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Midterm Roundup: Democrats Pull Out Of Kentucky

Here are some interesting stories on the midterm campaigns that you may have missed on Tuesday, October 14:

• In a major blow to Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Senate campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has stopped running TV ads in Kentucky. The move strongly suggests that the committee has given up hope that Grimes can unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Grimes — whose campaign will continue to air ads, and receive on-air support from outside groups — trails McConnell by 3 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll average.

• According to a new CNN/ORC poll, Republican incumbent Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are tied at 44 percent in Florida’s contentious gubernatorial race. That marks the fourth consecutive poll to show the race within 2 percentage points; Crist leads by less than 1 percent in the poll average.

• Another poll of Alaska’s Senate race has found incumbent Democrat Mark Begich trailing Republican challenger Mark Sullivan. The survey, from Rasmussen Reports, has Sullivan up 3 percent, and he leads by 4.4 percent in the poll average. But that might underestimate Begich’s chances, due to his robust get-out-the-vote operation and the notorious unreliability of Alaska polling.

• Democrat Mike Michaud has opened a 6-point lead in Maine’s three-way gubernatorial race, according to a new Bangor Daily News/Ipsos poll. Michaud has the support of 42 percent of likely voters, followed by incumbent Republican Paul LePage at 36 percent, and Independent Eliot Cutler at 16 percent. The poll pushes Michaud into a narrow lead in the poll average. Were LePage to win, he would likely become the first governor in U.S. history to win back-to-back elections with less than 40 percent of the vote.

• And in North Carolina’s Senate race, Republican candidate Thom Tillis is facing some tough questions over his past declaration that the government had provided “de facto reparations” for slavery by having “redistributed trillions of dollars of wealth over the years.” Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan holds a small but consistent lead in the poll average.

Photo: UFCW International Union via Flickr

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Midterm Roundup: Could Democrats Win In South Dakota?

Here are some interesting stories on the midterm campaigns that you may have missed on Wednesday, October 8:

• The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending $1 million to support Democrat Rick Weiland in South Dakota’s suddenly competitive Senate race. The news comes one day after Mayday PAC also committed to spend $1 million on Weiland’s behalf. Although Republican Mike Rounds still leads by 11.7 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll average, a recent SurveyUSA poll found Rounds 7 percent up on Weiland, and just 3 percent ahead of Independent candidate Larry Pressler. Pressler is a former Republican, but Democrats reportedly believe that he would caucus with them if he wins election to the Senate.

• A new SurveyUSA poll of Georgia’s Senate race finds Republican David Perdue clinging to a 1-point lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn. Perdue has 46 percent of the vote, followed by Nunn at 45 percent, and Libertarian Amanda Swafford at 3 percent. If no candidate wins a majority on Election Day, then the race would advance to a January runoff — with control of the Senate possibly hanging in the balance. Perdue leads by 3.2 percent in the poll average.

• Meanwhile, Nunn’s campaign is up on the airwaves with a new ad hammering Perdue for admitting that he outsourced jobs overseas throughout his business career.

• The DSCC released a new attack ad accusing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of using his three decades in office to enrich himself. The move suggests that the Democrats still view Kentucky’s Senate race as winnable, despite McConnell’s 4 percent lead in the poll average.

• And a new CNN/ORC poll finds that embattled Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has recovered enough Republican support to reclaim a 1-point lead over Independent candidate Greg Orman. Every other recent public poll has found Orman ahead, and he leads by 4 percent in the poll average.

Photo: Total due via Flickr

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Midterm Roundup: Grimes Pulls Ahead In Kentucky?

Here are some interesting stories on the midterm campaigns that you may have missed on Monday, October 6:

• After weeks of polls suggesting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was pulling ahead of Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, a new Courier-Journal/SurveyUSA poll reaches the opposite conclusion. It finds Grimes leading McConnell among likely voters, 46 to 42 percent. That result is within the margin of error, but represents a 6-point shift from the August edition of the poll. A startling 57 percent of respondents said that after 30 years in office, it’s time for McConnell to be replaced. Still, the minority leader is up 4.2 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll average.

• A Loras College poll released Monday finds Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst deadlocked at 42 percent in Iowa’s Senate race—12 percent remain undecided, suggesting that the race could still tip either way. Ernst leads by just 1.9 percent in poll average for the crucial race, which could determine which party controls the Senate.

• A new round of NBC News/Marist Senate polls contained some good news for Democrats. In Iowa, Ernst leads Braley by 2 percent, within the margin of error. But in North Carolina, incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan leads Republican challenger Thom Tillis by 4 percent, roughly equal to her 3.7 percent lead in the poll average. And in Kansas, Independent Greg Orman leads incumbent Republican Pat Roberts by 10 percent, pushing his lead in the poll average up to 5.2 percent. Orman has said that he will caucus with whichever party holds the majority — but he could switch allegiances later in his term.

• Most Democrats on the ballot aren’t eager to showcase their ties to President Obama — but Illinois governor Pat Quinn is an exception. On Monday, his campaign released an ad starring First Lady Michelle Obama, who explains why “Barack and I are casting our votes for our friend, Pat Quinn.” Quinn leads Republican Bruce Rauner by 1.5 percent in the poll average.

• And if you have been closely tracking the 2014 campaign, you are in the minority. According to the latest numbers from the Pew Research Center, just 15 percent of Americans are following the midterm campaigns very closely — less than half the number that has been closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak or the U.S. military campaign against ISIS.

Photo: UFCW International Union via Flickr

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Midterm Roundup: Grimes Isn’t Done Yet In Kentucky

Here are some interesting stories on the midterm campaigns that you may have missed on Wednesday, October 1:

• Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes released an internal poll finding her 2 points ahead of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Although such polls should always be taken with a grain of salt — especially when they contradict public surveys (McConnell leads by 5.3 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll average) — it should be noted that pollster Mark Mellman has a history of outperforming the competition.

• In other Kentucky news, on Wednesday former president Bill Clinton made his first appearance in a Grimes campaign ad.

• Senator Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) political troubles keep mounting. A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds Independent candidate Greg Orman ahead of Roberts, 46 to 42 percent. Making matters worse for the three-term incumbent, The Hill reports that Kansas Tea Party groups are now threatening to sit the election out. Orman leads by 5.3 percent in the poll average.

• Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race is still a tossup. On Wednesday, a Marquette University Law School poll found incumbent Republican Scott Walker leading Democratic challenger Mary Burke among likely voters, 50 to 45 percent. He leads by just 1 point among registered voters. The poll comes one day after a Gravis Marketing survey showed Burke up 50 to 45 percent among registered voters. Walker leads by 1.8 percent in the poll average.

• And Republicans have uncovered another inconvenient case of voter fraud: Leslie Rutledge, the GOP candidate for attorney general in Arkansas, had her voter registration canceled after the Pulaski county clerk discovered that she is also registered to vote in Washington DC, and possibly Virginia.

Photo: Patrick Delahanty via Wikimedia Commons