New PPP polls of 6 key Senate races that will determine control of the body after next year’s election finds voters extremely unhappy about the government shutdown. As a result Republicans trail in 5 of the 6 key races and are tied in the 6th. Republicans need to win 6 seats to take control of the Senate.
We find voters strongly opposed to the shutdown in every state we polled, even though most of them voted for Mitt Romney last year.
In one case anger over the shutdown is helping to put a Republican held seat on the table:
-In Georgia voters oppose the shutdown 61/31, and it’s just another factor helping make this seat competitive for Democrats next year. Michelle Nunn is knotted with a generic Republican opponent at 42%.
The shutdown will be particularly problematic for the GOP if it nominates one of the House members seeking a promotion to the Senate- 47% of voters say they’re less likely to vote Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, or Jack Kingston for the Senate because of their support for the shutdown to only 32% who think it’s a positive. After being informed that her most likely opponents were among those House Republicans who favored the shutdown, Nunn improves to a 48/42 lead lead on the generic ballot.
In a pair of key open seat Senate races Democrats are well positioned because voters are mad about the shutdown, and appreciative of the Democratic House members looking to move up who opposed the shutdown:
-In Michigan’s open seat race Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land 43/36. Voters are opposed to the shutdown by a 65/27 margin, and when voters are informed that Peters stood against the shutdown in the House his lead expands to 50/36.
-It’s a similar story in Iowa’s open seat race- there Democrat Bruce Braley leads a generic Republican opponent 45/41. Voters are against the shutdown 64/27, and when voters are informed of Braley’s opposition his lead goes up to 7 points at 46/39.
In a pair of red states where Republican House members are challenging incumbent Democratic Senators, their support of the shutdown is proving to be a liability:
-In Arkansas Mark Pryor leads Republican challenger Tom Cotton 44/41. Voters there oppose the shutdown 59/32. When informed that Cotton supported it, 45% of voters say they’re less likely to support him for a move up to the Senate next year compared to just 33% who say they’re more likely to.
And voters also overwhelmingly oppose the shutdown in the other state we polled:
-In North Carolina Kay Hagan leads a generic Republican 47/42. Voters oppose the government shutdown 63/29, and when they’re informed that she opposed it as well her lead over a generic opponent increases to 49/41.
These polls make it clear that across the country, whether a state voted for Obama by 10 points or voted for Romney by 20, voters are extremely angry about the government shutdown. And it’s going to make Republican hopes of taking back the Senate next year that much harder.
These polls were conducted on behalf of Americans United for Change. Full results here