LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Tuesday Trivia – TV Ads – Tennessee, Arizona, Montana, Kansas, Texas

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Same as yesterday 

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 40% (Gallup) to 47% (Reuters, Rasmussen). Without these three extremes, it would still be 45%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today, which is 8 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters in each state and district 

TENNESSEE: Phil Bredesen (D) and Marsha Blackburn (R): even (42-42)
ARIZONA: Kyrsten Sinema (D) over Martha McSally (R): +2 (45-43-G6)
MONTANA: Sen. Jon Tester (D) over Matt Rosendale (R): +4 (49-45)

RON’S COMMENT: These are three critical Senate races, and the Democrats are either leading or tied in all of them by narrow margins.
TENNESSEE––This poll, taken by a GOP-affiliated outfit, shows a tie. But when they distribute leaners, Democrat Bredesen leads by 2 points.The average of recent polls has Bredesen ahead by 1.3 points.
ARIZONA––Without the Green candidate, Sinema’s lead expands from 2 to 3 points. Sinema wins women by 15 and McSally wins men by 12. If there’s a photo finish, the Green candidate could be a big factor. The average of recent polls has Democrat Sinema ahead by 1.3 points.
MONTANA––In this poll, Democratic incumbent Tester owes his narrow lead to independents, he wins them 55-34. He also gets more Republicans (11%) than Republican Rosendale gets Democrats (5%), which is also crucial in a close race. The average of recent polls has Tester ahead by 3 points.

TENNESSEE: Bill Lee (R) over Karl Dean (D): +10 (44-34)
ARIZONA: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) over David Garcia (D): +8 (51-43)

RON’S COMMENT: TENNESSEE––When leaners are distributed, Republican Lee leads by 11 points. The average of recent polls has Lee ahead by 14 points.
ARIZONA––Poll margins have been bouncing around between 3 and 11 points. The average of recent polls has GOP incumbent Ducey ahead by 6.5 points.

KANSAS 3: Sharice Davids (D) over Rep. Kevin Yoder (R): +8 (51-43)
TEXAS 32: Rep. Pete Sessions (R) over Colin Allred (D): +1 (48-47)
MONTANA-AT-LARGE: Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) over Kathleen Williams (D): +9 (51-42)

RON’S COMMENT: KANSAS 3­­––Republican incumbent Yoder was elected in 2010. His rating is 40% favorable/49% unfavorable. Davids rates 44% favorable/32% unfavorable. Hillary Clinton carried the district narrowly in 2016. So far, Yoder has heavily outraised his challenger. Handicappers rate the race a toss-up.
TEXAS 32––GOP incumbent Sessions is chairman of the House Rules Committee. He’s in a tough battle for re-election in a Dallas-based district that’s 48% white and 26% Hispanic. Democrat Allred, who is African American, worked for HUD during the Obama Administration. He also played linebacker for Baylor and the Tennessee Titans. Election Day turnout, more than anything, will likely determine the outcome. Mitt Romney won the district by 16 points and then Hillary Clinton won it by 2 points. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or lean Republican.
MONTANA-AT-LARGE: GOP incumbent Gianforte, who won a special election last year, has the lead. Handicappers rate the race lean or likely Republican.

Among voters nationwide

If the choice in your district had the following, would you be more likely to vote for a––Republican candidate for Congress, a Democratic candidate for Congres––or an independent or third-party candidate for Congress?

Democratic candidate: 44%
Republican candidate: 35%
Independent/third-party candidate: 16%
Not sure: 5%

RON’S COMMENT: While the independent/third party vote is only 16% nationwide, keep in mind that there are very few such candidates mounting major campaigns right now. This 16% is high enough, if properly distributed into key contests, to make a difference in many statewide and House district elections.


ARIZONA 4: This has been the most talked about TV ad in recent days. For Democratic congressional candidate David Brill, “A Family Defends Its Honor”

KENTUCKY 6: Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath’s ad “Goalkeeper”

TENNESSEE: Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn’s ad “Better Shape”

FLORIDA: Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott’s ad “Empty Chair”


Who was the oldest person to ever serve in the U.S. House?
(See answer below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
TENNESSEE:Vox Populi Polling (R), Sept. 16-18
TEXAS 32: Siena/NYT, Sept. 19-24
KANSAS 3: Siena/NYT, Sept. 20-23
MONTANA: Gravis, Sept. 19-22
ARIZONA: Marist/NBC, Sept. 16-20

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party candidate
O = Other candidate(s)
D poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Democrats.
R poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Republicans.


Ralph Hall of Texas. He is the oldest person to have served in the U.S. House. When he left office in 2015, he was 91 years, 8 months old. Elected as a Democrat in 1980, he became a Republican in 2004. In 2014, he was defeated for re-election in the GOP primary. Hall is also one of the last two World War II veterans to serve in Congress.

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