My partner, Patrick Lanne wrote in October ( that Republican Senate candidates in 2006 failed to separate from President Bush’s standing in their home states. And, as I wrote a few weeks ago (, President Obama’s approval ratings in competitive U.S. Senate races were acting as an anchor on Democratic support, making it very difficult for Democratic incumbents to break through the “Obama ceiling” and win re-election.

In 2006, on average, six Republican Senate incumbents who lost bids for re-election ran only six points higher than where President Bush’s approval rating was in their state. And, in late October, six Democratic Senate incumbents facing tough re-election fights were also running only six points higher than where President Obama stands in their state:

chart 1

But, now that we have the actual election results, using the President’s approval rating in exit polls and comparing them to the ballot support of losing Democratic incumbents shows that, on average, Democratic Senators who lost on Tuesday ran just six points higher than President Obama:

Chart 2

Heads-up Senator Landrieu – President Obama’s approval rating in Louisiana in the exit polls? Just 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}.

Public Opinion Strategies