As mentioned earlier this week Nevada will be one of our first two polls of 2011 and we're letting you vote on the other one. Here are the finalists:
-Arizona. After Nevada and Massachusetts this is probably the best of the limited pick up opportunities for Democrats on the Senate front and it's also along with Missouri and Montana one of the few states Barack Obama could conceivably flip to blue in 2012 although I imagine it's one of the places where only the GOP nominating Sarah Palin would make it competitive.
-Colorado. No 2012 Senate race on the docket but certainly one of the most important states for the Presidential race- one very important to the GOP's prospects of getting back the White House. My guess after Democrats swept the two major contests in the state during a horrid year for the party nationally is that Obama would look pretty good there...but that's why we do the polls.
-Connecticut. Joe Lieberman was near the bottom of the barrel in our year end approval ratings but he's actually been pretty active the last month or so in pushing for things that Democrats like so I'm interested to see if he's had any sort of renaissance or if the damage he'd done to himself already is too much to overcome. The number of permutations we'd have to test there is almost dizzying but we'll figure it out if that wins.
-Nebraska. I sensed that Ben Nelson was the most endangered Democratic Senator up for reelection in 2012 even before two recent Republican polls found him in deep trouble, so I don't really doubt their findings but no harm in adding another voice to the table. Also interested to see if Obama has any chance at winning Omaha's electoral vote again.
-New Jersey. Multiple polling companies have shown something that we first picked up on more than a year ago- Bob Menendez is not popular. The question then becomes whether voters are so disenchanted with him that they'd actually vote for a Republican, or if it's just a case where they'll hold their nose but still vote Democratic- time to test actual names against him. It's also a good time for looking at how voters in the state are feeling about Chris Christie and Cory Booker- and a potential 2013 contest between the two of them.
-Pennsylvania. We've already gone through and taken a first look at the 2012 Presidential contest in the other two of the ultimate swing state triumvirate- Ohio and Florida- so we should finish the trio soon. And of course Bob Casey is one of the potentially vulnerable first term Democratic Senators up in 2012. My sense is that Casey's numbers are a little deceiving though, and make him look more endangered than he actually is. He's similar to Bill Nelson, Steve Beshear, and Jay Nixon in that Democrats aren't totally in love with him, which brings down his topline approval numbers, but he scores unusually well with Republicans. In a state like Pennsylvania where Democrats have a large registration advantage, if your party folks still vote for you even if they're not in love with you and you can pull something like 15-20% of the GOP vote you're going to be in pretty good shape. Anyway we can test all that if we poll it.
Voting is open until Sunday and then we'll ask you to help us flesh out the details of what we ask for whoever the winner is...and a reminder that if one person rigs this and casts hundreds of votes for a particular state it will be disqualified...voting 4 or 5 times on different computers is fair game but casting hundreds is not.