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Final 2014 Senate Polls Update and Predictions: New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky

With Election Day just hours away, let’s take a look at how all of the key swing races are shaping up and what we can expect the Senate to look like come January.

In New Hampshire, we are seeing a slew of new polls with very different results so we have to look at the most reliable pollsters. CNN/Opinion Research have Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen leading Republican Scott Brown by 2, CBS/New York Times have her leading by 5, and New England College has Scott Brown leading by 1. RealClearPolitics has Shaheen leading by a point on average and that appears to be the case heading into Tuesday. Look for New Hampshire to have a very tight race, but Shaheen remains a very slight favorite.

In Iowa, Quinnipiac shows a 47-47 tie between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley while CNN/Opinion Research have Ernst up by 2 and YouGov has Braley up by 1. RCP has Ernst leading Braley but a little over one point on average and she appears to have a very slight lead heading into Election Day.

The race in Colorado has gotten closer as a new Quinnipiac poll has Republican Cory Gardner leading incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall by 2 percent, as does Survey USA. Gardner has led all but one poll over the last month and is the slight favorite to win Colorado for the GOP.

In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan appears to have a slight 2-3 point lead over Republican Thom Tillis according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, a YouGov poll, and a PPP poll. NBC News and Survey USA have the race tied. According to RCP, Hagan has a very slight lead over Tillis but is currently a slight favorite to hold on to her job.

In Georgia, Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn by 3 percent in a new Survey USA poll, 4 percent in an NBC News poll, and 2 percent in a YouGov poll. That sounds about right and the Republican is a slight favorite to win. One thing to watch, however, is that if Perdue fails to win 50 percent of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the two without Libertarian Amanda Swafford on the ballot.

In Alaska, it doesn’t look good for incumbent Democrat Mark Begich who trails Republican Dan Sullivan by 4 percent in a new CBS News/NY Times poll and 6 points in a new CNN/Opinion Research survey. Sullivan is the odds-on favorite to win Alaska back for the GOP.

In Louisiana, Democrat Mary Landrieu continues to lead Tuesday’s open primary against Republican David Cassidy and fellow Republican Rob Maness but that’s a moot point. Landrieu and Cassidy will face off in a runoff on December 6 and Cassidy leads Landrieu by 5 percent in an NBC News/Marist poll and 4 percent in a CBS News/NY Times poll and is the odds-on favorite to win Louisiana for the GOP.

Kentucky was close for a while but that’s no longer the case. A new NBC News/Marist poll has incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell leading Democrat Alison Grimes by 9 percent while a new PPP poll has McConnell up by 8. Don’t look for Kentucky to turn blue on Tuesday.

The Kansas race has drawn closer and a new Survey USA poll has independent Greg Orman leading Republican incumbent Pat Roberts by 2 percent while an NBC News poll has him up by 1. Orman appears to be a very, very slight favorite and says he will caucus with whichever party is in control of the Senate.

In Arkansas, Republican Tom Cotton looks to be the overwhelming favorite to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Cotton leads Pryor by 8 points in a new PPP poll and 7 percent in a new Rasmussen poll.


The Democrats are slightly favored to hold on to their seats in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

The Republicans are likely to win Arkansas, Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Colorado, and slightly favored to win Iowa.

Greg Orman is slightly favored to win Kansas and would likely caucus with the Republicans, assuming they win the majority.

2014 Senate Polls Update: Iowa, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia

Iowa: Reuters

  • Ernst (R): 45
  • Braley (D): 45

Kentucky: Courier-Journal/Survey USA

  • McConnell (R): 48
  • Grimes (D): 43

Colorado: Quinnipiac

  • Gardner (R): 46
  • Udall (D): 39

North Carolina: Rasmussen

  • Hagan (D): 47
  • Tillis (R): 46

Georgia: WSB-TV/Landmark

  • Nunn (D): 47
  • Perdue (R): 47
  • Swafford (L): 3

With the elections just days away, polls out of the most competitive states in the country are seemingly changing every day. Luckily, most voters have made up their mind by now and poll results are growing increasingly closer to what is likely to be the final tally. Let’s take a look at how some of the tightest senate races are shaping up heading into election week.

Iowa figures to be one of the closest races in the country, possibly to the point where we don’t even know the winner on election night. A new Rasmussen poll has Republican Joni Ernst up by 1, a Loras College poll has Democrat Bruce Braley up by 1, and a new Reuters poll has the race dead even.

According to RealClearPolitics, Ernst leads Braley by an average of 46.5-45.3 and is a slight favorite to win.

In Kentucky, Republican Mitch McConnell is expected to win but not by a whole lot. McConnell leads Democrat Alison Grimes by 5 percent in a new Courier-Journal poll and 6 percent in a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

In Colorado, Republican Cory Gardner is also a likely favorite to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. A new Quinnipiac poll has Gardner up by 7, a Rasmussen poll has him up by 6, and RCP has him leading by an average of 47-43.

North Carolina is another state that is going to be very, very tight. Three of the last eight polls released this week have the race dead even while a Rasmussen poll, CBS News poll, Survey USA poll, and PPP poll have Democrat Kay Hagan leading Republican challenger Thom Tillis by 1-3 percent.

Hagan remains the slight favorite but certainly a very vulnerable one.

Georgia is one state to watch. We have seen Democrat Michelle Nunn make some headway of late as she’s attacked Republican David Perdue’s business practices, notably his overseas outsourcing and a pay discrimination lawsuit he was hit with while heading up Dollar General. A new WSB-TV poll has Perdue and Nunn tied with 47 percent of the vote while Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford is polling at 3 percent.

If neither candidate can get 50 percent plus one vote, the two will face each other in a run-off with Swafford out of the race.

2014 Senate Polls Update: Kentucky, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas

North Carolina: NBC News/Marist

  • Hagan (D): 43
  • Tillis (R): 43
  • Haugh (L): 7

Colorado: Rasmussen

  • Gardner (R): 51
  • Udall (D): 45

Kentucky: Rasmussen

  • McConnell (R): 52
  • Grimes (D): 44

Iowa: NBC News/Marist

  • Ernst (R): 49
  • Braley (D): 46

Arkansas: Rasmussen

  • Cotton (R): 47
  • Pryor (D): 44

With Election Day just a week away, we are now in crunch time. This week, voters all around the country will have to endure a flurry of negative campaign ads everywhere they look as candidates make one last push to win over undecided voters. Let’s take a look at who’s pulling ahead and who needs all the help they can get in the final week of a long campaign.

In North Carolina, we have mostly been tracking head-to-head polls between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis. A new NBC News poll and a HighPoint/Survey USA poll, however, suggest that libertarian candidate Sean Haugh could pull in 5-7 percent of the vote which certainly has big ramifications in this close race. Both polls have Hagan and Tillis tied while two earlier CBS News/NY Times and PPP polls have Hagan up by 3. Hagan remains a very slight favorite in this one.

In Colorado, incumbent Democrat Mark Udall has fallen behind badly after leading the race for most of the year. Udall led nearly every poll out of the state until September. Since September, Republican Cory Gardner has led 14 of the last 16 polls and RealClearPolitics has Gardner up by an average of 47-44. A new Rasmussen poll has Gardner leading by 6.

In Kentucky, Democrat Alison Grimes has flirted with the lead but Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell has proven too well-funded and well-known. McConnell leads Grimes by an average of 46-42, according to RCP, and leads Grimes by 8 percent in the latest Rasmussen poll.

The race in Iowa remains tight but Republican Joni Ernst has certainly established herself as a slight favorite over Democrat Bruce Braley. Braley has not led any poll since September and the latest NBC News poll has Ernst up by 3 percent. RCP has Ernst up by an average of 47-45.

In Arkansas, Republican Tom Cotton appears to be headed for a win over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Cotton has led all but two polls since May and RCP has him up by an average of 47-42. The latest Rasmussen poll has Cotton leading by 3 percent while other polls have him leading by as much as 7-8 points.

Shock Poll: Democrat Alison Grimes Takes Lead Over Republican Mitch McConnell in Kentucky

Courier Journal/Survey USA, 9/29-10/2
Kentucky Senate

  • Grimes (D): 46
  • McConnell (R): 44
  • Patterson (L): 3

Nearly every poll since June has had Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell leading his race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes but a new Courier-Journal/Survey USA poll has the incumbent down by two.

The poll, conducted between September 29 and October 2, sampling 632 likely voters, found that Grimes now leads McConnell by a margin of 46-44. Libertarian candidate David Patterson is polling at 3 percent while 7 percent of respondents remain undecided.

The last Courier-Journal poll, released in late August, had McConnell up by 4 percent.

“Today, McConnell suddenly and unexpectedly looks wobbly,” said Survey USA in a press release.

University of Kentucky professor Stephen Voss isn’t buying it, however.

“I would take these results with a grain of salt, given that they deviate from everything we’ve seen recently,” Voss told The Courier-Journal. “I don’t buy the absolute totals. I think she’s still behind.”

That doesn’t mean she’s not making headway in the race, though.

The Journal reports, “The deeper numbers in the survey do show Grimes’ ads – one showing her trap-shooting and another featuring former President Bill Clinton – are helping her gain ground with conservative democrats.”

On the flip side, the peripheral numbers don’t look great for McConnell. He may lead most polls but 57 percent of voters say it’s time for him to be replaced as Kentucky’s Senator.