It may just be the bouncing ball of randomness at work but new polls in California, Nevada, Ohio and Kentucky released over the weekend gave Democrats something to smile about, or perhaps just a little less to wince at. Specifically, a new California poll confirms a slight rebound by Senator Barbara Boxer, while a new Nevada survey conducted by a Republican firm is more positive than other recent surveys, giving Senator Harry Reid his biggest edge since August.
In California, a new survey sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and USC and conducted by a bipartisan team of campaign pollsters finds Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leading Republican challenger Carly Fiorina by eight percentage points (51% to 43%). While the result is a bit better for Boxer than some other recent surveys, the difference is slight — polls by Field and SurveyUSA conducted last week both showed Boxer leading by six point margins. The new survey nudges our trend estimate, which also considers slightly older polls, up to a 3.7 point margin for Boxer (47.9% to 44.2%), just enough to push California into the “lean Democrat” column.
The new LA Times/USC results also show Democrat Jerry Brown with a five-point edge (49% to 44%) over Republican Meg Whitman in the California governor’s race, a slightly better margin than on the SurveyUSA and Field polls last week. The new poll narrows Whitman’s lead on our trend estimate to a single percentage point (45.7% to 44.8%), confirming this race as one of the closest in the nation.
A new poll sponsored by the Retail Association of Nevada produced a bit of a man bites dog story: The survey, conducted by the respected Republican campaign polling firm Public Opinion Strategies shows Democratic Senator Harry Reid with a five-point advantage (45% to 40%) over Republican Sharon Angle. Four previous polls conducted over the last two weeks have shown a slightly narrower race, all ranging between a tie and a one-point Angle advantage. Our trend estimate splits the difference and shows Reid with a “toss-up” worthy one-point edge (45.4% to 44.3%). Although individual polls have shown variation, our trend lines in the Nevada race been remarkably flat since July. Continue reading…