Wow, the great news just keeps on rolling in! Just one day after a new independent Mason Dixon poll showed Congressman Ford leading, a newly released Rasmussen poll today shows Ford up by 5 points over Bob Corker!
Representative Harold Ford (D) has taken a 48% to 43% lead over Mayor Bob Corker (R) in Tennessee's increasingly competitive race for U.S. Senate (see crosstabs).
Ford has an edge with unaffiliated voters and leads by a whopping 70% to 23% among moderates.
Ford has gained ground fast in recent weeks. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted September 5 showed him trailing by a single point, 44% to 45%, after lagging by six points in August, twelve in July.
We are now shifting this race from the "Toss Up" to "Leans Democrat" column in the Senate Balance of Power summary. Just a few weeks ago, we had pulled it from the "Leans Republican" column.
Corker had a tougher time securing the nomination than his Democratic opponent. And he's had to contend with charges about his financial dealings and his performance as Mayor of Chattanooga. Nor is he invariably a deft campaigner. In one recent campaign ad Mayor Corker assured his mother that he had reduced crime in the Chattanooga by 50%, an easily disputed statistic. Democrats rushed to assail him for "lying to his mother."
Nine-out-of-ten voters report having seen TV ads from each campaign.
Corker is now viewed favorably by 48%. His "very unfavorable" rating of 23% outweighs his 18% "very favorable" number.
Ford, widely thought to have run a more effective campaign, is now viewed favorably by 58%, "very favorably" by 31%. He also enjoys more solid support from his base.
On issues ranging from national security to Iraq to illegal immigration and the economy, likely voters tend to divide their trust equally between the two candidates. Unaffiliated voters and especially moderates tend to trust Ford more.
When asked which major party they'd support if their vote determines which party wins control of the U.S. Senate, 47% say Democrats and 46% say the GOP. Unaffiliated voters and moderates are more likely to say Democrats.