Updated 7:45pm ET
– House Elections: In advance of tomorrow’s update, Reuters/Ipsos has released congressional generic preference poll giving Democrats a one-point lead, 42-41, over Republicans. This poll is significant for two reasons. First, because of the way blue districts are more packed than red ones, Democrats traditionally need a two or three point advantage in these polls to feel that they can maintain the status-quo. The one-point edge, if it is truly indicative of the attitudes of the electorate, means that they’ll have a harder time picking up a substantial amount of seats in the House. That doesn’t mean they won’t add to their current total. With so many more Republican seats than Democratic ones, this presidential year was bound to produce at least some correction. However, GOP losses could be minimized with these kinds of generic preference numbers. Second, Reuters/Ipsos has shown a shrinking lead for Democrats in this important metric over the last month. In late October, they led by 5 points, and earlier last month, their lead was 10. These results are in line with mounting Republican enthusiasm and improving electoral prospects at the top of the ticket. Tune in tomorrow to see what affect, if any, this poll will have on EP’s House projections which currently project a Democratic net gain of 17 seats.
Updated 5:31pm ET
– Presidential Elections: Rasmussen has been rightly maligned for overstating Republican performance in their polls, so you’ll have to take this next bit of news with that in mind. Today they released a poll in which they claim Donald Trump has moved out to a dominating 10% lead among those who are “certain how they will vote.” The lead is 53% to 43%. Taken at face value, this is really bad for Hillary Clinton. But, as I said, Rasmussen’s reputation and track record require that we take those numbers with a modicum of skepticism. Still, even if the real margin is half that – say 5% – the result is noteworthy. This late in the game, those who are still not sure who to vote for are ones most likely to stay home. And when turnout is so critical, this finding suggests Cinton’s shrinking lead in the polls is more pronounced than we may be seeing in the numbers.
Updated 2:18pm ET
– More Governor election news: I posted a new round of numbers this afternoon. Not much to report on the presidential and congressional fronts. However, some big changes came down in the gubernatorial races. Republican are now projected to flip the statehouses in both Missouri and New Hampshire. New Hampshire has been colored red before in this cycle, but this is the first time the Show-Me State wears the GOP color on the governor projection map. The shift marks the culmination of a serious comeback by Republican Eric Greitens who was down 13 points as late as the end of September and mirrors Donald Trump’s improving numbers in the state. The Missouri Senate race is another story. Republican incumbent Roy Blunt is in a very tough fight against Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Blunt currently leads by a point and a half, but Kander enjoyed a week-long ride in front a couple weeks ago in a race that likely will be uncertain well into the night next Tuesday.
Updated 3:32am ET
– North Carolina Governor Election: As a native North Carolinian, this year’s gubernatorial race in the Tarheel State is of particular interest to me – especially since it is at least in part a referendum on HB2, otherwise known as the bathroom bill. When Democrat Roy Cooper decided to contend for the statehouse, this race was destined to become a difficult task for Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory. Cooper was the strongest candidate Democrats could have nominated. Polls back in June showed McCrory holding his own against Cooper, but as summer rolled on, Cooper gained a sizeable advantage. The projection here at EP reached a peak for Cooper in late August when he claimed a 7.4-point lead. He maintained an outside-the-margin-of-error lead through September and early October. That lead has shrunk over the last two or three weeks. The most recent two polls paint the picture of a much closer race. An Elon University poll taken last week says the race is tied, while a WRAL-TV/SurveyUSA poll taken later last week gives Cooper just a one-point lead. The current projection stands at 2.2 points in Cooper’s favor, but the trend is looking favorable to McCrory. It seems to me that either candidate can win this election, but Cooper’s strength will be tested by lower-than-expected African-American turnout in the state.
Updated 3:00am ET
Ok, I’ll start off today’s thread with a question. Did you see that baseball game last night? Whoa! What a World Series game 7! Congrats to the Chicago Cubs for bringing home the championship for the first time in 108 years. The longest drought in professional sports is over.