Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 2010 Senate Crop

I think you can make a pretty strong argument that 2010 presents one of the weakest sets of Senate candidates across the country that we've seen in a very long time. Looking at favorability numbers in 15 key races we've polled in the last couple months:

-Only one candidate has a net favorability number of better than +5. That's Mike Castle in Delaware at +19 (51/32).

-20 of the 31 major candidates in those 15 races have negative favorability numbers.

-Obscurity may be a plus. 4 of the 9 candidates with positive numbers are still unknown to 40% or more of the voters in their states. For the most part this year the better known a candidate has become the less well liked they've been.

-In 6 of those 15 races both candidates are viewed negatively by most of the voters who have an opinion about them (Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Missouri, California)

-The races where voters like their candidates the least are Colorado (average fav of -18), Nevada (-12.5), Illinois (-12), and California (-7). The ones where they like their candidates the most (or perhaps dislike the least is a more appropriate way of describing it) are Delaware (+9.5) and Wisconsin (+1).

Here's the full data. What other interesting observations are there?

Candidate (State-Party)

Favorability (Spread) (No Opinion)

Mike Castle (DE-R)

51/32 (+19) (17)

Elaine Marshall (NC-D)

23/19 (+4) (58)

Pat Toomey (PA-R)

36/33 (+3) (31)

Charlie Crist (FL-I)

44/41 (+3) (15)

David Vitter (LA-R)

45/43 (+2) (12)

Ron Johnson (WI-R)

20/18 (+2) (62)

Jack Conway (KY-D)

31/29 (+2) (40)

Patty Murray (WA-D)

46/45 (+1) (9)

Lee Fisher (OH-D)

28/27 (+1) (45)

Russ Feingold (WI-D)

42/42 (E) (16)

Chris Coons (DE-D)

31/31 (E) (38)

Roy Blunt (MO-R)

41/42 (-1) (17)

Barbara Boxer (CA-D)

44/46 (-2) (10)

Kelly Ayotte (NH-R)

36/39 (-3) (25)

Rob Portman (OH-R)

22/25 (-3) (53)

Charlie Melancon (LA-D)

29/34 (-5) (37)

Paul Hodes (NH-D)

35/40 (-5) (25)

Dino Rossi (WA-R)

43/48 (-5) (9)

Rand Paul (KY-R)

34/42 (-8) (24)

Mark Kirk (IL-R)

26/34 (-8) (40)

Kendrick Meek (FL-D)

18/27 (-9) (55)

Robin Carnahan (MO-D)

41/50 (-9) (9)

Harry Reid (NV-D)

44/53 (-9) (3)

Joe Sestak (PA-D)

28/38 (-10) (34)

Carly Fiorina (CA-R)

28/40 (-12) (32)

Richard Burr (NC-R)

32/44 (-12) (24)

Marco Rubio (FL-R)

31/46 (-15) (23)

Sharron Angle (NV-R)

36/52 (-16) (12)

Alexi Giannoulias (IL-D)

26/42 (-16) (32)

Michael Bennet (CO-D)

32/48 (-16) (20)

Ken Buck (CO-R)

26/46 (-20) (28)


The Interesting Times said...

I'm not so sure I agree with this thesis...

Are the current candidates really that weak, or is it just that politicians in general (with few exceptions) are very unpopular at this point?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Jim DeMint is missing from this list.

wt said...

Such good data. Extremely interesting to see these numbers. Thank you and great work.

Anonymous said...

Most any other year, voter approval versus not, might be a fairly good gage of whats to follow in the upcoming elections. But, this time around I don't consider approval numbers, for a given candidate, to be as much a factor as it's been in the past. Republican voters, in particular, are so engaged and as well enraged against anything Democratic (as in party), that liking or not liking a particlar Republican candidate is not, nor will be (in general) the deciding factor in voting for that candidate in the general elections. This year's Republican vote will be a vote more against Obama, his policies, leftist agenda and the Democratic Party that has and does support him - far more so than anything else.

DBL said...

What might be more telling are the breakdowns by party ID. Is it across the board or just by party? I'd guess most have a huge negative score with the other party, although Toomey beats Sestak by 10 with the other party, 7 in his own, and 16 with independents.

On the other hand, Buck/Bennett is 8 vs. 9 with the other party and 24% vs. 22% with indies. Buck loses by 15% with his own party. Yet, he's only behind 4% with his own party in the voting. I think a bit of the negative is that the candidates aren't beloved by their own party.

Christian Liberty said...

NV LV are more likely* to believe Harry Reid is extreme than to believe that Sharron Angle is.

Even these PPP #s show Angle to have fewer unfavorables* than Reid.

*(within MOE)

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