(CNN) - A new poll indicates that Sen. Patty Murray of Washington leads her Republican challenger Dino Rossi by nine points.
According to CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, 53 percent of likely voters in Washington State back the three term senator, with 44 percent supporting Rossi, who was the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2004 and 2008.
While the poll indicates that the two candidates are splitting the independent vote, Murray holds an overwhelming lead among members of her own party -Democrats– who outnumber Republicans in the state.
"The state of Washington has been considered pretty blue in recent elections and Murray is capitalizing on that. She is winning support from 95 percent of self-identified Democrats," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And 93 percent of Republicans support Rossi, showing how polarized the electorate is - a consequence of the two extremely close gubernatorial races that Rossi ran in 2004 and 2008."
TOPICS: Nevada Senate and governor, Ohio Senate and governor, Washington Senate
(CNN) - The Republicans are in the driver's seat in Ohio's Senate and gubernatorial races, according to a new poll. And a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that Independent voters may be a key reason for the GOP's advantage.
Fifty-two percent of likely voters questioned in the poll back Ohio Republican Senate nominee Rob Portman, with 41 percent supporting Democrat Lee Fisher, the state's Lieutenant Governor. Portman is a former representative and a Bush administration budget director. The winner in November will succeed retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich.
"Fisher is doing well in the Cleveland area, his home base, and he manages a tie with Portman in the northern industrial portions of the state. But Portman has a huge lead in the remaining regions of the state, including a 21-point edge in the Cincinnati area, where he comes from," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Portman also has a two-to-one advantage among Independents."
(CNN) - A new poll indicates that the bitter campaign battle in Nevada between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle is deadlocked.
And according to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll of likely voters in Nevada released Wednesday, Reid has an advantage among women while Angle leads among men.
Forty-two percent of people questioned in the poll are backing Angle, who enjoys strong support from many in the Tea Party movement, with 41 percent backing Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate who's bidding for a fifth term in the chamber. Angle's one point advantage is well within the survey's sampling error. Five percent are supporting Scott Ashjian, who's running as a Tea Party candidate but who is shunned by many in the grassroots conservative moment, and 11 percent say they are voting for none of the candidates listed.
The poll indicates that Angle enjoys a seven point advantage among independent voters. The survey also suggests a strong gender divide.
(CNN) - Chris Coons may turn out to be the luckiest politician in America this year.
The man suddenly favored to win Joe Biden's U.S. Senate seat wasn't even supposed to be in the race, if most pundits are to be believed. State Democrats were lining up behind the vice president's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.
But Biden unexpectedly decided not to run. And other Democrats took a pass on what was thought to be, at best, an uphill general election climb against veteran GOP Rep. Mike Castle.
Now, with Castle defeated in the primary, Coons suddenly finds himself the favorite against arch-conservative upstart Christine O'Donnell.
Washington (CNN) - As early as next week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will "go on the offense," according to a senior Senate campaign strategist, laying out its path to victory in a number of Senate races – not claiming to be on the verge of a majority, but well on its way.
While the path to a majority just got a lot tougher last night with the defeat of Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware for the GOP nomination, this campaign strategist says "We're going to take our lumps after Delaware. But for all of the beltway narrative, we are winning in a lot of places."
Does that mean a majority? Maybe not, "but we're still going to win a bunch of seats."
Washington (CNN) - An independent Republican organization is on the attack with new television commercials in Colorado and Missouri.
American Crossroads says it launched ads Wednesday that target Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado and Missouri Secretary of State and Senate nominee Robin Carnahan, criticizing both for "supporting out of control federal spending."
"Both Robin Carnahan and Micahel Bennet are trying not to blush as they tell Missouri and Colorado voters that they're somehow 'fiscally conservative,'" says American Crossroads communications director Jonathan Collegio. "These spots pull back their respective curtains to show voters what they really are: desperate liberal politicians addicted to pork, stimulus and bailouts, all at the expense of taxpayers."
Editors note: Watch for more real time dispatches from the hallways on Capitol Hill as CNN's correspondents and producers cover the machinations of Congress. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news- now even more so.
2:15 p.m. - Christine O'Donnell told CNN's Jessica Yellin in a mocking tone that the National GOP does not have a "winning track record" in GOP primaries this season.
The NRSC, under the leadership of John Cornyn, has in fact backed losing GOP candidates this primary season in Kentucky, Alaska, Colorado, and more.
I just interviewed Cornyn, who responded to that by saying, "My record will be determined after November 2nd and how many pickups we'll have. I'm not making any predictions here today. We have about a dozen seats in play. I think November 2nd, that's when my report card will get graded."
Washington (CNN) - Republican Senator Jim DeMint conceded to CNN that he is trying to send a message to the GOP establishment by backing conservative candidates like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, but rejects concerns that his moves could rob the GOP of the Senate majority.
"The GOP establishment is out," DeMint said in an interview in his Senate office, "what we're going to do is help the American people take back their government, and I hope the Republican Party will be the party that carries that banner."
DeMint was an early supporter of O'Donnell, a candidate many Republicans did not want, because they fear she is too conservative to win in a blue state like Delaware.
DeMint conceded that it will be "tougher" for O'Donnell to win than it would have been for her defeated, moderate opponent, Rep. Mike Castle, but he also argued that "Americans who live in Delaware love their country and they're not stupid."
(CNN) - The New Hampshire Secretary of State Wednesday afternoon released official results on their website that show former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte as the winner of the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Ayotte, who was considered the GOP establishment candidate, pulled out a narrow victory in the final hours of the primary against her main opponent, Ovide Lamontagne, who enjoyed the support of many Tea Party activists. Ayotte garnered Sarah Palin's endorsement, among other high-profile support.
Lamontagne has until 5 p.m. ET to decide whether he'll seek a recount because the vote margin fell within 1.5 percent of the total votes cast. Jim Merrill, a senior adviser to his campaign, told CNN "stay tuned," as to whether or not Lamontagne will challenge the results.