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Monday, November 5, 2007

The Senate Horse Race 12 Months Out

Roll Call has a series of Senate poll numbers out today (via) Swing State:

One year and one day before Election Day 2008, it looks like the Dems have three GOP-held seats in the "Pick-Up" Column (CO, NH, and VA), two as pure toss-ups (MN and NM) with two (OR and ME) looking like the GOP may be able to hold.

Colorado [OPEN - Allard(R)]
Mark Udall (D): 48
Bob Schaeffer (R): 41
Undecided: 11

New Hampshire (R- Sununu)
Jay Buckey (D): 36
John Sununu (R-inc): 49
Undecided: 16

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 53
John Sununu (R-inc): 42
Undecided: 5

Virginia [OPEN - Warner (R)]
Mark Warner (D): 52
George Allen (R): 42
Undecided: 6

Mark Warner (D): 57
Jim Gilmore (R): 35
Undecided: 8

The field of candidates in New Mexico is far from set. The Draft (Tom) Udall effort appears to be gaining steam while Diane Denish has said she isn't running, instead focusing on the 2010 governor's race. Norm Coleman in Minnesota - struggling below the 50% mark against both leading DFL candidates - appears in trouble at this stage. I'd expect the movement in both of these races will be toward the Dems as the election draws nearer.

Minnesota (R- Coleman)
Mike Ciresi (D): 44
Norm Coleman (R-inc): 44
Undecided: 12

Al Franken (D): 45
Norm Coleman (R-inc): 46
Undecided: 9

New Mexico [OPEN- Domenici (R)]
Marty Chavez (D): 48
Steve Pearce (R): 43
Undecided: 9

Diane Denish (D): 47
Steve Pearce (R): 43
Undecided: 10

Bill Richardson (D): 58
Steve Pearce (R): 37
Undecided: 4

Don Wiviott (D): 32
Steve Pearce (R): 49
Undecided: 18

Marty Chavez (D): 48
Heather Wilson (R): 44
Undecided: 8

Diane Denish (D): 49
Heather Wilson (R): 43
Undecided: 9

Bill Richardson (D): 59
Heather Wilson (R): 37
Undecided: 5

Don Wiviott (D): 38
Heather Wilson (R): 47
Undecided: 15

The resilience of moderates Collins and Smith may be put to the test in a presidential year, when both Maine and Oregon are expected to align in the Democratic column. These may be two states where the strength at the top of the ticket could make the difference.

Maine (R- Collins)
Tom Allen (D): 38
Susan Collins (R-inc): 55
Undecided: 8

Oregon (R- Smith)
Jeff Merkley (D): 39
Gordon Smith (R-inc): 48
Undecided: 13

Steve Novick (D): 39
Gordon Smith (R-inc): 45
Undecided: 16

With only two Dem-held seats (Johnson-SD and Landrieu-LA) considered vulnerable at this time, it looks like the Dems are looking at a pick up of 4-6 seats. There are other seats that a strong Democratic effort could put in play - particularly Kentucky (McConnell also below 50% in hypothetical matchups), North Carolina and Texas.

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