Battleground Senate poll shows Republicans in excellent shape heading into midterms
The CBS Battleground Poll of three key Senate races shows Republicans leading in two contests while the Democrat leads in another.
Polls from Arizona, Florida, and Indiana all show tight races. But in Indiana and Florida, Democratic incumbents are in trouble, as GOP enthusiasm and a roaring economy could make election day a nightmare for Senators Joe Donnelly and Bill Nelson.
It's anyone's game in three key Senate races, where the outcomes could decide which party controls the upper chamber of Congress, according to a CBS-YouGov poll released Sunday. Republican challenger Mike Braun leads Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, 46 percent to 43 percent. In Arizona, GOP Rep. Martha McSally trails Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, 44 percent to 47 percent. In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is tied with Republican Gov. Rick Scott, with both candidates polling at 46 percent.
The surveys were conducted between Oct. 23-26 among likely voters, with all three being within the margin of error.
The latest survey comes as welcome news for Braun, a former Republican state lawmaker who had previously trailed Donnelly in most of the recent polls out of Indiana. Donnelly led in three separate surveys earlier in October. However, Braun has since closed the gap and surpassed the Democratic senator, leading in the latest two polls.
The 76-year-old Florida senator, Bill Nelson, may have reached the end of the road. While Scott hasn't run the best campaign, he receives high marks from voters for his handling of the recent hurricane and scores well on the economy. Nelson has been trying to talk up health care, but it hasn't generated the kind of enthusiasm seen on the Republican side.
Braun has been scoring points against Donnelly for the incumbent's hypocrisy on outsourcing and a backlash against the Kavanaugh nomination fight. The Republican is also benefiting from Trump's popularity in the state.
In Arizona, Democrat Sinema has been exposed as a radical:
McSally, an Arizona GOP congresswoman, had trailed Sinema by as much as double digits over the summer. However, recent revelations into Sinema's past has made the race much more competitive. The RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows McSally barely ahead by 0.7 percentage points.
This is a competitive race despite the revelations about Sinema's antiwar past. Health care is a big issue in the state, and most observers believe that this is one race that may not be decided on election day.