Upsets Brewing as Election Day Nears

As we head into the final weekend before the election, several new pieces of data show a few major upsets brewing, while some other pollsters are in conflict when surveying the same race.

Maryland Governor’s Race

The biggest surprise amongst the late data comes from the Maryland governor’s race, where the Wilson Perkins Allen Research firm finds their client, Larry Hogan, Jr. (R), leading Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D), the prohibitive favorite to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). According to their latest poll (Oct. 26-27; 504 likely Maryland voters), Hogan leads Brown 44-39 percent, and 46-38 percent among respondents who can identify both candidates.

Concluding the poll’s analysis, WPA says that “while Hogan is well positioned heading into the final week, he isn’t there yet. Having the resources to go toe-to-toe with Brown on TV will be crucial in turning his current lead into a victory on Election Day.”

Though no other poll has actually shown Hogan leading, several surveys have detected a closer than expected race in what is normally one of the bluest states in the country. This could be a race to watch on Tuesday night.


A new Glascock Group poll released Oct. 28 suggests that scandal-tainted Rep. Vance McAllister (R) will fail to qualify for the Dec. 6 run-off election.

According to the firm’s results (501 likely LA-5 voters), physician Ralph Abraham (R) leads the jungle primary with 24 percent of the vote followed by Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) who posts 18 percent. In third place is McAllister, polling just 16 percent, followed closely by Duck Dynasty family cousin Zach Dasher (R) at 15 percent. Former congressman and current Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway (R) records a poor 10 percent showing. Since no candidate is positioned to take a majority of the vote Tuesday, the top two candidates, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance to a Dec. 6 run-off election.

New Hampshire

A new NH-based American Research Group survey (Oct. 27-29; 600 likely New Hampshire voters) records the closest numbers of the entire gubernatorial campaign. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), enjoying high favorability ratings and strong polling numbers until recently, falls to only a two-point, 48-46 percent edge over businessman Walt Havenstein (R). The same polling sample gives the governor a strong 48:27 percent job approval ratio, however, putting the ballot test results in conflict with the prevailing opinion pertaining to the respondents’ Hassan favorability view. Fifty-eight percent of the same polling sample believes that Hassan will win Tuesday’s election; another piece of data that seems inconsistent with their final ballot test result.

In the Senate race, the respondents break evenly for both Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and former Sen. Scott Brown (R). Both record 49 percent support. This result is consistent with other pollsters, and reflects Brown’s momentum in this race as has been routinely detected.


Four late polls in the Senate race have been released, all very consistent:

1. Public Policy Polling (Oct. 28-29; 573 likely voters):
Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 48 percent; Sen. Mark Udall (D) 48 percent
2. Quinnipiac University (Oct. 22-27; 844 likely voters):
Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 46 percent; Sen. Mark Udall (D) 39 percent
3. Survey USA (Oct. 27-29; 648 registered voters)
Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 46 percent; Sen. Mark Udall (D) 44 percent
4. Vox Populi (Oct. 26-27; 642 “active” voters)
Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 46 percent; Sen. Mark Udall (D) 43 percent

North Carolina

Four polls come from the Tar Heel State, too, with results not as consistent as Colorado. The final Vox Populi data appears to be an outlier:

1.Public Policy Polling (10/28-29; 657 likely voters):
Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 47 percent; Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 46 percent
2.Elon University (10/21-25; 687 likely voters)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 45 percent; Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 41 percent
3.Rasmussen Reports (10/28-29; 982 likely voters)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 47 percent; Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 46 percent
4.Vox Populi (10/26-27; 615 “active” voters)
Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 48 percent; Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 43 percent

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