Digging through the crosstabs of our Texas poll yesterday, it really caught my attention that 37% of Democrats said they had a positive opinion of Kay Bailey Hutchison. It got me wondering if she had the strongest bipartisan appeal of any public official we've polled on in the last few months.
Since December we've done favorability or approval ratings for 40 politicians in Texas, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and New Hampshire. Of that group only four had better than 30% approval/favorability from the opposite party.
The one who did best across party lines was Andrew Cuomo in New York. 49% of Republicans said they had a favorable opinion of him. That may be somewhat inflated because of the timing of the poll- it was at a juncture where it looked like Hillary Clinton's replacement might come down to him or Caroline Kennedy, and they certainly liked him more than her. Either way, quite an impressive performance.
Hutchison was tied for second best at 37% with Kit Bond of Missouri. We took the temperature on Bond within a couple days of him announcing his retirement and he definitely benefited from that. His numbers with Democrats had been a lot worse last summer.
The fourth member of the 30+ club is North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. He gets a 31% approval rating from Republicans, made all the more impressive by the fact that 32% don't have an opinion of him one way or the other.
This quick analysis indicates that 30% or better is the 90th percentile for crossover popularity on a politician, so that's certainly something we'll pay attention to as we continue conducting surveys looking toward 2010.
-Sometimes Civitas, Elon, and PPP generate very different numbers on the same issue...and sometimes we don't. Elon found 52-39 support for the stimulus, Civitas got 50-36, and we got 50-39. The consistency of those numbers would lead me to believe that's about right.
-Elon, like Civitas, finds Barack Obama's approval rating much higher than us at 59-25. Just more evidence of a possible IVR/live caller disparity as I suggested earlier this week. I hope their numbers are the more accurate reflection but I'm guessing Republicans are being more charitable to human interviewers.
-They also found 73% support for an increase in the cigarette tax. That's consistent with other polling showing strong majority support for that, which is why I found the quick efforts of legislative leadership to scuttle it last year kind of curious. I'm sure they were more concerned with how the increase would be portrayed in campaign ads than with general public opinion on it.
Coming next week we'll have the second of our monthly tracking polls on the Virginia Democratic race for Governor. It will be interesting to see if Terry McAuliffe's big bucks have allowed him to take the outright lead or if Brian Moran is hanging on. Also, last month we saw Creigh Deeds behind the pack and we'll find out if he's closing in at all.
We're also going to have another vote next week on where we should poll next weekend. We'll offer the Connecticut (Chris Dodd v. Rob Simmons, Richard Blumenthal v. Rob Simmons), and Delaware (Mike Castle v. Beau Biden, Mike Castle v. John Carney) options again. We'll add Kentucky to the list as well since Jim Bunning has had a bunch more missteps since Kos did a poll there a month ago.
Topline results are below. Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.
Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance? If you approve, press 1. If you disapprove, press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3. Approve .......................................................... 45% Disapprove...................................................... 46% Not Sure.......................................................... 9%
Q2 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Republican Governor Rick Perry? If favorable, press 1. If unfavorable, press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3. Favorable........................................................ 41% Unfavorable .................................................... 48% Not Sure.......................................................... 11%
Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry would both best Democrat Tom Schieffer in a potential gubernatorial face off next year, although the race has some potential to be competitive if the current Governor is renominated.
Hutchison leads Schieffer 54-30 while Perry has a 45-35 advantage over him, below the magic 50% number considered safe for incumbents.
Hutchison appears to be close to unbeatable in a general election. She pulls 20% of the Democratic vote, has a 23 point lead among independents, and has 86% of Republicans committed to voting for her.
Perry's standing pales on all three of those fronts. Only 13% of Democrats say they would vote for him, he actually trails Schieffer by a small amount among independents, and he gets a smaller 78% segment of the Republican vote.
Perry would certainly still be favored over Schieffer, but compared to Hutchison his winning the GOP primary would leave the door ever so slightly open for a possible Democratic takeover. If Hutchison is the victor that door is pretty much shut.
Hutchison is the only one of the trio with a positive favorability rating. 58% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of her compared to 31% who view her negatively. 48% have an unfavorable take on Perry compared to 41% who give him their approval, and Schieffer's breakdown is 25/31.
It appears Texas is more than likely to vote next year for 20 years of Republican governors.
46% of Texans disapprove of Barack Obama's job performance so far, with 45% approving.
The views toward him are extremely polarized along party lines, with 90% of Democrats but only 8% of Republicans expressing support. Independents are nearly split down the middle, with 42% giving him their approval and 46% dissenting.
This mirrors PPP's findings in other states. A North Carolina poll last week found 82% of Democrats and only 12% of Republicans approving of Obama, and a New Hampshire poll earlier in February found 83% of Democrats but only 15% of GOP voters supporting Obama's stimulus package. As hard as he has tried to earn support across party lines, not much is coming.
In Texas women, African Americans, Hispanics, and voters under 30 all give the President pretty strong approval while men, whites, and voters over 65 give him poor marks.
Well apparently our poll gave Rush Limbaugh a couple days of material for his show. On Tuesday he announced he was going to have a female listener summit to figure out how to address the gender gap we found in his poll numbers, and then yesterday he actually held the summit. You can read that transcript here.
Someone asked me yesterday if it was possible the gender gap was simply a product of it being more likely that women are Democrats and men are Republicans, so I ran the numbers this morning by gender and party and here's what we got:
So there is a gender gap within both the Democratic and Republican respondents to the poll, but the really huge one is among independents.
The Republican ladies love you Rush, and I don't think you have much chance with the Democratic ones. But you really need to appeal to those moderate women if you want to get that approval up over 50%.
Civitas finds a strong 52/16 approval rating for Bev Perdue even though 65% of voters say it was not appropriate for her to take a vacation a couple weeks ago...in other words the media and punditry cared and the population at large didn't. Not the first time, won't be the last.
Especially when it comes to something like Perdue's approval, I'm always particularly interested to see how she's polling in the Triangle because voters there get so much more exposure to state government on tv, radio, and in the newspaper than folks in the rest of the state do. There her numbers are particularly strong, with a 61% approval.
I think it's safe to say that the decisive and proactive image Bev is projecting on the economy matters a lot more to voters than when she goes on a trip. If this Bev had been around for the duration of the general election the contest with Pat McCrory would never have been so close.
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