There is some good news and some bad news for the Republican Party’s hopes to win the Senate. The good news: The New York Times’ report on Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal’s lies about serving in Vietnam has had a dramatic effect on the race. The latest Rasmussen poll has Linda McMahon, the GOP frontrunner, only three points behind. This is now a very competitive seat, but keep in mind that this poll was taken right after the news broke. As time passes, a small but decisive percentage will become less angry about it, especially as the Republican nominee becomes more exposed.
The bad news is that the RealClearPolitics poll average has Lee Fisher with a small lead over Rob Portman, and this is with the approval ratings of President Obama at a low and the generic GOP advantage in polls at quite a high. This is going to be a close one. It seems that anti-incumbency fervor may actually be playing into Fisher’s hands.
The other piece of bad news is that the likely Republican candidate in Colorado, Jane Norton, has fallen behind Michael Bennet by three points according to one Democratic poll, although the overall RealClearPolitics average has her up by one point. This is another nail-biter.
The overall message of these polls is that Democrats must be frightened by the wave of opinion against them, but it seems Republican commentators are getting ahead of themselves. Two races that should be a lock for the Republican Party are extremely competitive. If you do the math, these two races could very well decide who holds the majority in the Senate. Luckily for the GOP, they have Richard Blumenthal working for them in Connecticut and they do have a chance of a win there that can serve as a buffer, but they certainly shouldn’t count on it.
Sometimes it’s clear which side will win. This isn’t one of those cases. Neither side can afford to rest.