As Barack Obama has risen in the polls nationally and in much of the state polling, we're seeing some pretty dramatic movement among downticket Democrats as well, particularly Senate candidates in red states.
GA-SEN Today kos alerts us to the remarkable fact that a new Research 2000 poll he commissioned confirms what Survey USA found last week: the Georgia Senate race between Democrat Jim Martin and Republican Saxby Chambliss is currently all tied up.
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 9/29-10/1. Likely voters. MoE +/- 4%
Chambliss (R) 45
Martin (D) 44
Being that this is the third poll in a row to show this race within 3 points or less (within the MOE,) I agree with Kos, this is now a top tier race.
TX-SEN Another red state Democrat showing impressive gains is Road to 60 candidate Rick Noriega running against John "Big John" Cornyn of Texas. I've been waiting for this race to tighten and it looks as though it finally is (August numbers in parentheses.)
Rasmussen Reports, September 29, 500 LVs, 2008, MOE +/- 4.5%
Cornyn (R) 50 (48)
Noriega (D) 43 (37)
Rasmussen's pretty much the only pollster in polling this race, so I'd like to see other polls confirm this trend. I'd also like to see Cornyn drop, not rise, especially his favorability rating, which is currently at 57/30. His cheesy black and white ads can't really be helping him, can they? Whatever it is that's driving this race, it's apparent that at the very least Noriega is rising at a faster rate than Cornyn and it could just be a matter of whether Noriega has enough time to get his message out.
NE-SEN Last but not least, it's great to see some movement in Nebraska. The Scott Kleeb campaign has always said to be patient, as Scott works to get his name ID up, his numbers would rise. Interestingly, the place he's always done the worst simply because they don't know him is Omaha -- ya know, where the Democrats are. Now, we're finally seeing that movement.
Rasmussen Reports, September 30, 2008, 500 LVs MOE +/- 4.5%
Johanns 52 (56)
Kleeb 38 (31)
While 14 points is still a large hurdle to overcome, a 25 point lead dropped down to 14 points is a summer well-spent. And now the great news that Obama is actively competing for Nebraska's second congressional district can only help Scott. Expect this race to get tighter still as Omaha's voters learn they have a progressive Democrat to vote for down ballot as they vote for Obama at the top.
Among these three races we have what potentially could be our 61st, 62nd and 63rd seats in the Senate. Could it be that in shooting for 60 we were being conservative?