Category Archives: Polling

Hickenlooper, Udall Cruising in Colorado

Public Policy Polling just completed a survey of the Colorado electorate (April 11-14; 500 registered Colorado voters) and found both Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall in strong position for re-election.

PPP surveys tend to produce more negative numbers of the various politicians tested than most polling firms. The Colorado results are no exception, as all eight tested Republicans registered upside down personal favorability ratings when the respondents were queried about whether they had favorable or unfavorable opinions about each individual. When testing Gov. Hickenlooper and Sen. Udall, the question only pertained to their job performance. On that scale, both men performed well: Hickenlooper scored 53:44 percent positive to negative (though his negative jumped up from 26% as recorded on PPP’s November ’12 Colorado poll); Udall 50:33 percent.

Despite all of the Republicans registering poor favorability ratings, their ballot test standing when paired with either Hickenlooper or Udall are better than one might expect after perusing the initial data.

Former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-CO-7), who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 after serving two terms in the House from a marginal suburban Denver district, comes within seven points of Hickenlooper, 43-50 percent, in a hypothetical general election. Attorney General John Suthers (R) scores 39-49 percent against the governor. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO-4) tallies exactly the same result as Suthers. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO-3) also registers in the same range, behind 40-50 percent. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO-6) does a bit worse, trailing 41-52 percent.

If these same Republicans were to challenge Sen. Udall, the results prove similar. Despite Beauprez scoring a 15:34 percent personal favorability index and Udall registering a 50:33 percent job approval rating, the Republican trails the senator only 41-48 percent. Suthers is down to Udall 38-50 percent; Gardner 39-49 percent; Tipton 37-50 percent; and Tancredo 39-51 percent.  Continue reading >

Pew Study Shows Federal Government at All-Time Low

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press just released the results of their new regular study (from surveys conducted on March 13-17, 1,501 adults; and March 28-31, 1,001 adults) that questioned respondents on their views and impressions about the federal, state, and local governments. The favorability response hit a new low for the federal government, but the sentiment did not carry over to state and local public sector bureaucracies.

According to the data, only 28 percent of the respondents now have a favorable opinion about the federal government. In contrast, 57 percent have a positive impression of state government and an even higher 63 percent maintain an affirmative opinion about local government.

State and Local Attitudes

There are partisan divisions within the data, but they are almost solely reserved for the federal government. For the first time since Barack Obama became president more Democrats view the national authority in negative terms: 41 percent positive compared to 51 percent negative. Republicans continue to be almost unanimous in their unfavorable opinion about the US public sector. Only 13 percent of GOP respondents, according to the current Pew data, view the federal government approvingly.

But, these partisan splits are not evident when examining attitudes toward the states or localities. In fact, Republicans have a slightly better view of state government than do Democrats (57 percent versus 56 percent). Independents hold the best opinion, recording a 59 percent positive rating. Regarding local government, the respondents’ sentiments are even more positive. Here, it is the Democrats who rate the locals the highest (67 percent), followed by Republicans (63 percent), and Independents (60 percent positive).
 Continue reading >

New McConnell Polling

Public Policy Polling (April 5-7; 1,052 registered Kentucky voters) tested Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) as he prepares for re-election. The poll was taken after actress Ashley Judd (D) stated that she would not challenge the senator in 2014.

As has been detected in other polls, McConnell’s job approval is poor. According to this study, only 36 percent of the sampling universe approves of his performance as the state’s senior senator, versus 54 percent, who do not. By contrast, fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s approval index is 46:39 percent. When asked whether the respondents hold a higher opinion of Sen. Paul or McConnell, by a 42-24 percent split the group responded Paul.

Right now, the Democrats do not have a viable candidate to challenge the Republican leader. If first-term Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes were to run — an alternative that she has not ruled but is not likely to pursue — McConnell would lead her 45-41 percent. If defeated representative Ben Chandler (D-KY-6), for example, were to become the Democratic nominee, the senator would lead him by a similar 46-41 percent margin. Chandler also gives no indication that he will enter the race.

Though McConnell is unpopular, he still fares reasonably well in ballot tests against the most viable potential Democratic opponents. Unless a top-tier challenger comes forward, McConnell must still be rated as a clear favorite for re-election.

Sanford Leads in Run-off Poll

Public Policy Polling (March 22-24; 1,175 likely SC-1 special election voters; 648 self-described Republican run-off voters) released the results of their first post-special primary survey and found scandal-plagued former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford (R) to be leading ex-Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic (R) by a 53-40 percent count. The poll suggests that Bostic has so far failed to coalesce the substantial anti-Sanford vote behind his candidacy. In the first election, featuring 16 Republican candidates, the former governor placed first with 37 percent of the vote, while Bostic just grabbed second place with 13 percent.

But the most surprising part of PPP’s poll is how the two Republicans fare against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the special general. Despite SC-1 being a heavily Republican district, the data shows that Busch has a small 47-45 percent lead over Sanford and ties Bostic at 43 percent.

The two results are surprising in different ways. First, many would believe that Busch’s lead over Sanford would be greater considering his heavy personal negatives in conjunction with his highly publicized international extra-marital affair. But Bostic, on the other hand, without carrying such heavy political baggage should actually be in a stronger position than a dead heat when being paired with the Democratic nominee.

The Republicans have had trouble winning special elections during the past few years, even in strong partisan seats such as the one in southeast South Carolina. The April 2 run-off is only a little more than a week away, which now stacks up well for Sanford. Based upon this now available polling data, expect the special general to be much more competitive than originally forecast.

Rounds Starting Strong in South Dakota Senate Race

Gov. Mike Rounds

Gov. Mike Rounds

With former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) just completing a series of Washington, DC visits to the PAC community drumming up support for his already announced US Senate run, Public Policy Polling released a survey (March 18-19; 1,069 registered South Dakota voters; 501 Republican primary voters; 390 Democratic primary voters) of the state’s electorate that shows early signs of a GOP conversion race.

Sen. Tim Johnson (D) has promised to soon make clear whether he will seek re-election, originally saying he would do so “at the end of March.” Most local and national political observers believe that he will retire for health reasons.

In a hypothetical ballot test between the senator and Rounds, it is the Republican who already holds the strong early lead. According to PPP, Rounds would defeat Sen. Johnson 52-41 percent in a current contest. If Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD-AL) were the Republican senatorial nominee, she would outpace the incumbent by four points, 49-45 percent.

Should the senator retire, two Democrats are most often mentioned as potential candidates: former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and US Attorney Brendan Johnson, the senator’s son. Herseth Sandlin, who held the at-large House seat for three full terms  Continue reading >

Survey Says: Americans Upset With Government

The Gallup organization just reported upon their monthly survey about the issue areas Americans cite as being the most important and, in their analysis reported yesterday, a reading occurred that hadn’t been seen since the Watergate era.

When President Obama took office at the beginning of 2009, according to the regular survey issue project, 86 percent of the respondents said the economy is the “most important problem facing the United States today.” Yesterday, though the economy was still mentioned more than any other issue area, that percentage dropped to 57, the lowest recorded reading since Gallup’s June 2010 polling edition. During the Obama administration, the smallest percentage recorded citing the economy was 55.

The surprising response, however, occurred when the questioners asked the participants to be more specific. The response “economy in general” still topped the charts at 24 percent, down from 25 percent in their February 2013 edition but up from the 21 percent of respondents who answered that way in January. But 20 percent of respondents answered, “dissatisfaction with government” — making it the number two concern; and that type of response factor hadn’t been seen since June of 1974 shortly after Pres. Richard Nixon had resigned. Those answering this way jumped four full points just from last month, and pulled ahead of “unemployment/jobs” (16 percent) and the “federal budget deficit/debt” (13 percent) among the answers most given.

In terms of other issues cited, healthcare dropped to just seven percent and, despite all of the media attention paid to the gun control issue, “guns” was mentioned by just four percent of the respondents, down from six percent in February and returning to its January 2013 level.

Should this trend continue, we could begin to see a new issue discussion come to the forefront in the 2014 election cycle. If — and the Republicans will be the ones most likely  Continue reading >

Booker Cruising in Jersey Senate Poll; Corbett Improves in Pa.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson University, as part of their March 4-10 Garden State survey (702 registered New Jersey voters; 323 Democratic primary voters), studied the upcoming 2014 open Senate race. Their findings present good news for Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) and suggest that both Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ-12) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) have quite a bit of ground to close if they intend to enter the race. Of the two, Pallone is likely to run, while Holt’s candidacy is only a possibility.

According to the FDU results, Booker would lead Holt and Pallone 50-7-4 percent, respectively, if a Democratic primary vote were held during the present period. With such a wide spread, either or both of these potential candidates will have to create a negative image of Booker if they are to substantially gain on him. Typically, big city mayors don’t do particularly well in statewide electoral contests normally because the voters not residing in the largest city, and particularly so for rural voters, often have a negative image of big city politics. Therefore, we can expect to see serious questions raised about the city’s government and state of the local economy before Democratic voters go to the polls in June of 2014.

Booker is in equally good shape for the general election. The only potential GOP  Continue reading >