YouGov Poll: Senate Still Winnable for GOP

The New York Times is out with the latest results of its YouGov polling. Just over four weeks from Election Day, the survey of over 100,000 people finds six Senate seats held by Democrats where the GOP candidate leads by a comfortable four points or more, meaning the Republicans need only to pick up one more seat–and not lose in Georgia, Kentucky or Kansas–to take control of the chamber. The races in Kansas, Iowa and Colorado are listed as tossups in the poll.

Here in Georgia, the poll finds Republican David Perdue with a four point lead over Michelle Nunn at 44% to 40%, just outside the margin of error.

Ms. Nunn gained about a point among past respondents who switched from the undecided column, and also benefited from rising enthusiasm among black voters — who now represent 28 percent of likely voters, about the same as in 2010. Even so, Ms. Nunn faces the largest gap between the preferences of likely voters and registered voters of any Democratic candidate. Ms. Nunn is tied with Mr. Perdue among registered voters.

With so many close races and so few persuadable voters, turnout will be pivotal in many contests, including in Georgia. The Democrats have invested millions more than Republicans in building a strong turnout operation, and the effects of that effort are already evident in the YouGov data. More voters have been contacted by Democratic than Republican campaigns in every state but Kansas and Kentucky, where Republican senators fought competitive primaries. Whether the Democratic turnout machine can turn its advantage in voter contacts into additional votes on Election Day might well determine Senate control.

The YouGov poll also looks at the Governor’s race, and finds Republican Nathan Deal leading Democrat Jason Carter by a margin of 45% to 38%. Libertarian Andrew Hunt gets 4% of the vote, and 9% are undecided.

As we have seen throughout this cycle, how accurate a poll might be depends on how it is weighted, especially here in Georgia, where the Democrats are counting on a strong minority vote in their effort to take the Governor and Senate races. The YouGov poll appears to have black voting strength at 27.7% in their likely voter screen of the Senate race. In the Governor’s race that percentage drops to 25.2%, which could explain why Deal enjoys such a wide lead over Carter.

Separately, Rasmussen polled the Georgia Senate race last week and found David Perdue with a 46% to 42% lead over Michelle Nunn. The 750 person survey has a 4% margin of error.

Reminder: Today is the last day to register to vote in the November election. Absentee In Person voting begins a week from today.


  1. jh says:

    The age gap is also more pronounced in yougov for 65+ compared to other polls, about just 25% going for Carter/Nunn in their 8/18 – 9/2 fieldwork. Latest surveyusa has 42% for Carter in that age bracket.

  2. jh says:

    GOP is safer bet based on polls to win Senate, but the leads are small. And don’t forget Reid, Bennett defied polls in 2010, and Tester and Heitkamp in 2012 in the Romney states.

  3. Alex Rowell says:

    Heads up on the governor’s poll, Jon – YouGov hasn’t released the most recent “wave III” numbers, so the governor’s numbers you cited are from Aug 18 – Sep 2, not Sep 20-Oct 1.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    “Still winnable”? ….still smelling the fear….even though it’s been the GOP’s to lose and the general consensus has the chances of the GOP winning control the Senate 3:2, Nunn at about a 7:1, 8:1 long shot, and Carter’s chances on the order of 33% to 40%.

    There’s yet enough time for the GOP to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  5. Will Durant says:

    The YouGov poll is an internet one that attempts to prevent Chicago style voting and it doesn’t appear to be entirely successful in that endeavor.

  6. Bobloblaw says:

    “”As we have seen throughout this cycle, how accurate a poll might be depends on how it is weighted, “””

    Since the election hasn’t happened, we don’t know which poll is accurate and which isn’t.

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