Tag Archives: favorability index

Sen. Kelly Expands Lead in Arizona; Tied Again in North Carolina; Whitmer Holds Lead in Wisconsin

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) | Sen. Mark Kelly (D)


By Jim Ellis — August 22, 2022

Senate

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Expands Lead — Fox News, as part of their recent polling series, tested the Grand Canyon State electorate (Aug. 8-12; 1,012 registered Arizona voters; live interview) and found Sen. Mark Kelly (D) topping new Republican nominee and venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) with a 50-42 percent advantage. This is one of the first general election polls released since the state’s Aug. 2 statewide primary.

North Carolina: Candidates Again Tied — The Cygnal polling organization, surveying for the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation (Aug. 13-15; 615 likely North Carolina general election voters; live interview & text), projects that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) and US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) are now tied at 42 percent apiece. Beasley had led in the last two polls, conducted during the last week of July and first week in August. Republicans, however, typically under-poll in North Carolina, a state that almost always features razor-thin elections.

Wisconsin: Nothing New — The latest Fox News poll (Aug. 8-12; 1,006 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) finds Sen. Ron Johnson (R) trailing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) by a 50-46 percent count, but this particular incumbent being behind in an election poll is standard operating procedure. According to the Real Clear Politics polling archive, 30 polls were conducted in the 2016 election, and Johnson trailed in 29 of the surveys that multiple pollsters conducted. In the end, Sen. Johnson defeated former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) by three percentage points.

Governor

Arizona: Lake Within Range — Fox News also tested the governor’s race in their new statewide Arizona poll (see Arizona Senate above). While the ballot test gives Sen. Mark Kelly (D) a rather large lead, the same respondent sample projects the governor’s contest as being much closer. The gubernatorial ballot test finds Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leading former news anchor Kari Lake (R), 47-44 percent.

Michigan: Tudor Coming into Range — The Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) team again collaborated on a new statewide survey for AARP, this time in Michigan. The study (Aug. 8-14; 1,365 likely Michigan voters; live interview & text) finds Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) holding only a 51-46 percent edge over online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) in the governor’s general election.

Neither Gov. Whitmer nor Dixon have a strong image. The governor’s personal favorability index is 50:48 percent positive to negative, while her job approval is 51:47 percent. Dixon falls into a slightly upside-down realm at 38:41 percent. A whopping 71 percent of respondents believe the US is on the wrong track while 55 percent also perceive the state of Michigan to be headed in the wrong direction.

Wisconsin: Already Close — The Fox News Wisconsin poll (see Wisconsin Senate above) also shows a tight race for governor. Gov. Tony Evers (D) holds a 49-46 percent edge, already within the polling margin of error, over new Republican gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels. It appears that both the Wisconsin governor and Senate race are becoming as hot as originally expected.

NJ Governor’s Race In Upset Range

Click on above image from TV ad to go to New Jersey gubernatorial Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli’s ad about state taxes and opponent incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy (D).

By Jim Ellis

Oct. 26, 2021 — The most recent Emerson College poll for the New Jersey governor’s race (Oct. 15-18; 600 likely New Jersey voters; combination live interview, text, and interactive voice response system) suggests that Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman and ex-county official, has an outside chance of scoring an upset victory over Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in next week’s statewide election.

While the odds still favor a Murphy win, the new survey certainly shows areas of weakness for the Democratic incumbent and a path to victory for the Republican challenger. According to Emerson, Gov. Murphy leads 50-44 percent, and when leaners are added to the mix, the margin tightens to an even closer 52-48 percent.

Among those who classify themselves as “very likely” voters, the Murphy lead shrinks well within the polling margin of error at 48-45 percent. The biggest Ciattarelli positive sectors are among undecided voters, who are breaking his way on a 59-41 percent clip, the Independent segment, 56-32 percent, men, 50-41 percent, and those in the 50-64 age range, 49-46 percent.

Gov. Murphy obviously can highlight positive sectors of his own. The most favorable sign pointing to a Murphy victory next Tuesday is among the people who say they have already voted. Of those, 76 percent indicated they supported Gov. Murphy as opposed to just 24 percent who cast their ballot for Ciattarelli.

The Emerson poll finds the governor leading among women, 57-40 percent, those aged 18-29, at 58-42 percent, the 30-49 aged sector, 47-41 percent, and the oldest and most reliable voting segment, the people aged 65 and older, 53-42 percent.

Neither candidate has a particular advantage on the favorability index. Gov. Murphy records a 49:47 percent favorable to unfavorable rating, while Ciattarelli posts an even 40:40 percent ratio.

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New Hampshire Senate:
Toss-up Results

By Jim Ellis

New Hampshire first-term incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D)

Oct. 25, 2021 — Only needing to gain a net one seat to claim the Senate majority, Republicans face a frustrating in-cycle map that yields few 2022 Democratic targets. One of those scarce opportunities, however, lies in the Granite State of New Hampshire.

Arguably, the New Hampshire race is the party’s best conversion opportunity and becomes a Republican prerequisite toward building a winning coalition of states. The latest University of New Hampshire poll, released late last week, suggests the GOP is well positioned to compete in the “Live Free or Die” region of New England.

The regular UNH Granite State poll (Oct. 14-18; 1,061 New Hampshire panel members, 979 likely New Hampshire voters, online) tested first-term incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) against several potential Republican opponents … and she falls into an early toss-up result against all.

First, a word about the UNH polling operation. Several years ago it was among the most inaccurate of pollsters, largely because they utilized long sampling periods sometimes lasting three weeks, and small respondent universes. They have improved since that time, though their online format chosen for this poll is typically not optimal.

The FiveThirtyEight statistical organization, in their latest pollster rankings, rates the UNH operation as their 112th best pollster, with a B- rating. They assign a 2.4 percent Democratic bias factor to the organization’s polling results over 122 tested surveys.

That being said, yesterday’s survey release finds Gov. Chris Sununu (R) again leading Sen. Hassan in a hypothetical ballot test pairing. There is no doubt Republican leaders are trying to persuade Gov. Sununu to run, but so far he has not committed to the race. He has the opportunity of running for a fourth gubernatorial term – New Hampshire has two-year terms for their governors – or pursing opportunities in the private sector.

This poll finds the Sununu advantage at three percentage points, 45-42 percent, which is of course in toss-up range, but seeing an incumbent well below 50 percent does not bode well for Sen. Hassan.

UNH also tested the senator against the woman she defeated by a tenth of a percentage point in 2016, or just over 1,000 votes statewide, former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R). The new poll virtually replays that result, posting Sen. Hassan to a bare 44-43 percent edge.

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Youngkin Closing on McAuliffe

By Jim Ellis

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Republican governor candidate

Oct. 8, 2021 — A new Emerson College poll (Oct. 1-3; 620 likely Virginia voters, live interview and online panel with weighted responses) finds former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and ex-hedge fund CEO Glenn Youngkin in a virtual dead heat on the ballot test. McAuliffe is clinging to a bare 49-48 percent edge, but the underlying numbers suggest Youngkin may not be quite that close.

While Youngkin enjoys a very strong lead in the rural areas (57-42 percent) McAuliffe does better than he in the much larger urban areas (59-36 percent) thus negating, and then some, any edge the challenger may have established.

Surprisingly, considering recent poor Republican performance among suburban voters, Youngkin pulls slightly ahead of McAuliffe, 49-48 percent, within this category. Breaking even here would be a huge benefit for Youngkin should this trend prove real and is sustained.

Among women, McAuliffe has a 51-45 percent edge, which is actually a credible split for a Republican nominee in a Democratic state. Youngkin, however, needs to perform better among men than his 50-46 percent split found in this survey. Targeting men should be a key focal point for the Youngkin campaign in the closing days of the race.

Among minority groups, Emerson finds that Youngkin is outperforming a typical Republican candidate. The split among blacks, however, of 72-25 percent in McAuliffe’s favor, is suspect. Usually a Republican candidate is closer to the 10 percent level within this cell segment. It is not particularly unusual, however, to see a Republican polling better among blacks than what would be the actual performance factor once the votes are cast, and that pattern may appear again when the final votes are recorded in this contest.

The Hispanic segmentation is interesting. Republicans have been doing better within the Hispanic cell, and particularly so in 2020; so Youngkin actually leading McAuliffe within this group, 55-45 percent, may not be shocking but certainly appears inflated.

It wouldn’t be particularly surprising to see Youngkin pull more votes from Hispanics than a typical Republican candidate, but it is unlikely he would post a majority within this group. Still, while probably not as rosy a picture as this poll paints for Youngkin, it is probable that he will draw a greater Hispanic share than originally projected for him at the beginning of this campaign.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer
Falters in New Polls

By Jim Ellis

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D)

Sept. 23, 2021 — We have further evidence that the Michigan governor’s race is going to be a highly competitive political contest next year. A pair of new polls, following one in late August, find Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) either in a virtual dead heat with, or trailing, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R).

The Trafalgar Group and Strategic National, Inc. were both in the Michigan field during virtually the same time realm to test the impending governor’s race. Trafalgar (Sept. 13-15; 1,097 likely Michigan voters; live interview, interactive voice response system, online, and text) actually finds the governor slipping behind Craig by a 50-44% count. Strategic National (Sept. 18-19; 600 likely Michigan voters) arrived at a much tighter contest with the governor still in the lead. Their result projected a razor thin 46.6 – 46.0 percent margin.

Gov. Whitmer has become controversial even nationally through her draconian COVID shut down measures, and then being caught on several occasions as eschewing the dictates for herself and family. As the Strategic National poll shows, however, the governor’s favorable and unfavorable opinions are equivalent … and almost everyone feels strongly about their preference.

In terms of her personal favorability index, the responses divide 50:48 percent favorable to unfavorable. The strongly held position, however, spins toward the negative category. Of those who comprise Gov. Whitmer’s 50 percent positive rating, 35 percent, or 70 percent of those professing a positive opinion, feel strongly.

The negative segmentation is more intense. From the 48 percent who hold a negative view of Whitmer, 42 percent, or 87 percent of those holding an adversarial opinion, believe so strongly. Her job approval rating responses, though a different question, yields an almost identical pattern.

The polarization factor is, unsurprisingly, extreme when it comes to the respondents’ opinion about how she’s handled the coronavirus. By a margin of 52:47 percent, the sampling universe approves of her measures to combat the disease. And, in this instance, those feeling strongly on both sides break about evenly.

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