Aug. 13, 2015 — Public Policy Polling often presents surveys that find virtually everyone with a negative personal approval rating, but their new Missouri study may be the most bizarre they’ve ever released. While it is typical for most of their political figures to record upside-down personal favorability ratios – their automated results skew negative – it is strange when virtually the one public official holding a positive number was tainted with a highly publicized sex scandal.
Three years ago, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) had to drop his bid for governor because of embarrassing news stories detailing his relationship with a stripper. Kinder quickly pivoted away from trying to seek a promotion, and was surprisingly successful in winning a 49-46 percent re-election victory despite his spate of negative publicity and the Democratic governor cruising to victory.
The new PPP survey released Tuesday (Aug. 7-9; 859 registered Missouri voters; 440 Missouri Republican primary voters) tested several Missouri 2016 campaigns, including the open governor’s race and Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R) re-election bid. They did not release any numbers for presidential candidates, neither favorability scores nor ballot tests.
Aug. 3, 2015 — Three House members who had been very public about considering US Senate bids in their respective states, yesterday announced their decisions not to pursue a statewide campaign.
In what is becoming the most unpredictable of all Senate races, another surprise occurred in Florida. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Pensacola), who had been hiring staff, beginning to raise money, and even assembling an initial campaign schedule suddenly reversed course and will not join the growing field of Republican candidates.
Gainesville Rep. Ted Yoho (R), potentially a victim of the mid-decade, court-ordered congressional redistricting process, also reached the same conclusion about his own prospective Senate campaign. So did California Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).
July 31, 2015 –Public Policy Polling surveyed the Illinois electorate (July 20-21; 931 registered Illinois voters; 409 likely Illinois Democratic primary voters; 369 likely Illinois Republican primary voters) and found each party spinning the Senate numbers very differently.
According to the data, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-8) scores a 42-36 percent edge over incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R). Democrats obviously are claiming that Kirk is one of the weakest of GOP senators standing for election next year since their challenger already holds an outright lead. The data indicates that Duckworth and the Democrats are taking advantage of a series of gaffes that the first-term incumbent recently uttered. Republicans, on the other hand, point to the fact that Kirk is only six points down. They argue that his negatives from the controversial statements will only have a short-term effect.
Kirk also finds himself in upside-down job approval territory, notching a poor 25:42 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. Rep. Duckworth, on the other hand, records a 34:23 percent positive score. Though the non-responding/refused to answer factor (43 percent) is high for the Duckworth question, her total name identification is strong for a lone House member in a large population state.
July 30, 2015 — In the past few days, media analysts have been talking up the idea that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could actually overtake and defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. There is no doubt Clinton is free falling while Sanders moves upwards — some say he’s surging, but that is an overstatement – yet, the former Secretary of State and First Lady’s lead remains secure. One only needs to check Democratic Party nomination rules for verification that she is still the prohibitive favorite.
An article from Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin for Bloomberg Politics suggests that Sanders could actually win the nomination, providing seven specific reasons to support his argument. Yesterday, Gallup released their new data (July 8-21; 2,374 adults, 966 adults who identify with the Democratic Party) that finds Clinton’s favorability index moving into upside-down territory (43:46 percent positive to negative) while Sanders is doubling his positive ID based upon a comparison from their previous survey.
Now, let’s return to earth. Halperin argues that it would be a defeat for Clinton to only top Sanders 2:1 in the early states. Such a result would allow the self-described socialist to continue his campaign, because the media will write this scenario as a Sanders’ win. But, the writer overlooks one fundamental point in building for a nomination victory: the delegate count.
July 29, 2015 — The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research statisticians surveyed the Florida electorate (July 20-23; 500 likely Florida Republican primary voters; 500 likely Florida Democratic voters) and predictably uncovered some surprising results. Since so many extraordinary political moves continue to unfold in the Sunshine State, the unusual is fast becoming the order of the day.
In the presidential race, results provide an unexpectedly large lead for their former governor, Jeb Bush. The M-D data finds Bush leading the Republican field with 28 percent, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 16 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker posting 13 percent, and Donald Trump dropping to fourth position with only 11 percent allegiance.
The numbers tell us several things. Jeb Bush, in his home state, enjoys his largest lead and Florida is apparently the only place where he has an advantage that exceeds one or two points. In second place is the state’s junior senator, Marco Rubio, but he lags a dozen points behind.
July 22, 2015 — As predicted, Rep. David Jolly (R-FL-13) announced his intention to run for Florida’s open Senate seat next year, joining what is becoming a crowded Republican field that may expand even further.
Rep. Jolly was originally elected to his marginal Pinellas County seat in an early 2014 special election after the venerable 21-term Rep. Bill Young (R) passed away. Jolly was an upset winner in the special, defeating former state CFO Alex Sink, who had lost a one-point race for governor in the previous statewide cycle.
Jolly is jumping into the Senate campaign largely because the state Supreme Court just recently declared his district and seven others illegal in accordance with the state’s voter-adopted redistricting initiative. Since the court objects to the Tampa-anchored 14th District jumping across the bridge to annex Democratic St. Petersburg, it is a virtual certainty that the politically marginal 13th will become less Republican. Therefore, Rep. Jolly’s chances of winning re-election in such a newly configured seat all of a sudden become poor. Continue reading >
July 21, 2015 — A new Senate survey gives credence to another data set that only last week looked like an anomaly. The pollsters also provide new presidential data.
Gravis Marketing (GM) polled both parties’ presidential prospects and the important open Nevada US Senate race. Their latter numbers confirmed last week’s Fabrizio Lee analysis that gave Republican Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV-3) a huge lead over Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, the state’s former two-term attorney general.
Gravis (July 12-13; 1,276 registered Nevada voters, 623 likely Nevada Republican primary participants, 416 Democratic primary voters, 237 likely general election voters only) projects that Donald Trump is opening up a large lead in the Republican presidential race, while finding Hillary Clinton scoring within her average performance zone of the last three weeks. But, their use of identified party members who won’t participate in the primary and the way some of the questions are asked create methodological concerns. Continue reading >