PPP's new Virginia and Wisconsin Senate polls find the Democratic candidates in position to hold onto both of these open seats in next month's election.
There's been a big shift over the last three weeks in Virginia. After months of polling showing a tied race, Tim Kaine has now broken open a 51-44 advantage over George Allen. Just three weeks ago the candidates were separated by only a point at 47-46.
The big shift over the last three weeks has been with independent voters, who've gone from being effectively tied to supporting Kaine by a 53/40 margin. Kaine's also cut Allen's lead with white voters almost in half from 16 points at 55-39 to 9 points at 52-43. Any Democrat who can hold a Republican to a single digit advantage with white voters in Virginia is going to win handily. Kaine's also leading with both women (53-41) and men (49-47).
Three weeks ago Allen's favorability was 41/41 and now it's 44/45, not a particularly significant shift. The movement towards Kaine has more to do with voters warming up to him. 50% see him favorably now to 41% with a negative opinion, up from a 42/44 spread on our last poll. Kaine's in the driver's seat heading into the last month of this race.
The Wisconsin Senate race has been very steady over the last month. Tammy Baldwin leads Tommy Thompson by a 3 point margin, 49-46. PPP's done three polls there since Labor Day and Baldwin's held a 3-4 point lead in every one of them.
Wisconsin voters only say they want a Democratic controlled Senate by a 46/45 margin, suggesting that Thompson might be running a couple points worse than an average Republican candidate would be.
Baldwin leads mostly thanks to a 52/40 advantage with independent voters. She's up big with women (50/43) while managing to run about even with men, trailing only 48-47. She's running even with white voters at 47% and leads with non-whites 65-30.
It seems unlikely this race will ever turn into a blowout for Baldwin, but since taking the lead three weeks ago she's done a good job of holding onto it and looks like the nominal favorite in this race.
Full results here