Aside from Cohen-palooza happening in DC, where Democrats think they now have an opening to paint the GOP as a corrupt enterprise, there are dozens of other important races in 2018 outside of the U.S. House of Representatives. There are key races for U.S. Senate as well as several races for Governer which will shape the landscape into 2020. Here’s a look at some recent pools, courtesy of New York Magazine, to give you a snapshot of where things stand today.
Florida (Governor, Senate)
• A Florida Atlantic University poll of registered voters shows Governor Rick Scott developing his first really significant lead over incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, at 45/39. The GOP primary to succeed Scott as governor is a close race between Trump-endorsed Congressman Ron DeSantis (at 32 percent) and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (at 31 percent). This is actually an improvement over Putnam’s most recent standing in the FAU poll. Meanwhile on the Democratic side former congresswoman Gwen Graham has built a 29/17 lead over Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
• A Marist poll for NBC taken among registered voters shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker with a 46/30 lead over incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
Minnesota (Governor, Senate)
• A Suffolk poll of likely voters in Minnesota has reasonably good news for Democrats. As expected, Senator Amy Klobuchar has a big (54/34) lead over Republican Jim Newberger. Interim Senator Tina Smith, another Democrat, has a more modest 44/37 lead over Republican Karin Housley. And in the governor’s race, Democratic Congressman Tim Walz has a 46/41 lead over Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who upset Tim Pawlenty in the August 14 primary.
New Jersey (Senate)
• A Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s lead over GOP Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical exec, slipping to 6 percent (43/37), with a sizable undecided vote that could break against Menendez thanks to his high-visibility corruption trial (which ended in a hung jury and dismissed charges) or could break in his favor thanks to an anti-Trump wave.
• Another NBC/Marist poll of registered voters in Texas shows the Ted Cruz/Beto O’Rourke Senate race getting even closer, with Cruz up 49/45. Both candidates are getting over 90 percent of the vote from their own partisans, and are splitting independents right down the middle. This race could be one of the more dramatic of the cycle.
Wisconsin (Governor, Senate)
• Deploying a “likely voter” screen and pushing leaners to make up their minds, Marquette finds incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin with a spare two-point lead (49/47) over Republican Leah Vukmir. Among all registered voters, Baldwin’s lead is stronger at 51/43, showing what some superior mobilization might do for the Democrat. In the gubernatorial race, Marquette shows incumbent GOP Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers dead even among likely voters at 46 percent. Interestingly, Walker has a two-point lead (46/44) among registered voters. A Libertarian candidate has significant support (6 percent among likely voters, 7 percent among registered voters).