All Georgia polls released since November 4th have found a narrow lead for Saxby Chambliss, and the latest Research 2000 survey (the group’s third runoff poll) is no exception: The Republican Senator leads 52% to 46%.
The trendline is stable, as Chambliss led by 6% in a poll released last week; two weeks ago, Research 2000 found him ahead by 3%. Very interestingly, each of Research 2000’s polls has found an increasingly Republican likely voter universe. In this latest survey, respondents say they voted for Chambliss by 10% on November 4th (he led Martin by 3% on that day), suggesting that Martin has progressed among some voters but that his base is not planning to turn out at a high enough level to carry him to victory.
That has been the consensus we had already reached using other indicators (early voting demographics, number of high-profile surrogates). Polls like Research 2000’s confirm that Martin remains the underdog - but he is certainly not out of the race as he remains in close contact with the incumbent and could certainly be carried across the finish line with a surge of Democratic excitement.
Meanwhile, another Research 2000 poll tested Nevada’s 2010 Senate race, and it looks like Harry Reid better hope that his potential rivals get disqualified early (as I wrote about this morning) because he certainly deserves the title of most endangered Democratic incumbent.
The poll only tested a match-up between Reid and GOP Rep. Porter, who just lost his re-election race in NV-03 three weeks ago. Reid is only ahead 46% to 40% - well under the 50% vulnerability threshold.
Needless to say, for the Senate Majority Leader to post a 6% lead two years before the election against a potential challenger who only mustered 42% in his own re-election race a few weeks ago is not a good sign. The poll’s internal numbers paint an even grimmer picture, as only 38% of respondents approve of Reid’s performance (versus 54%) and only 32% want him to be re-elected (versus 41%). This will be a top-tier race if the GOP finds a good recruit - and that’s a big if, of course.
Finally, Quinnipiac tested New York’s mayoral race, which will take place next fall. The situation is still somewhat confused since city politicians were preparing for an open race until Mike Bloomberg managed to reform the term limit law to be allowed to run for a third term. Of all the Democrats who were eying the race, how many will now dare run against Bloomberg and his unlimited cash?
Two potential candidates are Rep. Anthony Weiner and City Comptroller William Thomspon. Bloomberg leads against both, 50% to 34% against Weiner and 49% to 34% against Thompson. And while Bloomberg’s lead might be larger because New Yorkers don’t have a good sense of either of these two Democrats, the poll also finds that 66% of respondents approve of his job performance. That popular an incumbent is very hard to beat. (Note that Bloomberg’s approval rating is actually declining, as it stood at 75% in the previous Quinnipiac poll. The Mayor has taken a few hits since then, especially during the term-limit debate.)
One potential wild card in this race is that Bloomberg will most probably run as an independent, while he ran as a Republican in 2001 and 2005. Will Republicans nominate a candidate of their own, then? If they find a contender with some stature, his votes would most likely come from Bloomberg’s ranks. Could that endanger the incumbent?