New numbers in Senate battles in key southern states
April 23rd, 2014
12:41 PM ET
4 months ago

New numbers in Senate battles in key southern states

(CNN) - New polls in four southern states that could determine whether the Democrats keep control of the Senate in this November's midterm elections indicate close contests.

And according to the New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation surveys, released Wednesday, President Barack Obama's approval ratings are in the low 30's in two of those states and hovering at or just above the 40% mark in the other two states. Republicans are trying to frame the midterm contests as a referendum on the President and on his federal health care law, better known as Obamacare.

Key races to watch in 2014

In North Carolina, the poll indicates first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is all tied up with state House Speaker Thom Tillis in a hypothetical general election match-up. Hagan's two-point 42%-40% margin is within the survey's sampling error. Tillis is considered the front-runner right now in the May 6 GOP Senate primary. Hagan also holds a two-point margin (41%-39%) over Republican candidate Greg Brannon, who's favored by many conservatives, in another potential November showdown.

The poll indicates North Carolina voters are split at 44% on whether they approve or disapprove of the job Hagan's doing in the Senate. The President's approval rating in the state stands at 41%, according to the survey. Presidential approval ratings are considered an important indicator in midterm elections.

McConnell deadlocked with Grimes

In Kentucky – one of only two states right now where the Democrats hope to go on offense – the poll suggests that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's basically deadlocked with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. According to the poll, 44% of registered voters in Kentucky say they'd vote for the five-term senator in the general election, with 43% saying they'd back Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state.

The poll indicates McConnell's approval/disapproval rating (40%-52%) is underwater with Bluegrass State voters. But only a third of Kentucky voters give Obama a thumbs-up on the job he's doing as President, which helps McConnell's campaign, as it tries to tie Grimes to Obama.

McConnell first needs to get by a primary challenge from businessman Matt Bevin, who enjoys the support of tea party groups and some Washington-based conservative organizations. McConnell's considered the overwhelming favorite in Kentucky's May GOP Senate primary. But if Bevin pulls off a huge upset, the poll indicates Grimes has a 41%-36% advantage over Bevin in a hypothetical general election match-up.

Pryor on top in another poll

The New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation survey is the latest in a series of recent polls to indicate Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is ahead of freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, his GOP challenger. According to the new survey, Pryor holds a 10-point 46%-36% lead over Cotton.

The two-term Democratic senator's approval/disapproval ratings stand at 47%-38%. But only 32% of Arkansas voters say they approve of the job Obama's doing as President.

Landrieu below 50% mark

Forty-two percent of Louisiana voters say they back Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who's running this year for a fourth term in office. The poll indicates 18% support Rep. Bill Cassidy, the Republican front-runner, with two other GOP candidates in single digits. Louisiana has no primary and all the candidates appear on the November ballot. If no one cracks 50% of the vote, the top two finishers compete in a runoff in December.

Landrieu has a 49%-45% approval/disapproval rating, with Obama's approval rating hovering right around the 40% mark.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. Kentucky and Georgia are considered the only two states right now where Democrats have a chance of picking up a GOP-held seat.

The New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll was conducted April 8-15, with 857 registered voters in Arkansas, 891 registered voters in Kentucky, 946 registered voters in Louisiana, and 900 registered voters in North Carolina, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for registered voters is plus or minus four percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • Alison Lundergan Grimes • Arkansas • Kay Hagan • Kentucky • Louisiana • Mark Pryor • Mary Landrieu • Mitch McConnell • North Carolina • Senate • Senate Race • Tom Cotton
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    rs

    Sure, a TV commentator for President. That will work. The GOP last tried that with Mr. Reagan- at least he did a stint or two as Governor of the largest (most populace) state. Scarborough? No dice.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    True story – which is why the so-called “librul media” pretends it didn’t happen and "moderates" such posts out of existence – scarborough used to be a congressman in the Florida panhandle – until he resigned to "spend more time with his family" (he then, in the typical republican “family values” fashion divorced his wife and married his mistress who was an aide to then-governor jebby bush. Doubling down on those republican “family values”, he divorced her last year). Then about a week after he announced his resignation from congress a congressional aid was found dead in his office with a massive head wound. The medical examiner (who btw lost his medical license in several other states for falsifying death records) listed the cause of death as a "heart condition" that nobody knew about prior to the autopsy – despite the fact that the woman had been competing in marathons for decades. The ME claimed that the head wound resulted from her hitting her head on the desk when she fell after her heart stopped.

    April 23, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    They'll take the day if people (the real people), stay home, are kept from voting, or are intimidated by corporate sponsored media . They win, you lose. It is that simple.

    April 23, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    --any one that has Brain, education will vote straight to Democratic Party. Bye, the bye, did you read GA idiot signed into law so that Teacher can hold gun, priest can hold gun to shoot, Airport can hold gun to shoot. I will not take flight out of Heart-field international–I take JFK instead. Pathetic nation to sell to NRA thugs. God bless!!!!

    April 23, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Gurgyl – The problem with most RWNJs is they could not create a single small speed bump on a brainwave in an EEG.

    April 23, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Simplify the tax code and 90% of the IRS goes the way of the dinosaur. Can't have that, can we?
    ----
    Nope. Conservatives love their loopholes and want to keep things just the way they are.

    Back to the article. Labor law prohibits and employer from deducting money from an employee's pay when the employee is indebted to the employer. For example, a retailer cannot deduct a cash register shortage from a cashier's check. I see these bonus checks to people with tax debts as being no different. There is a due process for taking back taxes from people's paychecks, and it must be followed.
    ---
    The due process you speak of includes wage garnishment."

    Indeed it does, and it's done through a very specific process in a very specific arm of the IRS, not by your employer or manager who might be in charge of whether you get your bonus etc....even if your employer or manager happens to be the IRS.

    April 23, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Blah blah blah "skewed" yabba dabba "biased" herpy derpy doo...

    The conservative brain trust is already hard at work getting word out to the base that these numbers are as fake as Obama's landslide over Romney in 2012.

    April 23, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Dead Bear

    Are these polls indicators of the Republican wave that Reince Priebus is predicting??? He better hope they do a better job of determining which way the votes will go than they did in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised in slightest if his "wave" turns out to be nothing more than a ripple in a mud puddle.

    April 23, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Malory Archer

    rs

    Sure, a TV commentator for President. That will work. The GOP last tried that with Mr. Reagan- at least he did a stint or two as Governor of the largest (most populace) state. Scarborough? No dice.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    True story – which is why the so-called “librul media” pretends it didn’t happen and "moderates" such posts out of existence – scarborough used to be a congressman in the Florida panhandle – until he resigned to "spend more time with his family" (he then, in the typical republican “family values” fashion divorced his wife and married his mistress who was an aide to then-governor jebby bush.
    --------------------–
    I think Scarborough just wants to be king maker. Being an elected official pays far less than being a TV host.

    Back to the article. Sen. Kay Hagan is running the hardest from Obamacare and she's losing ground to an opponent the fastest of anyone. Didn't some Democrats learn *anything* from the 2010 election? When you run from the lies, you only give life to the lies.

    April 23, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Dead beat welfare queen republican hero, Cliven Bundy, owes over a million dollars to the federal government, which is close to the bonuses paid to a thousand IRS workers, yet the RWNJs say, "Bundy good," and "IRS bad."

    April 23, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Chris-E...al

    After six years of crying and milking and filing sorry for your self who wounldnt vote republican . After awhile that pacifier has got to be replaced with substance .

    April 23, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The two-term Democratic senator's approval/disapproval ratings stand at 47%-38%. But only 32% of Arkansas voters say they approve of the job Obama's doing as President."

    Well, OK. Thank goodness then that President Obama isn't running for the two-term Democratic senator's seat in Arkansas, eh?

    Same applies to the Kentucky, the state of the current senator who is still trying to make Obama a one-term President.

    Or something.

    April 23, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    Chris-E...al

    After six years of crying and milking and filing sorry for your self. After awhile that pacifier has got to be replaced with substance .
    -----------------------

    terrible spelling aside, this is a perfect description of the right wing drones. they believed first an old man who's lost his integrity as well as bringing along a complete nitwit as his VP was qualified. Then it was a rich country club corporate raider who doesn't care about anyone but his rich friends bringing along Eddie Munster that was their guy. If I were them, I'd cry and feel sorry for myself too

    April 23, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Luc

    who cares who wins in November. The real prize is 2016 and everybody knows that the GOP won't even get a sniff ounce again at POTUS. If GOP win in November it really doesn't matter the federal elections will start in 2015 and nothing will get done ounce again for fear of upsetting voters or big money. WOW what a system we have. Second of all if GOP win 2014 the senate do you really think that Obama will sign bills put forward by the GOP after what they have put him and the American public through the last 6 years. See you when Hillary is POTUS. Bye Bye GOP.

    April 23, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. CryBabies

    Speaking of having a brain....If you"talk the talk", you'd best be able to "walk the walk".

    April 23, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Chris-E...al

    Speaking of drones and killing innocent PPL also what about the closure of that mean oh nasty Cuban torture chamber in two years after taking office ? Is that ? Could that be another lie from a dem or just a misspelling ?

    April 23, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Chris-E...al, not as big a lie as WMDs, or tax cuts paying for themselves, or "deficits don't matter": nice to see you have such a one-sided grasp of reality, and that its always the wrong side. Who sends you your talking points for the day?

    April 23, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Speaking of drones and killing innocent PPL also what about the closure of that mean oh nasty Cuban torture chamber in two years after taking office ? Is that ? Could that be another lie from a dem or just a misspelling ?"

    Yawn. Calling something a lie when the reality is that the GOP and a few of the spineless scaredy-cat red-state Dems in Congress blocked it from happening is, in and of itself, a lie.

    April 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. bobo

    If you really want some Hope and definitely Change..... Vote Republican. Stop the Obama administration from ruining America even more!!!

    April 23, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Chris-E...al

    Speaking of drones and killing innocent PPL also what about the closure of that mean oh nasty Cuban torture chamber in two years after taking office ? Is that ? Could that be another lie from a dem or just a misspelling ?
    ------------------------------
    Please, give a break. You are seriously factually challenged.

    Uh, didn't the Republicans filibuster funding to make the move from Cuba to somewhere else?
    Didn't conservatives object to conducting trials in civilian courts, arguing for military tribunals to held at Gruantamo, no less?

    April 23, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. CALIFORNIA

    Harry Reid will LOVE next year when the republicans use the nuclear option against him and his obstructionists.

    April 23, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |