News & Election Videos

September 26, 2008

Poll Update

Busy day on the polling front.

Alaska Senate

Forget the trial, is Ted Stevens making a comeback? The Senate's longest-serving Republican is clawing back, a new poll out this week suggests. The Ivan Moore Research (D) poll, conducted 9/20-22, surveyed 500 registered voters for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. Stevens and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich were tested.

General Election Matchup
Begich........48 (-1 from last, 9/2)
Stevens.......46 (no change)

That margin is about the same as the last poll Moore conducted, marking a dramatic comeback from this summer when Begich, the Democratic nominee, led Stevens by 17 points.

Alaska House

Moore also surveyed the state's House race, and again, Republican Don Young is catching up to Democratic former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz.

General Election Matchup
Berkowitz....49 (-5 from last, 9/2)
Young........45 (+8)

Even as Stevens started to close the gap earlier this month, Young remained 17 points down in the September 2 survey. Could it be the Sarah Palin effect in Alaska? A Republican oversample? Or could it be, as Moore suggests, that Berkowitz and Begich need to start proving they could fill Young's and Stevens' shoes if they were sent to Washington?

Illinois 10

Democrats remain optimistic they can oust moderate Republican Mark Kirk in Illinois, though a poll conducted last month for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee suggests there is serious work left to be done. The Global Strategy Group poll, conducted for the DCCC, surveyed 400 likely voters between 8/17-19 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Kirk and marketing executive Dan Seals were tested.

General Election Matchup
Kirk.........46
Seals........39

Obama........51
McCain.......36

The poll was conducted before Seals went on television with spots touting his own candidacy and slamming Kirk. And if Barack Obama will be a boost to Democrats anywhere, it will most likely be in his home state (Kirk's district is just north of Chicago, on the Wisconsin border).

But Kirk has his own ads up and running, and in a Democratic poll he runs close to 50% already. Seals should hold out hope that Obama's coattails are especially long near his home town.


New Mexico 01

A new poll conducted for former Albuquerque City Councilman Martin Heinrich shows the Democrat has an excellent shot at stealing an open Republican-held seat. The poll, conducted for Heinrich by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, surveyed 450 likely voters between 9/22-23 for a margin of error of +/- 4.6%. Heinrich and Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White were tested.

General Election Matchup
Heinrich......48 (+1 from last, 7/08)
White.........42 (-2)

Retiring Rep. Heather Wilson fended off a few good Democratic challengers during her career, but the seat is trending Democratic. White is a great campaigner, but he may be running in a district that has just drifted too far away from the GOP.

Oregon Senate

A new poll conducted for the lefty blog DailyKos shows Oregon Senator Gordon Smith has reason to sweat. The Research 2000 survey polled 600 likely voters between 9/22-24 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Smith and House Speaker Jeff Merkley, the Democrat, were tested among a sample made up of 43% Democrats, 36% Republicans and 21% independents and others.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Merkley....45 / 79 / 6 / 43 / 42 / 48
Smith......40 / 6 / 81 / 41 / 42 / 38

Obama......53 / 85 / 14 / 55 / 48 / 58
McCain.....39 / 8 / 77 / 37 / 44 / 34

The poll has all kinds of good news for Merkley. Smith has won two statewide elections by wooing independent voters. If Merkley is running ahead among those voters, Smith is in serious trouble. Given the margin by which Barack Obama leads John McCain, coattails could seriously hurt Republicans here.

Virginia 02

Democrats think they can capture a southeast Virginia district, and a new poll for their candidate shows a win isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility. The poll, conducted by Bennett Petts and Normington for Democratic businessman Glenn Nye, surveyed 400 likely voters between 9/21-22 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Rep. Thelma Drake and Nye were tested.

General Election Matchup
Drake.......45
Nye.........40

Despite trailing by five, Nye's pollsters see opportunities to grow. The poll shows 45% of respondents approve of Drake's job performance while 47% disapprove, and her personal favorable rating is an anemic 42% positive to 35% negative.

But Drake's district has a high percentage of military voters, and John McCain heading the ticket and driving turnout will make Democrats' chances of winning back the district that much more remote.