Monday, January 25, 2010

Polling report and 2010 election news

A number of items worth highlighting:
  • Congress has a 26 percent approval rating and a 66 percent disapproval rating. This could indicate substantial anti-incumbent sentiment.
  • Gallup reports Barack Obama's approval rating is the most polarized of any first year U.S. president.
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is trailing two potential Republican challengers.
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is trailing two Republicans by near double-digit figures.
Perhaps the most significant poll, however, is a new one from Indiana, where Rasmussen projects Rep. Mike Pence -- one of the most conservative members of the House -- as leading incumbent Sen. Evan Bayh (Pence is being pressured to run but has not yet decided). This is interesting as a new analysis from Sean Trende projects Republicans netting six seats in the November election -- an analysis which lists Bayh's as "likely Democratic."

Another seat listed by Trende as "likely Democratic" is that of Sen. Russ Feingold. The New York Times, however, reports that Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin's former governor (who initiated some path-breaking welfare reforms), is considering entering that race, which could make it far more competitive.

Nevertheless, Republicans continue to face a huge uphill battle in wresting control of the Senate, especially considering that a 50-50 tie would be broken by Vice President Biden. The real action, as Trende notes, may not take place for another two years:
In 2012 there are 23 Democrats and 10 Republican up for election, including nine Democrats in states Bush or McCain carried (versus four Republicans in Kerry or Obama states).
While there is no point in counting chickens before they hatch, it all makes for some interesting speculation.

Update: Another poll reveals most Americans think at least half of the stimulus money has been wasted.

Update: Beau Biden is not running for his dad's former Delaware Senate seat, almost assuring Republican Mike Castle will prevail. And Nate Silver puts Republican Pat Toomey's chances at winning the Pennsylvania Senate seat at 72 percent.

Update: Another poll says global warming is Americans' lowest priority public policy issue.

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