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Thursday, October 20, 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 August 10:


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to be slowly pulling ahead of his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. The latest poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling finds that 44 percent of voters support McConnell, while 40 percent would vote for Grimes, 7 percent back Libertarian candidate David Patterson, and 9 percent are still undecided.

In PPP’s April survey, Grimes led McConnell 45 to 44. But since then, he’s managed to shore up support within his Republican base. When his primary opponent Matt Bevin was still in the race, McConnell only had a 49-point advantage among Republicans. Today, he has a 67-point advantage (78 percent of Republican voters back McConnell, while just 11 percent side with Grimes). When support for Patterson is taken into account, McConnell has a 63-point lead among fellow Republicans.

McConnell’s managed to improve his favorability rating, while Grimes’ numbers are stagnant. Grimes is also hurt by President Barack Obama’s unpopularity in the state. The survey finds that only 32 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing, and that 38 percent of the voters who disapprove of McConnell also see Obama unfavorably. But 20 percent of those voters are still planning to vote for the Republican incumbent.

The Real Clear Politics poll average has McConnell ahead by 3 percent.


In what the latest Rasmussen Reports survey calls the “nation’s closest-watched governor’s race,” Republican governor Scott Walker leads Democratic challenger Mary Burke by only 48 to 47 percent. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent, so the candidates are essentially tied.

The general election campaign officially started this week after Burke won her Democratic primary. She’s the first female nominee for Wisconsin governor from the two main political parties.

Both candidates are planning to center their campaigns around jobs. Burke has repeatedly highlighted the fact that Wisconsin ranks last among Midwestern states in job creation, and that Walker hasn’t created the 250,000 jobs he promised he would. Walker has emphasized the 100,300 jobs he has created, and says that Wisconsin is better off than it was before he took office.

Sean Sullivan notes in The Washington Post that Walker should not be “underestimated,” because he’s already raised far more money than Burke. He also points out that “no other potential 2016 hopeful has as much riding on the midterm election as Walker,” because if he can’t win this election, he won’t stand a chance of pursuing the White House.

The Real Clear Politics poll average has Walker ahead by only 0.8 percent.


Republican governor Sam Brownback is trailing Democratic challenger Paul Davis in a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Tuesday. The poll finds that Davis has 51 percent support, 41 percent would vote for Brownback, 3 percent support some other candidate, and 5 percent are still undecided. The poll has a +/- 4 percent margin of error.

Brownback’s biggest hurdle is the fact that his state budget is “bleeding revenue” due to his staggering income tax cuts. By 2016, the state will be $238 million in debt. The survey finds that 49 percent of voters think that the budget situation is worse today than it was a year ago, 36 percent said it’s the same, and only 12 percent said it was better. Respondents trust Davis more when it comes to spending; 43 percent trust Davis, 36 percent trust Brownback, and 21 percent weren’t sure.

But many voters still don’t know who Davis is — 19 percent said they had never heard of him and 10 percent weren’t sure what they thought about him.

The Real Clear Politics poll average has Davis ahead by 2 points.


A new Sun-Times/We Ask America poll shows Democratic governor Pat Quinn well behind Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, 51 to 38 percent, with 11 percent undecided. The survey has a +/- 3.1 percent margin of error.

Only 21 percent view the incumbent Quinn as a reformer, while 47 percent see Rauner in that mold. Additonally, Quinn is currently under fire for his $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which is now under federal investigation due to corruption and mismanagement.

But We Ask America’s chief operating officer Gregg Durham predicts that the race will get much closer as November approaches.

“While Mr. Rauner continues to enjoy a 13-point lead, this race will certainly tighten dramatically barring any unforeseen events. An incumbent governor in a state with the sizable problems Illinois has often suffers in early polls with those who would have a tendency to back his party but may be disappointed with his performance,” he said. “However, those same voters usually ‘come home’ on election day. Keep that in mind.”

The Real Clear Politics poll average has Rauner ahead by 7 points.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • angryspittle

    WTF is wrong with these goddamn Kentuckians?

    • Jambi

      He’s always captured the ignorant, FOX-News watching- vote …That’s the story of all Southern Republican politicians…just be blind followers…we’ll take care of you…

      • Allan Richardson

        And it’s the same message the old Southern Democrats used to use … until the national Democratic leadership came out for equal rights for nonwhite and nonprotestant people. Then the Southern Democrats had to make a choice; the “Dixiecrats” who wanted to keep Jim Crow alive, or bring it back, became Republican, while the “Yankeecrats” who agreed with the national party remained Democrats. All you will find in today’s Democratic party are “Yankeecrats,” including most of the voters who are themselves ethnic minorities. So whenever Republicans call themselves the party of Lincoln and the Democrats the party of racism, remember, WE embarrassed most of the racists OUT of our party, and the Republicans took them in.

  • Dominick Vila

    The 2014 midterm election is shaping up to be a disaster for Democrats, at all levels of government. The difficulties inherent in having too many Democrats running for office or re-election, some in red states and districts, is aggravated by the fact that President Obama is viewed negatively in large parts of the country.
    Considering what President Obama inherited in 2009, and where we are today, those views are nothing short of perplexing, but we have nobody to blame for the current perceptions than ourselves. Our political strategists, and the administration, have failed to highlight the contrast between the economic chaos that existed in January 2009 and the economic growth and job growth we have today, they have failed to explain the benefits of the ACA in terms people can understand without having to go to a website to determine the pros and cons of the new program, and they have allowed the GOP to control the airwaves, and influence public opinion without even a feeble attempt to challenge their claims. A complicit “liberal” media did the rest.
    With this in mind, the political debacle that lies ahead is not too difficult to understand. Barring an unlikely Democratic turnout, we better we ready for a Congress controlled by Republicans, the GOP controlling the overwhelming majority of governorships and state legislatures, and all progressive causes coming to a screeching halt.

    • If our country is to survive, we need the progressive/liberal agenda to come to a screeching halt. Our country was never designed to become a liberal utopian communist police state. The media has always been controlled by the liberals, especially under this regime.

      • Taz202

        Liberal utopian communist police state? You must be on drugs.

        • Our country, over the last 6 years, has started looking very like pre WWII Germany.

          • Lynda Groom

            Please proceed sir to outline your point of view with some data. Some examples would be nice.

          • Take a look around. NSA, IRS, militarizing our police, dismantling our military while arming government agencies.

          • Taz202

            Thanks to the GOP, we have the NSA, we have Citizens United that says corporations are people and can give unlimited funds to political parties, The Tea Party (backed by big money and pandering to extremists). Yes, I say we are looking a lot like pre WWII Germany. Their democratic party was voted out in favor of Hitler. We need to vote out TP-GOP entirely from government if we want any semblance of a Democracy.

          • We don’t live in a democracy. Our country is a republic. We differ in that I see the democrats as the destroying party, but neither party is worth a damn. We need to get rid of All career politicians. Both Parties are self serving. There was a time when serving in congress was an honor. Those elected came to DC (or Philly, in the beginning) did their public service, then went home to their real jobs. Now getting elected to congress is like winning the lottery. Everything is paid for by the taxpayers, FOR LIFE. Why should they want to leave such a cush job?

          • Taz202

            How about a Democratic Republic (do you like this description)? Where each citizen, regardless of their status in life, gets to vote? This is what our Founding Fathers set up. The TP-GOP think the rich should only have this privilege – that’s why there’s been so much voter suppression (voter ID laws) and gerrymandering districts. There’s been no voter fraud – just an excuse by the right to have something to harp about. I’m not for throwing everyone out of Congress but I do think there should be term limits. And I do not think the Dems are perfect, but at least they are fighting for 99%…unlike the GOP.

          • BillP

            I tend to ignore this troll. What does amaze me is how so many of these trolls have no confidence in this country. How many times do they compare our country to Nazi Germany. Once they make that statement you know they are not living in the real world.

          • Dominick Vila

            The NSA and IRS were created during the last 6 years? The “militarization” of law enforcement agencies began in the late 1990s, and went into over drive after 9/11, for obvious reasons. Our military is not being dismantled. Emphasis shifted, several years ago, from reliance of human waves (which went out the door after WWI) to a greater reliance on technology.

          • Allan Richardson

            Actually, it began after World War Two as a result of the Cold War and the existence of nuclear weapons. It shifted to high gear in the 1980s (when Reagan decided we should support Fascist dictators who killed their own people, because apparently every foreign leader elected by the people, outside of highly developed European nations, was a communist), and went into overdrive after 9/11, when we over-reacted to a small group of terrorists “getting lucky” by deciding that an entire religious community consisted of terrorists, so we needed to conquer the entire world in order to be safe, as well as surveilling all of our own citizens.

          • Lynda Groom

            The militarizing of American police forces has been taking place for decades. This is not new or directly the result of the current administration. Our military is downsizing just as it always does after armed conflicts come to an end. This is not new or a direct result of this administration. NSA has been involved in snooping on our fellow citizens for decades. This not a recent development and not only during the current administration either.

            Do you have something to add the applies to your comment about our country, over the last 6 years, looking very like pre WWII Germany.

          • highpckts

            How do you know? Were you there? So many facts to ignore and such a small brain!!

          • What facts would those be?

          • highpckts

            Any would do but my guess is you just like to blame someone with no facts!!

        • Lets_Think_Again

          kenndeb is taking the same drugs as that gross, foul addict Rush limbaugh

      • Jambi

        you must be stuck WAY BACK in the early cold war years, or something…I don’t think I’ve ever heard a hardcore communist use the terms …”liberal utopian communist police state” .. in fact, no person in political history has used this to describe their political beliefs (liberal OR conservative) Does the term “Progressive” scare you or something?…I think Taz202 is correct…you must be doing weird drugs…

        • The terms “progressive and liberal” both scare me to death, as it should any American. All these groups do is try to micromanage every aspect of our lives. They are just like those in the movie “The Giver”..” If you give people a choice, they choose wrong.” My democratic party has changed into the new communist party. Funny how we were fighting against communism and now we have a communist in our White House.

          • Dominick Vila

            You are scared of liberals because we, allegedly, micro manage every aspect of your life, but you don’t mind a party that requires invasive checks before a woman can choose whether or not she wants to have a baby? How about the constant claims of victim hood used by Christian fundamentalists while doing everything they can to introduce religious beliefs in politics?

          • highpckts

            Well that’s ok because that’s for our own good! What the Libs are doing is just destroying all our free will!! Whatever!!

          • highpckts

            Will you plese look up the word Communist? Geez! i WISH YOU COULD LIVE UNDER COMMUNIST RULE FOR A LITTLE WHILE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE!!

          • Communism

            [käm′yo̵̅o̅ niz′əm, -yə-]

            Use Communism in a sentence


            The definition of communism is a system where all property is public and people work and are given things by the government according to their needs.

            An example of communism is the governing system in Cuba where the government controls everything and doles out benefits such as money, health care and food.

            Now doesn’t that sound exactly what this regime is doing?

          • highpckts

            Nope it doesn’t! I have traveled and, regardless of what you say is wrong with this country, I wouldn’t trade it for anything even if I have to put up with. because of free speech, jerks like you!!

          • Lets_Think_Again

            No, of course it doesn’t, you old Republican idiot. Not even slightly.

          • Lets_Think_Again

            “…..democratic party has changed into the new communist party”. ??? IIII ???? Kenndeb, you are a lunatic.

        • Allan Richardson

          A communist would not use those terms because their ultimate theoretical “utopian” communist society would never need a state, police or otherwise. The words simply do not logically fit together. Since “liberal” means respecting individual liberties, it is the opposite of a “police state” whether a left-wing or right-wing one. Someone who really believed in communism back in the day would not have called what they had “utopian” either, because the “utopian” part was in the future, when no one wanted to be a capitalist anymore and the workers would cooperate peacefully without any need for a state to coerce them (in fact, it could be thought of as the secular counterpart of the “new heaven and new earth” of Judeo-Christian eschatalogy). What they actually had was called “socialism” (by them) although it was nothing like the Fabian socialism that was being discussed in European democracies, and they claimed the “police state” was necessary to prevent capitalists from messing up the progress toward utopian communism.

      • highpckts

        Liberal, Communist police state? What drug are you on!!

      • Dominick Vila

        My first visit to Spain was in 1945. I lived in Venezuela from 1946 to 1958, and in Spain from 1958 to 1969. Those countries were ruled by Generalissimo Francisco Franco and General Marcos Perez Jimenez in those days. Please spare me the hyperbole about police states.
        The use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies is not new, and neither are the over reactions of our intelligence agencies and political leaders, but comparing our way of life, the freedoms we enjoy, and our democracy to what takes place in countries ruled by ruthless dictators is either the epitome of hyperbole, the result of ignorance, or a desperate effort to score political points by claiming things that are nothing short of ridiculous.

      • dana becker

        What do you think is going on in the corporate world? You are way misinformed. The Republicans are doing just that with all the corporate subsidies and tax breaks. That is the real socialism going on and you just don’t see it because they have you looking elsewhere with false boogeymen.

  • Lynda Groom

    It is way past time for Kentucky and elsewhere to retire the old dogs and get some new blood. McConnell has outlived his usefulness to his home state and too old for six more years of the same obstructionist policies. Things need to get accomplished and he has shown an unwillingness to do anything construction. Lets hope the voters wise up in the next few months.

  • Tony Torres

    These people will vote against their own self-interest, I am dumbfounded by this action. It is not logical,the man wants to get rid of the ACA,wants women NOT to be paid equal as men,etc.etc. etc. I repeat angryspittle’s comment,WTF is wrong with Kentuckians? Mind boggling, what else can you say about people that know better but yet keep repeating the same idiotic thing over and over again. What kind of future is that to look forward to?

  • mimi

    With all that talk from McConnell on saving the coal mining jobs in KY, here
    comes his wife, Elaine Chao, who sits on the board of directors of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has plunged $50 million into the “Beyond Coal” project, an effort with the expressed goal of killing the coal industry – a project okayed by the board of directors on which McConnell’s wife sits. AND there’s more. She also sits on the board of directors at Wells Fargo that announced it would divest from surface mining of coal in Appalachia. Wells Fargo said it will no longer lend to coal companies that participate in “Mountain Top Removal.” As an aside, Chao received $332,350 in 2011 through compensation, stock and fees, according to a Wells Fargo stockholder report from March 2012, while McConnell spouts “save the

    Regulations proposed by President Obama is for the safety of miners, for quality of air and water for miners’ families, for higher standards. If KY has been “blessed with an abundance of coal,” as expressed by the CEO of Blue Grass Energy, why are miners families living in poverty?…suffering from respiratory illness above average?… Have the owners/shareholders of the mines changed God’s word from Prophet to PROFIT? Maybe the O/S will have to spend a few bucks; they’ve already made a fortune on the backs of the miners, on the misery of their families. KY needs a strong voice FOR Kentuckians from Alison Grimes, not the NO voice we hear from McConnell. Yea, Grimes!