The Democrats' "candidate quality problem" led them to avoid debates against Republican candidates until the last few weeks before the election, including in Pennsylvania's race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and in New York with incumbent Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican Lee Zeldin, pollster Jim McLaughlin tells Newsmax.
"These Democrats all over the country are avoiding debates as they don't want to defend their "extreme left-wing policies," McLaughlin told Newsmax's "Wake Up America" on Thursday.
Further, Democrats have candidates like Fetterman, who stayed in the race despite limitations from suffering a stroke earlier this year, said McLaughlin.
"He really shouldn't be running for the U.S. Senate right now," McLaughlin stated. "He should be getting better, and he should be recuperating."
He also noted that Democrats in the recent debates "sound a lot like Republicans."
Hochul "all of a sudden is tough on crime," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is seeking reelection, is "saying I wasn't for the lockdowns," and Fetterman now says he is in favor of oil and gas fracking, McLaughlin said.
He also commented on polls showing Zeldin, the GOP candidate contesting Hochul in New York, has a slight lead in the race.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki, the last GOP governor in the state, told Newsmax on Wednesday that he believes Zeldin can pull out a win, and McLaughlin said he agrees with him.
"Nobody knows better than Gov. Pataki because he was never ahead in any of the polls out there," said McLaughlin. "Even though Kathy Hochul wasn't elected by the voters, she's the pseudo-incumbent in this race. What you see normally as a pollster, the vast majority of the undecided tend to break against the incumbent."
Zeldin also has the "most powerful message in the country," said McLaughlin. "He's trying to save New York when it comes to issues like crime and making New York more affordable."
Moving on to Georgia, McLaughlin said GOP candidate Herschel Walker and incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock are in a "statistical tie," as Warnock has a slight lead in polls but his numbers remain within the surveys' margins of error.
Warnock is not polling at over 50%, so the Georgia race for the U.S. Senate "is probably going to come down to a runoff," he added.
Meanwhile, in the Georgia governor's race, incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp "seems to have a pretty decisive lead" over Democrat challenger Stacey Abrams, said McLaughlin.
The pollster further commented that he believes Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley will pull off wins in their races in Wisconsin and Iowa respectively, even though the outcomes will be close.
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