Down-the ballot polls have good news for Democrats

Forgive me for two poll-related entries in a row, but interesting surveys were released this evening from down-the-ballot races. First, a poll from Minnesota's Senate poll released by SUSA. It shows Sen. Norm Coleman and Al Franken in a toss-up, with Coleman edging out the former comedian 47% to 46%. Coleman leads Democrat Mike Ciresi by a wider margin, 51% to 40%.

This is first and foremost excellent news for Franken. Most polls until recently had Ciresi and Franken running at the same level against Coleman, but this is the second poll in a row that has Franken running significantly better. The designation of the nominee in MN is largely an insider's game, so Franken will be able to make great use of the electability argument.

It also confirms that the DSCC has managed to make Minnesota into a top-tier race, something neither Oregon nor Maine -- races that were until recently mentioned in the same breath as Coleman's. This alone will guarantee that the DSCC invests heavily here, and hope that the Democratic nominee is boosted by presidential coattails (note that Dems have not had many close Senate races fought on blue states over the past few cycles).

Second, we get a Missouri Governor's poll from Rasmussen. Gov. Blunt unexpectedly announced he was not running for re-election last month, starting a scramble among state Republicans. Democrats had a candidate running for years already, Attorney General Nixon. And Rasmussen shows him leading big in what is now an open race, 46% to 35% against state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and 48% to 30% against Rep. Kenny Hulshof who recently announced she would leave her House seat and run for the governor's mansion.

Missouri is one of the only competitive governor's races in 2008 (with Indiana and North Carolina), but the first poll that tests someone else than Blunt suggests that Nixon has the clear upper-hand. The fact that a Democrat has such a large lead in an open race also suggests that the state might be looking to move towards Democrats, good news for them in the presidential race as well.

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  • I can't wait for Al to get onto C-span. The ratings will go through the roof! This pompous decorum of the Senate has put the general populace to sleep for far too long.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 February, 2008 09:02  

  • I dont think any poll now counts for anything.

    Until the Demos. actually get a candidate, and actually avoid driving over a cliff before Denver.

    There is an ever growing possibility that the Demo. party burns to the ground in Denver.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 February, 2008 10:04  

  • Regardless of how the party fights this out,it's an offer the people can't refuse. Either vote for us or lose your shirts in a hundred year crusade. It's too late now to turn back. We're willing to take our chances without the Obamabots. We'll only lose 30% of them max.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 February, 2008 10:26  

  • 10% "Obamabots" Leave, its a Noveber GOP rout.

    If its 20%, and 10% are "Black" we have GOP dominating in the congress by 50 seats.

    Thats a very risky plan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 February, 2008 10:32  

  • We have an overwhelming majority with independents on the democratic side. Even 30% of Obamans sitting out won't affect that. If they vote McCain in spite,it's their people that get the shaft. Then again, they do burn their own neighborhoods in riots. Nominating Obama without the majority support of Democrats is far more risky.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 February, 2008 13:04  

  • Hi Daniel, just a short correction: Kenny Hulshof is male but great post again.

    By Anonymous Cass, At 14 February, 2008 17:42  

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