LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Five Really, Really Tight House Races – Florida, Texas, Michigan – Generic Ballot Update

Your Daily Polling Update for Friday, October 26, 2018

Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 43% (USA Today) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 46%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today, which is 8 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters nationwide 

The Economist: Democrats +6
Reuters/Ipsos: Democrats +7
USA Today: Democrats +8
Current average: Democrats: +7.0
Last week: Democrats: +7.7

RON’S COMMENT: The average Democratic advantage in the nationwide generic ballot for Congress has slipped slightly from 7.7 points last week to 7.0 points now. The Economist poll shows:

  • Democrats are winning women by 16 points, voters under 30 by 31 points and voters 30-44 by 19 points.
  • Republicans are winning men by 4 points, voters over 65 by 13 points and independents by 1 point.
  • Democrats lead blacks 74-9 and Hispanics 55-24. Republicans lead whites 47-43.

Among voters in each state and district

FLORIDA: Sen. Bill Nelson (D) over Rick Scott (R): +1 (46-45)
TEXAS: Sen. Ted Cruz (R) over Beto O’Rourke (D): +6 (51-45-L2)

FLORIDA––We’ve seen Democrat Nelson’s lead as high as 6-8 points in the last week, but this poll pegs it at only 1 point. It also finds that 89% of Nelson’s voters say they probably won’t change their mind, compared with 86% of Scott’s supporters. Sen. Nelson is rated 43% favorable/41% unfavorable/11% neutral. Gov. Scott is 45% favorable/41% unfavorable/11% neutral.
TEXAS––Another poll showing GOP incumbent Cruz ahead beyond the margin of error. Cruz’s favorable rating among fellow Republicans has gone up from 77% in June to 86% now, which largely explains why his margin has stabilized. But, independents are still keeping Democrat O’Rourke in the game, he wins them 51-39. The average of recent polls has Cruz up by 7 points.

FLORIDA: Ron DeSantis (R) over Andrew Gillum (D): +3 (48-45)
MICHIGAN: Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Bill Schuette (R: +5 (46-41)

RON’S COMMENT: Good news for Republicans in Florida and Michigan, based on these two polls.
FLORIDA––This is the first poll we’ve seen in a long time that shows Republican DeSantis running ahead of Democrat Gillum. Some Democratic operatives scoff at these results, regarding them as an irritating outlier. We’ll see as new polls emerge. According to this survey, 79% of DeSantis’ voters say they probably won’t change their mind, compared with 87% of Gillum supporters. Gillum is rated 40% favorable/35% unfavorable/13% neutral. DeSantis is 43% favorable/39% unfavorable/9% neutral.
MICHIGAN––This poll indicates the gap is closing, with Democrat Whitmer’s lead at 5 points­­––a good bit smaller than other recent polls have shown (8-14 points). Observers attribute the tightening to ads that attack Whitmer on raising taxes, and possibly even Trump’s rating bump––although his job approval has only increased from 40% to 43% in Michigan.

CALIFORNIA 39: Gil Cisneros (D) over Young Kim (R): +1 (47-46)
CALIFORNIA 10: Josh Harder (D) over Rep. Jeff Denham (R): +2 (47-45)
TEXAS 7: Rep. John Culberson (R) over Lizzie Fletcher (D): +1 (46-45)
FLORIDA 26: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D ) over Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R): +1 (45-44)
NEW JERSEY 3: Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) over Andrew Kim (D): +1 (45-44)

RON’S COMMENT: We have five really tight races today, four with GOP incumbents.
CALIFORNIA 39––Republican Kim had a 10-point lead in a mid-September poll, and now she’s trailing Democrat Cisneros by a point. Lottery winner Cisneros has put $8 million of his own money into the campaign, outraising Kim $10 million to $2.2 million. In 2012, Romney won the district, which has a large Asian population. Clinton won it in 2016 by 9 points. Handicappers rate the race a toss-up.
CALIFORNIA 10––Republican incumbent Denham is battling to save his seat. The district includes farming communities and cities east of San Jose. It’s nearly 45 percent Latino. Clinton carried it by 3 points in 2016. Handicappers rate the race a toss-up.
TEXAS 7––Incumbent Culberson has been struggling to hold a lead. Democrat Fletcher has outraised Culbertson $4.7 million to $2.8 million. Clinton carried the affluent, well-educated district by 1 point in 2016. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or tilt Republican.
FLORIDA 26––Democratic challenger Mucarsel-Powell, an immigrant from Ecuador who’s pushing healthcare as her major issue, is edging GOP incumbent Curbelo by a point. This South Florida district has a large Hispanic population that covers much of Miami-Dade and Key West. Clinton carried it by 16 points in 2016.
NEW JERSEY 3––Yesterday, we reported a Monmouth poll that had Democrat Kim ahead by 2. Now, this NYT/Siena poll has GOP incumbent MacArthur on top by a point.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
FLORIDA: WCTV, Oct. 16-23
TEXAS: UT/Texas Tribune, Oct. 15-21

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

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