Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Latest on 2010

So, Sharron Angle has prevailed, Blanche Lincoln has survived (the primary at least) and the field continues to get set for 2010. Surprisingly, there have been only modest movements in the polls the past couple of weeks, despite all of the primary activity. Only two ratings changes to report.

Florida -- the last 3 polls show as follows: Crist and Rubio even, Crist +3 and Crist +4. Based on this, and earlier polls showing Crist with a small lead, I'm moving this race from Toss-Up to Lean Independent Pick-Up. It may not make a difference in terms of the make-up of the Senate, as Crist appears likely to caucus with the GOP, but it is a fascinating race to watch. Likely Democrat Meeks is still polling around 12 to 15%, far out of the running and is actually starting to lose traction in primary polling.

Kentucky -- moves from Likely GOP Hold to Lean GOP Hold. Rand Paul's controversial statements have dented his poll numbers, although he still leads. Three new polls have him up by 3, 6 and 8 points respectively, far off the double digit leads that the GOP was showing prior to the national media attention Paul received for his statements about civil rights laws.

Other races with new polling:
Illinois -- one new poll has Republican Mark Kirk up by 3 points, confirming the earlier rating of Lean GOP Pick-Up.

Nevada -- erratic polling in this one with freshly nominated GOPer Sharron Angle showing at -6, +3 and +11 in three polls taken since the nomination. I'm leaving it a Lean GOP Pick-Up for now, but will obviously continue to watch for a trend.

California -- one new poll shows incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer leading businesswoman Carly Fiorina by 5 points, confirming the earlier rating of Lean DEM Hold.

Washington -- incumbent Patty Murry is up by a mere 2 points in a new Rasmussen poll. The race stays a Lean DEM Hold.

Connecticut -- controversy over deceptive statements made by AG Blumenthal have apparently only modestly dented his lead. He shows leads of 20 and 23 points in two new polls. It stays a Likely DEM Hold for now because of the controversy, although the numbers would technically justify moving the race back to "Safe" territory.

Colorado -- GOP candidates lead by 1 to 6 points in a variety of match-ups in a new Rasmussen poll. I'm leaving the race a Toss-Up for now, as the race are tight and other polls have shown DEMs leading recently, but this race obviously deserves a lot of attention.

Pennsylvania -- 2 new polls have DEM Sestak up by 2 and GOP Toomey up by 7. This race has polled erratically from the get go. I'm leaving it a Toss-Up for now.

Ohio -- a new Rasmussen poll shows the race a tie, with two prior polls showing DEM Fisher up by 1 and 3 points respectively. This race will stay a Lean DEM Pick-Up for now, but is close to toss-up territory.

North Carolina -- incumbent GOPer Burr leads by 7 and 14 points in two new polls. This stays a Likely GOP Hold for now, although it is getting closer to shifting back to "lean" territory.

Iowa -- incumbent Republican Grassley is up by 23 in a new Public Policy Polling poll. I don't generally consider partisan-affiliated polls (PPP is a Democratic polling house), but there is no other recent polling and it confirms our existing rating of Safe GOP Hold.

Alabama -- incumbent Republican Shelby is up by 27 in a new Rasmussen poll. The race remains a Safe GOP Hold.

This gives us:
Projected Democratic Holds (10)
Safe Holds (3)
Maryland, New York (Schumer), Vermont

Likely Holds (5)
Hawaii, Oregon, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York (Gillebrand)

Lean Holds (2)
California, Washington

Potential GOP Pick-Ups (8)
Safe Pick-Up (1)
North Dakota

Likely Pick-Ups (3)
Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana

Lean Pick-Up (2)
Illinois, Nevada

Toss-Up (2)
Colorado, Pennsylvania

Projected GOP Holds (16)
Safe Holds (8)
Louisiana, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah

Likely Holds (6)
Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Alaska, Kansas, Hew Hampshire

Lean Holds (2)
Kentucky, Missouri

Potential DEM Pick-Ups (1)
Lean Pick-Up (1)

Potential Independent Pick-Up (1)
Lean Pick-Up (1)

Current Senate: 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 2 Independents
Projected Senate: 49 to 51 Democrats, 46 to 48 Republicans, 3 Independents
Central Projection: 50 Democrats, 47 Republicans, 3 Independents
Likely Caucus Organization: 52 Democrats, 48 Republicans

In the House, our average of averages for generic polling has the GOP at +2.3%, although we have a wide variability in the numbers. Along with our other panel of expert websites, here is where things net out:

Current House: Democrats 252, Republicans 183
My Projection: Democrats 215, Republicans 220
Realclearpolitics (splitting the toss-ups): Democrats 219, Republicans 216
The Cook Political Report (splitting the toss-ups): Democrats 235, Republicans 200

Clearly, there will be a closer, more divided House when the House returns in January, regardless of which party controls the House. Expect a lot more swings to come.

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