From Florida to Colorado, Dems Clawing Back Up

Kos had a headline last week that said, “The tide is turning.” I wouldn’t go quite that far – the generic ballot isn’t Charlie Cook bad, but it’s still not good – but it is true that Democrats have seen a spate of good news lately, both in terms of polls and policy, and I think more is on the way.

Part of the good news is that the DCCC is going on offense, as Jonathan highlighted this morning. We will lose House seats, but the best way to blunt those losses is to flip some red seats, and the GOP has targeted nine incumbents and four open seats.

They do so with certain polls at their back. Two of the last three generic ballot polls give Democrats a lead, and the third is from Rasmussen. Ipsos/McClatchy’s ten point lead is probably an outlier as well, but even ignoring both Rasmussen and Ipsos, we still have a 47-44 Gallup lead. It’s a smaller lead than Dems usually need to do well, but I’ll take it.

In Senate politics, Rep. Kendrick Meek is running surprisingly strong in Florida. According to PPP, likely Repub nominee Marco Rubio is ahead of Meek by just 44-39, “and because there are a lot more undecided Democrats (20%) than Republicans (12%) the race is realistically probably even closer than 5 points.” Perhaps even more importantly, “Meek leads 41-34 with independents, a very rare outcome in this political climate when independents are usually leaning strongly toward the GOP.” In New York, Kirstin Gillibrand’s favorable keep on climbing. Per Rasmussen, that somewhat conservative firm, her approval spread is now 50-37. In November, it was 40-37, and in September, it was a net negative of 39-42.

Certain Governors’ races are looking good, too, including three pick-up opportunities. First, in Nevada, a poll out Sunday is the sixth in a row to show Democrat Rory Reid leading Jim Gibbons – Rasmussen has him up 44-36 despite his father’s down-ticket drag. In Georgia, a state that has voted Democrat for President just three times in 48 years, the likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate is leading all potential opponents. Another PPP poll shows former Gov. Roy Barnes beating Republicans 40-39, 41-36, and 43-38. Another red state where I look forward to the Governor’s race is my native Texas, where our best candidate since Ann Richards goes against an incumbent with a 32% approval rating. And though it would be a hold rather than a pick-up, it looks like Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has regained the lead in Colorado.

These encouraging numbers come in the midst of a bad political environment for Democrats, and it’s an environment that’s only likely to get better. Democratic candidates fare poorly when their party fares poorly, and the party may be about to run into some welcome successes: The Census Bureau’s coming hiring blitz will knock half a point off the unemployment rate, yesterday’s bipartisan White House meeting suggests the Kerry-Graham clean energy bill is inching towards passage, and health care reform is in the endgame. February groundhogs are not October pumpkins, so it makes sense that February’s political messes won’t be October’s messes.

Tags: 2010 midterms, TX-Gov, CO-GOV, NV-GOV, GA-GOV, NY-SEN, FL-Sen (all tags)




I think Gibbons will lose the GOP primary, and polls have shown Rory Reid losing badly to Sandoval.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-10 04:04PM | 0 recs

Good news on Meeks, though PPP has a bit on an eccentric reputation. Still if Meeks came bring home Dems and hold Indies he should win against Rubio.

by vecky 2010-03-10 04:36PM | 0 recs
RE: Fl-Sen

Meek, not Meeks.  He is a singular candidate.

by Steve M 2010-03-10 11:24PM | 0 recs
RE: Fl-Sen

In more ways than one.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-11 02:05AM | 0 recs
Is this Ras flood unprecedented?

Once again proving why Markos is invited to MTP and to MSNBC more than any other progressive blogger, Markos has been way out ahead of investigating the issue of Rasmussen literally flooding the national scene with their polls.

I am curious if historically there has ever been anything like the overwhelming Ras polls?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-10 05:13PM | 0 recs
RE: Is this Ras flood unprecedented?

I would assume there hasn't been, if only because there historically hasn't been the market for it like there is now. With the rise of cable news and blogs, there are more folks commissioning polls than ever before, and more outlets to report on them. Used to be a newspaper polling its own state and a couple Gallup and Zogby national polls was enough. No mas.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-10 05:21PM | 0 recs
RE: Is this Ras flood unprecedented?

I don't have a problem with Rasmussen polls myself. Thataway if a candidate losses I don't feel too bad about it, while if he/she wins i'm pleasantly surprised.

by vecky 2010-03-10 06:53PM | 0 recs
Yes, But

     The problem with the Rasmussen polls is that they feed the narrative of Republicans in resurgence, Democrats in disarray. And that has an effect on fundraising, on the motivation to work on a campaign, and on the voting behavior of a small but not negligible group of voters who like to be on the winning team.

by Ron Thompson 2010-03-10 08:06PM | 1 recs
RE: Yes, But

While that is true, if the tide is turning even the RAS polls will feed the Democrats are coming back narrative.

  Once Health Care is behind us (soon) and if the 300,000 jobs estimates percolating in the economic community hit over the next couple of months the entire landscape will look different. At that point the RAS polls will start to work in the other direction.

by Judeling 2010-03-10 08:43PM | 0 recs

....that Scotty is wrong this year.  He's coming out with a lot more polls because he's got a wealthy backer giving a lot more capital.

I'm still worried about the persistent enthusiam gap...


by esconded 2010-03-10 09:05PM | 0 recs
If the meme becomes…

…'Republicans obstruct because they don't truly want to govern' or 'Republicans want power, but they don't really want to govern', our outlook is much better. Obstructionism has to be equated with nihilism…it's very simple.


by tru blu 2010-03-11 11:05AM | 0 recs


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