Senate Democrats Trailing by High Single Digits in CO, PA and WI

A new set of Marist polls for McClathy paints a dark picture for three Democratic candidates. In Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Democrats are trailing their Republican opponents by high single digits.

McClatchy/Marist (PDF) (9/26-28)
Ken Buck (R) 50
Michael Bennet (D) 42
Other 2

McClatchy/Marist (PDF) (9/26-28)
Pat Toomey (R) 51
Joe Sestak (D) 42
Other 1
Undecided 6


McClatchy/Marist (PDF) (9/26-28)
Ron Johnson (R) 52
Russ Feingold (D) 45
Other 1
Undecided 3

This is bad news for Democrats–especially for the two incumbents, Michaal Bennet and Russ Feingold. For an incumbent, being down by seven or eight points with less than a month until the election is a very steep hill to climb. Similarly, Pennsylvania is looking out of reach for Democrats. This is roughly the twentieth poll over the past two months that shows Pat Toomey with a modest lead, and there seems to be little reason that will change in next month.

Looking at crosstabs of the Colorado poll, we see the thing killing Bennet is just turnout demographics. Both candidates have their bases locked up and are effectively tied with independents. The problem is, according to Marist, more Republicans are likely to vote this year. Among registered voters, Bennet leads by one point, with 41 percent to Ken Buck’s 40 percent.

This probably correct projection of low Democratic-leaning turnout is almost equally stark for Sestak and Feingold. Among registered voters, Joe Sestak trails only 38-40 and Feingold only trails 43-45.

I would like to commend Marist for joining several other pollsters in releasing both their likely voter numbers and registered voter numbers. I always like more data. It makes it much easier to decide if you think the pollster’s turnout model leans too heavily to one party or the other. It also make it easy to roughly project what the result would be if you assumed slightly higher or lower turnout among certain groups.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at