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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Polls Highlight Senate Races in Swing States


Democratic incumbents have an edge over their challengers in the Florida and Ohio Senate races, while in Wisconsin, fresh from winning the Republican primary, former Gov. Tommy Thompson has a six-point advantage over Representative Tammy Baldwin.

New Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls of three swing states offer a view of the competition for control of the Senate.

In the Wisconsin race, Mr. Thompson has 50 percent of support among likely voters, compared to Ms. Baldwin's 44 percent. Mr. Thompson draws strong support among Republicans, men, high-income voters, those without a college degree, and perhaps the most sought after group of voters, those who consider themselves independen ts.

In Florida, Senator Bill Nelson, the Democrat, is backed by 50 percent of likely voters, compared with 41 percent for Congressman Connie Mack, the Republican. In Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown has a 7-point advantage over Josh Mandel, the state's current treasurer, leading 48 percent to 41 percent.

Despite having faced a recall election this year, Gov. Scott K. Walker of Wisconsin has the highest job approval rating of the three Republican governors, with 53 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving. In Ohio, 45 percent approve of the way Gov. John Kasich is handling his job, while 40 percent disapprove. Gov. Rick Scott has a disapproval rating of 47 percent among Florida's likely voters, compared to 41 percent who approve.

In all three states, voters did not express concern for changes in voting and registration laws. More than three-fourths of voters in each state said that changes in these laws would make no difference in their ability to vote; about 1 in 10 said it would make it harder for them to vote this year. And a strong majority of voters in each state also said they supported efforts to require voters to show photo identification in order to vote.

In Florida, nearly two-thirds of voters said that the effort by officials to remove people from the state's voter rolls who are not United States citizens and ineligible to vote was being done to prevent people from voting who are not eligible, while about a quarter of voters said it was being done to suppress voting. More black and Hispanic voters than whites were likely to say this was an act intended to suppress voting, as were Democrats.