POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/1

Late Voters May Be Key to Angle Victory

The final Public Policy Polling survey in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) edging Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 46%.

The survey indicates that Reid takes a 50% to 46% lead with early voters into election day but that those still planning to vote tomorrow are intending to support Angle by a 48% to 40% margin.

Ohio Governor a Toss Up Until the End

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds the race for governor is a dead heat with John Kasich (R) leading Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by just one point, 47% to 46%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The governor’s race is a statistical tie. It could go either way. Strickland has come from far back. The question is whether he can get over the hump. He has momentum on his side. Kasich has the historical tendency of undecided voters to break against well-known incumbents at the very end of a campaign.”

Toomey Leads Heading Into Election Day

A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania finds Pat Toomey (R) leading Rep. Joe Sestak (D) by five points in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 45%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The Senate race has been neck-and-neck most of the way with Toomey slightly ahead. It looks like that is how the candidates will cross the finish line.”

The final Morning Call/Muhlenberg tracking poll shows Toomey ahead by four points, 48% to 44%.

Buck Has Thin Lead in Colorado

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado shows a very tight race with Ken Buck (R) just edging Sen. Michael Bennet (D), 49% to 48%.

Interesting: “One thing interesting to note within the results is that with respondents who say they’ve already voted — accounting for 66% of the sample- Bennet is actually ahead by a 52-46 margin. Buck leads 55-41 with those who say they have not yet cast their ballots. Bennet should probably be rooting for ugly weather on election day, any little thing could help in such a close race if he already has a lead in the bank.”

 

Miller Leads Three-Way Race in Alaska

Apparently, predictions of Joe Miller’s (R) collapse in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race are premature: A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Miller still leading the race with 37%, followed by Scott McAdams (D) at 30% and Lisa Murkowski at 30%.

Key finding: “Miller is winning despite having the worst personal favorability numbers of the three candidates. Only 36% have a positive opinion of him while 59% view him in a negative light. McAdams is by far the most popular with 50% rating him favorably to only 30% with an unfavorable one. Voters aren’t very enamored with Murkowski either, giving her a 37/53 approval rating.”

Kirk Grabs Lead in Illinois

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Illinois shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is ahead of Alexi Giannoulias (D) in the U.S. Senate race by four points, 46% to 42%.

Interesting: “The presence of the third party candidates in the race seems to really be hurting Giannoulias. In a straight head to head between him and Kirk he trails by only a 46-45 margin. But a fair number of progressive voters who don’t like Giannoulias but can’t bring themselves to vote for Kirk are supporting the minor candidates in the contest.”

California Tightens

A new Public Policy Polling survey in California shows the races for U.S. Senate and governor have tightened over the final week of the campaign, although the Democratic candidates still retain the lead in both races.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leads Carly Fiorina (R), 50% to 46%.

In the race for governor, Jerry Brown (D) leads Meg Whitman (R), 51% to 46%.

Rossi Leads in Washington

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Washington finds Dino Rossi (R) leading Patty Murray (D) by two points, 50% to 48%.

Key finding: “Neither candidate has much in the way of support across party lines- Rossi’s winning 93% of Republicans and Murray’s winning 91% of Democrats. That means independents, as they are in so many races across the country, are making the difference for the GOP here. Rossi leads Murray with them by a 54-42 margin.”

 

Manchin Still Leads in West Virginia

The final Public Policy Polling survey in West Virginia finds Gov. Joe Manchin (D) leading John Raese (R) in the U.S. Senate race by five points, 51% to 46%.

Key findings: “Manchin is the most popular politician we’ve polled on anywhere in the country this year and it’s by a wide margin. On this final poll his approval rating hit the 70% mark with only 22% disapproving of him. Usually you would expect someone with those kinds of numbers to have an easy time of it but Manchin’s been hampered by efforts to tie him to Barack Obama and national Democrats. Obama’s approval rating in the state is only 31% with 61% of voters disapproving of him.”

GOP Establishment Seeks to Stop Palin

“Interviews with advisers to the main 2012 presidential contenders and with other veteran Republican operatives make clear they see themselves on a common, if uncoordinated, mission of halting the momentum and credibility Sarah Palin gained with conservative activists by plunging so aggressively into this year’s midterm campaigns,” Politico reports.

“There is rising expectation among GOP elites that Palin will probably run for president in 2012 and could win the Republican nomination, a prospect many of them regard as a disaster in waiting.”

Republicans Still Favored in Generic Ballot

The final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before Tuesday’s midterm elections finds Republicans leading Democrats in the generic congressional ballot among likely voters, 49% to 43%.

That’s virtually unchanged from the NBC/WSJ survey from two weeks ago.

The final Gallup poll finds Republicans with a much bigger lead among likely voters, 55% to 40%.

Paul Headed for Easy Win

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Kentucky finds Rand Paul (R) leading Jack Conway (D) in the U.S. Senate race by a wide margin, 55% to 40%.

Key finding: “Over the last month of the campaign this went from being a relatively competitive race to a not so competitive one. That didn’t have a ton to do with Rand Paul — his favorability in early September was 45/40 and now it’s 48/43, basically unchanged. The shift is more a reflection of Jack Conway’s image with Kentucky voters being shattered in the closing days. Seven weeks ago his favorability split evenly with 36% of voters rating him positively and negatively alike. Now he’s very unpopular with only 34% of voters saying they like him and 52% expressing unfavorable opinions toward him.”

Toomey Stays Ahead in Pennsylvania

The final poll from Public Policy Polling in Pennsylvania shows Pat Toomey(R) leads Rep. Joe Sestak (R) in the U.S. Senate race by five points, 51% to 46%.

Key finding: “The story here is an inordinate number of Democrats unhappy with Barack Obama — and voting Republican because of it. The President’s approval rating within his own party is only 73% in Pennsylvania, with 21% of Democrats disapproving of him. Those Democrats unhappy with Obama are leaning strongly Republican, planning to vote for Toomey by a 68% to 23% margin.

In the race for governor, Tom Corbett (R) leads Dan Onorato (D), 52% to 45%.

Kasich Holds Edge in Ohio

A new Columbus Dispatch poll in Ohio confirms a tight race for governor: John Kasich (R) just edges Gov. Ted Strickland (D), 49% to 47%.

Interesting: “If the election truly is that close, Ohioans might not know who their next governor will be for at least 10 days — or longer, if a legal battle ensues. In both 2006 and 2008, about 3 percent of Ohio votes were counted after Election Day. They represented provisional ballots – those where a question must be resolved before the vote can be counted – as well as tallies from Ohioans living or serving in the military overseas. A recount is automatic if a victory margin is 0.5 percentage points or less.”

Deal Still Leads in Georgia

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Georgia finds Nathan Deal (R) leading Roy Barnes (D) by seven points in the race for governor, 47% to 40%, with John Monds (L) at 6%.

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