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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Blue Surge Emerging in Senate Races

Mike Lux has a morale-booster for Dems at Open Left:

…The polls coming out over the last 48 hours or so are giving Democratic optimists more numbers to buttress their case…Brown is back up in CA, Sink is back up in FL, Patrick Murphy has pulled ahead in PA, Kagen in WI is back into a dead heat- but they remain all over the map, and it’s harder to spot an overall trend. …
National patterns really stand out in the Senate races. That is why I am encouraged by what I am seeing in the last few days of polling. Democratic candidates in a bunch of different races around the country seem to be gaining ground, in most cases even though they are being dramatically outspent. Check out this pattern:
* WI. Russ Feingold has been down for a while, 8-10 down, and the two latest polls I’ve seen show him in a dead heat.
* AK. The little known and way underfunded Democratic nominee, Scott McAdams, has been stuck in 3rd place behind his two better known and funded Republican rivals, but he has climbed 7.5 points in the latest polling.
* PA. Joe Sestak is in a statistical dead heat in two polls out the last 24 hours. In one of those polls he is ahead by 1 point, the other by 3. He had been trailing Toomey by 6 points or more in most polling done over the last several weeks.
* KY. Rand Paul had built a lead of 6-10 points in most of the polling coming out recently, but Conway has come back to a statistical dead heat.
* MO. Robin Carnahan had slipped to 8-10 down in most recent polls. 2 new polls out the last couple days show her at 5 and 6 points down.
* NC. Badly outspent, Elaine Marshall has had to wait until the end to run TV ads, and had been trailing in the teens. With her up on TV, even though still being badly outspent, she is back within 8.
* CT. Richard Blumenthal has been taking scores of millions of dollars worth of body slam style attack ads from the queen of body slamming herself, Linda McMahon, and McMahon had pulled even in their race, but recent polling shows Blumenthal re-establishing a small but statistically significant 5-6 point lead.
I can’t put this in the same category, because the public polls are contradictory, but after trailing by double digits most of the race, Lee Fisher has pulled within 6 or 9 in his race with Bush’s former trade and budget czar. There’s another (less reliable in my view because they oversample Republicans) that shows the race going in the opposite direction, so in this race the surge is more uncertain, but given that Gov. Strickland and other statewide Democrats seem to be moving up I think it is likely that Lee is moving positively as well.

It’s not yet the rising blue tide that lifts all boats. Lux points out that Boxer and Murray are struggling in the very latest polls. But these two races appear to be exceptions in the larger context. Lux adds that the latest data from DCorps indicates an uptick in voter enthusiasm among Black, Latino, young an unmarried women voters. Good news from coast to coast — but let none of it allow Dems to be lulled into complacency about the urgency of mobilizing a record Democratic turnout in the next two weeks.

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