Tags: Polls | Senate | key | races | GOP | Arkansas

State by Key Race State, Polls Give GOP Odds of Winning Senate

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 02:09 PM

With just eight days left until the midterm elections, two major polls released Sunday indicate that Republicans are holding the advantage in key Senate races across the country, putting them on par to take control of the upper chamber next Tuesday.

Numerous races, however, remain statistically tied as candidates enter their final week of campaigning, according to the polls.

The NBC News/Marist Poll surveyed all the major battleground races. It was conducted Oct. 19-23 of 540 likely voters. The New York Times/CBS News/YouGov survey polled 98,411 voters from Oct.16-23.
Republicans currently have a slight lead where three seats are held by Democrats: Arkansas, Colorado, and Iowa. In North Carolina, the candidates are in a dead heat. But in Kansas, Republicans are in danger of losing their GOP seat. Observers also are keeping a close eye on Georgia, where polling figures have been flip-flopping.

"Senate contests are coming down to the wire," said pollster Barbara Carvalho of Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, according to NBC News. "In a reversal from 2012, when there were multiple paths for [President Barack] Obama, now the Democrats are struggling to protect their firewall in Iowa, North Carolina, and Colorado."

Newsmax takes a look at the polling results for each of the major races below.


The NBC News/Marist poll shows GOP Rep. Tom Cotton with a 2-point lead over Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. Forty-five percent of likely voters say they support Cotton compared to 43 percent who back Pryor. Another 7 percent are still undecided.

The NYT/CBS News/YouGov survey gives Cotton an even larger lead of 5 points, with 47 percent supporting Cotton compared to 42 percent for Pryor.

Cotton was leading Pryor by 8 points in a poll released in mid-October.

Pryor is suffering from low favorability ratings, with 41 percent viewing him favorably compared to 49 percent who view him unfavorably in the NBC News/Marist poll. His support could be lagging due to the effect of President Obama's low job approval rating in the state of just 34 percent among likely voters.


GOP Rep. Cory Gardner and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall are within 1 point of each other in the NBC News/Marist poll at 46 percent for Gardner and 45 percent for Udall. Five percent of likely voters continue to be undecided.

In the NYT/CBS News/YouGov survey, Udall has a 1-point lead over Gardner at 47 percent compared to 46 percent. Four percent of voters in the survey are undecided.

Every other poll in October has had Republican Gardner in the lead by at least 2 points.  In September's NBC/Marist poll, however, Udall was ahead by 6 points at 48 percent to 42 percent.

"To seal up the potential crack in the Democratic firewall for the U.S. Senate, Udall needs a big ground game," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "He trails among those who have already voted by 12 points." 


Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has a 3-point lead over Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the NBC News/Marist poll. Ernst has 49 percent support compared to 46 percent for Braley. Just 5 percent of likely voters either prefer another candidate or remain undecided.

The results are identical in the NYT/CBS News/YouGov survey.

"The campaigns have taken a toll on both Senate candidates, who have unusually high negatives for nonincumbents," said Miringoff. "The GOP is [champing] at the bit over the prospect of picking up a Senate seat the Democrats have held for 30 years in a state President Obama carried twice." 

Since the beginning of October, Ernst has had a lead by at least 1 point in every poll. 


The GOP is bracing itself for the possible defeat of incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts in heavily Republican Kansas, though he has managed to close a double-digit gap with his challenger, independent Greg Orman.

In the NBC News/Marist poll, Orman leads by 1 point at 45 percent to 44 percent. Earlier this month he had a 10-point lead in the poll.

"There's nothing like the possibility of a U.S. senator from Kansas caucusing with the Democrats to make some voters rethink their choice for Senate," said Miringoff. "Orman's initial double-digit lead over Roberts has evaporated, and the contest is now a tossup." 

The NYT/CBS News/YouGov survey puts Roberts in the lead at 42 percent compared to 38 percent for Orman among likely voters.

North Carolina

Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan is tied with GOP challenger Thom Tillis at 43 percent in the NBC News/Marist poll. Earlier this month, Hagan had a 4-point lead.

In the NYT/CBS News/YouGov poll, Hagan is ahead with 44 percent support compared to 41 percent for Tillis.

The results of a High Point University/SurveyUSA poll show the two candidates are tied at 44 percentage points each.

"Up until this point, incumbent Hagan has been considered the strongest Democrat among the so-called Democratic firewall states in this election cycle," said Miringoff. "Now, this is a contest that could go either way, and the outcome may determine control of the Senate."


The NBC News/Marist poll did not test the Georgia Senate race, but the NYT/CBS News/YouGov survey found that Republican David Perdue had a 3-point lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn at 47 percent compared to 44 percent.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll has Perdue with a 2-point advantage, 44 percent compared to 42 percent.

Last week, however, several polls put Nunn in the lead, albeit within the polls' margins of error. 

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With just eight days left until the midterm elections, two major polls indicate that Republicans are holding the advantage in key Senate races across the country, putting them on par to take control of the upper chamber next Tuesday.
Senate, key, races, GOP, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas
Monday, 27 October 2014 02:09 PM
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