Advantage Democrats in three Senate races
October 31st, 2012
08:57 AM ET
2 years ago

Advantage Democrats in three Senate races

(CNN) – Democrats hold the edge in three races for U.S. Senate, according to polls released Wednesday of likely voters in Ohio, Florida and Virginia.

Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida leads his GOP rival Rep. Connie Mack among likely voters, 52%-39%, according to the CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll. In Ohio, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is ahead of the Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel, 51%-42%. And in a close race in Virginia, former Gov. Tim Kaine, the Democrat, holds a four point edge (50%-46%) over Republican competitor George Allen, another former governor who served in the U.S. Senate from 2001-2007.

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The result in Virginia was within the poll's sampling error, but the margins in the other two races were outside the sampling error.

The race between Kaine and Allen, while always relatively close, had showed signs of opening up for the Democrat in the past few months, though Wednesday's poll showed the battle between the two former governors was again a close battle.

"Virginia's U.S. Senate race, which opened up a little in recent months is once again getting close, with Democrat Tim Kaine holding on to a small lead. One reason: Although George Allen is carrying independents handily, he enjoys about 10-points lower support among Republicans than Kaine does among Democrats," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

While the polls showed Democratic Senate candidates holding leads in Florida and Ohio, presidential surveys in the same states showed a much tighter race between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. The battle for the White House was similarly close in Virginia. All three states are important battlegrounds in the November 6 election, and carry a combined 60 electoral votes.

Republican governors in Virginia (Gov. Bob McDonnell) and Ohio (Gov. John Kasich) both enjoy approval ratings of 49%, but Florida's GOP Gov. Rick Scott has a disapproval rating of 45% (compared to 39% who approve of the job Scott is doing.)

The reason for that could be each state's unemployment rate – Virginia and Ohio both have rates below the national jobless rate, while in Florida the unemployment rate is nearly a point higher than the nationwide 7.8% rate.

The CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac surveys were conducted by telephone October 23-28. In Florida, 1,073 likely voters were surveyed and the sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points. 1,110 likely Ohio voters were polled with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, and 1,074 likely Virginia voters were polled with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Ohio • Virginia
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. UBS, WILLARD & THE 4000+ AMERICAN AMNESTY DEAL

    All three races are no brainers. Democrats will keep control of the Senate and take back the House.

    October 31, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So in Virginia, the Republicans are not supporting their candidate. Not surprising considering he was a bad Governor and a worse Senator. As for Florida, well, I guess you could say that Connie Mack is Wrong for them, too.

    October 31, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Scott rateing is bad because people didn't realize they were electing a Medicare crook and he turned down high speed rail and cut education budget and is part of the teaparty and a gop stooge .

    October 31, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. chuck

    Yes and in Wisconsin Baldwin is ahead of Thompson. Tommy is sadly outdated and supports large pharmaceuticals and the rich. His son a "loser" lawyer in Milwaukee WI is a racist and has made recent headlines on his bigotry. WI lost interest in the Thompsons...

    October 31, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Critical Thinking

    Latest polling has the republicans controlling the house, 51 dems vs 49 republicans in the senate, and Romney taking the white house. Not too bad :)

    October 31, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Sallie Taylor

    Will Election Day be postponed? Hurricane Sandy has affected the U.S. in many ways; in addition to the obvious issues in the cities located on the east coast; airline flights will be affected for quite sometime, mail is piling up in distribution centers, trucks and trains will not be able to make deliveries as usual, bills will not be received or paid. The list goes on and on. When you look at the cities devastated on the east cost and places inundated with snow and rain, it is obvious that voting is the last thing on the minds of those suffering death and damage and those responding to their plight. In fact, are the polling places still standing? I have no idea what would be required to postpone the election...at least in those states most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Any thoughts?

    October 31, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Data Driven

    This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!

    October 31, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. John, PA

    Right; 23 seats up for grabs and Democrats ahead in just 3 Senate seat races, looks like a 20 seat pickup for Republicans, finally Congress will be able to get somehing done.

    October 31, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. pkrbkr

    President Obama needs more Democratic support in the next 4 years! These people will be there for him.....Obama/Biden 2012

    October 31, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. McShannon

    Senators and Congressmen will win on straight ticket voting by Democrats. I never voted a straight ticket until this year when I realized the terrible animosity of the Republican Party and the fact that they would vote only a straight ticket themselves. We must win the presidential election and the rest will fall into place. President Obama supports FEMA in all its capacity and Sandy in that respect put the wind to our backs. Like the cable guy says “Let’s git er done”

    October 31, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |