PPP's newest Colorado poll finds very close races for both Governor and the Senate. Cory Gardner is up 46/43 on Mark Udall in the Senate race, while John Hickenlooper has a 45/44 advantage over Bob Beauprez in the Governor's race.
Both Democrats are doing well with the groups Democrats tend to do well with in Colorado. Hickenlooper is up 49/39 with women, 60/28 with Hispanics, and 59/31 with young voters. Udall is similarly ahead 46/42 with women, 64/24 with Hispanics, and 59/22 with young voters. The problem for the Democrats is that they are down by significant margins with men- Hickenlooper trails by 10 points, Udall by 11 points- with white voters- Hickenlooper trails by 5 points, Udall by 12 points, and with seniors- Hickenlooper trails by 9 points, Udall by 13 points. The struggles with those groups are largely offsetting their strength with their traditional constituencies.
Udall continues to struggle with his approval numbers, as only 37% of voters think he's doing a good job to 52% who disapprove. Hickenlooper's approval is under water as well, with 43% of voters approving of him and 49% disapproving. Both Republican candidates have narrowly positive favorability ratings- Gardner comes in at 45/42 and Beauprez at 41/39.
For Hickenlooper and Udall's struggles, they may actually be outperforming the overall political climate in the state. Republicans lead by 8 points on the generic legislative ballot, 48/40, a measure that really shows the difficulties Democrats overall are having in Colorado this year.
Further down the ticket the closest race is for Treasurer, where incumbent Republican Walker Stapleton leads Democratic challenger Betsy Markey 42/40. Stapleton's lead had been 10 points when we last polled the state in July. Republicans have larger leadsin the other down ballot races- Wayne Williams is up 36/31 on Joe Neguse for Secretary of State and Cynthia Coffman has a 46/32 advantage over Don Quick for Attorney General.
PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds a steady race, with Kay Hagan leading at 46% to 43% for Thom Tillis and 5% for Sean Haugh. This is the third month in a row that Hagan has held an advantage of either 3 or 4 points. In a two candidate race Hagan still leads Tillis 47/44, indicating that Haugh's potential 'spoiler effect' on the race is waning. Haugh's supporters only say their second choice would be Tillis by a 34/30 spread now, considerably closer than the difference was earlier in the campaign.
Both candidates remain unpopular in the closing stretch of the contest, but Hagan at least fares a little bit better with voters than Tillis does. 41% of voters approve of the job she's doing to 50% who disapprove, for a -9 net approval rating. That's not good but it puts her ahead of Tillis who just 37% of voters see favorably to 49% who have a negative opinion, for a -12 net favorability rating.
There's nothing very surprising about where the candidates' support is coming from. Hagan is up 49/37 with women, 85/4 with African Americans, and 61/27 with young voters. Meanwhile Tillis is up 49/42 with men, 55/34 with white voters, and 54/37 with seniors. Tillis is ahead 43/38 with independents but in an unusual finding for North Carolina politics, Hagan is getting the same share of the Democratic vote (81%) that Tillis getting of the Republican vote and if you do that as a Democrat in North Carolina you're generally going to win given the party's voter registration advantage in the state.
It's still a close race but Hagan's lead- though small- has certainly been persistent and something dramatic may need to happen in the final two weeks to allow Tillis to come out on top.
We're going to poll Colorado and North Carolina this weekend...obviously we'll look at the Senate races in both states and the Governor's race in Colorado...what else should we ask about about on these polls? Thanks as always for your suggestions!
PPP's new Idaho poll finds a close race for Governor- although there are also strong signals within the poll that the contest might not end up being that close in the end. Incumbent Butch Otter leads with only 39% to 35% for Democrat A.J. Balukoff. Minor candidates combine for an unusually high 12%, and 14% of voters are undecided.
The support right now for the minor candidates is a reflection of Otter's unpopularity. Only 36% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove, and even Republicans are pretty tepid in their feelings about him with 54% approving to 27% who disapprove. But those voters supporting the minor candidates say they would pick Otter over Balukoff 65/26 if they had to choose between the two, and that's enough to push Otter's lead up to 47/38 in a head to head contest. Given the tendency for third party candidates to fade down the stretch, that's an important data point. Beyond that the undecideds voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama 71/16 in 2012, suggesting that if they eventually choose based on party loyalty Otter could ultimately win by double digits despite his current low numbers. All that said, Otter's unpopularity has made this an unusually close contest for Idaho.
There are also several down ballot races right now where Democrats find themselves within striking range. Republican Lawerence Denney leads Holli Woodings only 38/35 for Secretary of State, and Republican Sherri Ybarra leads Democrat Jana Jones just 41/38 for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The undecideds don't bode terribly well for Democratic chances in these races either though- the ones for Secretary of State voted 68/18 for Mitt Romney in 2012, and the ones for Superintendent voted 75/12 for Romney. There's a lot more room for growth for the GOP candidates in these races than the Democrats.
The rest of the Idaho ballot finds Republicans leading by double digits. Jim Risch is up 50/32 on Nels Mitchell for the Senate, Brad Little leads Bert Marley 42/25 for Lieutenant Governor with Constitution Party candidate David Hartigan at 12%, Ron Crane leads Deborah Silver 46/32 for Treasurer, and Lawrence Wasden is up 52/26 on Bruce Bistline for Attorney General.
PPP's newest Kansas poll finds the races for both the Senate and Governor tightening, as Republican voters start to unify more around their party's candidates.
In the Senate race Greg Orman leads Pat Roberts 44-41, with Libertarian Randall Batson at 5%. In a head to head match up without Batson, Orman has a 46/43 advantage. A month ago he led Roberts 46/36- Orman has held onto his support since then, but the incumbent is on the rise. Roberts' gains have come pretty much exclusively with Republicans- he's gone from leading by 26 points with them at 57/31 in September to now a 37 point advantage at 62/25. Roberts remains unpopular- only 37% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 47% who disapprove. But Orman's negatives are rising as the campaign progresses too- his net favorability of +4 at 42/38 is down 16 points from last month when it was +20 at 39/19.
There's still one big data point in Kansas pointing to the possibility of Roberts ultimately coming back to win this race. By a 52/35 margin, voters in the state would rather Republicans had control of the Senate than Democrats. And among those who are undecided there's a 48/25 preference for a GOP controlled Senate. If voters make up their minds based on the national picture in the closing stretch it could mean voting for Roberts even if they don't really care for him personally.
The Governor's race is getting close as well. Sam Brownback and Paul Davis are each at 42% to 6% for Libertarian Keen Umbehr. Umbehr is the unusual Libertarian who's actually helping the Republican in the race by splitting the anti-Brownback vote. If you take him out of the picture, Davis leads 45/44. Brownback continues to be very unpopular, with only 38% of voters approving of him to 54% who disapprove. But he's succeeded in driving Davis' negatives up over the last month- in September Davis had a +12 net favorability rating at 38/26 but now he's break even at 39%. That's helping to drive some Republicans back into the Brownback camp- he leads 64/24 among voters in his own party, compared to 60/25 a month ago. That's enough to erase what had been a 4 point Davis lead.
Republicans lead in all the down ballot races in Kansas. Secretary of State Kris Kobach has the closest race but still leads challenger Jean Schodorf 47/41. GOP candidates lead by double digits in the rest of the contests- it's a 16 point advantage for Ken Selzer in the Insurance Commissioner race at 48/32, a 20 point lead for Ron Estes in the Treasurer contest at 50/30, and a 26 point edge for Derek Schmidt in the Attorney General race at 53/27.
We're going to poll Kansas and Idaho this weekend...we'll look at the races for Senate and Governor in both states...what else would you like to see us ask about in these states? This will be our first ever public Idaho poll!
Public Policy Polling's newest Georgia survey finds a tight race for the US Senate. Republican David Perdue is at 45% to 43% for Democrat Michelle Nunn. Libertarian Amanda Swafford is polling at 5%, which would be enough to send the contest into a January runoff if it remains this close. Swafford's support could reflect residual unhappiness among voters who supported one of Perdue's opponents in the Republican nomination contest- 70% of them voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 compared to only 16% of them who voted for Barack Obama. They say they would support Perdue over Nunn 43/12 if they had to choose between the two, which would push Perdue's overall lead to 48/45.
Voters are pretty mixed in their feelings about both candidates. Nunn has a slightly better net favorability rating at -1, with 41% of voters giving her positive marks to 42% with an unfavorable opinion. Perdue comes in at -4 with 39% rating him favorably to 43% who have a negative view. One thing that may be aiding Nunn's competitiveness is the continued very positive legacy of her father- 54% of Georgians have a favorable opinion of former Senator Sam Nunn to only 20% with a negative one.
Republicans have leads of varying sizes in all the statewide races. In the contest for Governor Nathan Deal is at 46% to 41% for Democratic challenger Jason Carter. Libertarian Andrew Hunt is getting 4%, which based on Deal's current lead would not be enough to force the election into a December runoff. Voters are mixed in their feelings about both Deal and Carter as well. Deal has a 43/42 approval rating, and Carter's favorability stands at 39/36.
The GOP candidates lead all of the down ballot state races by margins ranging from 6 to 11 points. Casey Cagle is up 48/37 for Lieutenant Governor, Brian Kemp is up 48/39 for Secretary of State, Sam Olens, Gary Black, and Mark Butler are all up 45/36 in their contests for Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, and Labor Commissioner respectively, Ralph Hudgens is up 41/34 for Insurance Commissioner, and Richard Woods is up 46/40 for State Superintendent.
Public Policy Polling's first Connecticut poll of 2014 finds Dan Malloy with an 8 point lead for reelection over Republican foe Tom Foley, 43/35. Independent Joe Visconti is polling at 9%. Visconti is largely drawing voters away from Foley- his supporters say their second choice would be Foley by a 46/27 spread. In a head to head, Malloy's advantage over Foley is 6 points at 45/39.
Malloy's had low approval numbers throughout most of his term and that hasn't changed- only 40% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 50% who disapprove. But Foley's numbers are even worse with just 34% of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 49% with an unfavorable one. The dislike of both candidates helps to explain why Visconti is getting such a high level of support. Malloy is actually winning more Republicans (17%) than Foley is Democrats (12%) which makes it very hard for a Republican to be successful in a state where Democrats have a substantial registration advantage.
Democrats are headed for a sweep up and down the ballot in Connecticut this fall. George Jepsen leads 45/30 for Attorney General, Denise Merrill is up 42/33 for Secretary of State, Denise Nappier is up 45/37 for Treasurer, and Kevin Lembo leads 38/33 for Comptroller.
Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota Senate poll finds that Mike Rounds’ support has dropped all the way down to 35% in the wake of voter anger over the EB-5 scandal, and that Rick Weiland continues to be better liked and within single digits of Rounds.
Key findings from the poll include:
-Rounds is at just 35% to 28% for Weiland, 24% for Larry Pressler, and 8% for Gordon Howie. A majority of South Dakotans have a negative opinion of Rounds, with just 41% rating him favorably to 51% with an unfavorable opinion. Weiland’s favorability, at a positive 42/38 spread, is a net 14 points better than Rounds’.
-Weiland is likely to gain ground as Pressler’s support fades over the course of October. Among Pressler’s voters, Weiland has a positive favorability rating at 43/28 while Rounds is incredibly unpopular with only 18% of voters rating him favorably to 68% who see him unfavorably. Since Weiland has been second in all the polls, anti-Rounds Pressler voters are likely to move in Weiland’s direction as the election nears since he’s the more viable candidate both in terms of current polling support and fundraising.
-Rounds is losing supporting on the right to Howie. Howie’s doubled his share of the Republican vote over the last month from 6% to 12%, pushing his support to the point where it provides a real threat to Rounds. Rounds has a tepid 62/31 favorability even with GOP voters, reflecting his weak 55% showing in the June primary.
With under 5 weeks to the election, South Dakota has the potential to join Kansas as a previously under the radar Senate race that could confound Republican efforts to get control of the Senate. This race is just as competitive as the ones in places like New Hampshire and Michigan that have drawn far more attention. Rounds’ growing weakness makes this a race worth keeping an eye on in the stretch run.
PPP interviewed 703 likely voters on September 29th and 30th on behalf of People for Weiland. The poll’s margin of error is +/-3.7%. 49% of those surveyed were Republicans and 35% were Democrats (R+14), representing a more GOP leaning sample than the voter registration numbers in the state (45% Republicans and 35% Democrats for R+10).
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!
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