Amid eroding poll numbers heading into the Nov. 8 midterms, an array of Democrats — including high-profile incumbents in supposedly “safe” blue states — are fighting for their political lives against surging Republicans in statewide races in Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, Nevada and even, according to some polls, New Mexico, New York and Minnesota.

The latest polling shows the Michigan governor race between businesswoman and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Wilson shaping up as a close contest.

A Michigan News Source/Trafalgar poll released on Monday showed that the race is a tie. A CNN poll out on the same day had Whitmer up by 6 points. A MIRS/Mitchell Research poll from last Friday had Whitmer up by just 2 points. A Cygnal tracking poll released on Wednesday showed Whitmer in the lead by 6 points, and FiveThirtyEight’s polling average as of Thursday had Whitmer ahead by 5 points.

A Data for Progress poll in the Oregon gubernatorial race that came out on Saturday showed Republican candidate Christine Drazen, a former state representative, up by 1 point in the race against Democrat Tina Kotek, former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, and independent Betsy Johnson, a former state representative. 

Republican businessman Tim Michels is up by 1 point in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race against incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, according to a new Data for Progress poll released on Wednesday. The results of a CNN poll published on Monday had Evers leading by 2 points. The results of a Marquette University Law School poll released on Oct. 12 found the race was a toss-up.

A Data for Progress poll from Wednesday showed Republican Joe Lombardo with a 1-point lead against incumbent Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. A Univision/Shaw & Co. poll that came out on Tuesday showed Sisolak with a 2-point lead. FiveThirtyEight’s polling average had Lombardo leading by 1 point as of Oct. 26. In mid-October, a USA Today survey found that the race was deadlocked. 

Incumbent New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is trailing Republican opponent Mark Roncetti by 1 point, according to a Trafalgar Group poll released on Tuesday. FiveThirtyEight had Grisham with a 7.6% lead in its polling average as of Wednesday, while the incumbent led by a narrower 3.5% in the RealClearPolitics average.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen said the Oregon governor race is a toss-up at this time, and the other Democrat-leaning states with tightening races still “tilt Democrat, but could produce a surprise.”

Rasmussen also said Michels is the “slight favorite” in Wisconsin and Lombardo has a “good shot” in Nevada.

“Governor races in NM, NY, MI are closer than they should be,” he said. “If things continue to deteriorate for the D’s, one of those races could yield a surprise.”

In one early October shock poll, Trafalgar had New York incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul leading GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in the New York governor’s race by just 2 points at 45-43, while the RCP average had Hochul leading by 6.1% in the reliably blue state, which has elected only one Republican governor since 1974.

In another unexpectedly tight governor’s race in a blue state, Republican Scott Jensen has narrowed the lead held by incumbent Democratic Gov. Tim Walz to the point that an Alpha News/Trafalgar poll (Oct.17-19) had the race tied at 46-46, and Walz was up just 2.5% in the RCP average.

Recent generic ballot polling has shown the electorate moving toward the Republicans nationally with economic issues, such as inflation and the declining stock market, as top concerns for voters.

Consumer prices have risen 8.2% since one year ago, according to the latest Consumer Price Index data.

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