Poll shows McCain with comfortable lead over Hayworth

A new poll shows John McCain with a comfortable lead over primary opponent J.D. Hayworth. The incumbent senator leads Hayworth 54 to 28 percent in a Rocky Mountain Poll released Tuesday.

The results give Hayworth only a slim chance of defeating McCain. The former congressman would have to capture all of the currently undecided primary voters to come within eight points of McCain. He'd then have to get Independents to cross over.

Independents can vote in either the GOP or Democratic primaries in Arizona.

Among the 20 percent of Independents who lean toward voting in the GOP primary, Hayworth gets 43 to McCain's 46 percent. If he can get traction on issues other than just border security, he may give McCain a scare.

McCain's reelection worries wouldn't end after the August primary, according to the poll.

In a match up against Democrat Rodney Glassman, McCain's share of the vote goes down to 46 percent. Glassman, the vice mayor of Tucson, gets 24 percent, with 30 percent undecided. Meanwhile, Hayworth polls only 37 percent against Glassman.

The survey was conducted by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center April 12-25.


Ohio Senate: Fisher opens 17-point lead on Brunner in Tuesday primary

Reports of Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher's (D) demise appear to be premature.

Through signs of potential trouble in his Tuesday Senate primary with the underfunded Jennifer Brunner, Fisher has opened up a 17-point lead in the latest Quinnipiac poll of the race. He leads the Secretary of State 41-24 after holding just a 33-26 lead in the last Q poll.

Perhaps most notable in Quinnipiac's new numbers is the following: Fisher is leading Brunner 43-24 among women, which is even better than his numbers among men. Without a majority of women, Brunner stands virtually no chance.

Fisher, who had yet to lead by double digits in any other polling on the race, has opened the lead thanks to a $900,000 cable media buy and more than $3 million spent overall. Brunner has spent less than $1 million.

That Fisher has been able to use his large cash advantage to open up a lead on Brunner is not surprising. It would have been more noteworthy if he hadn't been able to do so. Still, the poll is likely to sooth some Democratic worries about Fisher's fate on Tuesday.

He'll be a heavy favorite, but the primary has cost him most of his money. If he wins the primary, the two months of fundraising between May 4 and the end of June will be massive for his campaign's prospects.


Young people 'not enthusiastic' about voting

Young people need motivation to vote in November, according to a new Gallup poll. The April 1-25 survey found that almost half of 18-to-29-year-olds were "not enthusiastic" about casting a ballot in the midterm elections.

The poll did have some good news for Democrats. The Gallup survey confirmed that 18-to-29-year-olds prefer Dems to Republicans by a 12-point margin. The party will just need to find a way to motivate this lethargic portion of its base.

Ballot initiatives may help in some states. Young voters, California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton suggested recently, may turnout in the Golden State in order to support a ballot initiative to tax and regulate pot.

A spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project said that initiatives to legalize medical marijuana are expected to be on the ballot in South Dakota and Arizona, where there are a several competitive races.



Dem Senate primary in North Carolina could be headed to runoff

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall holds a small lead heading into the final week of her Democratic Senate primary with Cal Cunningham, but the two could be headed to a runoff.

A Public Policy Polling (D) survey and a SurveyUSA poll both show Marshall with a small lead in the primary, which will be held next Tuesday. But there remain plenty of undecided voters in the state, where neither candidate has had much in the way of a media presence.

Marshall leads Cunningham 23-19 in the SurveyUSA poll and 26-23 in the PPP poll. In both surveys, 34 percent of voters are undecided.

If enough of those voters go to other candidates, like attorney Kenneth Lewis, that could hold both Marshall and Cunningham below 40 percent, which would mean a two-candidate runoff on April 22. That's a long runoff, and it would all be time that the two won't be focusing their time and resources on Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and his $5 million war chest.

It's looking especially tough for Cunningham to win the primary outright next week. He would have to win at least half of those undecided voters and/or steal some support from his opponents.

Conversely, if it does go to a runoff, Cunningham will probably be the favorite. He has suffered from a lack of name recognition, but he has been raising money faster than Marshall. Presumably, he would be on TV more during the runoff, which would help him overcome Marshall's statewide profile.


Rep. Ron Klein trails in GOP poll

Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) trails top GOP recruit Allen West in a rematch of their 2008 race, according to a poll done for West's campaign.

The Wilson Research Strategies poll shows West ahead 44-42 despite being known to less than half of voters. It was conducted last week on Sunday and Monday.

Klein joins a long line of Democratic incumbents who have trailed in some early polling on their races. Much of the polls have been from GOP sources, but the surveys are still notable, especially when Democrats have shown little polling ammo with which to fight back.

Klein doesn't have particularly bad numbers -- 43 percent favorable, compated to 31 percent unfavorable -- but appears to be suffering from a poor environment. Just 21 percent of voters say they will definitely vote to reelect him.

Klein defeated West 55-45 in 2008.

Update 2:17 p.m.: Klein spokeswoman Sarah Rothschild responds: “While Allen West is focused on a poll for the November election, Congressman Ron Klein is working every day to stimulate the economy and on bipartisan solutions that will protect Florida homeowners, crack down on Medicare fraud and impose tougher sanctions on the rogue regime in Iran.”


Lowden builds double-digit lead in race to face Reid

Sue Lowden continues to hold a double-digit lead in the Nevada GOP Senate primary, according to a new poll.

The Nevada News Bureau poll, which was conducted by PMI Inc., is the first in the race not conducted by Mason-Dixon, but it shows a similar result to recent Mason-Dixon polling.

Lowden, the former state GOP chairwoman, leads businessman Danny Tarkanian 41-24. Former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle is in third, at 17 percent. No other names were tested.

A Mason-Dixon poll from earlier this month had Lowden ahead of Tarkanian 45-27 with Angle at 5 percent.


Mollohan primary foe leads incumbent in own poll

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) is in serious trouble in his primary, according to a new poll released by state Sen. Mike Oliverio.

The poll, which was conducted by in-state pollster Orion Strategies, shows Oliverio surging to an eight-point lead on the incumbent, 41-33. A couple months ago, Mollohan led 41-31.

Oliverio raised $220,000 in the first quarter -- his first in the race -- and had $140,000 cash on hand. Mollohan, meanwhile, raised $360,000 and had $280,000 in the bank.

Mollohan faces difficult in both the primary and general election, with both Oliverio and the Republicans hoping to take advantage of his relatively meager bankroll (by incumbent standards) and some ethical troubles. 

Republicans including former state Del. David McKinley and businessman Mac Warner are fighting for their party's nomination in the conservative district, which went 57 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.


Polls show Campbell emerging as frontrunner in Calif. GOP Senate primary

Another new poll shows former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) opening up a lead in the state's GOP Senate primary.

The SurveyUSA poll has Campbell leading businesswoman Carly Fiorina 34-27. The margin is a little smaller than the 31-17 difference in a recent bipartisan poll, but the lesson is the same -- that Campbell has asserted himself as the frontrunner with a month and a half to go in their June 8 primary.

Of course, plenty will happen in the last month and a half. Campbell is taking some heat from third-party groups who don't think he's conservative enough, and Fiorina has personal money that she can use to outspend him down the stretch. She had $2.8 million in the bank, while he had $1.1 million.

State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is the 'x' factor here. He is in the mid-single digits in the polls and doesn't have as much money (about $400,000 at the end of March). But he has used his grassroots following to effectively team up with Campbell to take on Fiorina. If he keeps going after her and ignoring the man leading in the polls, that could allow Campbell to build an even bigger lead.

The lingering rancor between DeVore and Fiorina has been remarkable, considering Campbell's ascendance. Even as the Fiorina campaign commented on the polls yesterday, it's statement addressed DeVore before Campbell.

“These numbers are not good news for Chuck DeVore, and it makes one wonder how he and his campaign will be celebrating Back To Earth Day this afternoon after their premature and unwarranted rooftop singing this morning," Fiorina said. "And though Tom Campbell has earned high name identification by being a perennial office seeker, once Californians learn about his decades-long record of support for higher taxes and more government regulation, voters will turn to support a true fiscal conservative and political outsider: Carly Fiorina.”


Former Rep. Pombo trails in attempt to return to Congress

Former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is currently in third place in the GOP primary in retiring Rep. George Radanovich's (R-Calif.) district, according to a new poll.

The SurveyUSA poll shows state Sen. Jeff Denham and former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson in a statistical tie -- 27 percent for Denham and 26 percent for Patterson -- while Pombo takes 16 percent of the vote.

There is about a month and a half to go in the primary, so there is still time for Pombo.

The former congressman won the fundraising battle in the first quarter, raising $465,000 while Denham raised $342,000. Denham banked more money, though, thanks to a $150,000 contribution to his own campaign.

Patterson raised just $85,000 for the quarter.