The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reports:
“I’m saying for the first time that Democrats are more likely to hold the Senate than not.”
That quote comes from veteran Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg on a conference call with reporters just now. On the call, Greenberg rolled out a new poll of 12 battleground states that contained a striking finding: Democrats have racked up an enormous lead among single women, doubling that lead since July.
Expect to see more on Rep. Tom Cotton‘s vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Violence Against Women Act, plus more focus on issues that play well with single women (who, unfortunately for Sen. Mark Pryor, tend to sit out mid-term elections), including health care and the minimum wage, subjects on which Cotton has been squirrely.
Arkansas was among the battleground states included in the poll but thus far, unfortunately, no state breakdown for Arkansas has been released with Greenberg’s findings (which you can see here).
This caught my eye (again, via Sargent):
But perhaps the most interesting finding of all concerned the Affordable Care Act. While disapproval is still high in the battlegrounds, core Dem voter groups are now citing it as a leading reason to vote. For single women as a category unto themselves — and for the RAE, too — a candidate’s position on the health law is the second most important factor, behind the economy.
This, Greenberg suggested, may help explain another of the poll’s key findings: Democrats appear to be closing the “enthusiasm gap” with Republicans in the battlegrounds. The poll found that of those likely voters who say they are voting Democratic, 91 percent of them are almost certain to vote — while only slightly more, 93 percent, of those who are voting for Republicans say the same.
“The health care law has become much more important as a reason why people are voting for Democrats,” Greenberg said. “The threat of repeal appears to be giving unmarried women and minority voters a reason to vote.”
Remember that Pryor has very carefully begun trumpeting some of the Affordable Care Act’s benefits (without ever naming the law). As Benji Hardy noted last week, a new Pryor ad subtly endorses Obamacare and directly appealed to women. This ad makes a lot of sense given Greenberg’s findings.