Here are a bunch of little tidbits from our recent polls that don't merit a full post:
-As George Voinovich leaves office his final poll numbers find an unusual breakdown- Democrats approve of him (42/34) while Republicans don't (28/49). You have to think he would have been a Tea Party victim this year had he sought a third term. Overall 36% of voters approve of him and 40% disapprove.
-Ohio voters don't really like their new Governor...and a plurality of them don't have any opinion about their new Senator. 40% have an unfavorable opinion of John Kasich to just 36% with a favorable one. If voters in the state don't like him, how did he get elected, you might wonder. Simple answer: 2010 electorate not reflective of state's voters as a whole. Meanwhile 39% of voters have no opinion about Rob Portman but those who do generally like him- 35% rate him positively to 26% with an unfavorable opinion.
-Al Franken has a positive 45/42 approval spread in Minnesota and independents approve of him by a 42/38 margin. Given that voters don't really like their Senators these days those strike me as pretty good numbers. Realistically Franken is not ever going to be a politician who hits a 60% approval rating but he's at least running ahead of the curve.
-There's no doubt the politician who improved his own image with the voters the best across the country this year was Deval Patrick. One of our Massachusetts Senate special election polls in January found his approval spread at 22/59. The poll we did there earlier this month found it at 45/45. No one else in the country can match a 37 point improvement in their net approval over the course of 2010. Bev Perdue, I know North Carolina's not Massachusetts but that's probably someone you should have a chat with at the next DGA shindig.
-Another note from Massachusetts- Scott Brown trumps John Kerry as the state's most popular Senator. Brown narrowly edges Kerry on the straight up approval number- 53% vs. 50%- and blows him out on the approval spread front. Brown's is +24 (53/29) while Kerry's is +7 (50/43). That's not any indictment of Kerry- his numbers are well ahead of the curve- but just another metric of how popular Brown is.
-Finally Kit Bond leaves office with 45% of voters approving of him and 36% disapproving. Bond had seen a huge spike in his approval numbers right after announcing that he would retire- a 57/27 spread in January of 2009- but his closing numbers are pretty much where they were throughout his final term. There's nothing particularly surprising in his 'final grade'- Republicans like him, Democrats don't, and independents don't like him because they don't like much of anyone these days.