PPP finds that the shutdown has harmed Republican chances in numerous Senate races. The finding from Arkansas may be the most significant:
In Arkansas Mark Pryor leads Republican challenger Tom Cotton 44/41. Voters there oppose the shutdown 59/32. When informed that Cotton supported it, 45% of voters say they’re less likely to support him for a move up to the Senate next year compared to just 33% who say they’re more likely to [bold mine-DL].
Pryor is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in 2014, and Cotton is considered to be one of the party’s best recruits for this cycle, so it is telling that even in Arkansas the shutdown has worked to the GOP’s disadvantage. If there was one race where Republicans might have benefited from the last few weeks, it would have been the Arkansas Senate race, and even here it is proving to be a significant liability. Cotton might very well end up winning anyway, but if Republicans are to take control of the Senate they would need to pick up four more seats in addition to Arkansas. As the survey shows, that seems unlikely to happen. As if that weren’t enough, the survey finds that Republicans may not be able to hold the seat in Georgia:
After being informed that her most likely opponents were among those House Republicans who favored the shutdown, Nunn improves to a 48/42 lead lead on the generic ballot.
The Georgia poll finds Nunn winning independents by 12 and receiving support from 10% of Republicans. As the crosstabs show, the shutdown is usually driving more independents away from Republican candidates than it is attracting. Republican control of the House likely isn’t in jeopardy next year, but these results reveal that the shutdown has done substantial damage to the GOP’s Senate hopes. The party has demonstrated that it can’t be trusted with more power, and it seems that voters in many parts of the country are not inclined to give them more.