Coattails?

Before our Drudge-induced website meltdown caused a lost 36 hours for us, we had plans to quickly post the results to the second question we asked on our 10/4 polls in Florida and Ohio: the races for U.S. Senate. If Mitt Romney measurably gained from his debate performance (he did), we wanted to know if there would be a coattails effect in the Senate races.

Please read this: any candidate, party partisan or political junkie who deems bounce-poll results as proof positive of a breakout is short-sighted. The results of these polls represent¬†accurate snapshots of a very brief period of time; they simply cannot and should not be viewed in a vacuum. We’ll follow up soon to see if we have true love or merely a passing fancy.

Again, these Senate questions were asked during our recent presidential polls in these two states. We’re doing a rolling three-day poll in Virginia; you’ll hear about that soon. We’ve included the Real Clear Politics¬†poll average for each race so you can see how far these results deviate. The final column contains the party splits from the self-described affiliation question. Those splits are the same as we had in our presidential polls.

Each of these automated polls had 1,200+ responses from likely voters. MoE 3%. Each was weighted to correct for over-/under-sampling among select demographics.
STATE
RCP AVE.
DEM. CANDIDATE
GOP CANDIDATE
UNDECIDED
GOP / DEM / IND
FLORIDANelson +6.5Bill Nelson (D): 43.8%Connie Mack (R): 43.9%Undecided: 12.3%38/33/29
OHIOBrown +5.6Sharrod Brown (D): 46.0%Josh Mandel (R): 43.5%Undecided: 10.5%34/38/28

The Florida race between Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Connie Mack varies widely in RCP results (the last two polls vary by 11 points!), but it appears to be a dead heat in this poll. In Ohio, Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel climbs a bit closer to Democrat incumbent Sherrod Brown.

The Nelson/Mandel numbers in Ohio may only reflect an uptick with the margin of error of the average. The Nelson/Mack match, though, goes outside the norm and needs to be watched. We’ll revisit these races soon.

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