In late July I wrote a blog post about how the Republican candidate had been leading among independents in 13 of the last 16 individual 2009 and 2010 races we had polled.
That continues to be the case in 12 of the 17 contests we have looked at since then:
-Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 48-29 in New Jersey
-Bob McDonnell leads Creigh Deeds 60-29 in Virginia
-Richard Burr leads a generic Democrat 46-24 in North Carolina and leads specific Democrats Cal Cunningham 42-16, Bob Etheridge 45-21, Kevin Foy 47-14, Kenneth Lewis 46-14, Elaine Marshall 45-15, and Dennis Wicker 46-16
-In Arkansas Blanche Lincoln trails Gilbert Baker 47-26, Curtis Coleman 46-25, and Tom Cotton 42-26. For Governor Mike Beebe does lead Allen Kerr 43-23.
-In Colorado things are more positive for Democrats. Bill Ritter does trail Scott McInnis 38-37, but he leads Josh Penry 37-32. And Michael Bennet led among indies against all comers- 38-36 over Bob Beauprez, 36-28 over Ken Buck, and 33-25 over Ryan Frazier.
Overall that's 25 of 33 contests since early June where we have found the GOP leading among independents. And when we took a look at the generic Congressional ballot at the end of last month Republicans were up 40-31 with independents.
Obviously this is somewhere Democrats are going to have to improve a lot to keep next year from being a disaster. If they're losing independents, especially by these kinds of margins, it means they need to get Democratic voters to the polls at a much higher rate than Republican voters and that doesn't seem particularly likely right now. The GOP is just more enthusiastic about getting out there and taking some of their power back. But it's a heck of a long way until November 2010 still.