Democrat overreach could be the game changer.
Midterm elections are only a few weeks away so we’re watching the polls closer each day. I found that polls for the Senate races in Missouri, Arizona, North Dakota, and Tennessee have the Republican candidates in the lead.
Democrat incumbent Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is only down a point, but Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally slightly raised her lead as she tries to take over retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat.
Before I dive into these races, I want to let you know that I’m keeping an eye on the races in Indiana and Montana. The incumbent Democrat senators have the lead in those two states, but neither one is too safe.
McSally received her first lead over her opponent state Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in September and the latest poll from ABC15/OH Predictive Insights shows McSally still in the lead. From ABC15:
In the latest ABC15/OH Predictive Insights poll, McSally has a six-point edge on Sinema, 47 percent to 41 percent. Eight percent said they had yet to decide on a candidate.
Both candidates received less support than they did in September when McSally held a 49-46 margin, the first time ABC15/OHPI polling showed her in the lead to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.
Chief pollster Mike Noble said increasing approval for President Trump in recent weeks and the addition of Green Party candidate Angela Green, who received four percent in the poll, to the race have contributed to the separation between McSally and Sinema.
“What we saw all year was Republicans were less united compared to Democrats, who were more united or fully united,” Noble said. “So whether they disliked Trump or had issues with the establishment, now what we’ve seen is [the] Kavanaugh confirmation process has really brought all those Republicans home and has solidified the Republican base, hence why you’re seeing all the favorable numbers toward McSally.”
McSally may get more of a boost soon since President George W. Bush and Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney both plan to visit the state to campaign for her.
The Cook Political Report still has it as a Toss Up.
The race between McCaskill and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will probably go down to the wire. One poll has the incumbent in front and the next thing we know Hawley has the lead.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll has Hawley up with 45% of the respondents, but McCaskill sits at 44%.
McCaskill joined her Democrat colleagues and voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but this poll looks like her vote didn’t change many minds:
The Supreme Court did not rank highly among likely voters’ priorities in the state. Respondents were much more likely to cite healthcare, the economy or immigration as top issues for them when deciding which candidate to support.
Almost no one listed the Supreme Court as the most important issue.
Healthcare is a top priority:
Sixty-nine percent of likely voters in the state told the poll said they were “very motivated” to support a candidate who would “defend laws that protect healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions.”
That could spell trouble for Hawley. He has said he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even though he joined a multi-state effort to repeal the federal law that does so, the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp may not survive in November. A Fox News poll has Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer in the lead, 53% to 41%.
FiveThirtyEight gives Cramer a 68.3% to win and Heitkamp only 31.7%.
The latest flashpoint in the race was the battle over the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Heitkamp, who was one of only three Democratic senators to vote for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, voted against Kavanaugh after he faced accusations of sexual assault.
For a candidate who has touted her ability to work with the President, the move was politically risky.
Heitkamp was quick to cut a TV ad explaining her vote as a matter of conscience, politics be damned. And though she knows it could hurt her, Heitkamp told CNN she hopes voters see it as another example of her independence.
“I reminded them this is what I do. I don’t take shortcuts,” she said. “I’ve taken some tough votes in the Senate. I’ve taken some tough votes that Democrats haven’t liked in the Senate. I’ve taken some votes that Republicans haven’t liked, but at the end of the day, you have an obligation to do the right thing as you see it, and I think that’s what’s missing maybe a little bit in politics today.”
On Tuesday, the news bragged about how after Taylor Swift’s post about endorsing Tennessee Democrats and bashing Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the GOP candidate for the Senate seat, tens of thousands of people registered to vote.
That’s GREAT. Everyone should vote.
But did her endorsement work? Doesn’t look like it since The New York Times Upshot site has Blackburn up on former Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen by 18 points! The poll has Blackburn at 57% and Bredesen at 39%. Only 4% of the respondents remain undecided.
The latest CBS poll has Blackburn up by 8 points with Trump and Kavanaugh as main priorities. From The Tennessean:
In Tennessee, 44 percent of respondents in the CBS poll said their Senate vote would be in support of President Donald Trump, while only 26 percent said it would be in opposition of him. Just 30 percent said their vote would not be about Trump.
The poll was taken at the height of the partisan fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination after Christine Blasey Ford testified on Sept. 27 that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school. Republicans slammed the allegations as a political stunt orchestrated by Democrats, and the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh on Saturday, largely along party lines.
The poll found that in Tennessee — where Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016 — 47 percent of respondents supported the confirmation of Kavanaugh compared to 30 percent who opposed it.
“In Tennessee and Texas, where Republicans lead, more voters wanted the Senate to confirm Brett Kavanaugh than not,” the analysis says.
“In each state, views on Kavanaugh divide along partisan lines, with three in four Republicans supporting confirmation, and between six and seven in ten Democrats opposing it.”
Blackburn came out immediately in support of Kavanaugh’s confirmation while Bredesen waited until this past Friday to say he backed Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, bucking his party on the issue.
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