PPP’s new Virginia and Wisconsin Senate polls find the Democratic candidates in position to hold onto both of these open seats in next month’s election.
There’s been a big shift over the last three weeks in Virginia. After months of polling showing a tied race, Tim Kaine has now broken open a 51-44 advantage over George Allen. Just three weeks ago the candidates were separated by only a point at 47-46.
The big shift over the last three weeks has been with independent voters, who’ve gone from being effectively tied to supporting Kaine by a 53/40 margin. Kaine’s also cut Allen’s lead with white voters almost in half from 16 points at 55-39 to 9 points at 52-43. Any Democrat who can hold a Republican to a single digit advantage with white voters in Virginia is going to win handily. Kaine’s also leading with both women (53-41) and men (49-47).
The Wisconsin Senate race has been very steady over the last month. Tammy Baldwin leads Tommy Thompson by a 3 point margin, 49-46. PPP’s done three polls there since Labor Day and Baldwin’s held a 3-4 point lead in every one of them.
No one would have imagined six months ago that Baldwin would have a bigger lead in Wisconsin than Barack Obama. But Thompson has proven to be quite a weak candidate. Only 43% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 50% with a negative one. Those numbers are quite a bit worse than Mitt Romney’s 49/48 spread in the state.
Wisconsin voters only say they want a Democratic controlled Senate by a 46/45 margin, suggesting that Thompson might be running a couple points worse than an average Republican candidate would be.