What Colorado’s elections this year could say about 2016

Over the next nine days, the focus in Colorado will be on the competitive Senate race between Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and his challenger, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, and on the gubernatorial contest that pits Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper against former Republican congressman Bob Beauprez.

The results will have immediate consequences for the balance of power in Washington and the statehouses over the next two years. But the 2016 implications will also be noteworthy. Few states with competitive contests this fall will say more about Republican opportunities to shake up the electoral map in two years than Colorado. CONT.

Dan Balz, Washington Post

The State of New Hampshire: Politically in Flux

A hallmark of the current era of politics is that many of the 50 states, indeed a majority of them, have reliable political identities. Their presidential vote is a foregone conclusion, and they typically elect federal officeholders of their preferred brand — but not so in New Hampshire, one of the most politically schizophrenic states in the nation. In seven years, it has vacillated between a large Democratic lead on party preferences to a clear Republican advantage, and now to a tie. CONT.

Andrew Dugan, Gallup

Fear-Mongering with Polls on Ebola

Recent polls have arrived at starkly different conclusions about the level of fear among Americans over the Ebola virus. The ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests “broad worries” of an Ebola outbreak in the United States, with more than four in ten Americans personally worried about catching the disease, while a Gallup poll taken about the same time finds only a third of that number of Americans saying it is likely they might get the disease. CONT.

David W. Moore, iMediaEthics

Recent polls: Ebola

Tied national congressional ballot in poll of off-year voters

Two weeks before election day, the generic Congressional ballot remains deadlocked at 46 percent among off-year 2014 voters, just slightly outperforming recent polling averages and far outpacing 2010 national exit polling that showed Democrats losing the national House ballot 45-53 percent. Looking ahead, Democrats remain well-positioned for 2016—among the 2012 Presidential electorate, a generic Democratic candidate leads their Republican counterpart by 4 points, 47-43 percent. CONT.

Democracy Corps

The Challenge for a GOP-Controlled Congress in Four Charts

We may not know the results of this election, but we do know this: neither party will have 60 Senate seats. While it’s more likely that Republicans will have the majority in 2015, it will be a very narrow one. As such, there’s very little that can get passed without support from the other side of the aisle, a.k.a compromise. …

So, given this reality, it’s hard to see how either party would be able to get much accomplished in the upcoming Congress. But when you take a closer look at the underlying data you can see just how opposed the GOP base is to accommodation. CONT.

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

Tea Party Republicans Highly Motivated to Vote in Midterms

Although the Tea Party has not been as visible in this year’s midterm elections as it was in 2010, Tea Party Republicans have given more thought to this year’s elections and are much more motivated to vote than are non-Tea Party Republicans or other Americans. About one in four Americans continue to say they support the Tea Party. CONT.

Frank Newport, Gallup

Questions and Possible Answers

After the obvious “Who’s going to control the Senate after this midterm election?” question, several more questions come up in most political conversations these days. One recurring inquiry focuses on the role of the Affordable Care Act, with many suggesting that it has faded as an issue in the eyes of voters. People who monitor advertising, however, argue with that. CONT.

Charlie Cook