PPP's newest Minnesota poll finds the races for both the Senate and Governor almost unchanged from our last poll of the state, conducted in October.
Al Franken leads all of his potential Republican opponents by double digits. He leads his most likely potential foe, Mike McFadden, 49-38. Those numbers are exactly the same as they were eight months ago. Franken's leads against the rest of the GOP field are 50/39 over Jim Abeler, 49/38 over David Carlson, 50/35 over Patrick Munro, and 50/33 over O. Savior. Democrats have the advantage in Minnesota to begin with and beyond that Franken has a more unified party, getting 90% of Democrats to McFadden's 83% of Republicans.
Franken has a 50/40 approval spread, pretty much unchanged from 51/43 on our previous poll. McFadden continues to be largely unknown to voters in the state- only 29% have an opinion about him one way or the other. That means he probably has some room to grow as the race progresses and he becomes better known, particularly since undecideds in the race voted for Mitt Romney by a 26 point margin. Still, Franken is pretty close to the 50% line.
The story in the Governor's race is similarly stable from the fall. Mark Dayton leads Kurt Zellers 47/37, Jeff Johnson and Marty Seifert 47/36, and Merill Anderson and Scott Honour 47/35. In October he led Zellers, Johnson, Seifert, and Honour all by 10-11 points as well. Dayton has a 48/41 approval rating now, nearly identical to his 48/42 spread from our previous survey.
PPP's new North Carolina poll finds Kay Hagan with her largest lead for reelection since September. She leads by 5 points with 39% to 34% for Thom Tillis and 11% for Libertarian Sean Haugh. When Haugh's supporters say which of the major party candidates they'd choose if they had to pick, Hagan leads 42/38.
Hagan's expanded lead is likely a function of the General Assembly being in session- over the last year and a half her leads have always been the largest when the legislature and Thom Tillis' role at the helm of it has been most in the news. Only 18% of voters approve of the job the General Assembly is doing to 54% who disapprove. Perhaps as an extension of that, Tillis has just a 23% favorability rating with 45% of voters rating him unfavorably.
On a couple of the more recent hot button issues the legislature has dealt with, voters do not support the Republicans' approach. Only 31% think funding teachers raises through the House's proposal of increased lottery sales (19%) or the Senate's proposal of cutting teacher assistants (12%) is a good idea, while 55% would prefer getting that money by raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year. Even Republicans (40/39) would prefer increasing taxes on the wealthy to either the House or Senate's proposal. The recent fracking bill passed by the legislature is unpopular too- only 29% of voters support it to 38% who are opposed.
There are certainly bad signs for Hagan in the poll too. Her approval rating continues to be upside down with 42% of voters giving her good marks to 46% who disapprove. And Barack Obama's unpopularity in the state doesn't make life easy either- only 41% of voters approve of him to 53% who disapprove. The big question for Hagan will be whether she can sustain it if she emerges from the legislative session with a larger lead than she had before it. Last fall most of the momentum she'd built up over the summer faded away following the difficulties with the Obamacare rollout.
There's much speculation about whether Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or both will seek the White House in 2016, but voters in their home state don't want either of them to run. Our new poll finds that just 35% of Floridians think Bush should run for President, to 50% who think he should sit it out. For Rubio the numbers are even less encouraging- only 27% of voters in the state think he should run with 59% opposed to a bid.
Both Bush and Rubio trail Hillary Clinton in their home state by small margins- Bush trails by a point at 46/45 and Rubio has a 4 point deficit at 48/44. Clinton has wider leads over the rest of the Republican field- 6 points over Rand Paul at 48/42, 7 points over Mike Huckabee at 48/41, 8 points over Chris Christie at 46/38, and 11 points over Ted Cruz at 50/39.
There are mixed messages when it comes to the Republican candidate field in Florida. Jeb Bush leads the full field with 30% to 14% for Rubio, 11% for Paul, 9% for Cruz, 8% for Christie, 7% for Huckabee and Scott Walker, 2% for Paul Ryan, and 1% for Bobby Jindal. Bush dominates among moderates and runs slightly ahead of Rubio with conservatives.
But when you ask Florida Republicans to choose just between Rubio and Bush, Rubio leads 45/41 based on his strength with voters who identify as 'very conservative.' In a field full of conservatives Bush leads because of his centrist support and because Rubio is not necessarily the first choice of conservative voters. But when you narrow the choices, conservatives are much more inclined to move to Rubio. This may presage what could happen to Bush if he runs in 2016- he may do better in earlier primaries with a packed field than he does once people start dropping out and creating a more clear ideological contrast.
There is nothing complicated about the Democratic picture- Clinton is the choice of 66% of primary voters followed by Elizabeth Warren at 8%, Joe Biden at 7%, Cory Booker at 5%, and Andrew Cuomo at 4%. Clinton polls over 60% with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and voters in every age group.
We're going to poll North Carolina and Minnesota this weekend- obviously we'll focus on the Senate races in both states and the Governor's race in Minnesota, but what other questions would you like to see us get into in these states? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
Rick Scott's early negative advertising blitz against Charlie Crist has paid off in a big way. What was a 12 point lead for Crist over Scott last fall at 50/38 is now a tie race at 42% each, and the biggest thing that's changed over the last 8 months is how Floridians feel about Crist.
Scott remains an unpopular Governor, although his approval ratings are not quite as bad as they have been at some times during his term. Only 39% of voters think he's doing a good job to 48% who disapprove, up from 33/55 in late September. Those are still numbers that would generally have you headed for defeat. But Crist has seen a precipitous decline in his image with voters in the state. Where they were closely divided on him last fall with 43% rating him favorably and 42% unfavorably, now just 32% of voters see him in a positive manner with his negatives spiking to 48%.
Crist's image is basically unchanged with Democrats. But much of his residual appeal to Republicans has faded off- where he still managed a 25/65 rating with them last fall that's now declined to 16/74. And he finds himself upside down with independent voters as well at 24/49.
If there's a silver lining for Crist it's that the 16% of voters who remain undecided are not very big on Scott- he has just a 23% approval rating with them to 51% who disapprove. The undecideds also skew female, Hispanic, and younger and they voted for Barack Obama 43/39 in 2012. Even though Crist's support has been knocked down, Scott still hasn't been able to build his up below the l0w 40s. It's a toss up but there are at least a few things that could go Crist's way.
We're going to poll Florida this weekend. Obviously we'll look at the Governor's race and ahead to the 2016 races...what else would you like to see us poll about in Florida? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
Joe Biden and Rick Santorum might both be native Pennsylvanians, but it's not giving either of them a leg up when it comes to the Presidential race in the state in 2016.
On the Democratic side 65% of voters want Hillary Clinton to be their candidate in 2016 to just 9% for Biden, 5% for Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Cuomo, and 4% for Cory Booker. Clinton polls over 60% with liberals, moderates, women, whites, African Americans, and voters within every age group.
On the Republican side Chris Christie is the candidate of choice at 23%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 14%, Rand Paul at 12%, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 10%. Despite his native status Santorum manages only a 6th place finish at 8%, followed by Marco Rubio at 6%, Paul Ryan at 4%, and Scott Walker at 3%. Christie leads based on his strength with moderates and voters who identify as 'somewhat conservative.'
Hillary Clinton has double digit leads over all of her potential Republican opponents for the general election. It's 49/39 over Chris Christie, 51/40 over Rick Santorum, 51/37 over Jeb Bush, 52/38 over Rand Paul, 52/37 over Mike Huckabee, and 53/34 over Ted Cruz. Those leads are all considerably bigger than what Barack Obama won the state by in 2012.
PPP's first poll of the general election for Governor in Pennsylvania finds a race that isn't remotely competitive. Democratic challenger Tom Wolf leads Republican incumbent Tom Corbett 55/30. Wolf's 25 point lead has more than doubled from the 12 point advantage he had over Corbett on PPP's last poll of the state in November.
The biggest story in the race continues to be Corbett's unpopularity. Only 27% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 58% who disapprove. But Wolf is also proving to be an unusually strong Democratic candidate. He has a +27 net favorability rating, with 47% of voters seeing him favorably to only 20% with a negative opinion. His strong numbers with Democrats (68/10) are unsurprising given his margin of victory in the primary, but even with Republicans he comes close to breaking even at a 29/32 favorability.Wolf is winning over 24% of Republicans while losing just 10% of Democrats to Corbett, and he also has a 43 point lead with independents at 63/20.
One thing voters do agree with Tom Corbett on despite his overall unpopularity is the decision he made not to appeal the court decision legalizing gay marriage in Pennsylvania. 56% of voters say they agree with Corbett's decision to only 33% who disagree. Those numbers come among growing acceptance for gay marriage in Pennsylvania- for the first time in PPP's polling a plurality of voters in the state support it with 48% in favor to 44% who remain opposed. That represents a 20 point net shift on attitudes toward gay marriage in the state over the last two and a half years. In November of 2011 we found just 36% of voters supported it with 52% believing it should remain illegal.
-Oregon's gone Democratic by double digits in the last few Presidential elections, and PPP's newest poll of the state finds that's likely to continue if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016. Clinton leads all of her potential Republican opponents by at least 12 points there- it's 51/39 over Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, 51/36 over Jeb Bush, 52/37 over Ted Cruz, and 51/34 over Chris Christie.
Huckabee is the favorite among Republican voters in the state. 21% say he would be their choice to 16% for Cruz, 15% for Bush and Paul, 12% for Christie, 4% for Rubio, 3% for Ryan and Walker, and 2% for Santorum.
-There is an issue closely dividing Oregonians right now along gender, party, and generational lines...whether they should be able to pump their own gas. 46% of voters think they should be able to, while 44% wish to stick with the status quo. Men (55/39), Republicans (52/41), and voters under 45 (53/33) all think you should be able to pump your own gas. Women (38/47), Democrats (39/47), and seniors (34/55) all oppose making the change.
-Oregonians are a lot less divided when it comes to the issue of whether to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. 59% of voters support it to only 34% who are opposed. Over 80% of Democrats favor such a move and so do independents (52/42), and even 30% of Republicans.
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