The Senate Home Stretch: Upsets in the Making?

The chalk line right now, going on the RealClearPolitics polling averages (which have been pretty good in past cycles), suggest a post-election Senate with 52 Republicans—a seven seat pickup. I still think the GOP is going to sneak up on a Senate race elsewhere—perhaps New Mexico, where another undistinguished Udall is on the ballot and where the Republican challenger, Allen Weh, is stubbornly hanging on. Most polls show Udall winning easily (though there have been a few showing Weh closing the gap fast), but this is the kind of year where those polls sometimes end up wildly wrong. With popular incumbent governor Susana Martinez cruising to an easy re-election (and a likely spot as the GOP running mate in 2016), Weh might get pulled over the finish line.  There would be something poetic, as well as just, for both Udalls to lose in this election.

The Washington Post reports this morning on another possible upset: Virginia.

A poll from Christopher Newport University released Friday showed just seven points separating the candidates, with Warner garnering 51 percent of likely voters to Gillespie’s 44 percent. . .

Remember that in the governor’s race in VA last year, Democrat Terry McAwful was way ahead of the Republican, Ken Cuccinelli, in all the late polls, but just barely won.

Like many Democrats these days, Warner has succeeded in Virginia by concealing—lying about—who he really is, as the Post reminds us:

Warner maintains a lead in every region of Virginia except the state’s deeply conservative southern and southwestern regions, where the CNU poll shows his statewide margin turned on its head. That’s a big shift for a candidate who won his 2001 gubernatorial bid with a now-famous effort to lure rural voters that included a turkey shoot photo op, putting his name on a NASCAR truck and playing a bluegrass jingle at campaign events.

Don’t be totally surprised if Warner ends up being in the receiving end of Tuesday’s electoral turkey shoot.


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