Four battleground Senate surveys conducted in mid-February from leading Democratic pollster Harrison Hickman illustrate just how difficult the political environment is shaping up to be for Democrats in 2014. The polls, conducted in mid-February, show Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Mark Udall (D-CO) in varying degrees of trouble ““ from dire to vulnerable.
— The most alarming numbers were in Louisiana. Landrieu’s favorability is 10 points underwater (42/52), and she loses to a generic Republican by 11 points, 47-36%. Against her leading GOP challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, she trails 46-42%. The ads attacking her on Obamacare have made an impact: 38% view her “very unfavorably,” not far from President Obama‘s 45% figure.
— If anything, Pryor’s numbers, while middling, looked better by comparison. His personal favorability is still solid at 47%/36%, even with Obama’s dismal 32%/65% numbers. And among likely voters, he’s tied with Rep. Tom Cotton (R) at 46%. But there are clear warning signs: Likely voters supported a generic Republican 47-39% over Pryor. And among definite voters, he trails Cotton, 51-42%. These numbers suggest the race is still winnable, but requires Democrats turning Cotton into a political pariah ““ a difficult task, given his biography.
— The news is also mixed for Hagan. On the positive side, Obama’s favorability is much better in NC, at 46/50. And there’s a greater intensity level of support for the president (33% strongly favorable), along with angry opposition (40% strongly unfavorable). And Hagan’s net favorability (41/42) is better than her leading, lesser-known GOP rival Thom Tillis (13/20). But Hagan only leads Tillis 45-41%among likely voters, and trails a generic Republican, 44-38%.
Like Pryor, Udall’s favorability is respectable but very soft. He’s viewed positively by 46% of voters, but barely led flawed, one-time GOP challenger Ken Buck, 46-42%. (The poll was conducted before Rep. Cory Gardner entered the race.) Against a generic Republican, he trails 41-36%. Obama’s approval is 44%, with intensity on the side of his opposition. These are the types of numbers that led Gardner to change his mind and challenge Udall. And all the polls paint a picture of a Democratic party whose Senate majority is hanging in the balance.
— Josh Kraushaar
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After keeping the information private for most of the lead-up to the debate on Monday, it has been revealed that longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines has been playing the role of Donald Trump in her debate prep. Reines knows Clinton better than most, able to identify both her strengths and weaknesses, and his selection for a sparring partner shows that Clinton is preparing for the brash and confrontational Donald Trump many have come to expect.
- A national Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Clinton leading Trump by just two points among likely voters, 46% to 44%.
- A national Bloomberg poll out Monday morning by Selzer & Co. has Clinton and Trump tied at 46% in a two-way race, and Trump ahead 43% to 41% in a four-way race.
- A CNN/ORC poll in Colorado shows likely voters’ support for Trump at 42%, 41% for Clinton, and a CNN/ORC poll in Pennsylvania has Clinton at 45% and Trump at 44%.
- A Portland Press Herald/UNH survey in Maine has Clinton leading Trump in ME-01 and Trump ahead in ME-02.
More than 30 times, in the case of some donors. Long before Cruz endorsed Trump—and before he even snubbed the nominee at the Republican National Convention—"the senator quietly began renting his vast donor email file to his former rival, pocketing at least tens of thousands of dollars, and more likely hundreds of thousands, that can be used to bankroll the Texan’s own political future."