I woke up to Tim Russert on the Today Show unveiling a new round of Senate polls conducted for MSNBC/McClatchy by Mason-Dixon. The numbers look good for the Democrats considering most of these are Republican held seats:
In Pennsylvania, incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum is well behind his Democratic challenger Bob Casey, with Casey currently ahead by 12 percentage points, 51 percent to 39 percent, with 7 percent undecided. In an MSNBC/McClatchy poll conducted in late September, Casey was up by 9 percentage points.NJ keeps looking better for the Democrats. The GOP is building a "firewall" in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. Those races are going to get even nastier.
In Rhode Island, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse has opened a slight lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, with Whitehouse supported by 48 percent of likely voters, compared to Chafee’s 43 percent. There are 9 percent undecided. A month ago, Whitehouse and Chafee were tied at 42 percent to 41 percent.
In Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill and incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Talent remain virtually tied, with McCaskill supported by 46 percent of likely voters and Talent supported by 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided. Last month, the candidates were tied with 43 percent each, and 13 percent were undecided.
In New Jersey, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez remains tied with his Republican challenger, Tom Kean Jr., with 45 percent of likely voters supporting Menendez and 42 percent supporting Kean. There are still 11 percent undecided. In late September, the candidates were also in a virtual tie (44 percent for Menendez to 41 percent for Kean).
In Washington, incumbent Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell has increased her sizable lead over Republican challenger Mike McGavick. She now leads by 15 percentage points, 52 percent to 37 percent, with 8 percent undecided. Last month, she led by 10 percentage points (50 percent to 40 percent).
In Ohio, incumbent Republican Sen. Mike DeWine has fallen behind Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown, with 40 percent supporting DeWine to 48 percent for Brown. There are 9 percent undecided in this race. Last month, a Plain Dealer poll showed the candidates tied (45 percent for Brown to 43 percent for DeWine).
In Montana, incumbent Republican Sen. Conrad Burns is now in a virtual tie with Democratic challenger Jon Tester. Burns trails by a very narrow 43 percent to 46 percent margin, with 9 percent undecided. A Mason-Dixon/Lee Newspaper poll last month also showed Burns trailing (41 percent to 47 percent).
In Tennessee, Republican Bob Corker and Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. are still in a virtual tie, 45 percent for Corker to 43 percent for Ford, with 9 percent still undecided. In late September, a Mason-Dixon poll for the Memphis Commercial Appeal/Chattanooga Free Press showed Ford with 43 percent and Corker with 42 percent.
And in another Mason-Dixon Virginia Poll, the race is still close, with incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen struggling to win a seat that was once thought to be a “sure thing” for Republicans. Allen is slightly better off in this poll, with 47 percent, while Democrat Jim Webb remains at 43 percent. Undecided voters have dropped to 8 percent. This compares to a 43 percent-to-43 percent tie in late September.