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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Poll Numbers: Blue House, Blue and Red Stripes in Senate

Likely voters who live in 69 battleground House districts across the country narrowly prefer Democratic candidates, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School survey, a potentially worrying sign for Republicans given that the overwhelming percentage of these districts are currently in GOP hands.
With just a month to the midterm elections and with early voting set to begin in many states, the new poll highlights the challenge for Republicans as they seek to maintain their House majority at a time when President Trump’s approval rating remains below 50 percent despite sustained economic growth, low unemployment and a rising stock market.
The survey of 2,672 likely voters by The Post and the Schar School at George Mason University shows that likely voters in these districts favor Democrats by a slight margin: 50 percent prefer the Democratic nominee and 46 percent prefer the Republican. By way of comparison, in 2016 these same districts favored Republican candidates over Democratic ones by 15 percentage points, 56 percent to 41 percent.
CBS:
The battle for Senate control finds Democrats trying to mount upset challenges in a string of typically Republican states, and this round of Battleground Tracker polls shows them having at best mixed results so far. In the closely watched race in Texas, incumbent Republican Ted Cruz has a lead over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, at six points among likely voters, 50-44.

In Arizona — an open seat in a state that went for President Trump in 2016 — Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has a slight edge over Republican Martha McSally, 47-44.

Tennessee finds Republican Marsha Blackburn with an eight-point lead over Democrat Phil Bredesen, 50-42. Bredesen is a former governor who, having won statewide office before, has given Democrats hope of flipping a red state that Mr. Trump won easily.

Typically blue New Jersey finds Republicans trying to mount an upset of their own against incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez, but Menendez has a sizable 49-39 advantage over Republican challenger Bob Hugin.

These Senate races have been nationalized: By more than two to one, registered voters say national issues outweigh local ones, and voters in all the states surveyed say their vote for the Senate is mainly about the direction of the country over a list of other factors. Across the states, large majorities of each candidate's voters say their vote is explicitly to put either the Democrats or Republicans nationally in control of the Senate. Supporters of each party are about equally likely to say they'll turn out, and more than two-thirds of each describe themselves as very enthusiastic about doing so. There is a bit of difference in Texas, where Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they'll "definitely" vote, which is helping to bolster Cruz.