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Monday, October 24, 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 30:

Going into the 2014 elections, Mississippi was widely hyped as ground zero in the Republican civil war between “establishment” candidates and the Tea Party. Two months before the GOP primary, it looks like the establishment is winning.

According to a new NOSN poll conducted on behalf of Tea Party Express, six-term incumbent senator Thad Cochran holds a 45 to 37 percent lead over his right-wing challenger, state senator Chris McDaniel. After being told that McDaniel is endorsed by Tea Party Express and other Tea Party groups, however, that 8-point deficit is erased, leaving the two Republicans in a statistical tie.

The Tea Party poll numbers are currently the least of McDaniel’s problems, however. McDaniel is facing heated criticism for his decision to keynote a gun rights event featuring a white nationalist (he later backed out of the event after his involvement was reported).

The incident, which Cochran supporters have gleefully exploited, is not McDaniel’s first neo-Confederate-related controversy.

The winner of the Republican primary will likely face former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers in the general election. No Democrat has won a Senate election in Mississippi since 1982.

North Carolina
North Carolina’s crucial Senate race remains among the closest in the nation, according to the latest poll from SurveyUSA.

The poll finds Democrat Kay Hagan trailing several of her potential Republican opponents — Thom Tillis, Greg Brannon, Mark Harris, Heather Grant, and Ted Alexander — by single digits. Each of the deficits is within the poll’s +/- 4.8 percent margin of error.

According to SurveyUSA, just 38 percent of North Carolinians approve of Senator Hagan’s job performance, while a whopping 50 percent disapprove. That dismal rating suggests that the torrent of negative advertising against Hagan — the Koch brothers-backed dark money group Americans for Prosperity has already spent $7 million attacking her — is having a serious impact.

SurveyUSA also found that Tillis, North Carolina’s state House Speaker, holds a comfortable lead in the Republican primary—23 percent of Republican primary voters back Tillis, who is followed by Brannon at 15 percent, Harris at 11 percent, and the other candidates in the low single digits. That’s bad news for Hagan, who would rather face the gaffe-prone Brannon in the general election.

In addition to their strong pickup opportunities in states that Mitt Romney won in the last presidential election, Republicans are eager to expand the midterm map by running competitive races in some traditionally blue states. They’re succeeding in at least one of them.

According to the latest poll from Marketing Resource Group, former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land (R) holds a 40 to 38 percent lead over U.S. Representative Gary Peters (D). That advantage falls well within the poll’s +/- 4.1 percent margin of error.

It appears that President Obama is dragging Peters down in the race. Although the president defeated Romney (a Michigan native) by more than 9 percent in 2012 election, the MRG poll finds that Michiganders now disapprove of Obama by a 55 to 41 percent amrgin.

MRG generally polls for Republican candidates, although this poll was done independently. The results mirror The Huffington Post’s polling average of the race, which finds Land and Peters deadlocked at 40 percent.

According to one GOP pollster, Republicans could have a shot in reliably Democratic Minnesota as well.

A new poll from Magellan Strategies for American Encore finds Senator Al Franken (D) holding slim leads over his potential Republican opponents. The poll shows Franken up 44 to 41 percent over state senator Julianne Ortman, and up 44 to 38 percent over businessman Mike McFadden. Furthermore, it finds Franken’s approval rating at just 44 percent.

There is reason to doubt the numbers however. Previous polls have shown Senator Franken in a much stronger position. And as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out, Magellan Strategies for American Encore has ties to the Koch brothers, and is already running ads against Franken. If polls suggest that Franken is vulnerable, it may encourage a stronger Republican challenger to jump into the race — forcing Democrats to divert resources from other close races into Minnesota, and incentivizing Republicans to send more money into the Gopher State, and to groups like Magellan.

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    They should be!

  • Budjob

    I don’t know how any sane person could contemplate voting for ANY Republican,in ANY capacity!! As far as I am concerned,the worst Democrat representing working men and women is better than the best Republican!!!

    • Jerryb

      You are right, Budjob.
      Democrats represent a ‘speedy national recovery, jobs, affordable healthcare, and decency’.
      Ripofflicans represent ‘hell on earth’.

  • Budjob

    T-Bag supporters consist of Obama haters,and racists!!!

    • Jerryb

      And STUPES, we must not forget STUPES. LOL
      After all, they are ‘The Stupid Party’ (Gov. Bobby Jin-dull was right about that, at least).

  • Jerryb

    The establishment GOPlea Bargainers have MORE money to spend on their campaigns than TEAvangelicals since Big Business stopped shoveling TEAguzzlicans monies AFTER their DISASTROUS govt. shutdown.
    But, they’ll spend a lot of money defending their brand of neo-Naziism while Dems. get ready to blast them out in the general elections in Nov.
    The GOP will soon be DOA.

    • jointerjohn

      I wish I could share your confidence that the GOP is slitting its own throat. I think over the long haul you are correct, however, in the short term they now have a deadly combination going for them. That combination is unlimited and unrestricted 1% money and a dreadfully inattentive American electorate. As soon as our countrymen turn off the twenty-four hour per day opiate of sports, reality TV and celebrity gossip, and start paying attention to things that truly matter, the GOP will begin to get chest pains. Until then, we should not assume that their demise it yet at hand. It is actually our own friends and neighbors around us who are allowing them to highjack this great country, and they allowing by default, through their own political laziness and distraction.

      • Jerryb

        Good points, jointerjohn, and you may be right. I sincerely HOPE that the independents and Dems. who support liberal views realize how IMPORTANT the Nov. midterms are. We have to keep those ‘tards out of D.C. for a long time to come. The good news is despite their gerrymandering, the TEA Potty poses serious challenges to the GOP-CEO crooks via primaries, and their party will continue to slit its throat.

  • longtail

    Unfortunately, the tea party’s appeal to low information voters will rise in proportion to the large portion of the population that have less inclination to be informed.

    • Jerryb

      TEAbumlicans are not gaining in membership. Crazies are always in the minority, unless there’s a riot in the asylum. [email protected]

  • paulyz

    The media & the Democrat Party of status quo have been successful is falsely demonizing the Tea Party. Also the GOP Establishment. The Tea Party is ALL about less Federal Government intrusion on our Liberty, lower taxes, & balancing our budget so that just the interest on our National Debt will eventually consume 100% of our tax revenue. Then, it will be a disaster for everyone, without funds to even pay for Medicare, S.S., National Defense, or any other social programs………

    • Jerryb

      Wishful thinking, paulyz. No one’s JOINING the Sleaze Bag Party and there are NO reports to substantiate a ‘surge’ in its ranks. Nice try. THE FACTS show, however, from REPUTABLE news sources like TIME Magazine, that conservative donors (the RICHEST ones) are not giving to MAD TEA Party candidates any more since the govt. shutdown which cost their businesses a LOT.
      And those same donors are backing establishment GOP candidates and incumbents since the Tea Baglady Party members are embarrassing themselves and their movement with inane comments. Teaguzzlicans all rank in single or low double-digit numbers nationally.
      But keep kidding yourself. It worked out so well for Mitt Robbedme, didn’t it? [email protected]

    • longtail

      The tea party is all about corporate funded low information voters being duped into thinking that corporations are better equipped to run the country then the government.