Saturday, March 8, 2014
New York Times blogger Nate Silver had an interesting preview of his forthcoming analysis of U.S. Senate races.
Silver gives Republicans a 50-49 edge to win the chamber. However, he wrote, Democrats could eliminate that advantage if Mainers elect independent Angus King in November. Silver believes, along with just about every other political pundit, that King will caucus with Democrats.
Silver noted King's large lead in the polls and Mainers' receptiveness to independent candidates. Additionally, Silver wrote, Republican candidate Charlie Summers doesn't appear to be closing the gap against King.
"Nor does there appear to be much chance that (Democratic candidate) Dill could act as a spoiler, splitting the left-leaning vote, as she has run a halfhearted race and is polling in the single digits," Silver wrote.
The Summers campaign has recently asserted that King's poll numbers are falling and they've supplied an internal poll to prove it. Pollsters warn that internal polls should always be taken with a grain of salt. Even if the data is accurate, the internal survey also shows that Summers and Dill are not improving much. Additionally, some believe that King's initial favorable numbers were bound to come down.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.