We're going to poll Connecticut and Georgia this weekend...we'll look at all the statewide races in each place...what else should we delve into in these states? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
PPP's newest Iowa Senate poll continues to find a tight race with Joni Ernst slightly ahead of Bruce Braley. Ernst is ahead 44/42 when all the third party candidates are included, and 45/43 in a straight head to head. The 45/43 advantage for Ernst is identical to what we found on our last poll of the race in late August.
Even though the horse race numbers haven't changed much, this is the first time we've found Ernst with a better net favorability rating than Braley. Ernst is at -4 with 42% of voters rating her favorably to 46% with a negative opinion, numbers that are up from a -10 spread at 36/46 in August. Meanwhile Braley's numbers continue their slow decline- he has a -7 rating with 37% rating him favorably and 44% holding an unfavorable opinion, down from -4 at 37/41 last month. Braley's favorability has dropped a net 17 points from where it was when we first polled a Braley/Ernst match up in July of 2013 and he was at +10 (34/24).
Both candidates have a pretty good lock on their party base. Only 5% of Democrats are crossing over to support Ernst, and just 8% of Republicans are crossing over to support Braley. The key for Ernst is with independent voters- she has a 45/35 advantage with them.
The Governor's race in Iowa does not appear to be making any move towards being competitive. Terry Branstad leads Jack Hatch 50/36 with the full field of candidates and 52/38 in a straight head to head. Branstad is up 20 points with independents at 51/31, and is winning over 17% of the Democratic vote while losing just 6% of Republicans. The horse race numbers pretty closely track with Branstad's approval numbers at 53/38. Feelings about Hatch are divided three ways with about a third rating him favorably, a third unfavorably, and a third having no opinion either way.
The closest race down ballot continues to be the one for Secretary of State. Republican Paul Pate leads Democrat Brad Anderson 36/33, with 25% of voters remaining undecided. Also in the range of being competitive is the race for Auditor- Republican Mary Mosiman has a 41/35 advantage over Democratic challenger Jonathan Neiderbach there.
The other three statewide contests don't appear they'll be competitive this year. Democrat Tom Miller leads 53/33 for reelection as Attorney General, Republican Bill Northey is up 49/29 in his bid for another term as Agriculture Commissioner, and Michael Fitzgerald has a 47/35 advantage in his run at keeping the Treasurer's job.
Public Policy Polling's newest Louisiana poll finds Bill Cassidy with a slight lead over Mary Landrieu in a possible December runoff election, 48/45. The two candidates had been tied at 47 on PPP's last look at the race in late June. Neither candidate is very popular with voters. 37% of voters have a favorable opinion of Cassidy to 41% with an unfavorable opinion, numbers that while poor are actually slightly improved from a -8 net favorability rating on the previous poll at 28/36. Landrieu's approval numbers are worse though- 42% give her good marks to 52% who disapprove. Those numbers are identical to what they were in late June.
There has been a lot of speculation about how turnout might influence the dynamics in a December runoff election, and on that front we find something that is at least a little disturbing for Democrats. 89% of likely voters for November also say that they will definitely vote in a runoff election if there is one. Among those voters Cassidy's lead expands to 50/45. Among the 11% of voters who say just they will probably vote, that the chances are 50/50, or that they will probably not vote Landrieu leads by 13 points at 40/27. Making sure those folks actually come back out in December will be key to her chances.
Landrieu does at least continue to have a clear lead in the November election. 42% of voters say they will support her to 34% for Bill Cassidy and 12% for Rob Maness with 2% saying they will support one of the other minor candidates in the race. Maness continues to be no real threat to Cassidy's chances of finishing in the top two- he is now 22 points out of second place compared to 19 points back on our late July poll.
Cassidy leads Landrieu in the runoff based on two key things: he leads with independents at 46/37, and he is also winning over 18% of Democrats compared to the 13% of Republicans Landrieu is getting. This race features about as large of a racial divide as we ever see- Cassidy is up 68/24 with white voters, while Landrieu leads 89/7 with African Americans.
On a lighter note Landrieu's well publicized efforts to help an LSU student with a keg stand at a football game are not part of her problem. 61% of voters in the state either say they approved of Landrieu doing that or that they don't care, compared to only 36% who express disapproval.
PPP's newest Virginia Senate poll finds a very steady race, with almost no change since the last survey we did there in the spring. Mark Warner leads Ed Gillespie 48/35, compared to a 49/35 advantage when we looked at the race in April. Libertarian Robert Sarvis is proving to be less of a factor than he was in the race for Governor last year- he's polling at just 4% and when you take him out of the mix Warner's lead is pretty much unchanged at 49/37.
Warner has a positive approval rating at 49/40. Meanwhile Gillespie is not proving to be a particularly appealing candidate- only 29% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 37% who view him negatively. Warner has a double digit advantage because he is winning over 17% of the Republican vote, while just 3% of Democrats are going for Gillespie. Warner is even slightly ahead with white voters at 44/43 and with seniors by a wider margin at 48/41, both groups that Democrats don't typically perform that well with.
The General Assembly and its Republican leadership are pretty unpopular with Virginia voters. The General Assembly overall has just a 28% approval rating, with 46% of voters disapproving of it. Democrats (22/52), independents (26/50), and narrowly even Republicans (36/37) all give the General Assembly poor marks. The Republicans leadership in particular is seen favorably by just 33% of Virginians to 47% with an unfavorable opinion. 72% of Virginians oppose budget cuts to K-12 education and teacher salaries, 64% oppose cuts to workforce development funding, 63% support continued tax relief on car sales, and 62% oppose cuts to higher education.
A couple of hotly debated issues over the last year play to Democrats' advantage in Virginia. 62% of voters support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour, compared to only 30% who are opposed. 90% of Democrats, 56% of independents, and even 37% of Republicans support the minimum wage increase. There's also 55/35 support for Medicaid expansion with 87% of Democrats supporting it, independents behind it by a 50/36 margin, and 25% of Republicans in favor.
We're going to poll Iowa and Louisiana this weekend. Obviously we'll look at all the statewide races in Iowa, and the Senate race and next year's contest for Governor in Louisiana. What else should we ask about on our Iowa and Louisiana polls? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
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.
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