What the Latest Polls Told Us

What the Latest Polls Told Us

By Sean Trende - September 14, 2010


New Hampshire Primary -- On the heels of the Public Policy Polling poll showing a seven-point lead for Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Republican pollster Magellan Strategies weighs in with a poll showing a four-point lead for the former attorney general. Ayotte receives 35 percent of the vote, to 31 percent for Ovide Lamontagne, 13 percent for Bill Binnie, and 10 percent for Jim Bender. Seven percent are undecided. Oddly, the conservative Lamontagne fares the best among Independent voters, while Ayotte leads among Republicans (this is consistent with what PPP found yesterday). Lamontagne is certainly surging – with another week, he’d probably pull off the upset. But with just a day left, he may come up just short. 

New York Primary (Gillibrand) – The day before the Republican primary election to decide who will take on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the big winner is . . . undecided. According to Siena, Former Congressman Joe DioGuardi leads David Malpass and Bruce Blakeman 29 percent to 14 percent to 11 percent. DioGuardi (father of the former American Idol judge) is probably a bit of a favorite here, though obviously anything can happen.

New York Primary (Shumer) – I follow these things much closer than the average bear, and I’ll admit that I had to look the two Republican candidates for this Senate seat up. The indispensible describes Gary Berntsen as “Investigative Agency Owner, Retired CIA Officer, Author & USAF Veteran,” while Jay Townsend, who has nabbed the Conservative Party nod, is a “Political Strategist & Ex-Purdue University Trustee.” Townsend leads 25 percent to 17 percent according to Siena, with a whopping 59 percent undecided. 

Georgia – SurveyUSA shows Senator Johnny Isakson leading State Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond 56 percent to 34 percent. Isakson isn’t in much danger of losing this cycle.


New York Primary – The Republicans are limping toward a finish here, with former Congressman Rick Lazio as the establishment choice over real estate developer Carl Paladino. The latest Siena poll has Lazio up only a point over Paladino. Paladino leads upstate, where he holds a 53 percent to 32 percent lead; Lazio leads 55 to 30 percent in New York City and its suburbs. Turnout will be key, and Lazio might have an edge there, given his experience running a GOTV operation as a congressman. But Lazio’s lead has steadily been diminishing since June, and Paladino might even be considered a favorite, given the overall trendline. 

Illinois – Probably the biggest story of the election season is the GOP resurgence in the Rust Belt gubernatorial races. Republicans are presently leading by 10.8 points in Ohio, 23 points in Michigan, and 13.2 points in Pennsylvania. Even in Illinois, probably the bluest state in the region, Rasmussen Reports now has Republican Bill Brady, a conservative Republican, leading incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn 50 percent to 37 percent. Brady leads by 9 points in the RCP Average. 

Georgia – Democrats held out some hope of capturing the Georgia governor’s seat this race, but the bottom line is that Roy Barnes is a Democrat running in a red state in a bad Democratic year. He’s also a former governor who lost in 2002, who has never gotten above 44 percent in the polls. Now SurveyUSA finds Deal leading by 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent. Deal leads by eight in the RCP Average.

Connecticut – Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy has handily led against former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley in most polls taken since the primary campaign concluded. But the most recent poll from Rasmussen Reports shows the race closing to single digits, with Malloy leading by seven points, 46 percent to 39 percent.  There’s still plenty of undecideds for Foley to pick up, but the GOP has held the Governor’s mansion for 16 years, and voters are probably ready for change. Malloy leads by 11 points in the RCP Average.


The Gallup generic ballot bounced back from a tie, and now shows Republicans leading 48 percent to 43 percent. This is among registered voters, so the lead is probably substantially higher among likely voters; the “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats has narrowed somewhat, but is still enormous. Rasmussen Reports shows a narrowing gap as well, with Republicans up 47 percent to 38 percent among likely voters.  For the past five weeks, Republicans have had between 45 percent and 48 percent in the RCP Average; Democrats have been between 36 and 39 percent. Republicans lead by 7.8 points in the RCP Average.

Campaign Polls:

-- TN-4 (Public Opinion Strategies (R)): Lincoln Davis (D) 45 percent, Scott DesJarlais (R) 41 percent.

-- OH-6 (Public Opinion Strategies (R)): Charlie Wilson (D) 47 percent, Bill Johnson (R) 44 percent.

-- PA-12 (Grove Insight (D)): Mark Critz (D) 48 percent, Tim Burns (R) 41 percent.

-- OR-05 (Grove Insight (D)): Schrader (D) 42 percent, Scott Bruun (R) 29 percent.

-- NM-02 (Anzalone Liszt (D)): Teague (D) 51 percent, Steve Pearce (R) 44 percent.

-- KY-06 (Grove Insight (D)): Chandler (D) 52 percent, Barr (R) 38 percent.

Sean Trende is senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He is a co-author of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics and author of The Lost Majority. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SeanTrende.

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