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.
STATERCP AVE.DEM. CANDIDATEGOP CANDIDATEUNDECIDEDGOP / 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.