Polls, polls everywhere.
A slew of new polls have been released in recent days. Unfortunately, other then the gubernatorial race, few have focused on Massachusetts. Some of the polling indicates a Charlie Baker/GOP surge. A quick glance around New England provides additional evidence of a GOP surge. While individual polls shouldn’t be taken too seriously, when gleaned collectively these polls confirm a strong regional movement towards the GOP.
Critical Insights has been the only polling firm consistently polling Maine. Yesterday, they released two new shock polls. In the race for ME-02, GOP challenger Jason Levesque had trailed the incumbent Democrat Mike Michaud by double digits all season. Yesterday, a new poll showed Levesque trailing by 4 and surging. They also released a poll on ME-01 showing GOP challenger Dean Scontras beating the incumbent Democrat Chellie Pingree by 4. Scontras has never led in the polls and the Democrats are in full blown panic mode. The GOP surge in Maine is supported by four brand new polls on the gubernatorial race. All four polls show GOP candidate Paul LePage trouncing his Democratic rival. The reliable Scott Rasmussen has LePage expanding his lead and winning by 14.
To the south, Rhode Island was an afterthought for many GOP activists. None of the races seemed close enough to warrant any serious investment. However, two new polls on RI-01 show GOP candidate John Loughlin within striking distance of David Cicilline; a NBC-10 poll has Loughlin trailing by 2 and a WPRI poll has Loughlin trailing by 6. Loughlin is closing fast and Cicilline is nervous. Also, a new poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race has GOP candidate John Robitaille leading Democrat Frank Caprio by 3 and trailing independent Lincoln Chafee by 7. Robitaille has trailed both candidates all season in what many thought was a two man race between Chafee and Caprio. It may be too late for Robitaille, but he has all the momentum as Caprio fades and Chafee lacks the party organization to mobilize a strong GOTV effort.
There are also new polls on two important Connecticut congressional races. In the race for CT-04, GOP challenger Dan Debicella is beating incumbent Democrat Jim Himes by 2. In the race for CT-05, the same poll shows GOP challenger Sam Caligiuri beating incumbent Democrat Chris Murphy by 1.
And a new Rasmussen poll shows the reliably strong Kelly Ayotte expanding her lead and whipping Paul Hodes by 15 points in the NH Senate race.
All the polls I just referenced were released in the last couple days. Republicans are closing strong around the country, but more importantly they are closing strong in our own backyard, New England, where states share similar electoral dynamics and media markets with Massachusetts. Around New England, undecideds and independents are breaking towards to the GOP this final week. It is likely that the same will happen here.
So, while polling data for individual races in Massachusetts may be flimsy, the collective regional data points to a cresting GOP wave that is about to break across the Commonwealth.