September, 2014

Cassidy Holds Small Lead in Louisiana

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Bill Cassidy (R) with a slight lead over Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in a possible December runoff election, 48% to 45%.

Key finding: “Neither candidate is very popular with voters. 37% of voters have a favorable opinion of Cassidy to 41% with an unfavorable opinion, numbers that while poor are actually slightly improved from a -8 net favorability rating on the previous poll at 28/36. Landrieu’s approval numbers are worse though- 42% give her good marks to 52% who disapprove.”

Incumbent Governors Fear Wipeout

“As many as a dozen incumbent governors are fighting for their political lives five weeks out from Election Day — a list that includes the chief executives of states as red as Kansas and as blue as Connecticut as well as several top presidential battlegrounds,” Politico reports.

“The unsettled gubernatorial landscape has drawn a fraction of the attention of the seesawing battle for the Senate. Yet the state of play is dramatic in its own right: The fate of big-name Republicans such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott and Michigan’s Rick Snyder are all on the line, and Democrats such as Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Illinois’ Pat Quinn are locked in tough reelection races that could go either way.”

Ugly Fight Awaits Obama’s Attorney General Nominee

Byron York: “President Obama has a pretty obvious deadline for nominating a successor to departing Attorney General Eric Holder. If Democrats lose control of the Senate in November, they’ll still run things until newly-elected members arrive in January. So just to be safe, if the president wants guaranteed confirmation of a new attorney general, he’ll need to pick one soon. That way, even if Republicans win the Senate, and even if Obama’s choice is unpopular with the GOP, lame-duck Democrats will still be able to steamroll the opposition and confirm a new Attorney General.”

“But it could be very, very ugly.”

Assessing the Battle for the Senate

Reid Wilson: “Here’s the rough consensus on Democratic seats (the higher the rank, the more likely a seat is to change control): Montana will flip by the widest margin. West Virginia. South Dakota. Louisiana. Arkansas. Alaska. Iowa. Colorado. Michigan. North Carolina. Minnesota. Oregon (Some Democrats say North Carolina should come before Iowa and Colorado). The consensus among Republican seats: Kansas is the most likely to change control. Then Georgia. Then Kentucky.”

“The shorthand takeaway: Alaska is the Republicans’ 51st seat. If Kansas flips, it’s all about Iowa.”

Charlie Cook: “My hunch is that this is not a year when Democrats are likely to get a disproportionate share of the breaks. I’m sticking with the 60 percent chance of a Senate turnover that I’ve held for several months.”