Latest 2010 Senate Polls: NC-Sen, PA-Sen, AR-Sen

A few extremely telling polls have come out in the last few days, so I thought it would be better to separate into two posts a post on polls from the last few days and a post on other news from the last couple days.

  • North Carolina: A second poll, this time by Civitas, has come out showing Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper beating Republican freshman Richard Burr.  Civitas clocked the currently-hypothetical race at Cooper 41, Burr 38.  In December, Public Policy Polling put the match-up at Cooper 39, Burr 34; while a January poll from Research 2000 showed Burr narrowly leading 45-43.  Publicly, Attorney General Cooper is still considering the race, but hopefully these very promising early numbers encourage Cooper to jump in.  Attorney General Cooper’s entry would immediately make NC-Sen a top-tier race and a true toss-up.
  • PennsylvaniaTwo polls have been released on a possible PA-Sen Republican primary in 2010 between Arlen Specter and Club for Growth head and former Congressman Pat Toomey.  The Quinnipiac poll clocked the race at a paradigm-shattering Toomey 41, Specter 27, Undecided 28.  Specter’s approval among Republicans according to Quinnipiac is just 29-47.  Brutal.  However, a Franklin & Marshall poll shows a different race: Specter 33, Toomey 18, Peg Luksik 2, Other 5, Undecided 42.  What’s with the disparity?  Well, let’s break it down.  First, for Specter’s numbers, both poll agree that he comes in at right around 30%.  Second, note that the F&M poll has a much smaller sample and therefore a much higher margin of error.Third, and perhaps key here, is that F&M included anti-abortion rights activist Peg Luksik.  You might ask, “But Luksik only got 2% so how could she have changed the numbers that much?”  I’d suggest that the much higher Undecided rate in the F&M poll compared to the Quinnipiac poll is due to the fact that there were multiple non-Specter names from which to choose.  I’d offer that a significant chunk of F&M’s Undecided population are undecided between Toomey and Luksik – both names that have some familiarity to PA-GOP voters.  (While not as well-known nationally as Toomey is, Luksik is prominent in Pennsylvania’s conservative population from a previous gubernatorial run and other political activities.)  Now, there’s Specter’s possible primary salvation: if Toomey and Luksik split the anti-Specter vote and Specter wins with a plurality.  Toomey needs to get all of the anti-Specter Undecideds to line up behind him instead of Luksik – and then he needs to at least split the rest of the Undecideds between him and Specter.That said, Specter must be frightened by these numbers.  It is clearly why Specter decided to tack right and harm Pennsylvania’s working families by flip-flopping on the Employee Free Choice Act, even if conservatives remain unimpressed and very displeased with Specter.
  • ArkansasNew Public Policy Polling numbers shed further light on AR-Sen, as PPP declares Senator Blanche Lincoln‘s numbers to be “good but not great.”  Senator Lincoln’s approve-disapprove is at a lackluster 45-40.  Senator Lincoln’s numbers are held back by Democratic approval being just under 75% and independent disapproval being at 50%.  Despite the weak numbers, Senator Lincoln still enjoys a roughly 10 point lead over her likeliest Republican challengers.  Senator Lincoln leads Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin 46-38, and she leads state senator Gilbert Baker (with his frighteningly questionable character) by a 48-37 margin.  Still, these numbers are not too thrilling given that both Republicans hold Senator Lincoln to under 50% despite their own lacks of name recognition.  Senator Lincoln has to expand her approval among independents (and, perhaps surprisingly, among Obama supporters) faster than the Republicans expand their positive name ID or this race could tighten.  Perhaps Senator Lincoln would impress independents by showing leadership in protecting Arkansas’ working families by coming out in vocal support of the Employee Free Choice Act.

You left one out Guru.

According to SSP Jack Conway is planning on running for senate in Kentucky.North Caronlina-I hope Cooper pulls the trigger on this.  He’ll make it easy.  However, if he doesn’t run, it’s not all lost.  There are plenty of other candidates who could make the race, so if he doesn’t go for it, let’s not get too upset about it.

Pennsylvania-Ding dong Arlen’s gone!  His one salvation was running as a Democrat or an Independent with labor support, but the stupid fool has pissed on everyone’s feet by this point.  Allyson Schwartz needs to jump in yesterday!  She’s already got a huge war chest and now would have the organizational muscle of labor, plus the Pennsylvania machine and the huge numbers of Democrats now comprising the Pennsylvania electorate.  It’s her seat if she wants it as I see it.

Arkansas-Ok, here’s the thing about Lincoln and Pryor.  They’ve never had just stellar approval ratings as thy both are lackluster and tend to piss off their base, particularly on economic issues.  If they would vote against free trade deals or against tax cuts for millionaires or something like that, they’d have better numbers in a state that’s got some strong populist leanings.  Oh, and FYI, there’s another Republican looking at the race-blatantly racist, xenophobic, and homophobic mayor of Rogers, Steve Womack.  Blanche always gets the colorful ones….

Check out Blue Arkansas:

Click here for the new senate guru blog…

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