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Democratic Pollster Sees the Light in Senate Battleground States

Hagan and Udall face close re-election races this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll suggests Democrats in 12 Senate battleground states have made significant gains with their messaging to key demographics, putting the races at a “tipping point” where the opinion of women — specifically unmarried women — may provide the path for Democrats to maintain their hold on the Senate this November.  

"Every single metric that I look at has moved or edged towards Democrats,” Stan Greenberg, the co-founder of Democracy Corps and a Democratic pollster, said. “I cannot find anything that has moved in the other direction." The poll of 1,000 likely voters in battleground states found a 2-point advantage for Democrats overall, and the underlying message has shifted opinion away from Republicans on issues that have emerged as the most important to unmarried women like health care and women’s rights issues.  

The poll was conducted by Democracy Corps in concert with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, who promote issue advocacy and voter participation for unmarried women.  

The poll found the percentage of voters who say they are certain to vote is identical for both Democrats and Republicans, and identical to where Democrats were when the party lost 63 house seats and six senate seats in 2010. But there’s time for the numbers to improve, Greenberg said.  

“The reason why Democrats are in play is that they’ve successfully changed the issues on why people are voting,” Greenberg said.  

Views of the Affordable Care Act are improving slightly from an earlier poll in July.  

And while the president's approval rating remains poor, his approval among Democrats has rebounded in Greenberg's polling.  

On issues like the ACA, the poll indicated that there is a lot of variance on why people disapprove of the legislation, including some who think that the bill should go further than it does.  

The poll, however, also found that voters in the battleground states are in a "dark" mood: 70 percent of those responding in both July and the new poll said the country is on the wrong track.  

The battleground states included Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and West Virginia. The survey oversampled in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina.  

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