We're going to poll Alaska and Arkansas this weekend...obviously we'll look at the races for Senate and Governor in each state...beyond that let us know what you think we should ask! Thanks as always for the good suggestions...
Our new Kansas survey continues to find Greg Orman in the lead for US Senate- and that Orman's lead could expand further if Chad Taylor is able to get off the ballot. Orman leads with 41% to 34% for Pat Roberts, 6% for Taylor, and 4% for Libertarian Randall Batson. But if Taylor supporters had to choose between Orman and Roberts, they'd take Orman by a 67/16 spread. That's enough to push Orman up to a double digit lead in a head to head match up with Roberts, at 46/36.
And Kansans do think Taylor should be allowed off the ballot- 63% think his name should be removed to only 21% who think it should have to remain on there. Even among Republicans there's 52/30 support for allowing Taylor's name to be removed. The way he's handling this issue is hurting Secretary of State Kris Kobach- only 26% of voters approve of the way he's dealt with it to 44% who disapprove. Kobach's time in the spotlight on this may be hurting his own reelection chances- he leads Democratic opponent Jean Schodorf just 43/42, down from a 43/38 advantage a month ago.
The big story in this race continues to be Roberts' unpopularity. Only 29% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. Those numbers have barely budged from when he posted a 27/44 spread last month. There was some thought his numbers would improve as Republicans rallied back around him after his weak primary performance, but his approval with GOP voters is still just a 43/33 spread. Roberts continues to be plagued by his residence issues- only 29% of voters think he considers Kansas to be his home, compared to 53% who think it's Washington DC. And just 19% think he spends enough time in the state, to 63% who think he does not.
Orman is proving to be a good candidate in his own right though. As he's become better known he's become better liked- his +20 net favorability is up 8 points from a month ago with 39% of voters rating him favorably to only 19% who have a negative opinion. He's winning 30% of the Republican vote, and also has a 45/16 advantage with independent voters.
There's one big reason within this poll though to think things could change. Despite their current support of Orman, 49% of Kansans still want a US Senate that is controlled by the Republicans to only 39% who want one controlled by the Democrats. Right now only 62% of people who want a GOP controlled Senate say they're going to vote for Roberts. If he can effectively nationalize the race- Barack Obama has a 33/58 approval rating in the state- and get those folks who want GOP control to cast their votes for him Roberts will find himself in a much better place.
In the Kansas Governor's race we find Paul Davis leading Sam Brownback 42/38 with Libertarian Keen Umbehr at 7%. This is a rare contest where the Libertarian candidate is actually hurting the Democratic candidate by splitting the anti-Brownback vote. Umbehr voters say they would Davis over Brownback 55/26 if they had to pick between the two, and when you reallocate their votes it would bump Davis up to a 6 point lead at 45/39. Brownback continues to be very unpopular, sporting a 36/53 approval rating. Davis still has a relatively low profile- 35% of voters have no opinion about him one way or another- but his favorability is a positive 38/26 spread among those who are familiar with him.
The big story in Kansas right now is the revolt of the moderate Republicans. We find that 15% of Kansans identify themselves as moderate Republicans. They're supporting Davis over Brownback 56/28, and they're supporting Orman over Roberts 54/29. That support for Democrats from centrist GOP voters is driving most of both Davis and Orman's current leads.
PPP's newest North Carolina Senate poll finds the race steady compared to a month ago. Kay Hagan continues to lead by 4 points, with 44% to 40% for Thom Tillis and 5% for Libertarian Sean Haugh. Haugh's impact on the race is waning- since June his support has dropped from 11% now down to this 5% standing. He's also no longer disproportionately drawing supporters away from Tillis- when Haugh's supporters are reallocated to who they would choose between Hagan and Tillis, Hagan continues to hold a 4 point lead at 46/42.
Hagan's image is improving some as the election nears. She still has a negative approval rating at 43/48, but that's an improvement from the 40/50 spread she had in July. And her net approval is still a good deal better than Tillis' -14 net favorability- 34% of voters see him favorably to 48% with an unfavorable opinion. He's seen steady improvement in his numbers as well after being at a 24/47 spread in July, but continues to find himself in a worse position than Hagan.
Hagan continues to have a massive advantage with women at 49/33, while Tillis is ahead 48/38 with men. Hagan trails only 49/35 with white voters, numbers that will generally get a Democrat elected statewide in North Carolina, and leads 77/7 with African Americans. Hagan has a 41/33 lead with independents that helps her make up for Tillis getting 13% of the Democratic vote while Hagan gets just 7% of Republicans.
One issue that likely continues to be problematic for Tillis is the minimum wage. North Carolinians support it being increased to $10 an hour by a 57/34 margin, including 52/37 with independents. Barack Obama's continued unpopularity still has the potential to cause Hagan trouble with late deciding voters though- it's 42/55 overall and with those who haven't made their minds up yet it's 25/61. This remains a close race and despite the good run of polling for Hagan over the last week still probably belongs in the toss up category.
Public Policy Polling’s newest survey of the Maine Governor’s race continues to find a tight contest with Mike Michaud at 43% to 42% for Paul LePage. Eliot Cutler trails in a distant third at 11%. We attribute the closeness of the race to a continued split among progressive-leaning voters. Without Cutler’s presence in the race, his supporters would overwhelmingly choose Michaud over LePage; in a two way matchup between Michaud and LePage, Michaud’s lead would be 50/46.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Michaud’s support has been steady at 43-44% in all of PPP’s Maine polling so far in 2014. He is winning independent voters with 43% to 35% for LePage and 16% for Cutler. He is also benefiting from a dominant lead with women, getting 49% to 38% for LePage, and 10% for Cutler. Michaud is showing broad appeal by leading with both seniors and young voters.
-Cutler is becoming a less viable candidate as we get closer to Election Day. When PPP started polling in this contest in January of 2013, Cutler was at 26%. By August of last year, he had dropped down to 18%, then to 14% this April, and now he’s at his lowest level of support yet at 11%. Cutler is in a distant third place even with independents, despite being an independent.
-53% of Cutler’s supporters say they would pick Michaud in a head to head contest, compared to only 32% who say they would vote for LePage. The support he’s pulling from Michaud could be enough to reelect LePage in this razor thin contest.
Paul LePage is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, and most voters in Maine want to replace him. Given the closeness of the race right now, they will need to unify around one of the two candidates challenging LePage. This poll is further confirmation that Michaud is the only candidate with the support necessary to defeat LePage in November.
We're going to do North Carolina and Kansas for our polls this coming weekend. Obviously we'll look at the Senate races in both states and the race for Governor in Kansas. What else would you like to see us ask about on these polls? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
PPP's newest Florida poll continues to find a tight race for Governor, with Charlie Crist holding a slight advantage over Rick Scott. Crist is at 42% to 39% for Scott, and 8% for Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. This election is shaping up as a choice between two candidates voters have decided they don't care for. Only 40% of voters approve of the job Scott is doing to 49% who disapprove. But they don't like Crist either- 40% of voters rate him favorably with 46% holding a negative opinion. The dissatisfaction with both major candidates probably helps to explain Wyllie's 8% standing but since he is drawing pretty equally from both Scott and Crist he's not having a major effect on the race in the way some Libertarians are in other states. When you take him out of the equation Crist's lead remains 3 points at 44/41.
Republicans have decent sized leads in Florida's down ballot races, although they're not likely to receive the same sorts of overwhelming margins they enjoyed in 2010. Adam Putnam leads Thad Hamilton 42/37 for Commissioner of Agriculture, Pam Bondi is up 43/35 on George Sheldon for Attorney General with Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer at 6%, and Jeff Atwater is up 46/34 on Will Rankin for Chief Financial Officer.
Florida's medical marijuana amendment is still receiving more than the 60% it needs to become law, but opposition to it has risen in recent months. 61% of voters say they support it to 33% who are opposed. That's down from a 66/25 spread in favor of passage in June and a 65/23 spread in favor in January.
PPP's newest Michigan poll finds Gary Peters matching his largest lead ever, which he had last October during the middle of the government shutdown. Peters is at 43% to 36% for Terri Lynn Land with third party candidates combining for 7%. The story of the race is Land's continually declining favorability. She has dropped a net 28 points since December, from starting out at +11 (34/23) to falling all the way down now to -17 (32/49). Michigan is a Democratic state to begin with, and Peters is getting 12% of the Republican vote, while only 5% of Democrats say they're going to vote for Land. Voters remain pretty ambivalent toward Peters himself- 35% have a favorable view of him to 36% with an unfavorable one. But with Land extremely unpopular, he continues to be in good shape. One issue playing to Peters' considerable advantage is the minimum wage- voters support increasing it to $10 an hour by a 58/34 spread.
It continues to look more and more like the action in Michigan will be in the Governor's race. Rick Snyder is at 43% to 42% for Mark Schauer with third party candidates combining for 6%. Snyder continues to be unpopular with only 43% of voters approving of him to 51% who disapprove. Schauer's name recognition has increased from 51% to 68% over the last couple months but there hasn't been much change in the close divide on his favorability- 35% of voters see him positively, 33% in a negative light.
Snyder finds himself in trouble after winning by an overwhelming margin in 2010 because several of his major accomplishments have proven to be very unpopular. Voters say by a 48/36 margin that they would vote to repeal the right to work law if it was on the ballot. And they oppose the increase in pension taxes that's been highlighted in early campaign ads by a 74/17 spread. One thing that may be helping to keep Snyder afloat is the popularity of Medicaid expansion in the state- five months after it took effect voters support the 'Healthy Michigan' program by 24 points, 50/26. That's one issue where Snyder is winning some favor across party lines.
We're going to poll Florida and Michigan this weekend...besides the races for Governor in both states and the race for Senate in Michigan what things would you like us to ask about in these states? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota survey finds that Rick Weiland is continuing to cut into Mike Rounds’ once double digit lead in the race to replace Tim Johnson.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Rounds’ lead now stands at just 6 points- he’s at 39% to 33% for Weiland, 17% for Larry Pressler, and 4% for Gordon Howie. Rounds’ lead has dropped from 10 points in April to 8 points in early August to now just 6 points in late August as Weiland has become better known and more popular.
-Weiland is considerably more well liked by voters than Rounds. 48% see him favorably to only 27% with an unfavorable opinion. That +21 net favorability rating for Weiland is up from +15 earlier in the month, and it’s 24 points better than Rounds’- only 44% of voters see him positively to 47% who have a negative opinion.
-There are several reasons to think the race could close further. Among voters who are familiar with Weiland, whether they have a positive or negative opinion of him, he leads Rounds 42/36. Rounds is ahead in large part thanks to greater name recognition, but as Weiland has become better known, Rounds’ lead has gotten smaller and smaller.
Additionally Pressler supporters say that if they had to pick, they’d choose Weiland over Rounds 48/29. Third party candidates tend to see their support fade as an election gets closer. If Pressler sees a decline in his support over the next two months, Weiland is likely to be the beneficiary- he trails Rounds only 45/42 when you take Pressler out of the mix.
Rick Weiland has the momentum in this race. The more voters get to know him, the more they like him, and it’s making what was once a wide lead for Mike Rounds less and less comfortable.
PPP interviewed 709 likely voters on August 27th and 28th on behalf of People for Weiland. The poll’s margin of error is +/-3.7%. 51% of those surveyed were Republicans and 35% were Democrats (R+16), representing a more GOP leaning sample than the voter registration numbers in the state (45% Republicans and 35% Democrats for R+10).
A new Public Policy Polling survey of Arizona voters finds that the general election match up for Governor between Democrat Fred DuVal and Republican Doug Ducey would start out as a tie, if Ducey wins the primary as recent public polls have suggested.
Key findings from the survey include:
-DuVal and Ducey are both at 35%, with 12% of voters saying they support Libertarian Barry Hess. The high level of support for Hess reflects the unusual amounts of support we’re finding for third party candidates across the country right now as voters are unhappy with both parties. DuVal overcomes Arizona’s GOP party registration advantage due to a 16 point lead with independent voters.
-Ducey is entering the general election badly damaged by the divisive primary campaign. Only 26% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 41% who have a negative one. He’s at 17/57 with independents and a weak 43/24 even with Republican voters. DuVal remains largely undefined with 60% of voters having no opinion about him and those who do have one pretty evenly split.
-Democrats have an opportunity in Arizona because voters are unhappy with Governor Brewer and the current direction of the state. Only 41% of voters see Brewer favorably to 47% who have an unfavorable opinion of her. And there’s a general feeling that the state is on the wrong track- 59% of voters express that sentiment to only 30% who think the state is headed in the right direction under its current Republican leadership.
An unpopular incumbent and a damaged Republican nominee are combining to make the Arizona Governor’s office a great opportunity for a Democratic pick up this fall.
PPP interviewed 588 likely voters on August 24th and 25th on behalf of Progress Now Arizona. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.0%
PPP is best known for putting out highly accurate polling on key political races across the country, but we also do affordable private research for candidates and organizations. Why pay tens of thousands of dollars for a survey when one of the most reliable companies in the nation can do it for less?"