Alabama: Tuberville Cementing Lead
Though the Alabama Senate race is one of the most important on the board for majority control, few pollsters have paid much attention. The only consistent pollster is the University of Auburn at Montgomery, which has just released a new ballot test result as we approach Election Day. The survey (10/23-28; 853 AL likely voters; online) finds retired head football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) topping incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D), 54-43%. This type of margin is consistent with previous polls, and Mr. Tuberville remains the favorite to win on Tuesday.
Arizona: Three More Polls
A trio of Arizona Senate surveys were released yesterday, testing the widely polled Arizona Senate race between appointed incumbent Martha McSally (R) and retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D). According to Rasmussen Reports/Pulse Opinion Research, Gravis Marketing, and Ipsos/Reuters all were in the field during the October 21-29 period with likely voter sample sizes ranging from 714 to 800. Each produced Kelly leads of between five and seven percentage points.
Minnesota: Again Close
Despite former Rep. Jason Lewis (R) just now getting out of the hospital for what his staff members indicated was a hernia procedure that turned life threatening, he is still in a competitive position opposite Sen. Tina Smith (D). A new Survey USA poll (for KTSP-TV; 10/23-27; 800 MN adults; 689 MN registered voters) finds the Minnesota race again getting close as Sen. Smith holds only a 45-42% edge over Mr. Lewis. Among the 1/3 of the sample who had already voted, Sen. Smith held a 38-point lead. In the segment that plans to vote on Election Day, Mr. Lewis has a 22-point advantage.
NH-1: Shock Poll
The University of New Hampshire’s Polling Center reports a result no other firm has detected in the Granite State’s 1st Congressional District, a seat that has defeated more incumbents than any CD in the nation since 2006. UNH has some big misses on their results resume but has been much more accurate in their latter years, and now returns what could be an outlier poll. The survey (10/24-28; 451 NH-1 likely voters; live interviews to pre-selected panel members) finds freshman Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) trailing GOP businessman Mike Mowers, 50-48%, in a race that has attracted little in the way of national attention.
St. Anselm College (10/23-26; 560 NH-1 likely voters; live interview) also was in the field within the same time period and found Rep. Pappas holding a 49-44% advantage.
Even the latter poll, however, still suggests this race is closing as the candidates move toward Election Day.
NC-9: Closer Than Expected
North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) won his seat in a special election in 2019, a result that surprised some political observers. As a big favorite for re-election to a full term, little in the way of national attention has been paid to the seat since the previous Democratic candidate and party structure spent approximately $20 million over two campaigns only to come away empty. A new poll, however, finds little-known Democratic nominee Cynthia Wallace actually pulling to within two points of Rep. Bishop.
Public Policy Polling (10/28-29; 750 voters; interactive voice response system) sees Rep. Bishop carrying only a 45-43% edge in this highly competitive region and state. This race, too, may be another to watch on election night.
North Carolina: Early Voting Report
North Carolina, one of the critical states in the 2020 election for both President and Senate, also reports detailed early voting statistics. Currently, 852,013 absentee votes have been returned from 1,448,960 who requested the mail ballots for a present return rate of 58.8%. This is in addition to the people who have voted early in-person.
The overall participation percentages from Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliated voters have all greatly increased. A total of 57.0% of registered voters have already returned ballots or voted in person. The Republican number is 54.4%, and the Unaffiliated segment returns at 46.7%. In 2016, those percentages were 36.9%, 36.2%, and 29.0%, respectively. Republicans, for the first time in early voting history, led an in-person vote day, and it has now happened seven times during the 2020 early voting period. All age groups are reporting an uptick in participation with the exception of the 45-65 segment, which is down 3.1% in comparison to 2016.
Wisconsin: Wildest of Swings
ABC/Washington Post released a survey of Wisconsin voters that is returning numbers never seen in the state during this election cycle. This suggests the survey is an outlier, especially when compared to the Marquette Law School poll that was conducted during the same period.
ABC/WaPo (10/20-25; 809 WI likely voters; online) finds former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump by a huge 17-point margin, 57-40%, which the polling analysis claims is a response to an increase in COVID-19 cases within the state. Marquette (10/21-25; 749 WI likely voters; live interview) sees the race much differently, though still with a Biden lead. They find a ballot test result of 48-43% in favor of Mr. Biden. Remember, however, that 33 polls were conducted in Wisconsin during the 2016 election cycle, and zero showed President Trump ahead, yet he won the state. It remains to be seen if the same pattern is present this year.
Maine: Close Result
Survey USA just reported a statewide poll in Maine conducted for the FairVote organization (10/23-27; 1,007 ME likely voters; live interview & online) and finds Sen. Susan Collins (R) and state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) locked in a tight race. According to the results, Ms. Gideon has a one-point, 46-45%, slight edge over Sen. Collins.
Since both could fall below 50%, the Ranked Choice Voting system would take effect to get one of the candidates over 50%. The two independent candidates are breaking for each major party candidate. Extrapolated for the overall vote shows Ms. Gideon topping the 50% mark once the Ranked Choice Voting is applied.
Florida: More Polling Conflict
We have another example of two more polls taken within the same time period reflecting much different results. Florida Atlantic University (10/24-25; 937 FL likely voters; live interview & online) tested the Sunshine State’s electorate and projected former Vice President Joe Biden (D) to a 50-48% slight lead over President Trump. Susquehanna Polling & Research, in the field during the same period (10/23-25; 400 FL likely voters; live interview) saw President Trump opening one of his largest Florida leads of the election cycle, a four-point spread, 48-44%, when leaners are added for both candidates. Florida is a must-win state for the Trump campaign.
Mississippi: Rare Poll
The last published poll of this rerun Senate race came in late August, so it has been two full months since we have seen fresh data. The Civiqs organization, polling for the Daily Kos Elections website (10/23-26; 507 MS likely voters; online), finds Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) leading former US Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy (D), 52-44%. Ms. Hyde-Smith was appointed following the resignation and subsequent death of veteran Sen. Thad Cochran (R). She then prevailed in a 2018 special election with a 54-46% victory margin over Mr. Espy. The two are now engaged in a re-match for the full six-year term.
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