Polling: Dead-Heat Races in California, Florida, and Kentucky

A handful of big-ticket races are locked in (or near) statistical dead heats in California, Florida, and Kentucky, according to polling released this afternoon by CNN/Opinion Research.

First, the Senate races: in Kentucky, Tea Party darling Rand Paul and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway are tied at 46 percent; in California, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leads Republican ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina 48-44 percent, just more than the 3.5-percent margin of error; in Florida, another Tea Party insurgent, Marco Rubio, holds a 36-34 percent edge over Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist.

Among those races, Democrats are playing defense in Califorina but have eyed Kentucky as a pickup opportunity. Before Crist's exodus from the GOP in Florida, Republicans expected to win that seat easily.

The California governor's race is close, too: Republican ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman leads Democratic Attorney General (and former governor) Jerry Brown by two percentage points, 48-46 percent.

All polling was based on live phone interviews with 800 registered voters in each state.