It’s A Hard-Knock Life. . .for Harry Reid

All of the punditry that says that the 2014 map is an issue for Democrats are right.

The main reason they are right?  Well, there are twelve states listed as 2014 lean or toss-up Senate races by Charlie Cook and his crack team at the Cook Political Report.  In 2012, Mitt Romney averaged 53.3{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of the vote in those twelve states while Barack Obama averaged just 44.8{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}.  Eight of the twelve were won by Romney in a not particularly stellar year.  I am using averages here because each Senate state is of equal value.  Larger states do not count for more.

While Republicans should not be measuring their drapes for the Senate majority offices just yet, key data in those lean/toss-up Senate seats from the early 2014 merge of the NBC/WSJ polling done by my business partner Bill McInturff and his Democratic counterpart Fred Yang at Hart Research serves as a measuring tape for a forecast of a Republican takeover.

The merge consists of 432 interviews across the twelve states.  A merge takes all the interviews from questions replicated over a time period (in this case January-April 2014) and combines them to allow a great in-depth look at subgroups.

When the political environment and issue questions from the four months are distilled to just the interviews in the swing Senate states, a problematic national political environment turns down right ugly for the chances of Democrats to hold onto the Senate.  Within those states, the data is significantly worse for Democrats (and thus obviously better for Republicans) on every measure.

Chart 1

The table shows that the problematic national picture for Democrats is worse in the 12 swing states.  Presidential approval is a net seven points worse.  Both Obama’s overall approval rating and his economic approval rating are below 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in the swing Senate states.  His personal favorability, which buoyed him in a potentially rocky 2012, is a net ten points worse in the swing Senate states.  His signature legislative accomplishment, Obamacare, is also a net ten points worse.

The NBC/WSJ question that is their proxy for a generic ballot, finds an eleven point lead for Republican control over Congress over preference for a Democratic controlled Congress – compared to a nationwide tie.

The political environment in the two GOP-held states underscores the difficulty Democrats face.  In Kentucky, Obama only got 37.8{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of the votes.  His public approval numbers are down to 33{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}.  While the race is close now, Allison Grimes has to run approximately 18 points stronger than an Obama approval rating that will act as an anchor.  Besides, Mitch McConnell is currently fighting a two front war.  What happens when it becomes a one front war after the primary?  (For readers not good at history, ask Japan how it worked out for them when the USA was no longer fighting a two front war in 1945!).  In Georgia, there are three quality candidates (Jack Kingston, David Perdue, and Karen Handel), and two of them are likely to make the run-off.  Once a nominee is chosen, Michelle Nunn will be running uphill in a 45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Obama state.  Winning both Kentucky and Georgia means the Republicans have to go six for ten in the remaining toss-up seats.

The five seats Republicans have gift-wrapped to Democrats in the last two election cycles serve as a bitter reminder that nothing can be taken for granted.  Candidate quality matters a great deal in toss-up races.  However, a great political environment attracts strong candidates, and that is what has happened in states like North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Colorado (note: Public Opinion Strategies is polling for either candidates or SuperPACs in seven of the eight races mentioned).

Races ebb and flow – especially between now and Labor Day.  And, some endangered candidates survive in every cycle that is particularly one-sided.  But, the riptide of the change-oriented political environment runs strong and deep, and this year it is going to sweep a number of Senate Democrats out to sea.

(Public Opinion Strategies partners with Peter D. Hart Research Associates to conduct the NBC/WSJ polls.  Neither Peter D. Hart Research Associates nor NBC/WSJ are responsible for these conclusions.)

Similar Articles

  • Public Education Update
    read more

  • Americans See China And Russia As Adversaries Posing Two Different Threats
    read more

  • A New Look At Ideology
    read more

  • Is social media your friend or a frenemy?
    read more

  • Trump’s numbers tied for his peak high as impeachment talk looms
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :