The Midterm Snapshot: October 25

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Photo: Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images

One week left to go, and it's time to play "Good News, Bad News" for the Democrats. Good News: All that immigration fearmongering by the Republicans has seemed to rile up Latino voters, who are way more enthusiastic about voting than they were last month, according to a new poll. Their turnout could be the key to victory for Democrats in tight Senate races in states with a large Latino population, such as Nevada and Colorado. The bad news: Independents, who tend to determine elections based on which party they swing to, are swinging toward the Republicans this year. Republicans lead among Independents by fourteen points, according to a new poll. Independent voters reportedly believe "that government grew too large, too fast under Obama — and that it can no longer be trusted."

Meanwhile, in races around the country, Meg Whitman admits that voters don't want to vote for her or for Jerry Brown, Sarah Palin comes to Joe Miller's defense, and an embattled Democratic congressman admits he voted for John McCain.

In the California gubernatorial race, Democrat Jerry Brown has opened up a thirteen-point lead over Republican Meg Whitman, according to the latest poll. Both candidates have released interesting ads in the past few days: Brown's ad features Whitman remarking how great the state was 30 years ago (when Brown was last governor), and Whitman admits in her ad that voters see the race as an "unhappy choice."

In the West Virginia Senate race, Democratic governor Joe Manchin may be pulling away from Republican John Raese, according to a poll that has him up six points. The popular Manchin has found new life in this campaign by turning his back on President Obama and the Democratic Party to counteract claims that he would loyally enact the Obama agenda in the Senate. Now he won't even commit to backing Harry Reid for another term as majority leader, or endorse President Obama's reelection bid.

Speaking of playing up your Independent bona fides, ten-term Mississippi congressman Gene Taylor, a Democrat, claimed that he voted for John McCain over Obama in 2008. The race in Mississippi's fourth district is considered a toss-up.

In the Colorado gubernatorial race, Denver mayor and Democratic nominee John Hickenlooper's lead over American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo remains razor-thin, with the latest poll showing him up only three points, while GOP nominee Dan Maes continues to shed support. The chairman of the Tea Party Express is endorsing Tancredo and is calling on Maes, who has support in the single digits, to drop out.

And in the Alaska Senate race, there are apparently no hard feelings between Sarah Palin and Joe Miller over Miller dodging questions on her qualifications for president and refusing to endorse her as-yet-nonexistent candidacy. Palin, whose endorsement of Miller over the summer helped propel him to victory over Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski, has penned a new Facebook message in support of Miller and slamming Murkowski for allegedly "challeng[ing] the honor of a decorated combat veteran" in a debate yesterday. (See the relevant exchange here.) The race remains essentially tied.