The latest on the presidential horse race.

2014 Senate Poll Update: Democrats See Leads Shrink in North Carolina, Minnesota, Nationally

Rasmussen, 8/11-8/17
Generic Congressional Ballot

  • Democrats: 39
  • Republicans: 39

PPP, 8/14-8/17
North Carolina Senate

  • Hagan: 43
  • Tillis: 42

Rasmussen, 8/13-8/14
Minnesota Senate

  • Franken: 50
  • McFadden: 42

A slew of new polls show multiple Senate races previously controlled by Democratic candidates shifting into the toss-up column as the elections approach.

The phenomenon can be seen all around the nation as a new Rasmussen poll shows Democrats tied with Republicans in the generic congressional vote after a Fox News poll showed Democrats by as much as 7 percent.

While most polls have shown Democrats leading the generic vote by 2-3 percent, Rasmussen uses larger samples, 3,500 respondents, and samples likely voters rather than registered voters. Rasmussen polls showed the Democrats leading until July, when Republicans took a slim lead.

We can also see that Democrats in individual Senate races are no longer running away with what initially appeared as “sure-re-election.”

In Minnesota, where Senator Al Franken had led Republican Mike McFadden by 11-14 points in June and July, according to a PPP and a CBS News/New York Times poll, Rasmussen reports that Franken now leads McFadden by 8 percent. That’s still a sizeable difference but McFadden has more than two months to continue to inch closer to the incumbent.

In North Carolina, where June and July polls showed Senator Kay Hagan leading Republican challenger Thom Tillis by 3-4 percent, a mix of new polls show very varying results but give us a fair idea of what to expect.

A Civitas poll has Tillis leading by 2, a Rasmussen poll has Tillis leading by 5, and a PPP poll has Hagan leading by 1.

One thing we do know is that the margin between the two candidates has been slim since polling began last year and this is the one race where we really won’t be able to predict a winner for and will greatly depend on voter turnout.

(Image courtesy of Veni)