A new CBS/NYT poll has been released which is thus far the most exhaustive simultaneous battleground poll that has been taken this election season. It shows Republicans holding all their “close” seats, with McConnell leading Grimes 50-46 and Perdue leading Nunn 50-44. Obviously, these races are still very competitive and could flip although I think that as time goes along Perdue will pull away from Nunn while McConnell looks to be in a dogfight to the very end.
As predicted, John Walsh is all but officially toast in Montana, trailing Danes 56-40. The plagiarism scandal seems to have mortally wounded Walsh in what was a long shot race for them to begin with, and we may not have yet seen the fallout from that one. As expected, Mike Rounds is winning the open seat in SD in a laugher, which puts the GOP at a solid +2. Shelly Moore Capito is shown with a high single digit (51-43) lead in WV, which is consistent with other polling. Absent a stunning development in one of these races the GOP begins the election season looking at a +3 advantage, confirming everything we thought we knew thus far about the race for the Senate.
That is where things get ugly for the Dems. This poll shows the Dems also losing Arkansas (Cotton +4), North Carolina (Tillis +1), Louisiana (Cassidy +1), Iowa (Ernst +1), and Michigan (Land +1) – which, if true, would give the GOP 53 seats in 2015. Obviously, a number of these races are very close and, in the case of Michigan in particular, bucking a state’s partisan trend. But where many of these races are “too close to call,” the Dems are also up by “too close to call” in AK (Begich +2), and CO (Udall +4). This poll also shows Walker narrowly winning re-election in Wisconsin (+1), Rauner knocking off Quinn in IL (+3) and Scott leading Crist in FL (+5). These results, if they hold, would represent an absolute bloodbath of a night for the Dems in November. The overall computer modeling done by CBS of their polling shows that the likeliest result is the GOP ending up with 51 seats, although obviously 53 or even 54 is within reach.
One more item of note – the Mississippi Senate race shows Thad Cochran with a relatively large lead over Childers (+14) but Cochran remains stubbornly under 50% in one of the reddest states in the union. Lingering bad feelings about Cochran’s tactics may yet come back to haunt him on election day if incensed TEA Party voters decide to vote Childers on election day rather than staying home. Which, let’s face it, might not be the worst result imaginable, especially if Republicans have the seats to spare elsewhere.