First, the bad news from the new Reuters polls out today: Democrats may be rolling in Florida. Their latest survey from the Sunshine State puts Andrew Gillum up six points over Ron DeSantis (50/44), albeit taken before the latest scandal news from Tallahassee. Gov. Rick Scott’s trailing by almost the same margin against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson (49/44) for the Senate seat, perhaps taking one potential GOP pickup off the table. That mirrors other recent polling in Florida showing the Republican ticket struggling for purchase.
The better news comes from its Arizona poll, where Martha McSally has a slight lead over Kyrsten Sinema. That reverses a previous Reuters result and gives the GOP nominee her first polling lead in three weeks:
The Republican slate looks stronger in Arizona, where two U.S. congresswomen are battling for the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been a prominent Trump critic.
Republican Martha McSally leads Democrat Kyrsten Sinema by 2 percentage points, according to the new Reuters poll. Sinema led a Reuters poll last month.
However, a NBC News/Marist poll released this week showed Sinema with a 6-point lead.
The Reuters poll showed the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, on track to win his re-election fight, with a 20-percentage-point lead over Democrat David Garcia.
The results in Arizona have been puzzling for some time. Ducey has been way up over Garcia; over the last six polls at RCP, Ducey leads by double digits and scores over 50% in every one of them. McSally’s numbers seem to be dragging behind Ducey’s for some reason.
On the other hand, there is plenty of room for optimism, too. Early voting ends today in Arizona, and the numbers strongly favor the GOP. Republicans lead in balloting 43/33, a larger gap than in 2014. Republicans have nearly half as many more ballots from Maricopa County as do Democrats, for instance, and only trail significantly in Pima. Women only have a slight lead over men, 50.6/49.4, similar to the 2016 presidential cycle in which Trump won the state by 3.5%. The median and mean ages of early voters are both above 60 years of age, a demographic in which Republicans dominate. It may well be that Republican enthusiasm has been undermeasured in Arizona, and that McSally might have more support here than has been thought.
That certainly looks to be the case in Nevada, which Reuters doesn’t even bother to analyze. At one time, Dean Heller’s looked to be the best shot for a Democratic conversion, but today’s survey results show him up six points over Jacky Rosen, 47/41:
In RCP’s aggregation, it would be the fourth straight poll with Heller ahead, and the second straight with a lead outside the margin of error. Three weeks ago, Emerson had Heller up 48/41, and the new Reuters poll seems to corroborate that it’s not an outlier. The gubernatorial race has followed the same pattern, going from a Democratic lean to a likelier Republican hold in October. Republicans have to feel more confident in Heller’s rescue now after the media had more or less written him off — and without a pickup in Nevada, Democrats are looking at a grim Tuesday night … at least in the Senate.
Update: CNN provides a little buzzkill in both states:
Sinema 51% 50%
McSally 47% 43%
Rosen 48% 47%
Heller 45% 43%
Hagan 2% 4%
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 31, 2018