Friday, February 27, 2009

Crossover Appeal

Digging through the crosstabs of our Texas poll yesterday, it really caught my attention that 37% of Democrats said they had a positive opinion of Kay Bailey Hutchison. It got me wondering if she had the strongest bipartisan appeal of any public official we've polled on in the last few months.

Since December we've done favorability or approval ratings for 40 politicians in Texas, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and New Hampshire. Of that group only four had better than 30% approval/favorability from the opposite party.

The one who did best across party lines was Andrew Cuomo in New York. 49% of Republicans said they had a favorable opinion of him. That may be somewhat inflated because of the timing of the poll- it was at a juncture where it looked like Hillary Clinton's replacement might come down to him or Caroline Kennedy, and they certainly liked him more than her. Either way, quite an impressive performance.

Hutchison was tied for second best at 37% with Kit Bond of Missouri. We took the temperature on Bond within a couple days of him announcing his retirement and he definitely benefited from that. His numbers with Democrats had been a lot worse last summer.

The fourth member of the 30+ club is North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. He gets a 31% approval rating from Republicans, made all the more impressive by the fact that 32% don't have an opinion of him one way or the other.

This quick analysis indicates that 30% or better is the 90th percentile for crossover popularity on a politician, so that's certainly something we'll pay attention to as we continue conducting surveys looking toward 2010.

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