Movement in Senate races largely favor Republican candidates

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Jon Ward
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      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="mailto:jw@dailycaller.com">Email Jon</a>

Movement in poll averages for eight Senate races over the last week overwhelmingly favored Republican candidates, affirming the prevailing wisdom that a stiff wind is blowing and gaining force that will make the elections this fall very difficult for Democrats.

The GOP still faces an enormous uphill climb to take back control of the Senate. Republican candidates lead in only 5 of the 10 Democratic-held seats they would need to win to gain the majority. But a Republican Senate is not outside the realm of possibility, since their candidates are within striking distance in enough races that a perfect storm could sweep them in.

Two Democrats – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal – saw their leads over Republican candidates reduced. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent but is expected to caucus with Democrats if he wins and they retain the majority – also saw his lead over Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio downsized. And four Republican candidates saw their advantages increase.

One Republican candidate – Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois – saw his slim 2.3 point lead of a week ago, as measured by the Real Clear Politics average, dissolve. RCP moved Kirk’s contest with Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer who benefitted from President Obama’s Aug. 5 fundraiser, to a toss up.

But Republican candidates in Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania all extended their leads against Democratic opponents.

Physician Rand Paul’s lead over Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, measured by the average of all polling on the race, went from 6.5 percent to 8.2 percent. Rep. Roy Blunt went from 5.7 percent to 6.7 percent ahead of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Former Bush White House budget director Rob Portman increased his lead over Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, from 1.8 percent to 3 percent. And in Pennsylvania, former Congressman Pat Toomey saw a sizable jump in his lead over Rep. Joe Sestak, going from 2 percent up to a 5.6 percent advantage.

Reid, despite having spent millions of dollars in a furious attack on Republican Sharron Angle, a former state legislator, saw his lead slip from 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent. Both pollsters who have consistently surveyed on this race, the Las Vegas Review Journal and Rasmussen Reports, have tracked Reid’s trajectory as behind for most of the year until July, then losing ground over the last few weeks.

Angle is a former state legislator who many — including one of the Republicans she defeated in the primary — believe is one of the few candidates capable of losing to Reid, who is especially unpopular among many voters in his state. Yet while Reid has done an effective job of defining Angle by using her most unusual or extreme remarks against her, he has failed to deliver a knockout punch.

In Connecticut, Democrats wasted no time in going after Republican candidate Linda McMahon after she won her Aug. 10 primary last week. Democrats lobbed YouTube videos by the dozens showing McMahon engaging in all kinds of antics during her time as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

  • oldguy5

    I believe it is NEVER a good idea to have all 3 branches of gov’t (President, House, Senate) controlled by one party. You never get a good balanced bill that helps the majority of Americans. It will always be slanted toward that one parties point of view. And I don’t think that is EVER a good thing.

  • Major_Skidmark

    The big difference between the Tea Party and the DEMs and REPs is that we will hound BOTH parties to do what they are supposed to.

  • Joe W.

    And the Good Ship Obama” continues it’s agonizingly slow descent into the oily depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Dems lose in November, and Articles of Impeachment will be filed in January.

  • baal

    OK, so the Republicans win everything….what are they going to do with their victory?
    Are they going to cut the budget?
    Are they going to repeal Obamacare?
    A balanced budget amendment?

    IF they do, we win in 2012.

    OR are they going to start bleating about Jesus and Gays?
    Are they going to go back to big government conservatism?
    Will websites like this be their cheerleader for business as usual?
    Because if they do, we lose in 2012.

    • 15minutes

      So vote republican in your district on November 2nd. If the party fails to make reduced spending and a return to the constituted government the top priorities over the next two years, then we’re all doomed and we will bring out the pitchforks, knives and guns and really have at it. But today, there is no way the democrats can claim any allegiance to the constitution as it was intended, living document or not.