7:57 am Oct. 5, 2012
A handful of new polls released yesterday show Senate races tilting toward Democrats, even in states where Republicans were once expected to win.
In Arizona, an automated Public Policy Polling survey released yesterday showed the Democratic candidate, Richard Carmona, with a two-point lead over Republican Rep. Jeff Flake.
Carmona served as surgeon general under George W. Bush, and Democrats have been talking up his prospects for awhile. The party has long dreamed of capitalizing on the state's growing Hispanic population, but it's never quite come to pass, with Arizona remaining reliably red in statewide races. Carmona also reported raising $2.2 million dollars in the last quarter (including a contribution from Mayor Michael Bloomberg), which should give Republicans some pause as they plan their spending for the stretch run.
In Missouri, a Rasmussen poll released yesterday showed Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill with a six-point lead over Rep. Todd Akin, whose "legitimate rape" comments wounded his candidacy just after the primary. That's down from a 10-point lead, but still considered a gift for Democrats, who considered McCaskill one of the party's most vulnerable incumbents.
But Democrats have a surprising problem of their own.
In Connecticut, a Quinnipiac poll released yesterday showed a dead heat between the Democrat, Rep. Chris Murphy, and Republican businesswoman Linda McMahon, the founder and former president of World Wrestling Entertainment.
In 2010, McMahon lost by 11 points to Richard Blumenthal, even though she spent a record-breaking $50 million on the race. Democrats expected a similar result this time, but McMahon has tweaked her message and her attacks on Murphy seem to be getting more traction than her hits on Blumenthal ever did.
In Wisconsin, which was always expected to be a battle, a new Marquette poll has the Democrat Tammy Baldwin leading former Republican governor Tommy Thompson by four points.
That's down from a nine-point lead last month, but up from a slight lead for Thompson in August.
The poll had President Obama up 11 points in the state.