By Dave Andrusko
A brief post on the state of the Senate elections a little over seven days before the November 4 mid-term elections.
Two things stand out in the latest six new NBC News/Marist polls released over the weekend. Neither is a surprise, both are encouraging. The first is Republicans have the momentum. The second is that while Republican candidates maintain a solid lead among men, they are also closing the gap between themselves and their Democratic counterparts among women.
As Mark Murray wrote at NBC News, referring to the key races that Republicans need to win to take control of the Senate, “The momentum in these races, however, has swung mostly in the Republican Party’s direction, giving the GOP a clear path to winning the majority.” Murray is writing about both states currently held by Democratic and Republican incumbents and pivotal open seats, vacant because the incumbent Democrat is retiring.
Murray, understandably, starts with Colorado, which has sharply turned.
“Republican challenger Cory Gardner holds a one-point lead among likely voters over incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., 46 percent to 45 percent. Back in September’s NBC/Marist poll, Udall was ahead by six points, 48 percent to 42 percent.”
But it’s much worse than that. Pro-Life Gardner secured the endorsement of the very liberal, very pro-abortion Denver Post and pro-abortion Udall is the subject of ridicule for his non-stop abortion/”women’s reproductive health” emphasis. (Never in this lifetime did I expect a Denver Post reporter to dub Udall, “Senator Uterus.”)
While NBC News/Marist has Udall up by 11 among women, other recent polls show his advantage has shrunk to as little as 4 points. Gardner leads overwhelmingly among men (53% to 38%).
RealClearPolitics’ aggregate poll numbers show Gardner up by 3.2%.
Other good news in Iowa where pro-life state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) is leading pro-abortion Rep. Bruce Braley (D) by 49 to 46 percent. Again, for Ernst, the gender gap is shrinking (among women) and staying the same (or expanding) among men. Ernst is up 12 points among men and down only 5 among women (in the last poll Braley’s advantage was 11 points).
And has been clear of late the Kansas competition between pro-life incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts and pro-abortion “independent” Gary Orman is going to be very, very close. Orman was up 10 points earlier in the month, now he is up 1.
The NBC News/Marist polls provide solid reasons for optimism in South Dakota, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Both Republicans and Democrats have already concluded that Montana and West Virginia are flipping from Democrat to Republican and Republicans are viewed as having a very good chance of prevailing in Alaska as well.