YouGov conducted polls on the presidential race, as well as U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races, in twenty seven states between September 7th and September 14th. To help sort through the many interesting results in these polls, we've classified states into five categories: battleground states, rust belt states, states with a solid Obama lead, states with a wide Obama lead, and states with a Romney lead.
In the presidential race, all eyes are on the battleground states and the rust belt states. And YouGov's results show that in both of these sets of states, the trend is in Obama's favor. Of the eight states classified as battlegrounds (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin), Obama leads in seven (though in a number of these states, the lead is within the margin of error). On average, Obama leads Romney 48-44 in these states.
The story is the same in the states classified as "rust belt states" (Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania). These are battleground states too, but ones of a particular character. Having experienced significant economic difficulties over the past four years, they were once viewed as being prime territory for Romney. But YouGov polls suggest that Romney is faltering in these states, at least for now. While the race in Ohio is quite close, President Obama has gained fairly wide leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
President Obama also enjoys sizable leads in another set of states. In Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Washington, Obama is ahead by solid if not overwhelming margins. In states like Minnesota or New Mexico, which many thought might be competitive, the President's lead is bigger than what some might have predicted. On the other hand, in states like Connecticut and New Jersey, his lead is surprisingly small. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that any of these states will become competitive in this election.
Then there are a set of states in which the President is dominating. These are the true-blue Democratic strongholds of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. No one expected these states to flirt with a Romney presidential candidacy, and they have stayed true to expectations. Obama leads Romney by an average of 21 points in these states.
Governor Romney enjoys a lead in six states that YouGov polled: Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. In most cases, these leads are not overwhelming, but it is highly unlikely that these states will become competitive in the presidential race. On average, Romney leads Obama 50-43 in these states (Of course, Romney may enjoy much wider leads in states in the West and the Deep South that YouGov did not poll in this wave).
The race for control of the U.S. Senate has been overshadowed by the presidential race this year, but with a large number of competitive contests, it is no less exciting. YouGov polls give the edge to Democrats in competitive races like those of Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. In each of these states, incumbent Democratic Senators who were once viewed as highly vulnerable by Republicans appear to have improved their position substantially. The poll results are fairly close, though, so these Senators are by no means out of the woods just yet.
YouGov polls also show that Republican Senate candidates have the advantage in Connecticut, Indiana, and Nevada. The close contest in Connecticut, between Republican former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon and Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy, may be the biggest surprise among the Senate contests. YouGov polling results suggest McMahon may well become the next Senator from Connecticut. Poll results for the Indiana Senate race are surprisingly close given the state's pronounced Republican tilt.
Finally, YouGov polls show dead-heat Senate races in two states: Massachusetts, where incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown is battling Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren; and Virginia, where former GOP Senator George Allen is taking on former Democratic Governor Tim Kaine. That these two races are dead heats is no surprise given that they have long been viewed as the marquee races of this cycle.
There are only 11 Governor's races in this election year, and YouGov polled four of them. By far the most competitive is in Washington State, where results suggest that Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee is narrowly ahead of Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna. In two other states (Indiana and North Carolina), the Republican candidate is well ahead. In Missouri, incumbent Democratic Governor Jay Nixon seems to be a safe bet for re-election.
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