PPP's new Colorado poll finds the exact same numbers in the races for both Governor and the Senate- Democratic incumbents John Hickenlooper and Mark Udall are clinging to 44/43 leads over their challengers Bob Beauprez and Cory Gardner respectively.
In the Governor's race this represents a significant tightening over the last four months. In March we had found Hickenlooper leading Beauprez 48/38. Since that time though Hickenlooper's approval rating has dropped a net 10 points, from 48/41 then to now 43/46. And Beauprez's net favorability has improved 14 points from 20/33 then to now 31/30. That movement's come largely among Republicans- he's gone from 33/22 to 57/12 within his own party as it's unified in the wake of last month's primary.
The closeness in the Senate race is nothing new though. Our last four polls have found Udall with leads of 2, 2, 4, and now 1 point. This is shaping up as yet another key Senate contest this year where the early blitz of negative advertising has left both candidates unpopular. Udall has an upside down approval rating at 36/47, but Gardner's not a whole lot more well liked with 34% of voters rating him favorably to 39% who have a negative opinion.
Things are looking pretty good for Republicans down the rest of the ballot. They hold leads of 8-10 points in the races for Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Treasurer. Wayne Williams leads Joe Neguse 35/27 for Secretary of State, Cynthia Coffman has a 38/29 advantage over Don Quick for Attorney General, and Walker Stapleton is up 43/33 on Betsy Markey for State Treasurer. The high level of undecideds in all of those races leaves the Democrats with room to grow but for now the GOP candidates are very well positioned.
PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds Kay Hagan continuing to grow her lead over Thom Tillis as the legislative session drags on. Hagan now has 41% to 34% for Tillis and 8% for Libertarian Sean Haugh. Her lead is up from 2 points in May and 5 points in June.
The protracted legislative session with Tillis at the helm of it can't be doing him any favors. Only 19% of voters approve of the job the General Assembly is doing to 57% who disapprove, and legislative Republicans specifically have a 31/52 favorability rating. Those things are working together to help make Tillis very personally unpopular- only 24% of voters see him favorably to 47% with a negative opinion. Tillis' continued efforts to fundraise while the state budget is in limbo is creating bad optics as well- only 24% of voters think it's appropriate for him to be out there raising money right now to 50% who consider it to be inappropriate.
The news is not all rosy for Hagan. She continues to have negative approval numbers, with only 40% of voters approving of her to 50% who disapprove. And she is very much being propped up right now by the 8% Haugh is receiving, which does not seem likely to hold through until November. When Haugh voters are reallocated to who they would support if they had to pick between Hagan and Tillis, her lead drops to 42-39.
PPP's newest look at the Montana Senate race finds it has tightened considerably over the last eight months. John Walsh now trails Steve Daines only 46/39 in his quest to be elected for a full term. That represents a 10 point gain for Walsh since November when he trailed Daines by 17 points at 52/35.
Walsh and Daines have very similar approval numbers. Walsh is on slightly positive ground at a 38/37 approval, while Daines is on slightly negative ground at a 39/40 approval. Daines' approval numbers have dropped a net 9 points from last summer when we found him at a 41/33 spread. He went under water following the government shutdown and has not seen his numbers turn back around.
One place where Walsh has seen real improvement as he's become better known is in his crossover support from Republicans. Where he trailed 90/3 with them in November, that deficit is now just 79/12. Walsh has a slightly more unified party behind him, getting 81% of Democrats. Daines leads 41/32 with independents, but that has tightened from 48/35 last fall.
The generic Senate ballot in Montana actually gives Republicans only a 45/41 lead. Daines' lead is larger than that mostly based on his having slightly greater name recognition from having run statewide on his own account in 2012. Daines remains the favorite in the Senate race, but it looks to have a lot more potential to be competitive than it did previously.
PPP's new Mississippi poll finds that Phil Bryant will start out as a favorite for reelection in 2015. Bryant has pretty solid approval numbers with 41% of voters giving him good marks to 31% who disapprove. Democrats have a couple of potential candidates with positive favorability numbers. Attorney General Jim Hood has a 41/20 favorability rating and is respected across party lines with both Democrats (50/14) and Republicans (36/28) expressing positive opinions of him. Although he has only 33% name recognition, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is on positive ground as well at 20/13. Nevertheless Bryant still leads both of those potential foes by double digits- 44/33 over Hood and 49/26 over Presley. As long as his approval numbers stay positive Bryant should be in pretty good shape.
Other notes from Mississippi:
-Mike Huckabee is the top choice of Republicans in the state to be their Presidential candidate in 2016. 25% say he'd be their pick to 16% for Jeb Bush, 11% for Ted Cruz, 8% for Chris Christie, 6% each for Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, 5% for Marco Rubio, 3% for Rick Santorum, and 2% for Scott Walker. Huckabee leads with both moderates and conservatives, and is particularly strong with women and seniors.
Hillary Clinton would make Mississippi more competitive than it's been in recent years, but it doesn't look like she'd have a great chance of actually winning the state. She trails Huckabee 49/42, Bush 47/42, Christie 45/42, and Paul 45/43 in hypothetical contests. She does at least manage a tie with Cruz at 44.
-Despite the overall conservatism of Mississippi, voters in the state do take the Democrats' side on a couple of key hot issues. Voters in the state support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour, 56/35. And they support expanding Medicaid, 51/32. Each issue has over 80% support from Democrats, and also gets at least 25% support from Republicans as well as from a plurality of independents.
We're going to poll North Carolina and Colorado this coming weekend. We'll look at the Senate races in both states and the race for Governor in Colorado. What else should we delve into on our North Carolina and Colorado polls? Thanks as always for the good suggestions!
PPP's new Mississippi poll find Thad Cochran has a strong advantage for the general election- but that the fallout from last month's divisive runoff has left a lot of voters undecided. Cochran's at 40% to 24% for Democrat Travis Childers and 5% for Reform Party candidate Shawn O'Hara, with 31% of voters still undecided.
Cochran's emerged from the primary popular with Democrats (58/22 approval) and unpopular with Republicans (39/52). Cochran is particularly well liked by African Americans, sporting a 59/20 approval rating, and even narrowly leading Childers with them at 37/36. Cochran is only polling at 48% among GOP voters though with 37% still undecided, reflecting a lot of McDaniel supporters who are still so angry they can't bring themselves to say they'll vote for Cochran in November.
In general Mississippians think Cochran won the Republican runoff fair and square. 58% think he was the rightful winner to only 29% who believe McDaniel was, and 50% think McDaniel should concede to only 35% who believe he should keep on fighting. McDaniel voters are pretty unanimous in thinking he was done wrong though- 81% think he was the rightful winner of the runoff to just 10% who believe Cochran was. And they want him to keep on fighting- only 28% think he should concede to 63% that want him to keep on challenging the outcome of the election.
The protracted fight is having a pretty negative impact on McDaniel's image beyond his support base though. He now has a 29/53 favorability rating, and he actually trails Childers by a point in a hypothetical match up at 37/36, with the Reform Party candidate getting 4%. He may be hurting his ability to run successfully for office in the future.
It's already been pretty thoroughly proven that Democrats- and black voters in particular- fueled Cochran's win in the runoff. We find that people who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 (75% of the runoff electorate) supported McDaniel 56/44 in the election, but Obama voters (19% of the runoff electorate) supported Cochran 83/17. Even though only 10% of voters in the runoff were African American, their 77/23 support level for Cochran was more than enough to put him over the top.
Our plan is to poll Mississippi this weekend, assuming the drama drags on. If things somehow get resolved before the end of the week, we'll poll Colorado instead- and if we don't do Colorado this weekend we'll do it next weekend. So fire away on Colorado and Mississippi poll question suggestions! Obviously we'll look at the Senate race in both states, and the Governor's race in Colorado- any other good ideas would be appreciated as well.
PPP's newest Louisiana poll continues to find that Bobby Jindal is among the least popular Governors in the country, and that there is minimal support for him running for President even in his home state. Only 32% of voters approve of the job Jindal is doing to 56% who disapprove. Among Republicans his numbers are relatively tepid (57/33 approval). His numbers with independents pretty closely mirror his overall ones (32/57), and support from Democrats is virtually nonexistent (12/75).
Even among GOP voters there is little support for a Jindal bid. Just 21% think he should seek the White House to 63% who believe he should sit it out. He finishes just fourth among Republican primary voters at 12%, behind Ted Cruz at 19%, and Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee at 17%. He leads Rand Paul's 10%, Chris Christie's 6%, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan's 4%, and Scott Walker's 3%.
Jindal also ties for the worst of any of the Republicans when matched with Hillary Clinton, trailing her 48/44. Chris Christie also trails Clinton by 4 at 46/42, with Clinton leading Cruz 46/45, tied with Paul at 46, and trailing Bush and Huckabee each by a point at 46/45.
Perhaps the worst finding for Jindal in this poll might be that when posed with a hypothetical match up for Governor between Jindal and Edwin Edwards, voters pick Edwards by a 48/43 spread. Edwards isn't popular, sporting a 39/44 favorability rating, but that puts him in much better standing with voters than Jindal.
PPP's new Michigan poll continues to find that Hillary Clinton would be a heavy favorite in the state in 2016. She leads all of her potential opponents there by double digits- it's 47/37 over Rand Paul and Jeb Bush, 48/36 over Mike Huckabee, 48/35 over Chris Christie, and 50/34 over Ted Cruz. Those margins are all less than what Barack Obama won the state by in 2008, but more than what he won by in 2012.
Other notes from Michigan:
-A plurality of voters in the state (40%) have no opinion one way or the other about Common Core. Among those who do have one only 24% support it, compared to 35% who are opposed. Those numbers reflect Republicans being more fired up about the issue than Democrats- GOP voters oppose it 17/50, while Democrats support it by a much more narrow 35/20 spread.
-On a couple of other key issues though voters side with Democrats by a 22 point margin. There is 56/34 support for increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour, and 53/31 support for cutting carbon pollution by up to 30% from existing power plants. Both of those things have support from a majority of independents, 25% of Republicans, and most Democrats.
-Before the season we found that 88% of Tigers fans thought the team would make the playoffs this year, and that 42% thought they would win the World Series. Halfway through the year the optimism about making the playoffs remains- 83% of fans think they'll be there. But there's less faith that the team will win it all- now just 29% think they'll take the World Series. A lot of fans are taking a wait and see approach with Brad Ausmus- 44% say they have no opinion about the job he's done so far. But folks who do have one are pretty happy with him- 47% approve to only 9% who disapprove.
PPP's newest Louisiana poll finds a race largely unchanged from February: Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy are likely to advance to a December runoff, and that match up is a toss up. Landrieu leads with 44% for the November election to 27% for Cassidy, 8% for Rob Maness, and 5% for Paul Hollis. Neither of the Republican alternatives to the establishment candidate are gaining any steam.
Even with 17% of voters undecided it will be a pretty difficult road to 50% for Landrieu in the November election- she has only an 8% approval rating with those remaining undecideds, and they voted for Mitt Romney by a 70/14 margin in 2012. Most of those folks seem likely to end up deciding who to vote for in November between the trio of GOP hopefuls.
The likely Landrieu/Cassidy match up for the December runoff is tied at 47. Among those who support Maness or Hollis or are undecided for the November election, 68% move to Cassidy for December compared to only 11% who move toward Landrieu. Even though only 6% of voters are undecided in that match up, they don't set up great for Landrieu- 61% voted for Romney to 20% who voted for Obama, and she has a 14/65 approval rating.
Louisiana makes another state where voters aren't particularly thrilled with either of their major choices for the Senate. Landrieu has a 42/52 approval rating, but Cassidy isn't popular either with 28% of voters rating him favorably to 36% who hold a negative opinion. Cassidy's name recognition has increased 14 points from February, but his negatives have gone up by 10 points while his positives have gone up only 4 points. Overall the story here remains constant- it's looking like a very close race that will be going on for a long time.
David Vitter continues to look like the early favorite in next year's race for Governor. He has solid approval ratings for his work in the Senate, with 48% giving him good marks to 35% who disapprove. In a match up with potential Democratic opponent John Bel Edwards, he leads big at 52/30. He would face tougher contests if he ended up in a runoff with fellow Republican Jay Dardenne, who he leads 40/34, or prospective Democratic candidate Mitch Landrieu, who he leads just 48/44.
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