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					September 05, 2006


Democrats Have Early Edge in Some Key
Senate Races
Polls show significant leads in Pennsylvania, Minnesota



by Jeffrey M. Jones



GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- The Democratic Party hopes to gain a net of six seats in the U.S.
Senate this November, which would restore party control to the Democrats after they lost
it to the Republicans in the 2002 midterm elections. Five of the states widely considered
to be crucial in this battle are Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Recent USA Today/Gallup polls in these states find that -- as of late August -- Democratic
candidates have sizable leads in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, and narrow leads in Ohio
and Montana. The Republican candidate holds a slim advantage in Missouri.

Overview

Gallup conducted these five state polls Aug. 23-27, interviewing 1,000 adults aged 18
and older in each state. The results reported are based on 500+ likely midterm election
voters in each state. The "likely voter" estimates are based on Gallup methodology that
takes into account respondents' past voting behavior and current voting intentions. The
polls provide a baseline heading into the fall, when the campaigning will intensify as the
candidates seek victory on Nov. 7. That campaigning, along with changes in the national
or local political environment, can cause the complexion of these races to change over the
next two months.

The overall national political environment going into the 2006 midterm elections
currently favors Democratic candidates. Gallup polling shows that the Republican
president and Republican-controlled Congress both have low approval ratings. As a
result, most of the focus in this year's Senate election handicapping has been on states
where Democrats have a good chance of picking up seats currently held by Republicans.
Four of the states in which Gallup polled have Republican incumbents trying to win
another Senate term, while the other, Minnesota, is an election for an open seat currently
held by a Democrat.
Minnesota

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton is not seeking re-election and the Republican
candidate, Congressman Mark Kennedy, will likely face Hennepin County Attorney Amy
Klobuchar in the general election contest. The USA Today/Gallup poll shows Klobuchar
with 50% support among likely voters compared with 40% for Kennedy, a statistically
significant lead for the Democrat. Most polling in Minnesota shows Klobuchar with an
advantage as the Democrats attempt to hold on to the seat in what has become one of the
more competitive states in the country.

Missouri

Republican Sen. Jim Talent won election in 2002 to serve the final four years of the late
Mel Carnahan's term. He will face State Auditor Claire McCaskill, who lost a close
election for governor in 2004. Talent has a slim 50% to 44% advantage according to the
USA Today/Gallup poll; however, that lead is still within the poll's margin of error. Most
other polling in Missouri also shows a close race between the two candidates, with voters
tilting toward Talent in some polls and McCaskill in others.

Montana

Republican incumbent Sen. Conrad Burns may be especially vulnerable in his bid for re-
election this year because of controversy surrounding his receipt of campaign
contributions from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff is at the center of a corruption
scandal in Washington. Burns is facing state Senate President Jon Tester in the general
election. The USA Today/Gallup poll shows Tester and Burns closely matched, with 48%
of likely voters supporting Tester and 45% Burns. Other recent polls show Tester no
worse than tied with Burns, and usually with a slight advantage, though typically within
the margin of sampling error.

Ohio

A corruption scandal surrounding Republican Gov. Bob Taft is making things especially
difficult for Ohio Republicans this year, which could hurt incumbent Sen. Mike
DeWine's attempt to win a third Senate term. DeWine is facing longtime Democratic
Congressman Sherrod Brown. Brown has a slight edge in the USA Today/Gallup poll,
46% to 40%, but again that lead is within the poll's margin of error. While most Ohio
polls conducted earlier this year showed DeWine ahead, polling in the last two months
has shown a shift in Brown's favor.

Pennsylvania

Perhaps the Republican with the toughest challenge is Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum,
who won close elections to the Senate in 1994 and 2000. Santorum is often viewed as
being too conservative for a state that leans Democratic; Pennsylvanians have voted for
Democratic presidential candidates in each of the last four presidential elections.
Santorum is being challenged by Bob Casey Jr., the state treasurer and son of the popular
late former governor of Pennsylvania. The USA Today/Gallup poll shows Casey with a
sizable advantage over Santorum among likely voters, 56% to 38%. Most other polls in
the state this year have shown Casey with the lead, albeit of varying sizes. The USA
Today/Gallup numbers are similar to the results of several polls conducted in the spring,
and may indicate the momentum is swinging back toward Casey after recent polls
suggested that Santorum was cutting into the large lead Casey had enjoyed.

Other States

Some other states may hold the key to the Democrats' ability to retake control of the
Senate. In addition to Missouri, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Democrats have a
chance to pick up seats held by Republicans in Rhode Island and Tennessee. They would
need to win in all of those states and hold on to all of their current seats in order to return
to majority party status.

On the other hand, Republicans are trying to pick up Democratic seats in New Jersey,
Maryland, Washington state, and Michigan, in addition to Minnesota.

In Connecticut, Democratic incumbent Joe Lieberman lost his party's nomination to
challenger Ned Lamont, but will try to defeat Lamont in the general election, with only
token Republican opposition. If Lieberman wins, his decision as to whether to caucus
with the Democratic or Republican Party could help determine which party has control.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 960 registered voters in Minnesota, aged
18 and older, conducted Aug. 23-27, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say
with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage
points.

Results for likely voters in Minnesota are based on the subsample of 790 survey
respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2006 midterm election,
according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting
behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95%
confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. Based on
past voting history in Minnesota, turnout is assumed to be 60% of the voting age
population.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 917 registered voters in Missouri, aged 18
and older, conducted Aug. 23-27, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say
with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage
points.

Results for likely voters in Missouri are based on the subsample of 574 survey
respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2006 midterm election,
according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting
behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95%
confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points. Based on
past voting history in Missouri, turnout is assumed to be 40% of the voting age
population.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 870 registered voters in Montana, aged 18
and older, conducted Aug. 23-27, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say
with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage
points.

Results for likely voters in Montana are based on the subsample of 641 survey
respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2006 midterm election,
according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting
behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95%
confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. Based on
past voting history in Montana, turnout is assumed to be 50% of the voting age
population.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 877 registered voters in Ohio, aged 18
and older, conducted Aug. 23-27, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say
with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage
points.

Results for likely voters in Ohio are based on the subsample of 584 survey respondents
deemed most likely to vote in the November 2006 midterm election, according to a series
of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting behavior. For results
based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the
maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points. Based on past voting history
in Ohio, turnout is assumed to be 40% of the voting age population.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 883 registered voters in Pennsylvania,
aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 23-27, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can
say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage
points.

Results for likely voters in Pennsylvania are based on the subsample of 611 survey
respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2006 midterm election,
according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting
behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95%
confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. Based on
past voting history in Pennsylvania, turnout is assumed to be 40% of the voting age
population.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting
surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
D11. VOTER REGISTRATION DEMOGRAPHIC (NOT REPORTED)

1A-1F. LIKELY VOTER QUESTIONS (NOT REPORTED)

VOTE FOR SENATE

Q.2/2A. If the elections for senator were being held today, which candidate would you
vote for in your state -- [ROTATED: the Democratic candidate, the Republican
candidate], or someone else? As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: the
Democratic candidate, the Republican candidate], or someone else?

Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate or Mark Kennedy,
the Republican candidate

                                      Fitz-         Pow-
                                       ger- Cav- ers
                         Klob- Ken- ald lan (Con-                 Will No
                         uchar nedy (Ind.) (Grn.) stit.) OTHER not opin-
                         (DFL) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
       2006 Aug 23-27
       Likely voters      50% 40          *     1         --       2         --       6
       Registered voters 44% 37           *     *         --       3         7        8
       * Less than 0.5
       [vol.] = Volunteered response

Missouri: Claire McCaskill, the Democrat or Jim Talent, the Republican

                                            Gilmour         Will No
                            McCaskill Talent (Lib.) OTHER not opin-
                             (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.]    [vol.] vote ion
           2006 Aug 23-27
           Likely voters        44%      50           *        1        --        5
           Registered voters    41%      41           *        2        10        6
           * Less than 0.5%
           [vol.] = Volunteered response

Montana: Jon Tester, the Democrat or Conrad Burns, the Republican

                                              Jones         Will No
                                Tester Burns (Lib.) OTHER not opin-
                                (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
              2006 Aug 23-27
              Likely voters      48%     45      --        2       --        5
              Registered voters 42%      44      *       3       6        5
              * Less than 0.5%
              [vol.] = Volunteered response

Ohio: Sherrod Brown, the Democrat or Mike DeWine, the Republican

                                           Duncan        Will No
                             Brown DeWine (Ind.) OTHER not opin-
                             (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
            2006 Aug 23-27
            Likely voters      46%      40        *          5       --        9
            Registered voters 39%       37        *          5       9        10
            * Less than 0.5%
            [vol.] = Volunteered response

Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr., the Democrat or Rick Santorum, the Republican

                                            Roman-
                                      Santo- elli          Will No
                                Casey rum (Grn.) OTHER not opin-
                               (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
             2006 Aug 23-27
             Likely voters      56%     38       1           2   --           3
             Registered voters 49%      35       1           2   9            4
             [vol.] = Volunteered response

VOTE FOR GOVERNOR

Q.3/3A. If the elections for governor were being held today, which candidate would you
vote for -- [ROTATED: the Democratic candidate, the Republican candidate], or
someone else? As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: the Democratic
candidate, the Republican candidate], or someone else?

Minnesota: Mike Hatch, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate or Tim Pawlenty, the
Republican candidate

                                    Hutch- Pen- Davis
                               Paw- inson tel (Amr-              Will No
                        Hatch lenty (Ind.) (Grn.) icn.) OTHER not opin-
                        (DFL) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
      2006 Aug 23-27
      Likely voters      44%     43      2       1      --       5            --   5
      Registered voters 39% 43             1       *            --        5        7       6
      * Less than 0.5%
      [vol.] = Volunteered response

Ohio: Ted Strickland, the Democrat or Ken Blackwell, the Republican

                                          Fit-
                                           ra
                           Strick- Black- kis Peirce          Will No
                            land well (Grn.) (Lib.) OTHER not opin-
                           (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.] [vol.] [vol.] vote ion
          2006 Aug 23-27
          Likely voters      52%      36       *       --            6        --       6
          Registered voters 44%       33       *       *             7        9        7
          * Less than 0.5%
          [vol.] = Volunteered response

Pennsylvania: Ed Rendell, the Democrat or Lynn Swann, the Republican

                                                       Will No
                                  Rendell Swann OTHER not opin-
                                  (Dem.) (Rep.) [vol.] vote ion
                2006 Aug 23-27
                Likely voters       57%     35              4        --       4
                Registered voters 53%       30              4        9        4
                [vol.] = Volunteered response

				
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