In three high-profile United States Senate races in Maine, South Carolina, and Kentucky where longtime Republican incumbents are seeking re-election, only one of those incumbents has a clear lead, one is now an underdog, and one is locked in a dead heat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters in each of the states released Wednesday.
These are the first surveys of likely voters in the 2020 election cycle in Maine, South Carolina, and Kentucky by the Quinnipiac University Poll and cannot be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.
"Senate control hangs in the balance as the GOP confronts a likely nail biter in South Carolina and a possible knockout in Maine, offset by a presumably solid lead in Kentucky," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
In South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, is tied with his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. Forty-eight percent of likely voters support Graham, while 48% support Harrison.
Ninety-three percent of likely voters who selected a candidate in the Senate matchup say their minds are made up, and 6% say they may change their minds.
Likely voters have a mixed opinion of Graham, with 44% saying they have a favorable opinion of him, while 49% say they have an unfavorable opinion of him. For Jaime Harrison, 47% have a favorable opinion, while 34% have an unfavorable opinion.
Likely voters in South Carolina name law and order (23%) as the most important issue in deciding who to vote for in the U.S. Senate race, followed by the economy (22%), the coronavirus pandemic (12%), racial inequality (12%), and the Supreme Court (11%).
Voters say 52-44% that they want to see the Republican Party keep control of the United States Senate.
In Maine, Democrat Sara Gideon leads the race among likely voters 54-42% over Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who is seeking her fifth term.
In Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is seeking a seventh term, leads the race 53-41% over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath.
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