The fallout from Donald Trump’s leaked videotape revealing lewd comments about women from eleven years ago continues. More and more Republican officeholders are jumping ship, but some are now re-tracking their re-tracked endorsement. Trump retaliating against the Republican leadership that is deserting him could send the campaign on a final downward spiral.
There were five polls where the sampling period came fully after the Trump videotape revelation. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey (10/8-10; 806 US likely voters) sees Hillary Clinton leading Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, 46-37-8-2%. The Politico/Morning Consult tracking poll (10/10; 1,757 US likely voters) detects a five-point Clinton margin, 42-37-10-3%, as does Insights West (10/10-11; 953 US likely voters; 42-37-6-2%).
The two most recent national surveys, from Fox News (10/10-12; 917 US likely voters) and Rasmussen Reports (10/11-13; 1,500 US likely voters), arrive at drastically different conclusions. Fox finds Clinton up seven points, 45-38-7-3%, but Rasmussen actually finds Trump rebounding to take a lead: 43-41-6-2%.
Though Trump may have rebounded slightly from a strong debate performance, Clinton appears on track to secure a significant advantage both in the national popular vote and in the states. Remembering that Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina are the most important swing states on the Trump map – he can’t win without carrying all three of these domains, but she needs none of them – today it appears that Clinton is establishing discernible leads in two of the three places. In only Ohio is Trump rebounding to actually forge back into the lead on one survey (NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College; 10/10-12; 724 OH likely voters; Trump 42, Clinton 41, Johnson 9, Stein 4).
The week’s happenings also brought Senate control into the forefront. Democrats are now better positioned than ever to re-capture the majority they lost in 2014, but post-videotape polling in the key Senate states are returning some surprising results.
Despite Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R) not leading in a major published poll since October 2nd, local PA Susquehanna Polling & Research (10/4-9; 764 PA likely voters) finds the Republican gaining a 42-38% advantage over Democratic nominee Katie McGinty. A similar happening is being detected in North Carolina (High Point Research; 10/1-6; 479 NC likely voters) where Sen. Richard Burr (R) records a 47-42% edge over former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D), in a race that continues to seesaw. The Emerson College Polling Society and Suffolk University also see Burr re-claiming the lead (between two and four points) during the October 10-12 period. NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College was also in the field during this three-day time frame and finds the two candidates locked in a tie.
But, the biggest shock poll comes from Wisconsin where Loras College (10/4-5; 500 WI likely voters) gives Sen. Ron Johnson (R) his first lead of the campaign, 45-40% over former Sen. Russ Feingold (D). CBS News/YouGov, however, (10/5-7; 993 WI likely voters) responded with their data that restores Feingold to the lead, but this time revealing only a three-point margin over the incumbent Senator. Marquette University Law School also finds Feingold’s lead dropping to 48-46% in their latest survey (10/6-9; 878 WI likely voters).
In other Republican races that were at least for a time appearing competitive, the Des Moines Register/Selzer & Company survey (10/3-6; 800 IA adults) finds veteran Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) now taking a commanding 53-36% lead over former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D). In Florida, three different independent polls, all taken between the October 2-5 period, project Sen. Marco Rubio (R) to positive margins between two and eight points in his battle with Palm Beach area Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Jupiter).
The WHTR-TV/Howey Politics Indiana survey (10/3-5; 600 IN likely voters) sees a major move coming from Rep. Todd Young (R-Bloomington) in his battle against former Sen. Evan Bayh (D). This survey finds the two separated only by one point, 42-41%, effectively erasing the Democrat’s huge 21-point lead at the beginning of the race.
Action is occurring in several California races that suggest incumbents in trouble. In Sacramento, County Sheriff Scott Jones (R) released an internal Public Opinion Strategies survey (10/1-3; 400 CA-7 likely voters) that posts him to a 47-42% lead over two-term Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). The incumbent is dealing with fallout from his father being convicted of campaign finance violations for funneling illegal money into the last two congressional campaigns. The elder Bera was just sentenced to federal prison.
In San Jose, the double-Democratic re-match between Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and former Commerce Department official Ro Khanna (D) continues to run close. Survey USA (10/4-7; 550 CA-17 likely voters) gives the challenger a slight 38-37% lead as the two candidates turn for the home stretch. In 2014, Rep. Honda defeated Khanna, 52-48%.
Turning to San Diego, after seeing two polls pushing challenger Doug Applegate (D) ahead of eight-term Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), the incumbent’s campaign released their own Public Opinion Strategies poll (10/4-6; 400 CA-49 likely voters). These findings post Rep. Issa to a 48-39% lead over retired Marine Corps Colonel Applegate.
In the closely watched Tampa Bay area race between Florida Rep. David Jolly (R-Pinellas County) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D), a new St. Pete Polls survey (10/10; 1,280 FL-13 likely voters via automated voice response system) finds the latter climbing back into a 48-43% lead. The court-ordered redistricting plan changed the 13th into a Democratic seat by adding the city of St. Petersburg. The University of Northern Florida added their own survey, one that finds Crist expanding his lead greatly to 54-36%.
Across the country on Long Island, New York, two Siena College polls give both parties good news. In the 1st District, that encompasses all of eastern Long Island through the Hamptons, freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has a healthy lead over local town supervisor Anna Throne-Holst (D). According to Siena (9/28-10/4; 661 NY-1 likely voters), Rep. Zeldin holds a strong 53-38% advantage.
In the open 3rd District, moving closer to Queens and Brooklyn, Siena (9/28-10/5; 613 NY-3 likely voters) posts former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi (D) to a similarly large 50-34% margin over former state Sen. Jack Martins (R).
In key gubernatorial races, the latest trends are pointing to an upset in North Carolina. While the new High Point University survey (10/1-6; 479 NC likely voters) provides good news for GOP Sen. Richard Burr (leading 45-40%), the data portends poorly for Gov. Pat McCrory (R). In the latter race, Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) posts a 48-41% advantage. The last five polls, all conducted in October, each project Cooper with a lead.
A new Strategies 360 survey for KOMO television (9/29-10/3; 500 WA likely voters) in Seattle finds Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) holding a 50-40% lead over Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant (R).
In New Hampshire, the tight open contest between Executive Councilors Colin Van Ostern (D) and Chris Sununu (R) continues to run neck-and-neck. The latest Boston Globe/Suffolk University study (10/3-5; 500 NH likely voters) sees Sununu with a 40-36% advantage.
The open Missouri gubernatorial race is closing. Two polls, one from Monmouth University and the other Remington Research for the Missouri Times, see Republican Eric Greitens closing on Attorney General Chris Koster (D). Monmouth now has Koster leading 46-43%, while Remington gives the Democrat a little larger 48-42% spread. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.
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