Poll: Rubio has commanding lead in Florida

A new poll shows Florida Senate hopeful Marco Rubio with a commanding lead in a three-way race as the candidate holds on to support from most Republicans and many independents.

The St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll shows Rubio with a 15 point lead over Gov. Charlie Crist (I).

That breaks down to 41 percent of likely voters backing GOP nominee Rubio, 26 percent for Crist and 20 percent backing Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.). Forty-one percent of independent voters are breaking for Crist, compared to 21 percent for Rubio and 5 percent for Meek.

The telephone survey of 801 registered voters, including 577 likely voters, was conducted Oct. 15-19 by Ipsos for The St. Petersburg Times, Miami Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13.

Among Democrats, Meek has 42 percent of likely voters compared to 36 percent for Crist.

Among Republicans, 70 percent back Rubio while just 17 percent go for Crist.


Poll shows Murkowski in tie, but voters confident they know write-in procedure

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is tied with Republican nominee Joe Miller in Alaska's Senate race, and, in good news for the incumbent, 93 percent of voters who favor Murkowski said they know the procedure for voting for a write-in candidate.

A CNN-Time-Opinion Research Poll of likely voters showed Murkowski and Miller both receiving 37 percent of the vote. After Miller defeated Murkowski in the August GOP primary, Murkowski decided to run as a write-in candidate. Her campaign has embarked on an extensive voter-education campaign, and the poll shows that appears to be paying off.

The poll also examined three other competitive Senate races, and Republicans had imposing leads in all of them.

In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln appears to be in serious trouble — trailing GOP nominee John Boozman by 14 points, 41 percent to 55 percent.

Marco Rubio (R) continues to maintain his strong lead in Florida’s Senate race. Rubio leads Gov. Charlie Crist (I) by 14 points and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) by 26 points.

Following a similar trend, Ohio’s Republican candidate Rob Portman leads Democrat Lee Fisher 55 percent to 40 percent.

Republicans need 10 seats to win control of the Senate.

The poll conducted between October 15-18 has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points in Arkansas, Florida and Ohio and a margin of error of 3 percent in Alaska.


Poll: Millennial enthusiasm fading as election approaches

Two-third of young voters, part of President Obama's base in 2008, are ambivalent about voting in November, a poll released Thursday shows.

Fewer than three in ten (27 percent) of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed by Harvard University's Institute of Politics say they will definitely turn out for the midterms, down from 31 percent in February and 36 percent last September.

The survey also found that among this demographic, lauded in 2008 for its enthusiasm, only 18 percent say they are politically engaged, down from 24 percent in November 2009. 

"In 2008, 'millennials' took control of their own destiny, entered the political process and changed the direction of the country," said John Della Volpe of the Institute of Politics (IOP). "Two years later, the challenges they face as a generation could not be higher. Let's hope they reverse the current decline in interest and participation."

The decline also mirrors a nine-point drop in millennials' approval for Obama since November (58 percent to 49 percent), though most do continue to lean left, preferring that Congress be controlled by Democrats and approving of current Democratic over Republican members by 11 points (39 percent to 28 percent).

Looking toward 2012, Obama emerges between 25 and 30 points ahead of potential Republican candidates Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In a matchup between Obama and a generic Republican, however, Obama only led by one point (31-30), with the plurality (39 percent) of young people saying they were undecided.

The IOP interim director John Culver noted these figures as an opportunity for candidates to engage with young people.

"Recent election cycles show candidates who can motivate this critical demographic will have an important advantage," he said.

The survey has a margin of error of 2.2 points and was carried out between Sept. 23 and Oct. 4 from 2,004 interviews.


Poll: Blumenthal lead back to double digits in Connecticut

Democrat Richard Blumenthal has reasserted his lead over Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut's Senate race, according to a new poll out Thursday.

The numbers have seesawed back and forth during the past few weeks, but the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO now finds herself trailing by an 11-point margin.

New numbers from Quinnipiac University show Blumenthal with the lead — 54 percent to 43 percent. Another 3 percent of likely voters remain undecided, while 7 percent said they intend to vote for someone else.  

The numbers show sizable movement from a Q-poll late last month, which had Blumenthal ahead by just 3 points — 49 percent to 46 percent.

"Fueled by a surge in support from women, Democrats and independents, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has his best poll numbers since the start of the fall campaign,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Director Douglas Schwartz.

The McMahon campaign dismissed the new numbers Thursday, saying the movement toward Blumenthal is likely thanks to recent attack ads hitting McMahon, which the campaign labeled "misleading and untruthful." 

"We have always said this election will be close, and as is typically the case in close elections, polling will fluctuate," McMahon spokesman Ed Patru said in a statement. 

The poll found women supporting Blumenthal 66 percent to 32 percent, while Democrats back him by a commanding 95 percent to 4 percent margin and independents back him by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin. 

The independent vote has flip-flopped since the Sept. 28 poll, when it favored McMahon 49-44 percent.  

As state attorney general, 57 percent to 38 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Blumenthal and 69 percent to 26 approve of the job he is doing. McMahon’s favorability is split at 46-46.  

First lady Michelle Obama, who has spent time campaigning for Blumenthal, received a 56 percent to 28 percent favorability rating. But 76 percent of likely Connecticut voters say her campaigning won’t impact their decision in November. 

President Obama wins approval from 47 percent of likely voters. 

The poll surveyed 1,119 likely Connecticut voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.  


The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll finds Republicans leading in open seats

Republicans are winning eight out of 10 competitive open House seats surveyed in The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll.

The Oct. 2-7 poll, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, examined the 10 open races in which Republicans hold two of the districts and Democrats control all the others. Six contests fell within the poll’s margin of error. District by district breakdowns are available

Voters also indicated they think a viable third party would be good for American politics.

This is the second batch of results from 42 districts The Hill is polling over a four-week period. The first week examined 12 endangered freshman lawmakers. Next week will focus on two-term incumbents, and finally, in the week before the election, the polls will take place in districts of long-term incumbents thought to be in trouble.

Of the 22 races polled so far, likely voters put Republicans ahead in 19, with Democrats ahead in just two, and one tied.


Poll: Angle holds slight edge on Reid

Republican Sharron Angle holds a narrow two-point edge over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), according to a new Fox News/Rasmussen poll out Tuesday.

Angle leads Reid 49 percent to 47 percent. Another 3 percent of likely voters said they intend to vote for another candidate, but the choice of Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian wasn't offered to survey respondents. In a recent CNN/Time poll, Ashjian captured 7 percent of the vote. 

Reflecting a high level of discontent with both Angle and Reid, a full 5 percent of likely voters said they intend to punch "none of the above" on Election Day, which is an actual option on Nevada's ballot.

Both Angle's and Reid's negatives are sky-high. A full 58 percent of likely voters have an unfavorable view of Angle, while 56 percent said the same of Reid. 

Other numbers out Tuesday from Fox News/Rasmussen show Democrat Richard Blumenthal with a 6-point edge over Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut's Senate contest, Republican Dino Rossi and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in a dead heat in Washington state, and Republican Ron Johnson with a 7-point edge over Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). 

New numbers on Delaware's Senate race still show Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell trailing Democrat Chris Coons by a 38 percent to 54 percent margin


Poll: Ayotte maintains lead over Hodes in N.H. Senate race

Republican Kelly Ayotte continues to hold a lead in New Hampshire’s Senate race, according to a new Rasmussen poll released Monday. 

Ayotte leads Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) by seven points, 51 percent to 44 percent. Three percent of voters prefer another candidate, while 2 percent remain undecided.  

The two clashed in their first debate of the contest Monday, focusing on spending and taxes. Ayotte favors permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts, while Hodes only wants the cuts extended for families earning $250,000 and below a year. 

The Rasmussen numbers show a race largely unchanged in the past two months. In five previous surveys, Ayotte's support has hovered between 46 and 50 percent, while Hodes has received 35 percent to 44 percent of the vote.

The poll surveyed 750 likely New Hampshire voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percentage points. 


Cook Report moves races featured in The Hill's poll to Lean R catagory

The Hill released its 2010 Midterm Election Poll on Wednesday and the Cook Report moved seven of the races featured in the poll from the toss-up catagory to the Lean R catagory on Friday.

The Hill's poll examined 12 congressional districts held by first-term Democratic lawmakers. All 12 are considered in tough reelection campaigns. In the seven races that moved, all the Democrats trailed their GOP challengers by various margins.

Here are the seven Democrats that moved catagories: Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Betsy Markey (Colo.), Debbie Halvorson (Ill.), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.), Glenn Nye (Va.), and Tom Perriello (Va.).

The Hill's poll showed Halvorson in the toughest race, down by 18 points. Perriello was in the closest, only down by one point, but he's losing independent voters to his GOP challenger.