PPP's newest Arkansas poll finds Republicans leading across the board in the state's key races for this year, led by Tom Cotton with a 43/38 advantage over Mark Pryor and Asa Hutchinson with a 44/38 lead over Mike Ross at the top of the ticket.
Cotton's lead is up slightly from 41/39 on our previous poll. Voters aren't in love with him- 40% see him favorably to 41% with an unfavorable opinion. But Pryor continues to have tough approval ratings, with 36% giving him good marks to 51% who disapprove. Both candidates are receiving 77% of the vote from within their own party but Cotton has a substantial advantage with independents, getting 53% of their vote to 20% for Pryor.
The Governor's race is pretty steady with Hutchinson's 44/38 lead little changed from 43/38 in early August. Hutchinson has positive favorability numbers (43/35) while voters are pretty closely divided in their feelings about Ross (35/36). The strong GOP advantage with independent voters carries over to this race too- 48% support Hutchinson to 23% for Ross.
Republicans lead by similar margins in all of the down ballot races too. It's a 4 point lead for State Auditor, a 5 point advantage for State Land Commissioner, a 6 point edge for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, an 8 point lead for State Treasurer, and the biggest GOP advantage is for Secretary of State at 11 points.
Barack Obama has a 31/62 approval rating in Arkansas, including 13/80 with independents, and that's probably making things hard for the Democratic ticket in the state.
The news isn't all bad for progressives in Arkansas. The state's initiative to raise the minimum wage is headed for overwhelming passage- 68% of voters are behind it compared to only 24% who are opposed. It's a rare thing we even find with support across party lines- Democrats give it its most emphatic support at 88/7 but Republicans (56/35) and independents (54/36) are behind it as well.
PPP's newest Alaska poll finds toss up races for both the US Senate and Governor. Dan Sullivan leads Mark Begich 43/41 for the Senate, with minor candidates combining for 5%. Bill Walker leads incumbent Sean Parnell 42/41 for Governor, with minor candidates combining for 5% in that race as well.
Sullivan has gained 6 points since our last poll in early August, while Begich has dropped 2. Sullivan's gain has come largely due to consolidating his support among Republican leaning voters since winning the primary last month. He now leads 75/9 among folks who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, compared to 70/11 on the last survey. Sullivan's seen significant improvement in his image as conservative voters have rallied around him too- his net favorability is up 10 points from -8 at 35/43 last month to now +2 at 44/42. Begich's approval is a 42/51 spread.
Making life more difficult for Begich is Barack Obama's continued unpopularity in the state- only 40% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 56% who disapprove. Nevertheless the contest remains very much in the toss up zone.
In the race for Governor the fusion ticket of independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott has made it a race. Incumbent Sean Parnell is slightly unpopular, with 42% of voters approving of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. Meanwhile Walker is well liked among voters who are familiar with him- 40% have a favorable opinion to 23% with an unfavorable one. Walker leads 44/33 with independents, and he is getting 22% of the Republican vote to Parnell's 14% of the Democratic vote. Supporters of the minor candidates in the race say they would choose Walker over Parnell 68/19 if they had to choose between the two, and when you reallocate their support Walker's advantage grows to 45/41.
2 other things on the Alaska ballot this year don't appear that they'll be competitive. In the US House race long time incumbent Don Young has a comfortable lead, getting 48% to 33% for Democrat Forrest Dunbar and 9% for Libertarian Jim McDermott. And Alaska's measure to increase the minimum wage is heading for overwhelming passage- 61% of voters support it to only 33% who are opposed. Democrats (88/8) and independents (63/31) are firmly behind it and even Republicans (43/52) are relatively divided on it.
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!
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