With the Presidential election behind us the next big thing is the 2010 midterm elections. PPP did a fair amount of polling concerning that election over the course of the year in the states of Florida, Ohio, Missouri, and North Carolina. Here's a review of our findings:
Public Policy Polling did three surveys over the summer looking at Mel Martinez's job approval rating and how some potential opponents would fare against him.
In June his approval rating was 23%, in July it was 24%, and in September it was 23%.
We found that in hypothetical 2010 matchups Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink would lead Martinez 37-31, Congressman Robert Wexler would be tied with him 31-31, former Senator Bill Graham would lead him 51-31, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would lead him 38-37, Congressman Allen Boyd would lead him 37-33, and Congressman Ron Klein would lead him 37-33. Martinez is probably the most endangered incumbent in the country for 2010 and given his lack of popularity even with Republicans is ripe for a strong primary challenge.
PPP also took a look at Senator George Voinovich's approval three times over the summer. In June his approval was 31%, in July it was 31%, and in August it was 30%.
We found that in hypothetical 2010 matchups Congressman Tim Ryan would tie him 33-33, Voinovich would lead Congresswoman Betty Sutton 37-32, he would trail Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner 42-38, he would lead Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman 39-37, he would trail Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher 40-38, and he would lead Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson 42-32.
Voinovich, if he doesn't choose to retire, will be right up there with Martinez as one of the GOP's most vulnerable incumbents.
Kit Bond is more popular than Voinovich and Martinez but our polling finds him somewhat vulnerable as well if the right person runs against him in 2010.
In July we found Bond's approval rating at 39%. In August we found it at 44%.
In hypothetical matchups we found Bond leading Secretary of State Robin Carnahan 44-42, Auditor Susan Montee 47-35, Congressman Russ Carnahan 46-43, and former Congressman Dick Gephardt 44-43.
As is often the case in Missouri politics the Democrats' best bet may be nominating a Carnahan, and with the newly reelected Secretary of State's term running through 2012 she would have nothing to lose by making a Senate run in 2010.
Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina has just a 27% approval rating, according to a PPP survey conducted in July.
It's not that the voters dislike Burr- there are slightly more who approve of the job he's doing than disapprove. But a remarkably high 46% of them are ambiguous toward him.
That fact makes Burr pretty vulnerable for reelection in two years. Incumbency is a huge advantage, but much less so when the voters don't even really know who you are. And a 46% 'not sure' rating for a US Senator shows he's not doing much to attract the voters' attention.
After seeing Kay Hagan knock Elizabeth Dole many of the folks who declined to run in 2008 will no doubt be chomping at the bit for a second chance in 2010. PPP will begin testing possible matchups for that race soon.
Also, look forward to a new PPP survey next week looking at the 2010 picture for US Senate in Pennsylvania.