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Projected New Senate:     49 Democrats     51 Republicans    

Polling data in Excel
Battleground states
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strong Dem Strong Dem (44)
weak Dem Weak Dem (5)
barely Dem Barely Dem (0)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (3)
weak GOP Weak GOP (2)
strong GOP Strong GOP (46)
No Senate race No Senate race
  Map algorithm explained
Oct. 26 New polls: FL MI TN VA VT RSS
  Pickups: Montana Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island

News from the Votemaster

Poll of the Day

On our poll yesterday, 51% of those who voted said the biggest issue for them was hurting Bush. That really shows how polarized the country has become. It is inconceivable that during Bush-1 or even Reagan's administration so many people--even Democrats-- would have had such a visceral hatred of the President. It is clearly due to Karl Rove's (hugely successful) strategy of moving hard to the right, mobilizing the Base to vote in large numbers, and aiming for 51% of the vote. Previous Presidents of both parties operated from the center and tried to get a broad mandate with as many votes as possible. By clicking on the "Previous report" link above, you can go backwards in time and view the older polls.

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Senate Polls

The Tennessee Senate race couldn't be any closer. SurveyUSA puts it at 48% 48%. Control of the Senate may well hinge on this race. The Republican National Committee is now running an ad ending with a blonde white woman winking at the Democratic nominee, Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (who is black). The ad is being called racist. Watch out. Here comes the mud. Politics didn't used to be like this in the U.S. and it isn't like this in other countries. In the past and elsewhere, candidates argue about taxes, immigration, health care, education, national defense, etc., and don't use racial innuendos as the tool of choice.

The other key race polled today is Virginia. Three polls there all have Sen. George Allen (R-VA) slightly ahead, but yesterday Jim Webb (D) was ahead. It is very close.

The highly-respected National Journal has just released its list of the Senate seats most likely to flip. Here is the top 10, ranked from most likely to least likely:

1. Pennsylvania
2. Ohio
3. Montana
4. Rhode Island
5. Missouri
6. Tennessee
7. Virginia
8. New Jersey
9. Maryland
10. Michigan

I agree with it completely. I think 1-4 are very likely to go Democratic, 4-7 are tossups, and 8 unlikely, although the NRSC plans to spend $5 million on ads attacking Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Forecast: mud today, mud tomorrow, mud during the weekend, and mud all next week.

There were partisan polls in Maryland, too. The Democratic poll puts Rep. Cardin (D) ahead of Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) by 12%. The Republican poll puts Cardin ahead by 2%. This is why I just ignore the partisan polls. They are no more believable than TV commercials.

State Democrat Republican Date     Len Dem GOP Ind Pollster
Florida Bill Nelson* Katherine Harris Oct 22 5 64% 29%   Quinnipiac U.
Michigan Debbie Stabenow* Mike Bouchard Oct 24 2 52% 41%   Research 2000
Michigan Debbie Stabenow* Mike Bouchard Oct 24 3 51% 44%   SurveyUSA
Michigan Debbie Stabenow* Mike Bouchard Oct 22 1 55% 39%   Rasmussen
Tennessee Harold Ford Bob Corker Oct 24 3 48% 48%   SurveyUSA
Vermont Bernie Sanders Rich Tarrant Oct 24 2   36% 57% Research 2000
Virginia Jim Webb George Allen* Oct 24 1 48% 49%   Rasmussen
Virginia Jim Webb George Allen* Oct 24 3 46% 49%   SurveyUSA

House Polls

Over in the House, we have seven new polls. A couple are intriguing. In FL-24, on the central east coast of Florida, a Zogby poll puts Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and Clint Curtis (D) in a statistical tie. Feeney ran unopposed in 2004 because the Democrats regarded this heavily Republican district as hopeless. If districts that are this Republican are even close, what is going on in the 350 or so districts where there are no polls? Now I expect Feeney to pull this one out of the fire, but it bodes ill for the GOP elsewhere.

Another ill omen for the Republicans is PA-04, on the western border of the state, hard by Ohio. Here incumbent Melissa Hart (R) has a 4% lead over Jason Altmire (D). She won by 30 percentage points in 2004. If incumbents who were unopposed or won in landslides last time are in competitive races now, what is happening in districts under the radar where the incumbent won by 10% last time?

On the other hand, there is also good news for Republicans. The bitter contest in MN-06 is now leaning Republican, as Michelle Bachmann (R) has regained the lead from Patty Wetterling (D), 49% to 43%.

Cong. Distr. Democrat Republican Date     Len Dem GOP Ind Pollster
FL-24 Clint Curtis Tom Feeney* Oct 21 2 43% 45%   Zogby
IN-08 Brad Ellsworth John Hostettler* Oct 20 4 50% 43%   Research 2000
IN-09 Baron Hill Mike Sodrel* Oct 20 4 47% 45%   Research 2000
MN-06 Patty Wetterling Michele Bachmann Oct 24 3 43% 49%   SurveyUSA
PA-04 Jason Altmire Melissa Hart* Oct 22 2 42% 46%   Susquehanna
PA-10 Christopher Carney Don Sherwood* Oct 23 5 48% 39%   Keystone Poll
WA-02 Rick Larsen* Primary Oct 24 3 62% 33%   SurveyUSA


In case you missed it, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday that by refusing to allow same-sex couples to get married, the state is unlawfully discriminating against gay people. While this ruling is not likely to have a big effect on the Senate race there (NJ is not known for having a large number of evangelicals), it could reverberate nationally.

Projected New House*:     227 Democrats     206 Republicans     2 Ties
* Where no independent polls exist, the 2004 election results have been used. See complete House polls.

Dem pickups: AZ-01 AZ-08 FL-13 FL-16 IA-02 IN-02 IN-08 IN-09 KY-03 NC-08 NC-11 NH-02 NM-01 NY-19 NY-24 NY-25 NY-29 OH-15 OH-18 PA-06 PA-07 PA-10 TX-22 WI-08

GOP pickups:
Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 See the details of the Senate and House races with photos, maps, links, polls, etc.
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