Polls commissioned by the GOP super PAC American Crossroads have the likely GOP candidates leading in five key 2014 races for Democratic-held Senate seats, tied in a sixth, and not far back in a seventh. Republicans are up in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Montana, tied in North Carolina, and five points back in New Hampshire.
Perhaps most surprising, the Republican candidate in Michigan, former secretary of state Terry Lynn Land, is up five points, 42–37 on Democratic congressman Gary Peters (Democratic incumbent Carl Levin is retiring). President Obama’s approval rating in the state is way underwater, with 52 percent disapproving against 38 percent approving.
The GOP needs to take six Senate seats this fall to control the chamber.
Alaska: Republican lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell 47, Democratic incumbent Mark Begich 41; Republican former AG Dan Sullivan 47, Begich 41.
Arkansas: Republican congressman Tom Cotton 42, Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor 36.
Louisiana: Republican congressman Bill Cassidy 45, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu 44. Four-way race: Mary Landrieu 42, Bill Cassidy 29, Republican Rob Maness 4, Republican Paul Hollis 4. (Louisiana has a jungle primary on Election Day, November 4, followed by a two-way run-off on December 6 if no candidate reaches 50 percent.)
Michigan: Republican state official Terri Lynn Land 42, Democratic congressman Gary Peters 37.
Montana: Republican congressman Steve Daines 43, Democratic appointed senator John Walsh 29. (Other matchups were polled, but Walsh isn’t expected to be challenged in a primary now that the Montana governor appointed him to Max Baucus’s vacated seat this morning.)
New Hampshire: Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen 40, Republican former Mass. senator Scott Brown 35. (When asked whether they would like to vote for a generic Republican or Democrat in this fall’s race, N.H. voters picked the Republican 36–32.)
North Carolina: Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan 44, Republican congressman Thom Tillis 44; Hagan 44, Republican former judge Mark Harris 40. (The generic Democrat beats the generic Republican in N.C., 44–43.)
In October, during the government shutdown, Crossroads commissioned polls by the same survey firm, GOP company Harper Polling, and found Democrats leading their Republican opponents, but not by much, in Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
All is not rosy for the GOP: Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is leading Kentucky senator and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, 46–42. The Senate leader’s approval rating, at 27 approving versus 50 percent disapproving, is worse than President Obama’s in the state. McConnell currently has a comfortable lead over his primary opponent, Matt Bevin; Bevin performed one point worse in this poll versus Lundergan Grimes than McConnell does.
In purple Colorado, however, there’s more good news: Incumbent Democratic senator Mark Udall holds just a slim lead over his potential challengers, leading two of them by just two points, and leading front-runner Republican DA Ken Buck just 45–42.