The Polling Report for October 23, 2018

A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Andrew Gillum (D) leading Ron DeSantis (R) in the race for governor. 52% to 46%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The GOP has faced strong opposition from women and other anti-Trump voters. These defections have hurt GOP candidates around the country and made it difficult to attract the numbers of independent voters that are often major players in successful campaigns. Here in Florida that has translated into an 18-point Gillum lead among independent voters.

A new Montana State University poll finds Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) leading challenger Matt Rosendale (R) by three percentage points, 46% to 43% in the survey of registered voters.

A new SurveyUSA poll in Indiana finds Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) just ahead of challenger Mike Braun (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 41% to 40%, with Libertarian Lucy Brenton at 8%.

A new NBC News/Marist poll in Mississippi finds Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) leading the “jungle primary” field with 38% of likely voters, followed by Mike Espy (D) at 29%, Chris McDaniel (R) at 15% and Tobey Bartee (D) at 2%.  If no candidate wins a majority, the race goes to a runoff between the top two finishers.

A new Monmouth poll in California’s 48th congressional district finds Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) edging challenger Harley Rouda (D), 50% to 48%.

“The race flips, but is still tight, when applying a model that includes a potential turnout surge in Democratic precincts – 50% for Rouda and 48% for Rohrabacher. A model with lower overall turnout, however, gives the Republican a lead of 52% to 46%. None of the margins in these models are statistically significant.”

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll finds the contest for control of the House “remains close and hard fought with Democrats holding a statistically insignificant lead over Republicans.”

“The latest survey shows only a marginal change in the race during October, with 50% currently supporting the Democratic candidate in their district and 47% backing the Republican. Candidates from the two parties collectively are running almost even in 48 contested congressional districts won by President Trump in 2016, while Democrats hold the advantage in 21 competitive districts won by Hillary Clinton. The Democrats’ lead in those Clinton districts has narrowed a bit since the beginning of the month.”

“The overwhelming majority of the districts surveyed — 63 of the 69 — are currently represented by a Republican in the House. Collectively these battleground districts voted strongly for Republicans in the 2016 election. The fact that the margins today are where they are illustrates the degree to which the GOP majority is at risk but also the fact that many individual races are likely to be close. Democrats need to gain a net of 23 seats to take control of the chamber.”

David Byler: “Readers often ask me ‘What’s one Senate race I need to watch to know which party is going to end up with control of the chamber?’ There are two honest, different, and yet compatible answers to this question.”

“The first: There’s no one race that will decide control of the Senate because it’s all a little bit like whac-a-mole. The map features multiple competitive races, and either party could make up for a loss in a ‘pivotal’ race with a win in another race.”

“The second: If you must pick just one race to watch, you should probably pick Tennessee.”

Washington Post: “Democratic contenders will face entrenched Republican control in many states. Republicans have control of both the House and Senate in 31 states, compared with just 14 for Democrats.”

“But Democrats have more state legislative candidates than anytime in the past two decades — 5,349 this year as of September, compared with 4,741 Republicans. Republicans had fielded more candidates than Democrats in the past six election cycles, and Democrats are even ahead of Republican candidate counts in 2010, an election in which the GOP made huge gains at the state and federal level.”

Alexi McCammond: “Despite seeing some positive signs in polling and enthusiasm after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Republicans’ behavior in the last few weeks shows how nervous they are about keeping control of the House.”

“The lack of confidence is showing up in where GOP groups aren’t spending money and how the Republican blame game is unfolding between President Trump and GOP operatives — all in anticipation of possibly losing the House.”

Playbook: “History tells us Republicans are going to lose the House. History also told us Donald Trump wouldn’t win the presidency. Most Republicans would tell you today they believe they’ll lose something like 28 seats, giving Democrats a narrow majority and ensuring an ugly couple of years of governing. There are still a few Republicans — including some in leadership — who have hope that they’ll eke it out, and hold a 220-seat majority.”

Cook Political Report: “Today, we’re changing ratings in ten districts, including eight where Democrats’ position has improved. Democrats now have a clear advantage in 17 GOP-held seats and Republicans have an advantage in two Democratic-held seats. If the 30 Toss Ups were to break evenly between the parties (15 seats apiece), Democrats would score a net gain of 29 seats, six more than the 23 they need to retake the majority.”

“We continue to believe anywhere from a 20 to 40 seat Democratic gain is possible, but right now the likeliest outcome is a Democratic gain of between 25 and 35 seats.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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