As the 2014 midterm elections draw closer, pollsters across the country will begin releasing masses of data and their predictions of who will control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and statehouses across the country. We’ll put those predictions in focus and provide a brief summary of key polls. Here’s our roundup from the week of Sept. 7:
Democratic senator Kay Hagan’s “war on women” strategy might be “beginning to pay off,” according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Thursday. The poll shows Hagan leading Republican challenger Thom Tillis by 6 points (45 percent to 39 percent). Another 6 percent support another candidate, and 9 percent are still undecided. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. A month ago, Rasmussen found Tillis leading Hagan by 5 percent.
Hagan only leads by 45 to 43 percent among voters who are sure that they’ll vote in November.
Hagan leads among women by 21 points, which Rasmussen attributes to her “hammering Tillis for state budget cutbacks in the women’s health area and his opposition to the contraceptive mandate in the health care law.”
But she’s hurt by her support for Obamacare, as 53 percent of North Carolinians view it unfavorably.
A Survey USA/Civitas poll was also released this week, and showed Hagan with 46 percent of the vote and Tillis with 43 percent. The candidates were within the poll’s +/- 4.5 percent margin of error.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Hagan ahead by 1.8 percent.
The Iowa Senate race is tied, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released on Friday. Democrat Bruce Braley has 49 percent of the vote, while Republican Joni Ernst has 48 percent. The candidates are well within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
But 20 percent of voters said that they could still change their minds before November, and some voters are still unfamiliar with the candidates: 6 percent don’t know who Ernst is, while 9 percent don’t recognize Braley.
The poll has received a lot of national attention, as Iowa is one of the seats that Republicans have a good chance of winning on their road towards a Senate majority. Ernst has also frequently been in the news for her very extreme comments, but Braley has been unable to use this extremism to gain much in the polls.
Both candidates have spent a large amount of money on their campaigns ($6 million total as of July), not including the millions flowing from outside Democratic and Republican groups.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Braley ahead by 1.1 points.
Democratic senator Mark Udall leads Republican challenger Cory Gardner by 4 points (46 percent to 42 percent), according to a Denver Post/Survey USA poll released on Thursday. The poll shows that 7 percent are still undecided, 3 percent support unaffiliated candidate Steve Shogan, and 2 percent support Libertarian Gaylon Kent.
The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, meaning that the candidates are actually almost tied. The elections “could go either way,” according to Survey USA.
“It is a very tough year to be a Democrat,” political analyst Eric Sondermann said. “[Udall] would much rather be four points up than four points down. But he’s still in a difficult race and a difficult climate.”
Udall has a 13-point lead among women and has “hammered Gardner” on his past support for abortion and birth control restrictions. But Udall is currently under fire for referencing murdered American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff as a part of his argument during a debate against Gardner last week.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Udall ahead by 3.7 points.
The New York Times/CBS News/YouGov battleground tracker’s survey of likely voters finds Republican governor Scott Walker ahead of Democratic challenger Mary Burke, 47 percent to 43 percent. The poll has a +/- 4 percent margin of error, meaning that the candidates are essentially tied. Meanwhile, 5 percent of voters aren’t sure, 2 percent lean Democratic, and 2 percent lean Republican.
Men, Independents, and voters older than 45 support Walker, while women and voters under 45 support Burke.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Burke ahead by 0.3 points.
A Survey USA poll released Monday shows Republican governor Sam Brownback trailing Democrat Paul Davis by 7 percent. Davis has 47 percent of the vote, Brownback has 40 percent, and 7 percent are still undecided. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent.
Brownback hasn’t retained the support of his Republican base, as only 66 percent support him. Davis has 88 percent of the Democratic vote.
“The Brownback experiment is an unmitigated failure,” Davis campaign spokesman Chris Pumpelly told KSN. “His record? Devastating cuts to schools, a stagnant economy, three credit downgrades, and a looming billion-dollar deficit.”
The New York Times/CBS News/YouGov battleground tracker has Brownback ahead 43 to 39 percent, with a +/- 5 percent margin of error.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Davis ahead by 3.7 points.
Photo: Third Way via Flickr
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