Let’s get to important matters first. Council for a Livable World has opened our bi-annual election contest. Free to enter; predictions due by midnight eastern standard time on November 3rd, the night before the elections. Top three winners earn a cash prize!
In other news, let’s take a look at the contest for control of the Senate, otherwise known as Mitch McConnell vs. Harry Reid tête-à-tête.
Republicans have the advantage, and perhaps a growing lead, but it is much too early to call the election a wrap. Nate Silver’s 538 now gives the GOP a 2-1 shot of taking the Senate. That still leaves uncertainty.
And by the way, 538 number crunchers also say that there is a 47% chance that we will not know who won the Senate the day after the election — because of potential runoff elections in Louisiana and Georgia, a couple of independent candidates who could win, and close elections that might lead to lengthy recounts (it took eight months for Al Franken to be declared the winner in 2008).
But let’s take a quick look at the closest Senate contests:
Arkansas – Advantage Cotton (R) over Pryor (D) by an expanding margin.
Colorado – most polls put Gardner (R) over Mark Udall (D) by a few points, but Democratic polls claim Udall slightly ahead.
Georgia – Nunn (D) (the Senator’s daughter and not Sam, the former Senator) has pulled into a small lead over Perdue (R), whose bragging about outsourcing jobs hasn’t been sitting well with Georgia voters.
Iowa – All polls show a tight race with a tiny edge for Ernst (R) but (Democrats hope) a better ground game for Braley (D).
Kansas – The independent Orman and Roberts (R) are tied, which is an uptick for the long-time incumbent who had previously trailed.
Kentucky – When national Democrats took some of their advertising money out of Kentucky, many said that was the death knell for Grimes (D) against McConnell (R). Yet polls continue to show a tight race. And as Aron Blake wrote in The Fix today, “People don’t like Mitch McConnell. That’s why Alison Lundergan Grimes still has a shot.”
Louisiana – A December runoff is almost sure. Landrieu (D) leads in a multi-candidate race, but a one-on-one runoff gives an advantage to Cassidy (R).
Michigan – The political pros have dumped on Land’s (R) campaign for months, and the steadily widening lead for Peters (D) has taken this out of the toss-up category.
New Hampshire – Shaheen (D) has held a stable lead over Brown (R-MA & NH), but that lead has shrunk. Polls still show the incumbent ahead by three points, but an upset is possible. I guess if Hillary of Illinois and Arkansas can win a Senate seat in New York, Brown thinks anything is possible.
North Carolina – The advantage goes to Hagan (D) over Tillis (R) by about three points, but Republicans see a narrowing of the contest.
South Dakota – Rounds (R) versus Weiland (D) versus Pressler (C for confused) versus a fourth candidate make this contest totally unpredictable. But a sleepy race has risen like a phoenix (no, not the song) as both parties and independent groups pour money into the state reminiscent of the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1874 (Wow – a link to a current pop song and ancient history in the same sentence).
The latest polling update is below, and can be checked daily here.
Last updated October 22, 2014
Alaska: While all polling in the state is dubious, CNN/ORC poll has Sullivan (R) over Begich (R) 50%-44% (Oct. 1-6). Arkansas: Cotton (R) extending his lead over Pryor (D) 49%-41% in Talk Business Poll (Oct. 15-16). Colorado: Tight contest: Gardner (R) over Udall (D) by one point, 47%-46% in Monmouth University poll (Oct. 17-20). Georgia: Nunn (D) still holds a narrow lead over Purdue (R) 46%-44% in SurveyUSA poll (Oct. 17-20). Iowa: Quinnipiac poll puts Ernst (R) over Braley (D) 47%-45% (Oct. 8-13). Kansas: All tied up at 46%: Orman (I) and Roberts (R) in Monmouth University poll (Oct. 16-19). Kentucky: Oh so close: McConnell (R) 44%-Grimes (D) 43% in Bluegrass poll (Oct. 15-19). Louisiana: If you believe it, still lots of undecided in LA: Landrieu (D) 36%, Cassidy (R) 32%, Maness (R) 6% in WAFB/Fox 8/Raycom poll. Runoff here we come (Oct. 14-19). Maine: Collins (R) 57%, Bellows (D) 33%: CBS News/NYT poll. Michigan: Peters (D) pulling away from Land (R) 51%-38% in Mitchell Research poll (Oct. 19). Minnesota: Franken (D) extending his lead over McFadden (R) 53%-38% in KSTP/Survey USA poll (Oct. 14-16). Montana: Montana State University-Billings polls shows Daines (R) comfortably ahead of Curtis (D) 47%-31% (Oct. 6-11) New Hampshire: Shaheen (D) retains narrow lead over Brown (R) 49%-46% in Suffolk poll (Oct. 16-19). New Jersey: Booker (D) with wide lead over Bell (R) 56%-40% in Fairleigh Dickinson poll (Oct. 13-19). North Carolina: Hagan (D) narrowly over Tillis (R) 46%-43% in SurveyUSA poll (Oct. 16-20). Oregon: Merkley (D) extending his lead in SurveyUSA poll over Wheby (R) 53%-32% (Oct. 16-19). South Dakota: Amazing race: Rounds 35%, Pressler 32%, Weiland 28% in SurveyUSA poll (Oct. 1-4). Virginia: Warner (D) still strongly ahead of Gillespie (R) 47%-37% in U. of Mary Washington poll (Oct. 1-6). West Virginia: Capito (R) 56%, Tennant (D) 33%: CBS News/New York Times poll. Solid leads in CBS New/NY Times polls: Illinois: Durbin (D) over Oberweis (R) 51%-39%; Massachusetts- Markey (D) over Herr (R) 54%-31%; New Mexico-T. Udall (D) over Weh (R) 53%-35%.