Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama up big on Pawlenty, Palin

Barack Obama's approval rating in Minnesota has dropped six points since April, but that doesn't mean voters are responding too positively to some of his Republican alternatives.

54% of voters in the state now give Obama good marks, with 39% saying they disapprove of his job performance. That's down from a 60/30 spread when PPP last polled it in April. Obama has maintained all of his popularity with Democrats but has seen a small drop in his support among independents and a significant one with Republicans. Where before 23% of voters in the opposing party thought he was doing a good job, now just 12% do.

Obama nevertheless fares very well when pitted in hypothetical contests against Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin.

Against Pawlenty Obama leads 51-40, a margin that would actually exceed what he won against John McCain in the state last fall. Pawlenty's approval has also declined since we polled the state in April, and a slight plurality now disapprove of his job performance by a margin of 48/44. Previously he had a positive 46/40 spread. Perhaps the key finding within these numbers is that only 6% of respondents who approve of Obama said they would vote for Pawlenty against him. That's not much of a home field advantage for the Governor.

Against Palin Obama leads 56-35, which would be the most lopsided Presidential result in the state since Lyndon Johnson's landslide against Barry Goldwater in 1964. 53% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Palin to 39% viewing her positively. Obama has an 18 point lead among independents in the contest and also holds Palin to just 75% of the vote within her own party, a pretty good indication that some Republicans are skeptical of her as a potential occupant of the White House.

Full results here


Anonymous said...


What percentage of the Minnesota Republican electorate was moderate compared to conservative?

Tom Jensen said...

73% conservative, 25% moderate

Anonymous said...


What were Palin and Pawlenty's respective favorables/unfavorables with moderate and conservative Republicans?

Tom Jensen said...

Among moderates Pawlenty is 68/17 and Palin is 62/27. Among conservatives Pawlenty is 83/11 and Palin is 84/9.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this poll smells like a democrat polling firm trying to gin up some positive numbers for a president whose popularity is falling quite stunningly. For the Obama supporter who is willing to see this poll for what it is, it should be cause for great concern as it smacks of democratic desperation. What's next, high fives all around for a poll showing Obama leads in Illinois?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure what "stunning" popularity drop you're referring to, but for a president who has moved an agenda as ambitious as Obama, for him to still be sitting at a health 58% on gallup is an approval rating any president would kill for after the huge legislative fights that have occurred and are occurring every day.

While Minnesota is a relatively safe democratic state, it had been thought that the state was drifting rightward in the last few election cycles. For the man who was elected twice to the governorship of this state to be trailing Obama this precipitously speaks volumes about the Republican inability to open up the electoral map. If you're indeed blocked off from the entire upper midwest and are beginning to give up on the rustbelt, how will the republican party defend the south? And even there, their numbers drop.

Minnesota Central said...

This poll reflects more on Pawlenty than on Obama.

First, let’s put this into historical perspective. Pawlenty won twice with less than 50% by doing what Norm Coleman failed to do in his Senate race. In Minnesota, the Independence Party offers candidates thus dissatisfied Republicans and Democrats voters have an alternative. The key is to minimize the number of Republicans that you lose … Pawlenty has succeeded while Coleman failed. Look at the 2008 Senate race, the IP candidate former-Senator Dean Barkley attacked Coleman on fiscal conservative issues. In a typical Senate race, the IP candidate gets less than 80,000 votes … this time 437,505 … in fact, if you compare McCain’s presidential votes to Coleman, than 63,209 McCain supporters did not want Coleman to get another term. Congresswoman Bachmann has also benefited from IP challengers.

This poll is not a gubernatorial poll … it’s either Obama or Pawlenty … no Independent candidate.

Actually, Pawlenty’s numbers are really bad.
If you consider that Palin’s 35% is the baseline, then Pawlenty got very little “Favorite Son” bounce. And if Palin hadn’t announced her resignation, her numbers would have been higher … getting only 70% Favorable rating from Conservatives would have been much higher if the poll was taken a month ago.
Look at the Conservative’s who gave Pawlenty a 76 % favorable rating. MN-GOPers did not like RINO Coleman and had no problem throwing him under the bus … Pawlenty is not a favorite either … remember Pawlenty could not get McCain the win in the February caucuses (Romney virtually doubled McCain’s vote total). Pawlenty also has to fight the Ron Paul segment of the party which is quite active in Minnesota.

What the poll does show is that Pawlenty was smart not to seek a third term … as all incumbent Governors are finding out, voters are angry. Compound that with Pawlenty’s “unallotment” strategy for the next fiscal budget, suggests that he would have had a very difficult re-election campaign.

It's a fair poll.

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