Five Key States, Five Key Senate Races

Karl Rove’s right-of-center American Crossroads 527 political organization commissioned Harper Polling surveys in five US Senate campaigns, releasing the data at the end of last week. Though sample sizes and the surveying periods are not available, the ballot tests all appear to be in a range that are consistent with other published results.

In Arkansas, despite several other surveys projecting incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) to be holding a slight lead, Harper shows the two candidates tied at 39 percent.

The Colorado numbers are consistent with virtually all other data that has come into the public domain. Harper posts a two-point race between Sen. Mark Udall (D) and newly nominated Republican Cory Gardner, the 4th District congressman. This poll gives Sen. Udall a 45-43 percent lead.

Though the Louisiana numbers have been close for some time, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) typically leading but in the low 40s, the Harper data is the first to show Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) forging ahead. The Crossroads/Harper Polling results give Cassidy a 47-43 percent edge over Sen. Landrieu.

In another result that is highly consistent with those from both local and national pollsters, Harper gives former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) a 43-40 percent slight advantage over Detroit Congressman Gary Peters (D). Recently, two competing pollsters, Public Policy Polling for, and Mitchell Research & Communications arrived at completely opposite conclusions. PPP gave Peters a 41-36 percent lead. Mitchell, like Harper Polling, cited Land to have the edge. Mitchell’s result was 45-39 percent in favor of the Republican.

Finally, in the Montana race that features newly appointed Sen. John Walsh (D), Crossroads/Harper, like all other pollsters, project at-large Rep. Steve Daines (R) to have a discernible lead beyond any margin of polling error. In this latest case, Daines enjoys a 42-35 percent margin over the new senator. As you know, the Democrats made a strong move with President Obama appointing outgoing Sen. Max Baucus (D) as the US Ambassador to China, thus opening the door for Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to appoint his lieutenant governor, Walsh, who was already an announced Senate candidate. It remains to be seen if this action helps their party save the seat, but it was the best possible move they could make.

Once again, we see these five Senate races as among the premier contests around the country. Adding Alaska, Georgia, and Kentucky, which were not polled, the results from this aforementioned group of contests will likely determine whether the Democrats or Republicans control the body in the next Congress.

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