they guy who beat them must be like.

  • Haley Schmitterbach

    Except in rare instances, such as military bravery in defense of liberty, merit is incompatible with liberty because merit requires that each of us be subjectively judged by those who hold coercive power over us.

  • FredAppell

    The GOP are unlikely to win huge in New England if they’re too radical. A few have won but they don’t generally stick around very long, most people here in New England are either liberal or moderate, not really a big bastion for hard right candidates. Naturally the fly over states consider us to be elitist snobs bent on controlling everyone. That mind set says more about how they view themselves than it does about New England politics and culture.
    Fortunately the Tea Party will never have a strong foothold here in Connecticut.

  • RobertCHastings

    If the Democratic Party fails to take advantage of the egregious failures of the Republicans over that past three decades and hammer these failures into the consciousness of every possible American voter over the next seven months, then the Democrats deserve to lose, and Obama’s last two years as President will only serve to entrench the plutocracy of wealth in its position of power. Americans, traditionally, have short memories, and, especially during mid-term elections, punish the party that has the presidency (unless, of course, the president has involved us in open-ended wars). Obama’s best chance to help the Democratic Party win big is to get us into a serious confrontation with Syria/Iran/Russia. This would, unfortunately, probably necessitate the re-imposition of the draft, from which the sons of the plutocracy will, undoubtedly, escape.