The Cycle 4/30/2012

The Cycle 4/30/2012

POTUS

Tracking Polls

Gallup: Obama 47, Romney 46

Rasmussen: Romney 48, Obama 46

Super PAC Spending: American's For Prosperity Hits Obama on Green Energy

We can anticipate a steady drip of ads from third party groups throughout the campaign, and this round comes for the Koch bros funded group. The 6.1 million media buy will be airing in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia. Basically we're looking at the usual suspects plus Michigan. 

Florida: Rasmussen Shows Romney Taking Narrow Lead

For the first time this calendar year, Rasmussen Reports has the challenger with a lead in the perennial swing state of Florida (46-45). Don't get too worked up over every oscillation in the Sunshine State, because we will likely see many more before November. Nonetheless, it should be taken as a sign of Romney's consolidation of the Republican vote heading into the general election. 

It has been easier for Romney to unite the party than it was for McCain in 2008.

Senate

FL-SEN: Nelson Resumes Lead

Connie Mack has been struggling with loads of bad press, and you'd think I'd be concerned enough to downgrade the seat to "Leans Democrat" from "Toss Up". Rasmussen shows Sen. Bill Nelson ahead 47-36. However, when I saw the Nelson/Lemieux numbers (44-30), I was encouraged. 

No matter how you slice this race, the incumbent is exceptionally weak as evidenced by his inability to touch 50% against anyone. Once the primary is finished, and voters are presented with a choice between Nelson and the alternative, it will be difficult for the Democrat to hold the seat.

ND-SEN: North Dakota Dems File Restraining Order Against Reality

Sigh. So much to say here, and so little time on a Sunday night. Long story short, Democrats released an internal poll showing former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp leading Rep. Rick Berg (48-43) and the DSCC is running ads in North Dakota to help here. I'm openly skeptical for a few reasons.

First, Heitkamp hasn't been on the ballot since 2000 and hasn't won statewide since 1996. I doubt North Dakotans are sitting around thinking to themselves "I think they lady who was Attorney General 12 years ago would make the perfect senator". There is no way she is at 48% with the public. 

Second, the Obama-Romney match up shows a 17% of voters undecided in the same poll. You seriously expect me to believe only 9% of likely voters are undecided in a down ballot race while 17% are undecided in the presidential election. In what parallel universe does this happen?

Third, even if you believe Heitkamp is a far more dynamic candidate than Rick Berg the Michael Steele factor still remains.

Steele, before he became chairman of the NRC, was the Lt. Governor of Maryland. He challenged then-Rep. Ben Cardin for an open Senate seat in 2006. Cardin was a pretty bland establishment figure, while Steele was charismatic. Two factors prevented Steele from success, Maryland was an incredibly blue state and the year was not favorable to Republicans. It was too easy for Democrats to tie him to George Bush because of the R next to his name.

Even in the best-case scenario for Democrats, this will ultimately cost them the seat. 

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