Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

A Snapshot of the 36 Senate Races

In Election Analysis, Senate on October 28, 2014 at 9:03 pm

The international polling firm YouGov, in their ongoing project with the New York Times and CBS News, released another complete polling wave over the weekend. The data included results from all 36 Senate races.

According to the comprehensive totals, Republicans would gain the majority with 51 seats, winning in 21 states including a Louisiana run-off, while Democrats would claim fourteen. The 36th state, Iowa, is in a flat 44-44 percent tie between Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst and Democratic US Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1).

For Republicans, the safe list contains a pair of both Oklahoma (Jim Inhofe and James Lankford) and South Carolina seats (Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott) that are up for election this year in addition to Susan Collins in Maine, Jim Risch from Idaho, and Jeff Sessions (Alabama), among others.

The GOP nominee leads in 10 contested or open races from anywhere between three and 29 points. Only three of the contenders, however, exceed 50 percent in support. Below are the results in competitive campaigns:

Alaska 48-44% +4 Dan Sullivan (R) Sen. Mark Begich (D)
Arkansas 47-42% +5 Rep. Tom Cotton (R) Sen. Mark Pryor (D)
Georgia 47-44% +3 David Perdue (R) Michelle Nunn (D)
Kansas 42-38% +4 Sen. Pat Roberts (R) Greg Orman (I)
Kentucky 45-39% +6 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Alison Grimes (D)
Louisiana (run-off) 46-42% +4 Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) Sen. Mary Landrieu (D)
Montana 56-38% +18 Rep. Steve Daines (R) Amanda Curtis (D)
Nebraska 59-30% +29 Ben Sasse (R) Dave Domina (D)
South Dakota 38-25-17% +7 Dan Sullivan (R) Rick Weiland (D) – Larry Pressler (I)
West Virginia 56-34% +22 Rep. Shelley Capito (R) Natalie Tennant (D)
Total Competitive: 10 Total Safe: 11 Grand Total: 21 (51 seats)

The clear Democratic advantages are largely in uncontested or long shot races that include Delaware’s Chris Coons, New Mexico’s Tom Udall, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Rhode Island incumbent Jack Reed.

The heavily contested races that YouGov posts the Democratic nominee as the race leader are:

Colorado 47-46% +1 Sen. Mark Udall (D) Rep. Cory Gardner (R)
Michigan 49-41% +8 Rep. Gary Peters (D) Terri Lynn Land (R)
Minnesota 51-41% +10 Sen. Al Franken (D) Mike McFadden (R)
North Carolina 44-41% +3 Sen. Kay Hagan (D) Thom Tillis (R)
New Hampshire 46-41% +5 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) Scott Brown (R)
Total Competitive: 5 Total Safe: 9 Grand Total: 14 (48 seats)

Though these numbers suggest a better Democratic result in Colorado, North Carolina, and New Hampshire than most other available data, the GOP still claims the majority. That is because the YouGov results are better for Republicans in Georgia and Kansas than most other data portends.

This series of polls gives us more evidence of a growing trend that appears to be decidedly favoring Republicans as Election Day is now just one week away.

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