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Mixed News for Democrats in the Senate Races

A flood of new Senate polling holds mixed news for Democrats as they try to retain control despite a very unfriendly map.

The good news: Ohio and Virginia. In Ohio Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown holds a huge lead and is currently polling over 50 percent. That is about as good as one could hope a candidate running in a swing state.

Marist/NBC (5/17-20)
Sherrod Brown (D) 51%
Josh Mandel (R) 37%
Undecided 12%

In Virginia Democratic Tim Kaine seems to finally pull away from former Republican Senator George Allen. Up to this point most polls showed the race completely tied but this new poll has Kaine with a lead outside the margin of error

Marist/NBC (5/17-20)
Tim Kaine (D) 49%
George Allen (R) 43%
Undecided 9%

The neutral: Massachusetts. The Senate race in Massachusetts remains as tight as it has been all year. A new Suffolk poll again shows incumbent Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren effectively tied. This race basically tied for months.

Suffolk (5/20-22)
Scott Brown (R) 48%
Elizabeth Warren (D) 47%
Undecided 5%
Refused 1%

The bad: Florida. The one seriously worrying development for Democrats is new polling in Florida. Early in the year incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson held a large lead despite rather poor approval numbers. It now appears his Republican challenger Connie Mack has become better known, he has made serious gains on Nelson. A Marist poll has Nelson up by only four points and a Quinnipiac poll has Mack technically leading by one. This represents a huge improvement for Mack who was trailing Nelson by eight points just two month ago in the same Quinnipiac poll.

Marist/NBC (5/17-20)
Bill Nelson (D) 46%
Connie Mack (R) 42%
Undecided 12%

Quinnipiac (5/15-21)
Bill Nelson (D) 41%
Connie Mack (R) 42%
Someone else 1%
Wouldn’t vote 2%
DK/NA 14%

The battle for the Senate continues to be extremely tight. It is possible that control of the Senate will come down to just one or two seats.

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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