LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Braun, Hawley, Sinema Leading – Michigan Races Tightening

Your Daily Polling Update for Monday, October 29, 2018

Same as Friday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 41% (NPR/Marist) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would still be 45%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 52% today, which is 7 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters in each state and district

INDIANA: Mike Braun (R) over Sen. Joe Donnelly (D): +3 (46-43-3)
ARIZONA: Kyrsten Sinema (D) over Martha McSally (R): +3 (47-44)
FLORIDA (CBS): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Rick Scott (R): even (46-46)
FLORIDA (NYT): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) over Rick Scott (R): +4 (48-44)
MICHIGAN (Mitchell): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) over John James (R): +6 (52-46)
MICHIGAN (Emerson): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) over John James (R): +9 (52-46)
MISSOURI: Josh Hawley (R) over Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): +4 (49-45)
NEW JERSEY: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) over Bob Hugin (R): +5 (47-42)
NEW MEXICO: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) over Mick Rich (R): +16 (48-32-L16)

INDIANA––The last four polls give Republican Braun an average half-point lead. Braun is winning Republicans 86-6. Democratic incumbent Donnelly is winning Democrats 90-3 and tying independents 42-42. Donnelly leads women by 5 and Braun leads men by 9. Also helpful for the GOP: 67% of Republican voters say they will “definitely” vote compared to 60% of Democrats.
ARIZONA––A 3-point lead for Democrat Sinema is good news for Democrats. The two previous polls had Republican McSally ahead by an average of 4 points. In this new poll, Sinema wins men by 5 points and women by 2 points. McSally, however, wins independents by 3.
FLORIDA––One poll shows the race tied and the other gives Democrat Nelson a lead. The average of recent polls has Nelson ahead by 2.1 points.
MICHIGAN––Something’s happening in Michigan. Polls taken in September gave Democratic incumbent Stabenow an average lead of 18.4 points, a hefty advantage. The last three polls, however, show her average lead dwindling to 7.3 points. In the Mitchell poll, Stabenow wins men by 2 and women by 10. James is now winning independents, 53-42. Stabenow wins whites 51-46 and blacks 82-18.
MISSOURI: This poll has Democratic incumbent McCaskill losing. The average of three recent polls has Republican Hawley ahead by 1.7 points.
NEW JERSEY––Over the last two weeks, Democratic incumbent Menendez’s margin has slipped from 9 points to 5, based on individual polls. His GOP opponent, Hugin, is spending millions of his own money. The average of recent polls has Menendez ahead by 5.7 points.
NEW MEXICO––Democratic incumbent Heinrich maintains a solid lead over Republican Rich. Former governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson is pulling 16% as the Libertarian candidate.

FLORIDA (CBS): Andrew Gillum (D) over Ron DeSantis (R): +1 (47-46)
FLORIDA (NYT): Andrew Gillum (D) over Ron DeSantis (R): +5 (48-43)
MICHIGAN (Mitchell): Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Bill Schuette (R): +5 (48-43)
MICHIGAN (Emerson): Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Bill Schuette (R): +11 (52-41)
ARIZONA: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) over David Garcia (D): +11 (52-41)
NEW MEXICO: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) over Steve Pearce (R): +9 (53-44)

FLORIDA––Republican DeSantis has topped only one recent poll, and that was by 3 points. Since then, four newer surveys give Democrat Gillum an average lead of 3 points. DeSantis wins men by 13 points in the CBS poll and Gillum wins women by 13 points. But, more Republicans say they will “definitely” vote than Democrats (56% vs. 48%). The governorship is currently held by a Republican, so a Democratic win would be a gain.
MICHIGAN––Things are looking a bit better for GOP gubernatorial candidate Schuette. Democrat Whitmer had an average lead of 10.2 points in September. The three most recent polls give her an average lead of 7 points. Without the Emerson poll, her average lead would be only 5 points. The governorship is currently held by a Republican, so a Democratic win would be a gain.
ARIZONA––The average of recent polls has GOP incumbent Ducey ahead by 15.3 points.
NEW MEXICO––This is a battle between two U.S. House members for the governorship, and Democrat Lujan Grisham sports the lead. On personal ratings: Lujan Grisham is 43% favorable/39% unfavorable. Republican Pearce is 43% favorable/43% unfavorable. The governorship is currently held by a Republican, so a Democratic win would be a gain.

ILLINOIS 6: Sean Casten (D) over Rep. Peter Roskam (R): +2 (46-44)
IOWA 3: Cindy Axne (D) over Rep. David Young (R): +2 (43-41)
NEW YORK 11: Rep. Daniel Donovan (R) over Max Rose (D): +4 (44-40)
NEW MEXICO 2: Yvette Herrell (R) over Xochitl Torres Small (D): even (47-47)
VIRGINIA 7: Abigail Spanberger (D) over Rep. David Brat (R): +1 (46-45)

RON’S COMMENT: Four GOP incumbents are polled today. One is leading by a modest margin and three are trailing in very close contests. The fifth seat is open, but GOP-held, and it’s tied.
ILLINOIS 6––This well-educated suburban district usually votes for Republicans (Romney carried it by 8 points in 2012), but it sided with Clinton over Trump in 2016 by 7 points. GOP incumbent Roskam, who won two years ago by a solid 18 points, is no slouch. But he’s struggling this time.
IOWA 3––Democratic challenger Axne is leading GOP incumbent Young by 2 points. She’s focused on healthcare issues, especially affordability and pre-existing conditions. Trump carried this district by 4 points in 2016. Handicappers rate the race a toss-up.
NEW YORK 11––Republican incumbent Donovan hangs on to a fairly small lead over Army veteran Rose. Donovan was one of only a few Republicans who voted against GOP healthcare and tax bills. This Staten Island district is far more white and suburban than the rest of New York City. Democrat Rose is running on healthcare and infrastructure. He’s also criticizing Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio for neglecting the district (which presumably is being done to move Rose to the center). Handicappers rate the race lean Republican. Trump carried the district by 10 points in 2016.
NEW MEXICO 2: This is a genuine nail-biter. The average of the two most recent polls gives Republican Herrell a half-point lead. The seat is now held by Republican Steve Pearce, who’s running for governor.
VIRGINIA 7: Democrat Spanberger edges GOP incumbent Brat, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Trump carried the district by 7 points. Handicappers rate the race a toss-up.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
INDIANA, ARIZONA: NYT/Siena, Oct. 23-26
FLORIDA: CBS, Oct. 23-26; NYT/Siena, Oct. 23-27
MICHIGAN: Mitchell, Oct. 25
MISSOURI: Missouri Scout, Oct. 24-25
ILLINOIS 6,IOWA 3, NEW YORK 11: NYT/Siena, Oct. 20-27
NEW MEXICO 2: Emerson College, Oct. 24-26
VIRGINIA 7: CNU, Oct. 18-27

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