Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

The Building Wave

In Election Analysis on November 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

The last set of pre-election polls, mostly from survey research firms more often associated with Democrats, suggest that a Republican wave is building. Right now, the GOP looks to be knocking on the door of 52 seats (gain of seven in this election), and that’s if none of the closest polling states, Kansas, North Carolina, and New Hampshire, result in Republican victories. Should every state break their way, the Senate could completely flip to 55R-45D. But, it’s unlikely that the final numbers will go that far.

Looking at the latest polling, it is important to note that the margin between the leading Republican and the trailing Democrat in the isolated races is larger than we’ve seen during the entire election cycle. If these numbers are accurate, it would signal that the Republicans are peaking at exactly the right time.

Here are the poll results:

• Arkansas: Public Policy Polling (Oct. 30-Nov. 1; 1,092 likely voters)
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR-4) …………. 49%
Sen. Mark Pryor (D) …………………… 41%

• Georgia: NBC News/Marist College (Oct. 31; 603 likely voters)
B-man David Perdue (R) …………….. 48%
B-woman Michelle Nunn (D) ………. 44%

• Iowa: Selzer & Company for Des Moines Register (Oct. 28-31; 701 likely voters)
St. Sen. Joni Ernst (R) ……………… 51%
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1) ………. 44%

• Kentucky: NBC News/Marist College (Oct. 31; 556 likely voters)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) ………. 50%
SoS Alison L. Grimes (D) ………… 41%

Public Policy Polling (Oct. 30-Nov. 1; 1,503 likely voters)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) ……….. 50%
SoS Alison L. Grimes (D) ………… 42%

• Louisiana: NBC News/Marist College (Oct. 31; 630 likely voters)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) …………………… 44%
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) ……………….. 36%
Ex-USAF Off. Rob Maness (R) ………….. 15%

Run-off:
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) ………………. 50%
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) ………………….. 45%

Ex-USAF Off. Rob Maness (R) …………. 50%
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) …………………… 46%

All of these polls suggest significantly better Republican numbers than in the past several weeks. The underlying numbers, such as job approval, personal favorability, trusting a particular candidate on various issue positions, and supporting other Republican candidates on ballot (Arkansas poll tested all statewide candidates) are appearing better than at any time during the election cycle. Combined, this suggests the GOP should enjoy a very favorable night at the ballot box when the polls close tomorrow evening.

Several new House polls were also released, and those mostly show good news for the Republicans, as well.

• GA-12: Landmark Communications (Oct. 30; 500 likely GA-12 voters)
B-man Rick Allen (R) ……….. 48%
Rep. John Barrow (D) ………. 44%

• NY-1: Siena College (Oct. 26-29; 670 likely NY-1 voters)
St. Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) ………. 50%
Rep. Tim Bishop (D) …………. 45%

• NY-11: Siena College (Oct. 26-28; 713 likely NY-11 voters)
Rep. Michael Grimm (R) ………………… 53%
Ex-Coun Domenic Recchia (D) ……….. 34%

• NY-18: Siena College (Oct. 24-27; 682 likely NY-18 voters)
Rep. Sean Maloney (D) …………….. 49%
Ex-Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) ………. 44%

• NY-24: Siena College (Oct. 22-24; 704 likely NY-24 voters)
Ex-DA John Katko (R) ………… 52%
Rep. Dan Maffei (D) ……………. 42%

Landmark Communications typically features a slight Republican skew in their polling, so Rep. Barrow (D-GA-12) may be in slightly better position than the survey indicates. Also, in this district, Barrow’s fate will largely be determined by the African American turnout. GA-12 is 35 percent black, so their vote is the foundation of any Democratic victory.

Siena College typically polls New York, and this time finds the GOP in unusually good position. The offensive against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY-1) has been building for some time, and an upset from state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) here is a legitimate possibility.

Though indicted on several federal counts and facing trial in December, it appears that Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY-11) is headed for re-election. Former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia (D) hails from the Brooklyn part of this district and never got untracked in this campaign.

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY-24) has lost this Syracuse anchored district before, and this time he faces a stronger opponent in the person of former District Attorney John Katko (R). Though a ten point lead seems unreasonably large, seeing Katko win this race is highly possible.

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