Three Senate race polls

CBS News/YouGov is just out with surveys of the following Senate races: Indiana, Florida, and Arizona. All three are neck-and-neck.

In Indiana, where YouGov surveyed 975 likely voters, Republican businessman Mike Braun leads Sen. Joe Donnelly 46-43. A third candidate is at 3 percent. With that poll result, which is just inside the margin of error, Braun takes a razor-thin (and, I assume, meaningless) 0.5 percentage point lead in the RCP average.

In Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott and Democratic Senator Bill Nelson are tied at 46 percent in the YouGov survey (of 991 likely voters). However, in a New York Times/Siena poll (of 737 likely voters) taken at just about the same time, Nelson leads 48-44. (I find it interesting that the Times/Siena had to call nearly 38,000 people to get 737 respondents.) Nelson’s lead in the RCP average is 2.6 percent.

Finally, in Arizona, YouGov’s poll (of 972 likely voters) has Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema ahead of Rep. Martha McSally, 47-44. This result, which surprises me, is just within the margin of error.

Fortunately, McSally is ahead (by 2 points and 6 points) in the two other most recent surveys collected by RCP. McSally leads in the RCP average by a 0.7 percent.

Let’s say the Democrats have a good night and win all three of these toss-up races. They would net the Dems one pick-up (Arizona). That gain would be offset by the expected GOP victory in North Dakota. If everything else is equal, the GOP would retain its 51-49 advantage in the Senate.

Republicans, though, have other decent pick-up opportunities, most notably, I think, in Missouri. The Democrats have a decent pick-up opportunity in Nevada. Any pick-ups for the Dems other than Arizona and Nevada would be clear upsets, I think.

Thus, the Republicans will likely maintain control of the Senate even if they lose in Indiana, Florida, and Arizona. But it would be great to win these contests. Among other virtues, this scenario would deprive moderate Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski of much of their power.

You can contribute to Braun’s campaign here; Scott’s campaign here; and McSally’s here.

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