Raleigh, N.C. – The Chris Christie boomlet has carried over the Jersey border into the Keystone State. He leads Hillary Clinton by four points (48-44) in a state President Obama just carried by five. Other than that, however, Clinton continues to exceed the president’s margins in matchups against Ted Cruz (53-41), home state option Rick Santorum (51-42), and Rand Paul (51-43), and at least roughly matches him versus Jeb Bush (48-44), even in the choppy waters Democrats are sailing right now.
Among GOP primary voters, Christie has a decent 26-16 lead over Cruz, with Paul’s 14%, Bush’s 10%, Santorum’s 8%, Marco Rubio’s 6%, Paul Ryan’s 5%, and Scott Walker’s and Bobby Jindal’s 3% bringing up the rear.
In the wake of the federal government shutdown, Pat Toomey’s numbers have taken a hit. Only 36% of Pennsylvanians approve of the freshman senator’s job performance, with 46% disapproving. That is down a net seven points from eight months ago (34-37). He has fallen 20 points on the margin with independents, 11 with Democrats, and even two with his own party.
-Pennsylvania really shows what a wide disparity there is between Chris Christie's appeal and the rest of the Republican Presidential candidates. He leads Hillary Clinton 48/44 in the state, while the rest of the GOP hopefuls do as bad or worse than Mitt Romney did there last year. Clinton leads Jeb Bush 48/44, Rand Paul 51/43, Rick Santorum 51/42, and Ted Cruz 53/41.
Christie also leads the Republican primary field in the state with 26% to 16% for Ted Cruz, 14% for Rand Paul, 10% for Jeb Bush, 8% for Rick Santorum, 6% for Marco Rubio, 5% for Paul Ryan, and 3% each for Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker. Even there Christie is weak with 'very conservative' voters, getting just 11% to 23% for Cruz and 19% for Paul. But with moderates Christie gets 45% to 13% for Paul, 10% for Bush, and just 5% for Cruz.
In the Democratic primary there's not much of a home state bonus for Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton still gets 61% to 13% for Biden, 11% for Elizabeth Warren, 3% for Andrew Cuomo, and 2% for Cory Booker. Clinton does well with pretty much every segment of the Democratic electorate.
-Bob Casey (44/42 approval) is faring better with voters in the state right now than his junior colleague Pat Toomey (36/46 approval). Both Senators are down a net 7 points on their approval compared to when we last polled the state in March. Toomey would tie Joe Sestak at 42 in a rematch of their 2010 match up that he pulled out by a couple points, and he would trail Attorney General Kathleen Kane 46/42 in a hypothetical contest. 2016 is certainly a long way off but early indications are that this should be a competitive race.
Raleigh, N.C. – Three years ago, Pat Quinn surprised some by beating Bill Brady for a full term as governor by less than a point in a terrible turnout environment for Democrats and following the impeachment of his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich. To boot, Quinn had a 32-54 approval rating of his own. His numbers since then have only gone down. In PPP’s latest poll, he has a 34-60 approval spread.
In the short term, however, Quinn’s numbers are trending slightly upward. A year ago, PPP measured him at 25-64, making him then the least popular governor in the country. His 13-point marginal improvement has coincided with an improving re-election picture. He trailed Dan Rutherford by four points and Kirk Dillard by seven in the previous poll, but he now ties Dillard at 39%, and trails Rutherford by two points, 39-41. Quinn also ties Brady at 41% and leads Bruce Rauner by three (41-38). Still, 39-41% of the vote is not a strong position in which to start.
Unlike Quinn, Dick Durbin’s 46-40 approval spread is down 11 points on the margin from the 51-34 PPP measured a year ago. But he is in good company. President Obama’s own approval numbers in his home state are only 50-46, still one of his ten best states. But that is down a net 12 points from last November (57-41). The similar decline for Durbin and Obama is likely a result of the current national mood which has sent a lot of Democrats’ and Republicans’ numbers sharply downward in recent months.
PPP's newest Illinois poll finds that the race for Governor next year is a toss up. Pat Quinn continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country, but the Democratic lean of the state is enough to still make him neck and neck in hypothetical contests with the Republicans vying to take him on next fall.
Only 34% of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing to 60% who disapprove. That ties him for the third most unpopular Governor in the country. That's actually an improvement for Quinn though- his numbers are up from a 25/64 approval spread a year ago at this time, which had made him the most unpopular Governor anywhere. He's seen a little bit of improvement with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
In match ups with his potential GOP foes Quinn leads Bruce Rauner 41/38, trails Dan Rutherford 41/39, and ties both Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard at 41% and 39% respectively. Quinn trails by 4-7 points with independents and loses 13-15% of the Democratic vote in each of the match ups.
Just out of curiosity we tested to see how some other Democrats would fare against Rutherford, and although they do better than Quinn it looks like this race would be competitive no matter who the Democrats put forward next year. Lisa Madigan would lead Rutherford by 5 points at 45/40, Rahm Emanuel would lead him by 2 at 40/38, and Dan Hynes would be tied at 34.
Raleigh, N.C. – Already probably the most endangered governor running for re-election next fall, Tom Corbett’s chances of winning have only slipped further since PPP last polled Pennsylvania in March, and he is now the most unpopular governor of 43 on which PPP has polled. Only a quarter of Pennsylvanians approve of their governor’s job performance, with almost two-thirds disapproving (24-65), a drop of 17 points on the margin from the previous poll (33-58).
Corbett now earns only 30-33% of the vote, and trails even the most unknown of seven potential Democratic opponents by 12 to 20 points. He lags Jack Wagner 50-30, John Hanger 51-32, Rob McCord 50-31, Allyson Schwartz 48-33, Katie McGinty 47-32, Ed Pawlowski 45-33, and Tom Wolf 44-32. In March, Corbett’s deficits were seven to 11 points against Hanger, McCord, Schwartz, and Wolf. He is doing an average of almost seven points worse now. Wagner (45% name recognition) and Schwartz (42%) are the best-known Democrats, with the others between 25% and 31%.
Tom Corbett's situation has gone from bad to worse in the eight months since PPP last polled Pennsylvania. Corbett is now the most unpopular Governor anywhere in the country that we've polled, with only 24% of voters approving of him to 65% who disapprove. It's gotten to the point where Corbett's numbers are even upside down with Republicans, only 37% of whom approve of him with 51% disapproving.
Corbett already trailed his potential Democratic opponents by 7 to 11 points in March but those deficits have increased to 12-20 points now. He trails Jack Wagner by 20 (50/30), John Hanger by 19 (51/32), Rob McCord by 19 (50/31), Allyson Schwartz by 15 (48/33), Katie McGinty by 15 (47/32), Ed Pawlowski by 12 (45/33), and Tom Wolf by 12 (44/32). All of the Democrats win at least 23% of the Republican vote, and take independents by at least 22 points.
There's not much doubt Republicans would be better off with a different candidate. We also tested Schwartz in hypothetical match ups with GOP Congressmen Jim Gerlach and Mike Kelly. Despite each having only around 30% name recognition statewide, they each do 7 points better in a head to head than Corbett. Gerlach trails 39/31 and Kelly has a 41/33 deficit. Corbett has poisoned the well enough for Republicans that they'd start out at a disadvantage even with a different candidate, but they'd at least be in a range where they might be able to come back.
Raleigh, N.C. – As tough as things look for Democrats in the Montana Senate race right now, they wouldn't necessarily be much better if Max Baucus was running for reelection. Only 38% of voters in the state approve of the job he's doing to 53% who disapprove. That makes him the second most unpopular Senator in the country in our polling, and the most unpopular Democratic Senator by a good margin. He'd be trailing if he was running again too. Jon Tester's approval has dropped from positive territory at 48/43 to now 44/50.
Despite things generally getting worse for Democrats in Montana over the last five months the one person who's holding up well is Governor Steve Bullock. 47% of voters approve of him to 28% who disapprove, numbers that are actually a tick up from their 46/29 standing in June. He has a +15 net approval with independents and an unusually low 39% of Republicans disapprove of him.
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