Pollapalooza, September 21 Edition

There seems to be a lot of movement in the polls in the past week, and all in a familiar direction. A few key points seem also to be coming forward perhaps in response to the movement…

First, in a massive shocker a Public Policy Polling release today indicates that John Raese is now ahead of Joe Manchin in the West Virginia Senate race. It’s a small lead, just 46-43, and Manchin remains extremely popular as that state’s governor (59-32 approval spread). But West Virginians are absolutely livid with the Obama administration and national Democrats in general. By a 64-30 margin the president is disapproved of on the country roads – a figure even more demonstrative than the Magellan Strategies poll on the Louisiana Senate race found over the weekend.


A caveat – Rasmussen also polled the race and found Manchin ahead of Raese 50-43, so the PPP trend might well be an outlier.

The PPP West Virginia numbers on Obama reflect a general disgust with Obama nationwide, as Rasmussen’s approval index now stands at minus-19. More, Rasmussen finds that the Democrats’ favorite solution for gaining political advantage – namely, government giveaways – is a dead strategy. By a 43-22 margin, more people think government programs increase poverty than prevent it. And by a 52-40 margin, more Americans now say that Sarah Palin represents their views than Obama does. And 61 percent say they favor repeal of Obamacare.

All of these factors combine to show a ten point advantage for the GOP on the generic Congressional ballot, as Rasmussen has that number at 48-38.

But the GOP’s rise appears to be in spite of its establishment, which remains as or more unpopular as the Democrats. So it should be little surprise that in Alaska, where Tea Party insurgent Joe Miller beat establishment Republican Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary only to see Murkowski rise again as a futile write-in candidate last week, a three-way race isn’t a problem for Miller at all. He leads Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams by a 42-27-25 margin, which would point to a very comfortable victory for the accomplished Chuck Norris doppleganger.

In California, Rasmussen has Carly Fiorina back on top of Barbara Boxer, this time with a 48-47 lead. A Fox News poll has Boxer up 47-46, though. The thing to remember about Fiorina, however, is that in the GOP primary she turned out an enormous amount of voters and blew away all the projections based on polling – so if she’s within the margin of error against Boxer it’s a reasonable guess that she’ll win comfortably based on her get-out-the-vote efforts.

Fox News also has Sharron Angle leading Harry Reid by a 46-45 margin, which seems consistent with all recent polling in the Nevada Senate race. The race is neck-and-neck despite Reid having spent $11.6 million to date. He still has over $8 million left to spend, though it’s hard to say what else he can do to boost his numbers. Angle is at least even with Reid despite only spending $1.8 million; she has $1.8 million left. Third-party spending in the race has been substantial, most in Angle’s favor. It’s expected that will continue.

PPP also has a massive blast out in the Wisconsin Senate race. The firm says Republican Ron Johnson now has a gigantic 11-point lead over incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, 52-41. Coming on the heels of a seven-point lead Johnson held last week, a definitive trend exists in that race.

And the first polling of the New York Senate race between the hot Kirsten Gillibrand and her Republican challenger Joseph Dio Guardia shows Gillibrand only ahead by a 49-39 number. Various pundits have said this is a winnable race for the GOP if DioGuardia can get funded; so far that’s a problem – he has $843,000 in cash on hand out of some $1.1 million he’s raised, while Gillibrand has $4.5 million out of $11.3 million she’s raised. Dick Morris has insisted that Gillibrand can be beaten, particularly in light of her role as special counsel to then-HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton administration when the seeds for the housing crisis were sown. It was Cuomo’s HUD which helped force open the door to risky lending by the nation’s banks, and to date this issue has not been exploited against her. That might change by Election Day.

The only trend which seems negative at present is the Delaware race. Fox News has a poll out which has Chris Coons ahead of Christine O’Donnell by a 54-39 margin, while Rasmussen says it’s a 53-42 number.

In response to these trends, we see two thrusts by the Democrats – which Morris claims prove the party has no strategy for weathering the coming electoral storm this fall.

The first idea was reported in the New York Times yesterday – namely, that the Obama administration and its acolytes would unleash a fresh round of attacks on the Tea Party movement in an effort to marginalize Tea Partiers among the center. In other words, more of the same tactics which have failed so miserably since April of 2009. Expect to see more epithets like racist, homophobe, Islamophobe and so on as the political currency of the administration.

The second idea for Democrats is even more unfortunate. It involves intimidation, sleaze and even voter fraud. To wit…

– Yesterday, Louisiana Democrat Senate candidate Charlie Melancon gave out Sen. David Vitter’s personal cell phone number at a media gathering amid a torrent of attacks on Vitter’s personal and political record.

– In a shocking move they later termed an “oversight,” the Florida Democrat Party released Republican House candidate Allen West’s social security number in a campaign flier on behalf of and in concert with incumbent Democrat Ron Klein’s current campaign attacking West for having had an $11,000 tax lien on his house in 2005. West paid off the lien within four months; he might end up more than $11,000 in the hole thanks to the potential identity theft the Democrats have exposed him to.

When West cried foul over the disclosure, which is not only illegal but also raises questions about how the party was able to get that information, this was the “apology” he got from Florida Democrat Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff (yes, we know, and it’s not necessary to crack wise about his name):

“After making every effort to remove all of Allen West’s private information, unlike West who refuses to apologize to Florida’s taxpayers for not paying his taxes and his bills, we apologize for the oversight of not redacting this information from the public record included in the mailer,” Jotkoff said. “To end, while this mail piece does not explicitly identify any Social Security number, in order to stop the crazy West accusations, we will pay for identify theft monitoring for the next two years.”

– In another example of the curiously prevalent information available to Democrats and the Obama administration, on three separate recent occasions the president and/or his aides have mentioned Koch Industries, a large privately-held firm with large-scale involvement in conservative and Tea Party causes, while disclosing information on the company’s tax records which could have been illegally obtained.

– And then there’s the case of attempts at large-scale voter fraud in Houston, thankfully smoked out by Harris County Assessor Leo Vasquez after a batch of 25,000 voter registration forms sent in by a left-wing organization called Texans Together (funded by plaintiff lawyers) included thousands of  “disturbing irregularities, including addresses that didn’t exist, non-citizens seeking to register, and cases where up to six applications were submitted for the same person.”

Needless to say, Morris’ point is well-taken in that the above do not constitute a viable electoral strategy on the part of the Democrats. And the polls indicate that the current trend may consolidate and come ashore unabated on Nov. 2.

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