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Thursday, October 27, 2016

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 June 22:


Governor Sam Brownback (R) is “fighting for his life” against Democrat Paul Davis, according to SurveyUSA’s latest poll, released on Thursday. Davis leads Brownback by 6 points (47 percent to 41 percent), with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The poll shows that Davis has the support of 26 percent of Republicans, plus 89 percent of his Democratic base. Independents back Davis over Brownback by 19 points. Davis also leads among female voters by 14 points.

SurveyUSA notes that voters are primarily focused on education funding and taxes. Voters who prioritize education support Davis by 54 points, and those who prioritize tax rates favor Brownback by 16 percent. This reflects the divide over Brownback’s massive tax cuts, which drastically decreased funding for Kansas public education.

The Real Clear Politics poll average shows the two candidates essentially tied, with Brownback ahead by only 0.3 points.

Brownback still has five months to attempt to retain voters, but that’s a lot of time for Davis, the lesser-known candidate, to make his case to voters and to make the race a referendum against Brownback’s policies.


After Senator Thad Cochran (R) resisted Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel’s challenge on Tuesday, he finds himself solidly ahead of his Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers. A Rasmussen Reports poll has Cochran ahead of Childers by 12 points, with 46 percent supporting Cochran and 34 percent for Childers, and a margin of error of +/- 4 percent—10 percent of voters prefer another candidate, while 9 percent are still undecided.

Cochran owes his win on Tuesday to Mississippi Democrats. The Mississippi NAACP is now calling for Cochran to “reciprocate” by supporting reinstating the voting protections under the Voting Rights Act, which were struck down by the Supreme Court last year. Cochran supported the Supreme Court’s decision last year, and does not seem to have had a change of heart.

Many of the Democrats who supported Cochran on Tuesday will likely vote for Childers. But Mississippi is a very red state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since 1982.

Meanwhile, McDaniel is planning to challenge the results of the runoff — meaning that Cochran may not be in the clear quite yet.


The Florida gubernatorial race is at a dead tie. Incumbent Republican Rick Scott is ahead of former Republican governor Charlie Crist, who is now running as a Democrat, by only 1 point in the latest SurveyUSA poll. The poll, released on Wednesday, shows Scott with 42 percent of the vote and Crist with 41 percent, and has a +/- 4.3 percent margin of error.

There’s a 25-point gender gap between the candidates — Scott leads with male voters by 13 points and Crist carries women by 12 points.

Though Scott’s been trailing behind Crist in recent polls, he made up the ground in this poll due to a rise in senior support, which can make or break an election in Florida. Scott leads Crist among seniors by 13 points, while Crist is ahead in every other age group.

The two campaigns spent this week arguing over tax returns, and it’s looking like the months leading up to November will be chock full of negative attacks.

The Real Clear Politics poll average shows Crist with a 2.2 percent lead, which is well within the margin of error.


Governor Paul LePage is another Republican incumbent struggling to stay in office. The latest Portland Press Herald poll has LePage tied with Democrat Mike Michaud. Michaud has a 4-point lead over LePage (40 percent to 36 percent), which is within the poll’s 4.3 percent margin of error.

Independent Mike Cutler has 15 percent of the vote, while 7 percent are undecided. The Press Herald says that many voters will wait to see whether Michaud or Cutler has a better chance of unseating the governor before deciding which candidate to vote for.

The Real Clear Politics poll average shows that the candidates are tied, with Michaud ahead by only 0.7 percent.

Photo: via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    I guess it’s too much to hope that they all lose big and decide to retire. But then, those waiting to take their places are likely bad enough to [almost] make us look back at them with nostalgia.

  • Dominick Vila

    Winning a Governorship in a Bible Belt state would be wonderful, but what is critical for us at this point is keeping control of the Senate after the November election. If we lose the Senate, the last two years of the Obama administration will make the term “lame duck” seem mild.

  • Blueberry Hill

    I hope that the good Dems take a clean sweep of everything so we can get this country straightened out again from the local levels on up to the top. It is the only way we can be sure to drown out the Tbaggers and those in the R party who supported them. They have made our lives miserable since they took over in 2010. It didn’t take them long to destroy the country and us, we cannot afford to waste any time. Vote the lunatics out while we can still vote!



  • Pamby50

    We need to vote. If we don’t get our base out, nothing will matter. I just hope that Boehner’s move to sue the President wakes up the dems. Then and only then can we get this country back on the right track.

    • Mark

      Boehner’s move by itself won’t wake up the party of the timid, those of us who care will have to light a fire under them.

  • Mark

    We need to make voters (especially seniors) understand that when they vote R, they vote against their own best interests. Why would you, a senior, vote for someone who wants to turn Social Security over to Wall Street?

    • Allan Richardson

      The wealthier seniors, for whom SS is only frosting on the cake, and who have HAD their money in Wall Street for years and have not YET been burned, see the GOP as on their side. That may change if Medicare gets cut, since even a (single) millionaire can go broke with a big ENOUGH medical bill. But that would happen AFTER the election.

      • Mark

        Then I guess your’e saying that unless these seniors get religion between now and November, we’re screwed?

  • howa4x

    If Dems can win in the south and heartland that will send shudders down the spine of the GOP once thought red till dead. Sore loser McDaniel shows clearly that the Tea party is more interested in their own politics than the republican party. If the GOP establishment can’t kick them out they will lose the presidency once again. As long as the TP controls the primary process the candidate will be pulled way to far to the right to win. Romney was a middle of the road republican and lost because of it. The more people become exposed to the radical right wing agenda the more they are repelled like it was kryptonite. The TP only polls at 14% of the vote. Not enough to carry a candidate into the general where 52% are social moderate and fiscally conservative, not Ayn Rand conservative. The real background war in the Republican party is between the evil twin Koch’s and the establishment. that is where the war is raging.

  • Bozeman

    If we are to continue discovering better ways of doing things, as many people as possible must be as free as possible to experiment and innovate.

    • Allan Richardson

      I agree, but if that is a Tea Party talking point, remember that their policies help ALREADY big businesses to STIFLE new competitors by cutting production costs so low that smaller businesses cannot compete on price alone; and squeezing the middle and lower income families so that businesses HAVE TO compete on price alone, because that is all customers can afford to spend. Care to open a small, independent bookstore in a town with a Barnes and Noble, or a Wal Mart? Care to start the next Google when Comcast, Time Warner, A&T and other ISPs can slow down YOUR search results in favor of the existing Google or Yahoo? Unless you know a drug dealer or Mafia don who wants to “launder” about 20 million by putting it into a losing investment, forget it.