[New Hampshire chart], ARG]
Louisiana Senate – A second PPP (D) poll gave Bill Cassidy (R) a 3-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup over Sen. That is not a typo: It has been eight months since Obama last cracked half the American public on any given issue — foreign policy or otherwise — in Washington Post/ABC News polling.
Economy remains main issue – CNN’s survey also finds that 65 percent of Americans consider economic conditions to be a bigger midterm issue than military action against ISIS. Rick Scott (R), his best margin since July. For the first time since January, President Obama is polling a 50 percent approval rating on an issue: his handling of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In the end though, unlike with the probabilistic models of Senate control, we will know who was more and less right.” [The Hill]
SURVEY FINDS SURPRISINGLY STRONG RATING FOR OBAMA ON ISIS – Aaron Blake: “Get ready to pop the champagne, White House. [Michigan chart, Target-Insyght]
Ohio governor – A Wednesday morning Quinnipiac poll found Gov. [WashPost]
-Harry Enten says relatively little has changed since 538 launched its Senate forecast. SurveyUSA noted in their writeup that the poll was conducted during the Jewish High Holy Days, “which altered school schedules in some parts of the state and resulted in others taking long weekends away from home,” causing “volatility and [an] abnormal pattern of who is home and who is not home” that they expect to continue this week. But the poll also indicates most of Democrats’ gains are coming from the Northeast and not from the parts of the country where they’re locked in tight contests that could give Republicans control of the Senate. HuffPollster’s model gives Hagan a close to 4-point edge over Tillis and a nearly 60 percent chance of winning, making North Carolina the tossup state most likely to swing blue. Of the five polls released since August, just one — which was sponsored by the state Democratic party — found him taking more than 40 percent of the vote. Other surveys show a somewhat closer race, although they vary widely, with two GOP polls giving Brown a slight edge. A CNN/ORC poll released Monday found Americans divided on Obama’s handling of ISIS, with 45 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving — up from 37 percent approval on the issue earlier in September, although still somewhat south of a positive rating. The Pollster average gives him about a 4-point edge and a 65 percent shot at victory. found Gary Peters (D) up 10 points over Terri Lynn Land (R). Another finds a slight uptick for Democrats nationwide, but maybe not one that will help in November. [Louisiana chart, PPP]
-More small business owners feel satisfied in their jobs, but fewer feel successful. Kay Hagan (D) leading Thom Tillis (R) by 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent, the eleventh survey in a row to show her ahead. [Iowa chart, PPP]
-Only 36 percent of Democratic candidates running this year have explicitly expressed support for Obamacare. House: “History suggests Democrats will lose House seats, and so does everyone else….Four things are clear for this run-down: First, no one yet knows just how many seats Democrats will lose in this very challenging environment. [Pollster chart]
One new survey suggests rising support for Obama’s handling of Islamic State militants. The survey also found Libertarian Sean Haugh’s support at just 4 percent, down from 10 percent in May and June Civitas polls. The Pollster average gives Shaheen a margin of just below 5 points, and about a two in three chance of winning. [WashPost]
-Americans think students should learn both to respect authority and about the history of civil disobedience. [Gallup]
-Hayley Munguia evaluates estimates of how many people participated in “the largest climate march in history.” 
-F.D. Republican wins in those states would add to a 53 seat majority, but the 59 percent probability of that occurring is barely better than a coin flip. That’s an improvement from August, when the question referenced only Iraq and not Syria, and 42 percent of Americans gave Obama a vote of confidence. Obama’s new polling heights come as Americans overwhelmingly approve of the airstrikes he ordered in Syria.” [WashPost]
-Philip Bump finds female candidates have bigger winning, and losing, margins than their male counterparts. [North Carolina chart, Civitas]
HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! – You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and and click “sign up.” That’s all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).
-Ameila Showalter explains why redistricting, turnout and “the Big Sort” make 2014 a tough year for Democrats. Recent polls have painted sharply differing pictures of the race, with Fox, Rasmussen, and a Harstad (D) poll for the DSCC all showing the race tied, while Quinnipiac and a Selzer poll for the Des Moines register gave Ernst a 6-point lead. [Huffpost Senate Forecast]
CNN FINDS DEMS GAINING ON GENERIC BALLOT – Jeremy Diamond: “Five weeks before the November midterm elections, voters give Democrats an edge over Republicans, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday. Without Obama’s name mentioned, Republicans are close to unanimous in supporting intervention in Syria, with 80 percent agreeing, but just 30 percent give Obama a positive rating.
How do other polls compare? – The Post/ABC survey is the second released this week to show Obama’s rating on ISIS improving significantly. The Pollster average gives Ernst a 2-point edge and a just-better-than-even chance at winning. Flam profiles the field of Bayesian statistics. The newest WaPo-ABC poll shows 50 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the Islamic State, as compared to 44 percent who disapprove. Finally, with forecasts ranging from Democratic losses of two to 39 seats, this election sets up an interesting test of alternative approaches to forecasting. Other polling, released earlier this month, most found Obama’s rating on ISIS in the high 30s or early 40s, similar to his overall foreign policy rating. Our tracking model is based on all public polling data but is calibrated to the results of the more reliable non-partisan surveys. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Michigan Senate – A Target-Insyght poll for the Michigan Information & Research Service and the lobbying firm Governmental Consultant Services Inc. The Democrats’ advantage is within the poll’s 3.5% margin of error.” The CNN result helps nudge the generic ballot estimate produced by the HuffPost Pollster back to a near tie. By the handicappers’ lights, Republicans are unlikely to achieve their goal; the modelers say it’s quite likely they will meet and even exceed their modest objective. And a third finds Charlie Crist up in Florida — for now. While Peters has led in 10 consecutive polls, most show a smaller margin, between 2 and 7 points. Third, for the most part, academic modelers foresee bigger changes than do the D.C.-based handicappers. [NYT, Bleeding Heartland]
HOW MANY SEATS WILL DEMOCRATS LOSE? – Mark Mellman (D) considers various forecasts for the outcome of races for the U.S. While majorities of both parties continued to name the economy, nearly three quarters of Democrats and two thirds of independents did, compared with just 55 percent in the GOP. [CNN, Pollster U.S. 
WEDNESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ – Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:. John Kasich (R) with a 22-point lead over Ed FitzGerald (D). Contests in four states currently represented by Democrats — Arkansas, Iowa, Alaska and Colorado — are currently tipping to Republicans by tiny margins (roughly 2 percent or less, as of this writing), margins that our model considers close to a 50/50 tossup. [YouGov]
Partisan gap – As Blake notes, support for airstrikes doesn’t necessarily translate into approval of the president. [WSJ]
-Nate Cohn checks in on early voting in Iowa; DesMoinesDem has more. In a generic ballot among likely voters, Democrats edged out Republicans 47 -45%, a 6-point swing from a CNN poll three weeks ago when likely voters favored the Republicans by a 4-point margin. No poll taken this year has shown FitzGerald ahead, but the Democrat’s numbers tanked further after his campaign was dogged with a series of unflattering revelations. The Pollster model shows the race virtually even.
[Florida chart, SUSA]
Iowa Senate – PPP (D) found a nearly tied race in Iowa, with Joni Ernst (R) just 2 points ahead of Bruce Braley (D). The Pollster model gives him a 6-point lead and a 70 percent chance of winning. [Ohio chart, Quinnipiac]
New Hampshire Senate – American Research Group gave Sen. Second, Democratic losses are likely to beat the historical average, making it hard for Republicans to claim real bragging rights. Jeanne Shaheen (D) a 10-point lead over Scott Brown (R), 53 percent to 43 percent — the highest percentage she’s seen all year, and among the best margins for her in recent polling. Mary Landrieu (D). Republicans were also most likely to say they disapproved of Congress’ handling of the situation with ISIS.
RECAPPING THE MOST RECENT MIDTERM POLLS – Tuesday’s new Senate polls produced an ironic twist: Two surveys from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) gave a slight edge to Republicans in Iowa and Louisiana, while a new poll from the conservative Civitas Institute favored the Democrat in North Carolina.The new data helps tick the probability of Republicans winning control of the Senate down slightly to 57 percent, from 58 percent Monday, but the overall assessment of the HuffPost Pollster tracking model remains essentially unchanged. [Medium]
Florida governor – The latest SurveyUSA tracking poll gave Charlie Crist (D) a 6-point edge over Gov. Most other recent surveys, including CNN, have Cassidy ahead by similar margins, although a Fox survey found him up 13 points. [NYT]
-Drew Altman notes fading interest in Obamacare as a political issue. House vote chart]
North Carolina Senate – The Republican Civitas Institute found Sen