Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hmm: Fiorina, Whitman Leading in CA?

Two weeks from election day and polls are starting to vary wildly. This is the first I've seen in some time with Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman both leading in their races for the Senate and Governor in California.
Carly Fiorina currently leads by three points against Barbara Boxer in the race for United States Senate from California.

U.S. Senate Ballot
Total Fiorina 46%
Total Boxer 43%
Total Other Candidates 5%
Undecided 6%

Meg Whitman leads by one point in the race for Governor of California.

Governor’s Ballot
Total Whitman 45%
Total Brown 44%
Total Other Candidates 4%
Undecided 7%
Before anyone gets too excited, a PPP poll purports to show Joe Sestak one up on Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. I can't locate the internals on this one but during Special Report tonight Stephen Hayes noted the sample forecast that Democrat turnout would be substantially higher than in 2008, which is quite a stretch; he said the voter turnout would be 48% Democrat and 41% Repulican, which I find hard to believe considering the GOP surge this year. Pennsylvania is notoriously difficult to predict what with a pretty high number of conservative Democrats.

Meanwhile, another poll shows Rand Paul now trailing in Kentucky. Since this is a Democrat poll, take it with a huge grain of salt.
A new Democratic poll shows Democrat Jack Conway surging in the Kentucky Senate race. The Bennet, Petts and Normington poll, conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and shared with The Fix, shows Conway at 49 percent and Republican Rand Paul at 47 percent - Conway's best showing in a poll since late June.
A much more reliable poll has Paul up by five points. Rasmussen also most recently had Toomey up by 10 points.

At this juncture you can expect a lot of wild variations in polling and it's best to consider the source and look specifically at who's being polled (i.e., likely voters, registered voters and the party breakdown). In a year where Republicans are largely expected to turn out in greater numbers, anything showing a large gap, as in the aforementioned Pennsylvania poll, should be viewed warily.

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