No, I don’t know why the RGA was polling the Senate race. I am going to guess that they wanted to see how a big-ticket Senate contest might help or hurt the GOP candidate in the Governor’s race, and that the results were sufficiently rosy that they decided to release the details to the Weekly Standard. Short version: 49/44 Scott Brown/Jeanne Shaheen among likely voters. Brown and Shaheen have about the same percentage of definitely-vote-for; Shaheen is weaker among probably-vote-for. Both have net favorable ratings; Brown has lower favorables and unfavorables than Shaheen, and a lot more don’t-know-enoughs.
Just as a reminder: the thing to remember about private polling is not that it is necessarily bad; in fact, private polling is probably better than public polls, in the aggregate. What you have to keep in mind is that you will never, ever see a private poll unless it helps tell the story that the people who commissioned that poll want to tell you. If the RGA poll had shown Shaheen up the 7.9 that the RCP average is currently showing then that poll would have been shot in the back of the head, wrapped in a carpet, and thrown into a concrete foundation somewhere*.
— Ryan Williams (@RyanGOP) April 8, 2014
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*But, if you also look at the RCP averages: most of that polling is old, and predates Scott Brown’s exploratory committee announcement on March 14th (the ARG poll was conducted halfway through said announcement). At that, Brown will not actually formally announce until this Thursday. And, of course, he’s not the actual Republican nominee yet: that will be determined by a primary.
All of which is to say: the most confident assertions of what will happen in this race are likely to be made by people who have rather less hard evidence backing them up than those people might think.