POLITICS

The Democrats not-so-great Senate week

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

It should have been a banner week for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, retired, making an easy Republican hold into a lean-Democratic pick-up. And former-Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, announced he would run in Nebraska, giving the Democrats a dream candidate and moving that seat from an easy Republican pick-up to a lean Republican seat.

But all is not well in DSCC land. Three new polls out show voters are rapidly moving away from Democratic candidates in key races.

In Massachusetts, the best chance Democrats have of picking up a seat, two polls show Republican Sen. Scott Brown opening up an almost double-digit lead on Occupy Wall Street intellectual founder Elizabeth Warren. A Suffolk University/WHDH-TV poll released last Thursday showed Brown up nine points on Warren, 49 to 40 percent. And then yesterday, National Journal reported that a private poll, conducted by conducted by Opinion Dynamics, found Brown up 10, 52 percent to 42 percent.

In Virginia, a Roanoke College poll released on Tuesday showed former Republican Sen. George Allen beating former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, 45 percent to 37 percent. The poll was a bit of an outlier, a Christopher Newport University poll had Allen only up two earlier this month, but Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research Director Harry Wilson defended the results. He notes that President Obama actually gained some approval points in the same poll while Gov. Bob McDonnell, R, fell.

Republicans need to net four seats to flip control of the Senate. If they can hold on to Massachusetts and Nevada, but lose Maine, they will need to flip five current Democratic seats.

North Dakota is a gimme. Nebreska just got harder, but should still be a pick-up. That means Republicans need only three more wins out of the following six races: Florida (Connie Mack is tied with Sen. Bill Nelson at 41 percent), Missouri (Sen. Claire McCasikll has a 42-49 approval/disapproval rating ), Montana (Republican Deny Rehberg leads Sen. Jon Tester 53%‐42%), New Mexico (open), Virginia (Allen up 10), and Wisconsin (open).

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