After a month of leading in many polls, Democrats in early October saw significant erosion of their position. Polling results began to show a trend back toward Republican candidates and preference in the generic ballot test. A Democratic boost based on the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was short lived. A shift of 4 points was measured in the Monmouth and Siena/New York Times polls toward the Republicans by mid-October. It was noticeable in a host of senate and governors’ races in competitive states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. Analysts attributed the shift to a variety of factors such as the salience of inflation in the media, an unpopular President, and importantly, the normal return to fundamentals of the midterm voters.
In the West, Republicans also began to improve their positions during October in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, but late polls show mostly close races. Nevada is now a toss-up state, with Republicans in a slight lead but both the governor and senate race in the margin of error (2 points on November 4). In Arizona, the senate race has grown competitive with Mark Kelly having only a 1-point lead and Kari Lake, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, is now up 2 points. Her strengths may be affecting the senate race. Although Democrat Patty Murray may still win her senate race, the numbers have tightened, and in Oregon, Republican Christine Drazan is ahead in a three-party race in a Blue state.