Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota survey finds that Rick Weiland is continuing to cut into Mike Rounds’ once double digit lead in the race to replace Tim Johnson.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Rounds’ lead now stands at just 6 points- he’s at 39% to 33% for Weiland, 17% for Larry Pressler, and 4% for Gordon Howie. Rounds’ lead has dropped from 10 points in April to 8 points in early August to now just 6 points in late August as Weiland has become better known and more popular.
-Weiland is considerably more well liked by voters than Rounds. 48% see him favorably to only 27% with an unfavorable opinion. That +21 net favorability rating for Weiland is up from +15 earlier in the month, and it’s 24 points better than Rounds’- only 44% of voters see him positively to 47% who have a negative opinion.
-There are several reasons to think the race could close further. Among voters who are familiar with Weiland, whether they have a positive or negative opinion of him, he leads Rounds 42/36. Rounds is ahead in large part thanks to greater name recognition, but as Weiland has become better known, Rounds’ lead has gotten smaller and smaller.
Additionally Pressler supporters say that if they had to pick, they’d choose Weiland over Rounds 48/29. Third party candidates tend to see their support fade as an election gets closer. If Pressler sees a decline in his support over the next two months, Weiland is likely to be the beneficiary- he trails Rounds only 45/42 when you take Pressler out of the mix.
Rick Weiland has the momentum in this race. The more voters get to know him, the more they like him, and it’s making what was once a wide lead for Mike Rounds less and less comfortable.
PPP interviewed 709 likely voters on August 27th and 28th on behalf of People for Weiland. The poll’s margin of error is +/-3.7%. 51% of those surveyed were Republicans and 35% were Democrats (R+16), representing a more GOP leaning sample than the voter registration numbers in the state (45% Republicans and 35% Democrats for R+10).
A new Public Policy Polling survey of Arizona voters finds that the general election match up for Governor between Democrat Fred DuVal and Republican Doug Ducey would start out as a tie, if Ducey wins the primary as recent public polls have suggested.
Key findings from the survey include:
-DuVal and Ducey are both at 35%, with 12% of voters saying they support Libertarian Barry Hess. The high level of support for Hess reflects the unusual amounts of support we’re finding for third party candidates across the country right now as voters are unhappy with both parties. DuVal overcomes Arizona’s GOP party registration advantage due to a 16 point lead with independent voters.
-Ducey is entering the general election badly damaged by the divisive primary campaign. Only 26% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 41% who have a negative one. He’s at 17/57 with independents and a weak 43/24 even with Republican voters. DuVal remains largely undefined with 60% of voters having no opinion about him and those who do have one pretty evenly split.
-Democrats have an opportunity in Arizona because voters are unhappy with Governor Brewer and the current direction of the state. Only 41% of voters see Brewer favorably to 47% who have an unfavorable opinion of her. And there’s a general feeling that the state is on the wrong track- 59% of voters express that sentiment to only 30% who think the state is headed in the right direction under its current Republican leadership.
An unpopular incumbent and a damaged Republican nominee are combining to make the Arizona Governor’s office a great opportunity for a Democratic pick up this fall.
PPP interviewed 588 likely voters on August 24th and 25th on behalf of Progress Now Arizona. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.0%
PPP's newest Iowa Senate poll finds a toss up race- Bruce Braley is at 42% to 41% for Joni Ernst with third party candidates splitting 5%. In a straight head to head the two are tied at 42%. This represents a significant tightening from PPP's last poll in May when Braley led 45/39, but is consistent with most public polling since the primary
This has become yet another key Senate race this year where the onslaught of negative advertising has left both candidates unpopular. Both Braley (from 58% to 78%) and Ernst (from 59% to 82%) have seen large increases in their name recognition since May. But in both cases their negatives are rising a lot faster than their positives. Braley's net favorability has gone from an even split at 29/29 to negative at 37/41. Ernst has gone from a -5 spread at 27/32 to a -10 spread at 36/46.
The good news for Braley in spite of his vanished lead is that the undecideds play well for him- they report having voted for Barack Obama by 13 points in 2012, and 35% are Democrats to 26% who are Republicans. They are also disproportionately female and young voters, groups that tend to play to Democrats' advantage. But clearly Braley has work to do.
One thing presenting a challenge for Braley is that Barack Obama- as he is in most of the states with key Senate races this year- is quite unpopular. Only 40% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 53% who disapprove, and with independents it's a 26/64 spread.
We found some tightening in the Governor's race earlier this year as Terry Branstad had a run of bad press but his lead now is back up to what we found in the early stages of the race. Branstad's at 48% to 35% for Democrat Jack Hatch with third party candidates combining for 5%. In a head to head Branstad hits 50% to 37% for Hatch. Branstad's approval numbers at 50/38 are the best we've found for him in a while.
-PPP's newest Kansas poll finds Hillary Clinton trailing all of her potential Republican foes in the state, but by much closer margins than Barack Obama lost by there. Clinton trails Jeb Bush 45/39, Mike Huckabee 46/41, Rand Paul 45/41, Chris Christie 42/38, and Ted Cruz 43/42. It's not likely Clinton could win Kansas, but she would at least come closer than Democrats usually do.
-Jerry Moran has generally positive approval numbers- 39% of voters approve of him to 26% who disapprove. But 35% with no opinion is a bit of a warning sign for him- it was a bit of an early sign for Pat Roberts that he could face some trouble when we found last February that 41% of Kansans had no opinion about him. Moran's 55/17 spread with Republicans does exceed the 42/16 mark we found for Roberts a year and a half ago though.
-Even in a conservative state like Kansas voters support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour, 49/40. It has 79% support from Democrats, 56/31 favor with independents, and even 28% of Republicans support the proposed increase.
We're going to poll Iowa this weekend- we'll look at the races for Senate and Governor and 2016 but if you have any question ideas beyond those things or related to them, we would as always love to hear them! Thanks as always for the great suggestions.
North Carolinians give Pat McCrory a C for his work as Governor so far. We asked on our monthly poll what letter grade they would give McCrory based on his time in office to date and his reviews came in right down the middle. 42% give him an A or a B, compared to 37% who give him a D or an F. But since his F's (20%) outweigh his A's (17%) it puts him at a C overall.
McCrory's approval rating this month is 43% to 45% of voters who disapprove of him. For the fifth month in a row we find that a hypothetical contest between him and Roy Cooper would be within a couple points, with McCrory at 44% this month to 43% for Cooper. There is virtually no support for impeaching Cooper, a possibility allegedly brought up by a Republican legislator a few weeks ago. Just 16% of voters would favor that course of action to 42% who are opposed and 42% who have no opinion either way.
Richard Burr is one of the lowest profile Senators in the country- 32% of voters approve of him, 32% of voters disapprove of him, and even after 10 years in office a 36% plurality has no opinion about him either way- those numbers are pretty similar to what we found for Pat Roberts at the beginning of this cycle. Nevertheless Burr would start out with decent sized leads for reelection against a quartet of hypothetical opponents we tested against him- he would be up 44/37 on Janet Cowell, 45/35 on Anthony Foxx, 45/33 on Grier Martin, and 45/32 on Allen Joines. None of the Democrats are terribly well known- Foxx has 29% name recognition, Cowell 23%, Joines 18%, and Martin 12%- but the numbers nevertheless show that despite his weak approval numbers Burr is no pushover.
PPP's newest Kansas poll finds Pat Roberts badly damaged by his recent primary contest, and leading for reelection largely thanks to divided opposition. Roberts has emerged from the primary with only a 27% approval rating to 44% of voters who disapprove of him. That represents an 8 point net decline from his already poor numbers in February, when he stood at 29/38.
Roberts is polling at only 32% for November, followed by Democrat Chad Taylor at 25%, independent Greg Orman at 23%, and Libertarian Randall Batson at 3%. As weak as a 32% standing is for an incumbent, that still gives him a pretty clear lead due to his opponents pretty much splitting the anti-Roberts vote evenly. But if one of them was to pull out Roberts would really be in trouble.
In a head to head contest with Taylor, Roberts would lead just 43/39, down from a 48/32 advantage in February. And in a head to head contest with Orman, Roberts trails 43/33. Orman would take 30% of the Republican vote while losing only 11% of Democrats to Roberts, and would lead by 41 points with independents at 54/13. Orman is still relatively unknown- only 36% name recognition- but is at a 24/12 favorability spread among those who do have an opinion about him. He is seen favorably by Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
Roberts continues to be plagued by his residency issues. Only 18% of voters think he spends enough time in the state, compared to 61% who think he doesn't. There is very little partisan divide on that issue- 64% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 59% of Republicans think he doesn't spend enough time in the state. Only 30% of voters think Roberts considers Kansas to be his home, compared to 50% who don't, and again there is bipartisan consensus on that issue.
In the race for Governor we continue to find Democratic challenger Paul Davis with a small lead over Sam Brownback, 39/37, with Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr at 9%. This is actually an unusual instance where the Libertarian candidate is helping the Republican- Umbehr supporters say their second choice would be Davis by a 65/21 margin over Brownback, and when you reallocate those folks to their second choice Davis' lead expands to 44/39. Umbehr's presence in the race is actually doing Brownback a favor by splitting the opposition to him some.
PPP's newest North Carolina poll continues to find Kay Hagan in the lead, although the race has tightened slightly compared to a month ago. Hagan is at 42% to 38% for Thom Tillis with Libertarian Sean Haugh continuing to hold on to 8% of the vote. Haugh's supporters say they would support Tillis 61/19 over Hagan if they had to choose between the two major party candidates- when you allocate them to their second choice Hagan leads by just one point at 43/42.
Tillis' slightly improved position is a reflection of Republicans starting to close ranks a little bit more as the election approaches. Last month in the head to head with Hagan he led by 59 points with Republican voters at 72/13, now it's a 71 points advantage at 79/8. And although his favorability numbers still remain very poor at a 28/48 spread, those are also up some from a month ago when they were 24/47. That's also a reflection of improvement with his party base- he's gone from a 39/29 spread with GOP voters up to 52/24.
Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota survey finds Mike Rounds continuing to show an inability to pull away in the Senate race. Rounds is at 39% to 31% for Democrat Rick Weiland, 16% for independent Larry Pressler, and 5% for independent Gordon Howie.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Weiland has the best net favorability of any of the candidates at +15 with 42% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. That represents a 10 point improvement for Weiland since our April poll. Pressler is actually the second most popular candidate in the race with a +9 favorability at 42/33, and despite leading Rounds has the worst favorability at -4 with 44% of voters seeing him positively but 48% giving him poor marks.
-Weiland is only 8 points out of the lead despite continuing to have the lowest name recognition of the candidates. He actually leads the race with 42% to 33% for Rounds among voters who are familiar enough with him to have an opinion. That bodes well for his prospects as he becomes better known over the last three months of the campaign.
-If Pressler’s support declines in the final stretch of the race, as tends to happen with independent candidates, Weiland stands to be the beneficiary. His favorability with Pressler supporters is a 40/20 spread, compared to 18/74 for Rounds.
PPP interviewed 726 likely voters on Augusts 12th and 13th on behalf of People for Weiland. The poll’s margin of error is +/-3.6%. 47% of those surveyed were Republicans and 33% were Democrats (R+14), representing a more GOP leaning sample than the voter registration numbers in the state (45% Republicans and 35% Democrats for R+10).
PPP's newest Kentucky poll finds mostly good news for Rand Paul:
-At least for now it looks like Paul would be a safe bet if he decided to run for reelection to the Senate in 2016. He has a 47/39 approval spread and in a hypothetical match up with his toughest potential opponent, Steve Beshear, he would lead by a 9 point margin at 50/41. The seat could get interesting if Paul decided not to run for reelection though- Beshear would lead Thomas Massie 45/30 in a hypothetical Senate contest.
-By an 18 point margin, 44/26, Kentuckians say that Paul is their favorite of the state's two Senators. Republicans in particular like Paul better than Mitch McConnell, 56/31, but Democrats like Paul more by a 32/24 spread as well.
The news is a little more mixed when it comes to Paul and a potential 2016 Presidential bid:
-Paul leads the Republican primary field with 25% to 18% for Mike Huckabee, 15% for Jeb Bush, 8% for Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, 7% for Ted Cruz, 5% for Scott Walker, 4% for Paul Ryan, and 3% for Bobby Jindal. Although it's always good to be in the lead Paul's standing doesn't seem particularly impressive for his home state, and it shows how formidable Huckabee will be if he actually ends up deciding to enter the race.
-Only 34% of voters in the state want Paul to run for President in 2016, compared to 50% who think he should sit it out. Nevertheless Paul performs the best of any potential GOP candidate in the state against Hillary Clinton, leading her 49/43. Clinton would also trail Bush 48/43 and Huckabee 47/44 in Kentucky but would hold leads over Chris Christie at 44/41 and Ted Cruz at 46/41.
PPP is best known for putting out highly accurate polling on key political races across the country, but we also do affordable private research for candidates and organizations. Why pay tens of thousands of dollars for a survey when one of the most reliable companies in the nation can do it for less?"