New CNN Polls Less Rosy for GOP

Guy Benson
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Posted: Sep 09, 2010 8:26 AM
CNN / Opinion Research released three new statewide polls last night bearing results that may provide some temporary relief for dejected Democrats:

Florida

The Florida Senate race continues to be a doozy:
In the Senate contest, 36 percent of people questioned say they support Republican nominee and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, with 34 percent backing Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who earlier this year dropped his bid for the GOP Senate nomination and is now running as an independent candidate. Twenty-four percent say if the election were held today, they'd vote for Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, with three percent saying they vote for none of the candidates and three percent holding no opinion.
How's a skilled magician like Charlie Crist still mired in a dead-heat?  (For a good laugh, check out how a little virtual whiteout can totally shred Crist's latest ad).  What might concern Team Rubio is Crist's wide lead among Florida's self-described moderate voters (42-18 head-to-head). 

UPDATE: A new Florida poll from the Voter Survey Service puts Rubio comfortably ahead.

The same poll puts Democrat Alex Sink ahead of Republican Rick Scott 49-42 in the state's gubernatorial contest.  As we'll see in the KY and CA polls, I think CNN's sample grossly overestimates the likelihood that moderates and independents will break for the candidate with a (D) next to his or her name this fall.

Kentucky

Is Rand Paul tied with Democrat Jack Conway?  CNN says yes: 46-46.  Rasmussen says not so much.  Survey USA agrees, reaching a conclusion that aligns closely with Rasmussen's numbers.  Color me skeptical of CNN's internals showing 'moderate' voters in Kentucky favoring the Democrat by a massive 22 point margin, with nearly 30 percent of self-described conservatives doing the same.  In 2010, I find that hard to believe, especially with stories like this cropping up everywhere.

California

The poll serves up good news for Meg Whitman, who leads the gubernatorial race, (albeit by a smaller margin than we've seen in other polls at 48-46), but less encouraging results for Carly Fiorina's effort to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer.  CNN has Fiorina trailing Boxer 48-44, again contradicting fresh Rasmussen polling showing the Republican challenger slightly ahead.  Jim Geraghty wonders why CNN (a) polled registered voters this late in the game (vs. likely voters), and (b) how they managed to find 18 percent of California conservatives who said they support Boxer.  I'm also perplexed by Boxer's supposed 22-point lead among moderates in the state, given her abysmal approval ratings.

Maybe fewer Californians will be eager to return Boxer to Washington once they discover how much money she's cost them during her 28 year Congressional career--with meager results.  How big is the number?  Read my latest column to find out.