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Morning Jay: Senate Outlook, The Philosopher King, Steele Watch, and More!

6:30 AM, Oct 28, 2010 • By JAY COST
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1. Senate Outlook. Last week I wrote that the Senate outlook was still cloudy. This week it has cleared up a bit, as expected.  Mixed results for the Grand Old Party. The good news is that the Republican position in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Nevada has firmed up a bit.

Morning Jay: Senate Outlook, The Philosopher King, Steele Watch, and More!

Here's Illinois.

Here's Pennsylvania.

Here's Nevada.

Also, despite Ken Buck’s best efforts to sabotage his own campaign, he still appears to have a modest lead over incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in Colorado.

The bad news is from West Virginia.  Two interesting, colorful campaigns there. John Raese has been doing his hardest to tag Democrat Joe Manchin as a rubber stamp for Obama. Meanwhile, Manchin has hit Raese for his opposition to the minimum wage as well as his ties to Florida. Looks like Manchin has the edge as of today. The Democrat is still under 50 percent, but frankly I’m not sure where Raese goes from here. Manchin’s approval ratings are sky high – in the 60-70 percent range – and the “rubber stamp” argument is probably done most of what it can.  What's the closing argument?

Both California and Washington have had two kinds of polling – those that see an electorate similar to 2008 and those that see something closer to 2006 or even 2004. The pollsters who see something like 2008 (or even better for Democrats) have Boxer up by eight and above 50 percent. Those that see something like 2006 or 2004 have her up by four and around 48 percent. 

Average those polls together, and you get this:

It’s basically SurveyUSA and Rasmussen (small Democratic lead) versus Suffolk and PPP (larger Democratic lead). Interestingly, the previous CNN/Time poll was on the high end (Boxer +8), but their latest puts them on the low end (Boxer +5). Personally, I am partial to SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, as I think the percentage of Democrats in the Suffolk and PPP polls is too high. But even so, this is going to be a tough one.

And for some inexplicable reason, Washington State has gone dark. Not a single poll there in over a week.

All told, I’m sticking with my prior estimate of GOP +8, but the chances of getting to 10 have decreased in the last few days.

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