Thursday, June 30, 2011

GOP favored for Montana House Seat

None of the leading candidates in the open Montana House race have greater than 21% name recognition and as a result the Republicans start out with modest leads over the Democrats, based largely on the overall partisan orientation of the state.

The field hoping to replace Denny Rehberg is pretty unknown at this point. Republican Steve Daines is the 'best' known, but only 21% of voters are familiar with him. That goes down to 16% for Democrat Kim Gillan, and 14% for Republican John Abarr and Democrat Franke Wilmer.

Daines leads Wilmer by 10 points at 35-25 and Gillan by 8 points at 35-27. Abarr leads Wilmer by 8 points at 33-25 and Gillan by 4 points at 30-26. With the candidates so little known you're basically not going to see any crossover support. The Republicans get on average only 7% of the Democratic vote and the Democrats get on average only 5% of the Republican vote. Combine the lack of bleeding across party lines with the state's overall GOP orientation and the Republicans also leading by 5-11 points with independent voters and it's the formula for an early GOP advantage.

There's obviously a ton of room for this race to shift as the candidates get better known but with Obama unpopular in the state you would certainly expect Republicans to be favored to keep this seat.

Full results here

Bachmann up in New Mexico

And the Bachmentum just keeps rolling on...our new Republican primary poll in New Mexico finds her leading the field with 21% to 18% for Mitt Romney, 13% for Gary Johnson, 11% for Sarah Palin, 10% for Herman Cain, 7% for Tim Pawlenty, 6% for Newt Gingrich, and 5% for Ron Paul.

Bachmann's lead in New Mexico is built on strong support from the far right. 28% of 'very conservative' voters say she's their top choice to 16% for Palin and 12% for Romney. Johnson has the upper hand with moderate voters- 21% to Romney's 18% and Bachmann's 14%. And Romney has the advantage with voters just to the right of center- 27% to Bachmann's 14% and Johnson's 13% with 'somewhat conservative' folks. But that 'very conservative' voter bloc is the largest part of the Republican electorate in New Mexico at 43% and that lead with them gives Bachmann the overall advantage.

The most popular of the Republican candidates, as measured by favorability rating, is Palin at 62/27. The big question with her poor horse race performance is this- are people not supporting her because they don't think she's Presidential material, even if they personally like her? Or is her low support because people don't think she's running? If it's the former her prospects aren't very good but if it's the latter and she does end up entering the race there could be an immediate, significant improvement in her numbers.

Johnson has the weakest favorability numbers with his home state Republican primary voters at 47/40. Some of his unorthodox positions aren't playing well with the base, even if they do give him an unusual level of popularity across party lines with Democrats and independents.

When Sarah Palin and Gary Johnson aren't included in the poll Bachmann leads with 27% to 23% for Romney, 12% for Cain, 8% for Paul, 7% for Pawlenty, 6% for Gingrich, and 4% for Jon Huntsman. When Palin's included but Johnson is not Bachmann and Romney tie at 22% with Palin at 14%, Cain at 10%, Paul and Pawlenty at 7%, Gingrich at 4%, and Huntsman at 3%.

Full results here

Heinrich, Wilson lead NM primaries

There are clear front runners in both the Democratic and Republican Senate primaries in New Mexico: Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson.

Heinrich leads Hector Balderas 47-24. Heinrich dominates the white vote, leading 58-16. More importantly he also has a slight advantage among Hispanic voters for the time being at 39-36. If Heinrich can remain that competitive with Latinos he will be very difficult to defeat in the primary.

An important part of Heinrich's early lead is far superior name recognition. 73% of primary voters know him well enough to have formed an opinion compared to only 49% for Balderas. Still it's worth noting that even among voters who do know Balderas- whether they view him favorably or unfavorably- Heinrich has a 54-33 advantage. And when you drill down further to only the 29% of voters with a favorable opinion of Balderas Heinrich still leads, albeit by a more narrow margin of 47-40. So Heinrich is better known but that's not the whole reason for his early lead.

Heinrich is strongest with voters on the left and the race gets more competitive moving right across the ideological spectrum. He's up 46 points with 'very liberal' voters, 30 points with 'somewhat liberal' ones, and just 4 points with moderates.

On the Republican side Wilson leads with 52% to 24% for John Sanchez, 8% for Greg Sowards, and 4% for Bill English.

There's been a lot of talk about whether Wilson is weak with the far right and she is weaker with that segment of the party. Still she leads Sanchez 48-31 with 'very conservative' voters. She has a much wider 44 point advantage with 'somewhat conservative' voters and with moderates she's up by 29 points. Maybe she'll have trouble with the Tea Party crowd later in the game but she doesn't start off showing any signs of weakness with them.

Similar to the Democratic side Wilson is helped by having far greater name recognition than Sanchez. 86% of primary voters have an opinion about her compared to 56% for Sanchez. But her lead's still 52-28 with the folks who do know Sanchez and with the ones who have a favorable opinion of Sanchez she's up 50-37 on him. The greater familiarity helps her but even when you control for that she has a healthy advantage.

If by some chance Gary Johnson gave up on his quixotic Presidential bid and ran for the Senate instead it doesn't look like he'd have much luck with the Republican primary electorate. With him in the mix Wilson would still get 43% with Johnson registering at 22% and Sanchez falling to third at 18%.

Long way to go but Heinrich and Wilson are the very clear early front runners.

Full results here

GOP favored in Texas Senate, but potential for competitiveness

Republicans start out with the advantage for the open Senate seat in Texas being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison's retirement but prospective Democratic candidates are within close enough striking distance that an upset is possible if the breaks all go their way.

David Dewhurst is the strongest candidate at this point. He's the only one with greater than 50% name recognition and he leads all the Democrats we tested- it's a 4 point advantage over actor Tommy Lee Jones at 43-39, a 6 point one over former Comptroller John Sharp at 43-37, and an 8 point edge over former general Ricardo Sanchez at 45-37.

Tommy Lee Jones for Senate? We included him in the poll because there is a movement drafting him to run. He actually has a better favorability rating, at 28/14, than any of the candidates more likely to make the race. He has the sort of bipartisan appeal a Democrat would need to win statewide in Texas, with Republicans giving him a 25/12 favorability spread and independents a particularly good 35/12 one. He polls the best of any Democrat not just against Dewhurst but also against GOP hopefuls Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert. A Jones candidacy is probably a pipe dream for Democrats but the numbers do suggest he would have the potential to be a strong nominee.

After Dewhurst the strongest of the Republicans we tested is Ted Cruz. He trail Jones 38-37 but leads more likely Democratic candidates Sharp 40-36 and Sanchez 41-32. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert would start out basically in a toss up situation with the Democrats, leading Jones and Sharp each by a point at 38-37 and 39-38 respectively and holding a 3 point advantage over Sanchez at 38-35.

There are a lot of undecideds in each of those match ups and that reflects the fact that this just isn't a particularly well known candidate field at this point. Dewhurst has 55% name recognition, Sharp's is 39%, Sanchez's 33%, Leppert's 32%, and Cruz's is only 25%. This race has a lot of potential to swing strongly in one direction or another as voters become more familiar with the candidates.

Republicans start out with the advantage here no doubt. But keep in mind that John Cornyn only got reelected by 12 points in 2008 even with an opponent who was not terribly well funded. A better funded Democrat in an open seat situation may have a chance next year.

Full results here

Our Burmese friends double down

On Tuesday I posted a strange e-mail from some folks purporting to be Burmese demanding that we poll the Virginia and Missouri Senate races. You can see that e-mail here. I responded to their e-mail telling them they were welcome to commission a poll and giving them our pricing information. The response we got is below...these folks e-mail us three times a day so I must say I am quite impressed that anyone can live on under $100 a year and still have that kind of access to technology
We can't afford any money for the poll,in other words,we can't afford to pay you for the polls..We want to see the poll with free of charge.In other words,we would like to hear no money will be charged to see the poll for Virginia and Missouri.We are so poor that we are living under 100 US Dollar per year.We are just the Republican Supporters and Democracy Activists.We need the Republican Party to press Burma Junta to hand over the Power to N.L.D,the Democratic Party in Burma.

Request By,

Ms.Chit Thu Wai,

Ms.Chit Suu Wai,

Ms.Pa Pa Win Khin,

Ms.Pwint Nadi Mg,

Ms.Ya Min Ko Ko,

Ms.Khin Moe Zar,

Ms.Zar Zar Min Htet,

Ms.Chit Suu,

Ms.Nan Su Yati Soe,

Ms.Wine Su Khine Thein,


Ms.Khin Than Myint,

Ms.Myint Myint Khin,

Ms.Khin Khin Gyi,

Ms.Myat Myat Htway,


Mr.Nyein Chan,


Ms.Na Di Moe Yan.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Suggestions Thread

The winners of this week's vote on where to poll were Pennsylvania and New Hampshire so:

-Who would you like to see us test against Bob Casey?

-What match ups would you like to see us test for Governor in New Hampshire?

We'll obviously do the standard Presidential stuff in those states but if you have any other good question ideas for them please send them our way...especially if you have good ideas of things to ask Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.

Obama leads in New Mexico

Barack Obama's popularity in New Mexico is on the decline but he still appears to be in pretty good shape to win the state again in 2012.

50% of voters in the state approve of the job Obama's doing to 44% who disapprove. When PPP polled New Mexico in February Obama was at a 55/40 spread. Since then he's seen a significant decline in his standing with independents, from 60% giving him good marks to just 49%. And he's also seen a more modest drop with Democrats, from 77% pleased with his performance to 72%.

Obama's still a strong favorite against any of the serious Republican candidates for President though. Only Mitt Romney fares significantly better than John McCain did in 2008 when he lost the state by 15 points. He trails the President by 7 points at 49-42. Obama blows away the rest of the field- he leads Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty by 15 points each at 52-37 and 51-36 respectively, has a 16 point advantage over Herman Cain at 52-36, and trounces Sarah Palin by 20 points at 56-36.

The New Mexico numbers are another data point to just how much more electable Romney is than the rest of the Republican field right now- an 8 point gap between how he does against Obama compared to any other GOP hopeful is significant and we've seen something similar in our national polling too.

Romney does the best of the serious Republican candidates in the state but one GOP candidate who is an asterisk in national polling actually comes closer to Obama than he does- the state's former Governor Gary Johnson who trails by only 3 points at 46-43. Although Obama leads the rest of the Republican candidates by 16-26 points with independents, Johnson actually tops the President with that voter group at 46-37. He also picks up more than 20% of the Democratic vote.

Johnson's unusually popular for a Republican...with voters who aren't Republicans...his problem is the primary voters who hold the key to the nomination. Numbers we'll release tomorrow show he's not doing terribly well on that front even in his home state.

Out of the Bush 2004/Obama 2008 states New Mexico seems the least likely to flip back to the Republicans in 2012.

Full results here

Nelson up double digits

Different month, same story when it comes to Bill Nelson's poll numbers: his approval rating is mediocre but he has a double digit lead over all of his Republican opponents.

38% of voters approve of the job Nelson's doing to 31% who disapprove. The most striking number continues to be those with no opinion- even after more than a decade in the Senate 31% don't feel strongly enough to rate Nelson one way or another.

Nelson continues to have solid numbers with independents (43/29) and 27% of the Republicans who have an opinion about him approve of the job he's doing, well ahead of the curve for your average Democratic Senator. What holds down his overall numbers is a lack of enthusiasm for him from his own party base- just 53% of Democrats give him good marks to 19% who disapprove. You're usually going to see a Senator more in the 70-80% approval range within his own party.

Democrats may not be in love with Nelson- but they're still pretty strongly committed to voting for him- and that combined with a persistent lead with independents gives him a double digit advantage over his potential Republican foes. He's up 11 points on George LeMieux at 46-35 and has identical 12 point leads over Mike Haridopolos and Adam Hasner at 47-35. Nelson pulls in 13-14% of the GOP vote in each of those match ups while losing only 7-8% of the Democrats. He also leads independents by a small margin over LeMieux (3 points) and a wider one over Haridopolos and Hasner (15 points.)

There are some positive points the Republicans can take out of these poll numbers. Nelson led LeMieux by 15 and Hasner and Haridopolos by 16 when we last looked at Florida in March, so there's been a 4 point across the board reduction in Nelson's lead since then. And the GOP candidates certainly have plenty of room to grow, given that they're pretty much completely unknown at this point. 34% have an opinion about LeMieux and that goes down to 28% for Haridopolos and 22% for Hasner. They're likely to chop a few points off Nelson's lead as they become better known.

All that said I continue to think that Nelson's vulnerability has been over blown. That approval number in the 30s is enticing for Republicans but it's largely because Democrats who will vote for him anyway aren't in love with him- and when you combine that with pretty solid numbers with independents and GOP voters, it's a formula for reelection.

Full results here

Texas lukewarm on Perry bid

A potential Rick Perry Presidential bid has been getting oodles of attention in the last few weeks. There's one place where voters aren't real into the possibility though- Texas. Only 33% of voters in the state think he should make a bid for the White House compared to 59% opposed to him running. More surprising than that? Perry actually trails Barack Obama 47-45 in a hypothetical match up in the state.

Perry's trailing Obama certainly has nothing to do with the President being popular. Only 42% of voters in the state like the job he's doing to 55% who rate him poorly. Texas is a Republican state to begin with him and Obama has a lot more Democrats (14%) who disapprove of him than GOP voters who approve (6%) and beyond that he's on negative ground with independents at 46/47.

Perry, however, is almost as unpopular. Only 43% of voters approve of him with 52% giving him bad marks. Most striking in Perry's numbers is a horrible 33/62 standing with independents. He also has 21% of Republicans disapproving of him while only 12% of Democrats cross over to give him good marks. Perry may prove to be a strong Presidential candidate but his numbers in Texas are nothing to write home about.

The only potential Republican candidate for President in Texas who does as bad as Perry is Sarah Palin. She has a 37/55 favorability breakdown and trails Obama 46-44 in a head to head. That's just more confirmation that the GOP nominating her could lead to a 400+ electoral vote landslide reelection for Obama.

Most of the rest of the GOP field leads Obama. Mitt Romney fares the best with an 8 point lead at 50-42, Ron Paul is up 5 at 45-40, Michele Bachmann has a 3 point advantage at 47-44, and Tim Pawlenty's up by a single point at 44-43. Herman Cain ties the President at 43%.

Before Democrats get too excited about the prospect of winning Texas this needs to be noted- the vast majority of undecideds in all of these match ups disapprove of the job Obama is doing. For instance in the match up with Perry 88% of undecideds disapprove of Obama's job performance to only 8% who approve. If you allocate the undecided voters based on their assessment of Obama that shifts the numbers 7 points and puts Perry ahead by 5.

The undecideds break down similarly in most of the head to heads between Obama and the various respective GOP candidates, something that would seem to reflect a lot of voters disliking the President but having their doubts about the GOP field of candidates as well. When push comes to shove those folks are not likely to be in the President's corner.

One thing that would definitely help Obama's prospects of winning the state though? If everyone who thought Texas should secede from the union just stayed home from the polls next year. 18% of voters think the state should secede to 71% who are opposed to the idea with 11% unsure. The 18% who want to secede are 61% Republicans and only 13% Democrats. So the voters left over would almost surely put Texas into the blue column- with the 71% who oppose secession Obama leads Romney by 6, Paul by 12, Pawlenty, Cain, and Bachmann by 15, Palin by 17, and Perry by 19. Demographic change may make Texas winnable for Democrats in the long run but in the shorter term successfully encouraging the secessionists to stay at home would be a winning strategy.

One final note on Texas- we did an analysis a couple weeks ago finding that most of the Republican Presidential candidates had upside down favorability numbers in their home states and backers of Ron Paul were very mad we didn't have Texas numbers for him. Now we do- 30% of voters rate him favorably to 46% with a negative opinion. So he's as unpopular on the home front as all the rest.

Full results here

Time for another poll vote...

We're going to have a pretty abbreviated poll vote this is open until 5:30 Eastern this afternoon. Your choices are:

-California. A bad poll for Dianne Feinstein last week but there's a big difference between being vulnerable in a vacuum and being vulnerable against actual Republican candidates. Interested to see how she stacks up against potential opponents.

-Kentucky. One of the few potentially competitive statewide races in 2011 that we haven't looked at yet this year- our last public poll on the Governor's race was done last October. Also we've polled more than two thirds of the country now and haven't found a single state where Sarah Palin has a positive favorability rating but could Kentucky be the one?

-Nebraska. Ben Nelson is generally viewed as doomed and the last poll we did in the state in January fed into that narrative. I have no reason to think his standing now is any better but it might be worth checking in on this one every six months or so if no other pollsters are doing it.

-New Hampshire. There's plenty of other New Hampshire polling out there but we haven't taken a look at the state since early April and it does seem like one we should be doing quarterly...looking at where the Governor's race would stand if John Lynch retired might actually be more illuminating than the Republican Presidential primary though.

-New Jersey. We found Robert Menendez looking highly vulnerable when we polled the state in January. Maybe things have changed but if they haven't this is the most potentially competitive race for next year that barely anyone's talking about- much more so than in places like Ohio or Florida where there's been a lot of ink about Sherrod Brown and Bill Nelson being vulnerable but not a lot of poll numbers to back it up.

-Pennsylvania. Sort of the same rationale for polling here as New Hampshire- no burning need to but it feels like we should go into all of the major Presidential swing states on about a quarterly basis. Also interesting to see if Tom Corbett has the potential to be a drag on his party mates in the same way our polling found last week that Rick Scott could be in Florida.

-Utah. Some interesting polling on the Senate race in the state last week suggesting it could be competitive- wondering if we would back that up and the Romney/Huntsman dynamic is always fun. Plus another state, like Kentucky, which could prove to be the elusive one where Sarah Palin is popular.

Thanks for voting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Montana looks like a challenge for Obama

Montana was one of the closest states where Barack Obama fell short in 2008 but he's regressed there in the last few years and doesn't appear to have a serious chance at adding it to his victory column in 2012.

Only 43% of voters in the state approve of the job Obama's doing to 54% who disapprove. Democrats are pretty universal in their approval of him (88%) but Republicans are just as unanimous in their disapproval (89%). Given that Montana's a GOP leaning state and that Obama is also on negative ground with independents (39/56), it's not a very good formula for success for the President.

Obama lost the state by 3 points to John McCain but trails even the GOP lesser lights by more than that now. Mitt Romney is the strongest of the Republicans, leading Obama by 8 points at 49-41. Michele Bachmann leads by 6 at 48-42, Herman Cain's up 5 at 46-41, and Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty each lead by 4 points at 48-44 and 45-41 respectively.

Given Montana's GOP lean Obama needs to do some combination of winning a healthy chunk of Republican voters and taking independents by a wide margin if he hopes to pick up the state. Right now he is doing neither of those things. He only gets 4-7% of the Republican vote in those five match ups. And he's anywhere from trailing by 6 points to a tie with independents. He'll need to step it up on both of those fronts to have any chance in the state next year.

Montana is not likely to be important to the Presidential race but the Senate contest in the state will be pivotal and Obama's numbers are significant for that. Last week we found Jon Tester trailing Denny Rehberg by a small margin despite having an approval rating over 50%. Senate elections in Presidential years can get awfully nationalized and there's a good chance that Obama's approval numbers in the state might end up being as important or more than Tester's- and if that's the case that's bad news for Dems.

It's not all good news for Republicans in this poll. Even though they lead Obama the GOP field all has negative favorability ratings in the state- it's -2 for Cain at 25/27, -6 for Bachmann at 34/40, -10 for Palin at 41/51, -14 for Pawlenty at 22/36, and -15 for Romney at 33/48. Montana is an old, white, Republican state. For none of the GOP candidates to have positive numbers there doesn't say much for their appeal.

Voters there do like them better than Obama though! Montana probably won't be on the battleground list next year.

Full results here

Scott now tops in unpopularity

Rick Scott was already tied with John Kasich as the least popular Governor in the country in PPP's polling but now he has that designation all to himself. 59% of voters disapprove of Scott, up from 55% when PPP last polled the state in March. Only 33% think Scott's doing a good job.

Scott's numbers with Democrats are pretty much identical to where they were on the last poll. His standing with Republicans has actually improved a little bit, from 57/27 in March to now 63/30. Where he's really seeing a decline is with independents. He was already unpopular with them at a 31/54 approval spread but his numbers with them are even worse now at 27/64.

One potential future match up that would surely be a dream for political observers is a 2014 match up between Scott and his predecessor Charlie Crist. A plurality of voters in the state- 43%- think that it's time for Crist to switch to the Democratic Party compared to 26% who think he should not and 31% who don't have an opinion. Democrats are the group of voters with the largest net support for such a move, 46/18, and independents think he should make that flip as well by a 48/29 margin. Republicans are pretty evenly divided, saying 35/34 that Crist should move to the Democrats. GOP voters made it clear last year they didn't want Crist in their party but evidently they don't really want him in the Democratic Party either.

Crist would crush Scott in a hypothetical match up, 56-34. He would win a quarter of the Republican vote and takes independents by a 62-30 margin, in addition to pretty much sweeping the Democratic vote. Of course Democrats wouldn't need Crist to win if Scott stood for reelection today- in a rematch of their contest last fall Alex Sink now leads Scott by a 57-35 margin. Scott's unpopularity is such that the Dems could put up most anyone right now and knock him out of office.

Of course 2014 is a very long way off...full results here

Dems start out with modest lead in NM Senate race

The race to replace Jeff Bingaman in the Senate looks like it will be competitive but either Democratic candidate would start out with a small lead over the two Republican front runners.

Congressman Martin Heinrich leads former Congresswoman Heather Wilson 47-42 and Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez 45-39. State Auditor Hector Balderas leads Wilson 45-39 and Sanchez 39-35. Either of the Democrats would have a much wider lead over dark horse Republican candidate Greg Sowards: it's a 42-28 advantage for Balderas and a 46-34 one for Heinrich.

There are a lot more Democrats than Republicans in New Mexico, so for one of the GOP candidates to win this race would require a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats and a strong showing with independents. Wilson and Sanchez achieve the first of those things. Wilson gets 21% of the Democratic vote against Heinrich and 20% against Balderas while losing only 13% and 14% of the Republican vote respectively to her competitors. Sanchez similarly gets 19% of the Democratic vote against Heinrich and 16% against Balderas while shedding just 14% and 12% of the GOP vote to his foes.

While Wilson and Sanchez are getting the sort of crossover support they need right now, they're not where they need to be with independents. Wilson trails Heinrich by 12 points and Balderas by 9 with them. Sanchez does have a 2 point edge over Balderas with them, but trails Heinrich by 13. The Republicans will have to step up their performance with independents to have a chance at picking up the seat.

There's a wide range in how familiar voters in the state are with each of the leading candidates. Wilson's by far the best known candidate with 83% of voters having an opinion about her. That familiarity is not a good thing though, as 45% rate her unfavorably to only 38% who have a positive opinion about her. Heinrich is the next best known at 68% and voters split slightly favorably in their opinions about him at 36/32. Sanchez has 51% recognition with it breaking down a little bit unfavorably at 23/28. Only 39% of the electorate knows Balderas with his favorability at 22/17. And Sowards is the most obscure with 24% rating him.

Despite her negative favorability numbers and deficit to Heinrich in this poll there is some good news for Wilson. When we looked at New Mexico in February she trailed Heinrich 50-39 in a hypothetical contest. So she has gained some ground over the last few months. At the least it looks like the GOP will be more competitive here than it was in the 2008 Senate race. Democrats start out with the clear advantage but a 22 point blood bath ala last time around does not seem likely.

Full results here

More Bachmann Surge

We've never found her leading one of our state polls until now but Michele Bachmann's been on fire for the last two weeks and we find her at the top of the GOP field in both Oregon and Montana when Sarah Palin's not included. That's just more indication that if Palin ends up not running Bachmann will pretty instantaneously vault to co-front runner status with Mitt Romney, provided she can continue her current momentum.

In Oregon Bachmann gets 29% to 28% for Romney, 10% for Ron Paul, 9% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Herman Cain, 6% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman. In Montana she leads with 25% to 22% for Romney, 11% for Gingrich, 10% for Paul, 9% for Pawlenty,8% for Cain, and 4% for Huntsman.

In both states Bachmann's support is built on strong support from the far right. In Oregon moderates prefer Romney over her by a 39-15 margin and 'somewhat conservatives' ones favor him by a 29-22 margin as well. But with 'very conservative' voters, which constitute the largest share of the primary electorate at 44%, Bachmann leads 37-26 and that fuels her small overall lead. It's a similar story in Montana. Romney leads 21-13 with moderates and 26-22 with 'somewhat conservative' voters. But Bachmann is up 34-19 with 'very conservative' voters and with their constituting 39% of Republican voters that gives her the upper hand overall.

Obviously this is just two states but these numbers speak to the possibility for a two way race between Romney and Bachmann if Palin stays out of the field. They're 11 points clear of anyone else in Montana and 18 points ahead of anyone else in Oregon. Herman Cain's momentum appears to have stalled after a tremendous May and early June, Pawlenty and Huntsman still haven't gotten off the ground, Gingrich doesn't appear likely ever to return to his former level of support, and Paul, well, he's probably stuck around 10% in perpetuity.

Oregon provides a good example of why Romney should probably want Palin to run, in order to split up the vote of the far right. With Palin included there he gets 28% to 18% for Bachmann, 16% for Palin, 9% for Paul, 8% for Cain, 6% for Gingrich and Pawlenty, and 0% for Huntsman. Without Palin included Bachmann picks up 11 points with Romney staying right in place. There's an argument that Palin's entry is the best possible thing that could happen to Romney's prospects over the next few months.

In Montana Palin actually leads when she's included with 20% t0 18% for Bachmann, 17% for Romney, 9% for Gingrich and Paul, 8% for Cain, 7% for Pawlenty, and 4% for Huntsman. In both Montana and Oregon Palin has easily the best net favorability of any of the GOP contenders...she'll be a force if she's just a very big if.

Full results here

Crazy E-mail of the Day

We get these e-mails from people purporting to be from Burma (not really sure whether they are or not) telling us what to poll pretty much every day. But this is the first one where they've accused us of not wanting to poll the races they want us to poll because we're afraid of the results. I sent them some info on our pricing and told them we'd be happy to look at any races they want if they pay for it.

And while we're at it consider this an open thread for suggestions on where we should go for our next round of state polling.

From: Aung San Suu Kyi []
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 8:06 AM
To: Min Ko Naing; Ingalls, Dustin; Jensen, Tom
Cc: PPP Information;
Subject: This is a request and complaint.



The Public Policy Polling,

The United States Of America.

Dear Sir,

We request that the Public Policy Polling conducts the US Senate Poll of North Dakota,Nebraska,Virginia and Missouri for June,2011 as soon as possible,in other words,we request that the Public Policy Polling conducts the polls for June,2011 immediately.This month online poll for Missouri is Todd Akin 57% and McCaskill 43%.And we also believe that Mr.George Allen is winning the poll this time after the Bin Laden rise.the PPP's US Senate Poll for Virginia and Missouri are becoming old.We are from Burma.What we want to say is that we want to know the After-Bin-Laden-Rise poll of Missouri and Virginia.We want to know the polls from you to update ourselves in the politics of the United States.We do not want to update ourselves in the politics of the United States of America with the wrong poll for now and we suggest that the Public Policy Polling should conduct the monthly poll for US Senate Election 2012. Why is your polling firm so afraid of conducting the US Senate Poll for Virginia and Missouri?Is the Democratic Party defeated in the polls for June,2011?Is the PPP the polling firm that related with the Democratic Party?In other words,is your polling firm so close with the Democratic Party?Is your polling firm conducting the polls when you only think that the Democratic Party is winning in the Polls?To sum up,the Public Policy Polling should know that we are not satisfied with the polls for Virginia and Missouri for May,2011.

Request By,

Ms.Chit Thu Wai,

Ms.Chit Suu Wai,

Ms.Pa Pa Win Khin,

Ms.Pwint Nadi Mg,

Ms.Ya Min Ko Ko,

Ms.Khin Moe Zar,

Ms.Zar Zar Min Htet,

Ms.Chit Suu,

Ms.Nan Su Yati Soe,

Ms.Wine Su Khine Thein,


Ms.Khin Than Myint,

Ms.Myint Myint Khin,

Ms.Khin Khin Gyi,

Ms.Myat Myat Htway,


Mr.Nyein Chan,


Ms.Na Di Moe Yan.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oregon Miscellaneous

-John Kitzhaber's off to a good start in his second round as Governor of Oregon. 47% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 35% who disapprove, a positive approval spread much wider than his margin of victory last fall. Democrats almost all approve of him (74/12) and his 17% approval from Republicans is a decent amount of crossover support.

-Ron Wyden is one of the most popular Senators in the country with 55% of voters approving of him to only 29% who disapprove. He has similar numbers to Kitzhaber with Democrats but is much more popular with independents (52/30) and gets good marks even from 30% of Republicans.

-Jeff Merkley is considerably less popular and remains somewhat anonymous to voters in the state with 36% of voters approving of him, 33% disapproving, and 31% holding no opinion. Those kinds of numbers usually mean your political fate is going to be determined by the wind. If 2014 is a good Democratic year he'll be around for another term but if it's a strong GOP year Merkley could be in a lot of trouble. Of course he does still have time to get his numbers to a point in the next 3.5 years where he'd be less susceptible to a bad turn in the political climate for Democrats.

-If Republicans are going to put up a tough fight against Merkley in 2014 Greg Walden might be their ideal candidate. He has pretty solid statewide favorability numbers with 30% of voters rating him positively to only 19% with a negative opinion. In addition to being popular with GOP voters, a plurality of Democrats even have a favorable opinion of him

Those numbers don't make Walden the state's most popular member of the House though- that designation falls to Peter DeFazio who 45% of voters see favorably to 28% with a negative opinion. It may be a while before a good statewide opportunity opens up but if Democrats were going to look to their House delegation when one did emerge DeFazio might be the top contender.

The most unpopular member of the House contingent is no surprise given recent events. Only 16% have a favorable view of David Wu to 50% with a negative one. His bad reviews are universal across party lines.

Earl Blumenauer (33/21) and Kurt Schrader (22/18) fall in the middle.

-Oregon voters narrowly support gay marriage, 48/42. There is less division on granting at least some form of legal recognition to same sex couples- 76% are supportive of that (43% marriage, 33% civil unions) with only 22% completely opposed.

Full results here

Obama leads in Florida

You can talk about the economy and unemployment and Afghanistan all you want but Barack Obama has one huge asset when it comes to his reelection bid: the Republican Party. And nowhere is that clearer than in the vital state of Florida where voters are split pretty much right down the middle on the President, but nevertheless leaning toward reelecting him at this point.

48% of voters in the Sunshine State approve of the job Obama's doing to 49% who disapprove. Republicans are more unified in their disapproval of him (87%) than Democrats are in their approval (81%) and independents split against him by a 48/49 margin identical to his overall numbers.

Despite Obama's tepid approval numbers he still has at least a 4 point lead against all of his top potential challengers. It's 47-43 over Mitt Romney, an 8 point advantage over Tim Pawlenty at 48-40, a 9 point edge against Michele Bachmann at 49-40, an 11 point spread against Herman Cain at 48-37, and a 12 point blowout over Sarah Palin at 52-40.

Why, if Obama's relatively weak in the state, does he lead all of his potential opponents? Because the Republicans are weaker. Consider this:

1) All of the GOP hopefuls have negative favorability ratings in the state, both overall and with independents. Bachmann comes closest to breaking even at 36/37, including 29/41 with independents. Romney's 41/45 overall and 43/45 with independents, Cain's 25/33 overall and 27/29 with independents, Pawlenty's 19/39 overall and 16/42 with independents, and Palin's 37/58 overall and 27/67 with independents. Floridians aren't enamored with Obama but they don't find any of the alternatives particularly compelling either.

2) Rick Scott is going to be a problem for whoever ends up as the Republican nominee. A plurality of voters in the state- 40%- says his actions as Governor have made it less likely they'll vote GOP for President next year. 34% say he won't make a difference either way in their vote and 26% say the things he's done make them more likely to vote for a Republican. What's most important about these numbers is that 18% of voters who disapprove of Obama are so turned off by Scott that they're less likely to vote for the GOP next year.

Scott's important because he's helped remind voters in Florida why they turned away from the GOP in 2006 and 2008- there are going to be folks who don't love Obama who are going to end up voting for him anyway because they think he's a lesser of evils. In a state that tends to be decided by 2 or 3 points Scott's unpopularity and damage to the Republican brand could throw the state to Obama.

Florida's other newly elected Republican- Senator Marco Rubio- is doing pretty well so far. 42% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 35% who disapprove. His approval numbers are better than those of his senior colleague Bill Nelson, who we'll release figures for next week.

It doesn't look like adding Rubio to the ticket would do much to help GOP hopes of winning the state next year though- 31% of voters say they would be more likely to vote for the Republican nominee if Rubio was the VP candidate while 35% say they would be less likely to and 34% say it doesn't make a difference either way. VP picks are rarely game changers and it doesn't look like the story would be any different with Rubio.

Obama's vulnerable in Florida but if the GOP doesn't step its game up he might be able to back into another victory in the state anyway.

Full results here

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Montana Governor looks like toss up

The race to be the next Governor of Montana looks like a toss up, with the potential candidates to replace Brian Schweitzer largely unknown to voters in the state.

You would usually expect an open seat in a Republican leaning state to be leaning toward the Republicans but Schweitzer's continued popularity is helping Democratic prospects for retaining the office. 52% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 38% who disapprove. He's universally beloved by Democrats (an 88% approval rating) and the 26% of GOP voters who think he's doing a good job represents an unusual level of crossover support.

Primary polling PPP will release next week finds that former Congressman Rick Hill is the early front runner for the Republican nomination, while Attorney General Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger are the top choices on the Democratic side. Either of those match ups would start out basically as a tie: Hill leads Bullock 39-37 and leads Bohlinger 40-39. Bohlinger and Bullock both have small leads over Hill with independents, but they get only 8% and 7% of the Republican vote respectively. They'd probably need more crossover support than that in the GOP leaning state to win next fall.

Hill, Bohlinger, and Bullock are the early front runners but none of them are terribly well known, which leaves the race pretty wide open. Only Bohlinger is known to a majority of voters in the state and it's a bare majority- 52% have an opinion about him. 46% are familiar enough with Bullock to have an opinion and that number is 45% for Hill.

We included three other candidates in the general election part of our poll but it basically boils down to the better known Democrats leading the lesser known Republicans, the lesser known Republicans leading the lesser known Democrat, and unsurprisingly the better known Republican leading the lesser known Democrat. It's pretty much all name recognition at this point and the race really hasn't developed.

Full results here

New Mexico and Texas Question Suggestions

New Mexico and Texas were the winners of our vote on where to poll next week, so:

-What Senate match ups would you like to see tested in the two states?

-What should we ask about besides the standard Presidential, Senate, and approval rating questions we do on all of our polls?

Always appreciate the good suggestions y'all give us.

Obama solid in Oregon

Barack Obama holds double digits over all of his potential opponents for reelection in Oregon: he's up 12 points on Mitt Romney at 50-38, 18 against Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann at 52-34 and 53-35 respectively, 21 against Herman Cain at 53-32, and 22 against Sarah Palin at 57-35.

It's no surprise that Obama's well positioned to win Oregon again. But there are 2 things worth noting about the numbers:

-They are another indication that the 2012 electoral map is shaping up to look a lot more like 2008 than 2000 or 2004. Al Gore and John Kerry both won Oregon, but it was by less than 5 points. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa were all swing states in those election years as well. But Obama won that quartet of states by at least 10 points in 2008 and in polls we've done in each of those states over the last month we've found he's positioned to do that again: he's up 9-21 points over the GOP field in Iowa, 8-21 points in Minnesota, and 12-19 points in Wisconsin. These states do not appear likely to return to their competitive status next year and that gives Obama the opportunity to again focus on expanding the map like he did in his first election.

-Obama's Oregon approval numbers are actually pretty tepid, with only 49% of voters approving of him to 45% disapproving. But despite his approval spread coming down at only +4 he still leads his potential foes by 12-22 points. It's another reminder that there's an important mass of voters that is not in love with Obama but still see him as a more palatable choice than any of the Republicans running. Consider the favorabilities of the GOP candidates in Oregon: Bachmann's at -10 (30/40), Cain at -12 (19/31), Romney at -16 (31/47), Pawlenty at -18 (19/37), and Palin at -32 (31/63). Their universal unpopularity makes it a lot easier for Obama to overcome some of his points of weakness.

It doesn't look like there will be much to watch in Oregon next year.

Full results here

Romney leads the way in Florida

Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the Republican Presidential nomination in Florida, further cementing his front runner status in the wake of Mike Huckabee's exit from the race.

Romney is at 27% to 17% for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, 10% for Herman Cain, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.

Romney now has the outright lead in PPP's most recent polls in all 5 of the key early Republican contests: in addition to the Florida advantage he's up by 9 in South Carolina, 6 in Iowa, 15 in Nevada, and 23 in New Hampshire.

Beyond Romney's continued strength the big stories here are the rise of Michele Bachmann and the collapse of Newt Gingrich. Bachmann's 17% standing represents a 10 point gain from PPP's last Florida poll in late March, when she stood at only 7%. Her strength comes from leading the field with 'very conservative' voters at 21%, followed by Palin at 20%, and Romney at 18%.

Romney's Florida lead is built on a familiar formula. He's not winning with the far right voters who constitute a plurality of the Republican electorate, but he's at least staying competitive with them. Meanwhile he's dominating the field with moderates (a 36-15 lead over Palin) and with voters who identify themselves as just 'somewhat conservative' (a 32-15 advantage over Bachmann.)

While Bachmann's rising with Florida Republicans, Gingrich has tanked. On our last poll he was tied for the lead with Romney at 18%. Now he finds himself in 5th place and with less than half as much support at 8%. Beyond Gingrich other people who have to be seen as losers on this poll are Huntsman and Pawlenty. Huntsman's 2% standing is consistent with how he's polling with pretty much every group of voters except beltway journalists. And Pawlenty's 4% in Florida matches his 4% in South Carolina- he doesn't have any resonance yet with GOP voters in the south.

If you take Palin out of the mix, Bachmann picks up 37% of her supporters to 20% for Romney, 14% for Cain, and 13% for Gingrich. That leaves the overall standings in a Palin less field at 29% for Romney, 22% for Bachmann, 14% for Cain, and 10% for Gingrich. GOP polls PPP will release in Montana and Oregon over the course of the next few days will also provide evidence that Bachmann has stepped into the role as top alternative to Romney for GOP voters.

Here's how the favorabilities of everyone we polled in Florida stack up:


Favorability (net)

Change from March poll

Jeb Bush

75/17 (+58)

+12 (was +46 at 68/22)

Sarah Palin

67/27 (+40)

+8 (was +32 at 62/30)

Paul Ryan

49/10 (+39)

Not included

Rudy Giuliani

60/22 (+38)

+21 (was +17 at 51/34)

Chris Christie

49/12 (+37)

Not included

Michele Bachmann

58/22 (+36)

+1 (was +35 at 44/9)

Herman Cain

48/19 (+29)

Not included

Rick Santorum

42/13 (+29)

Not included

Mitt Romney

56/30 (+26)

-11 (was +37 at 61/24)

Rick Perry

38/12 (+26)

Not included

Ron Paul

44/31 (+13)

-24 (was +37 at 53/16)

Tim Pawlenty

38/26 (+12)

-20 (was +32 at 40/8)

Newt Gingrich

46/37 (+9)

-23 (was +32 at 58/26)

Jon Huntsman

17/15 (+2)

Not included

Gary Johnson

6/11 (-5)

Not included

Fred Karger

3/10 (-7)

Not included

Buddy Roemer

3/14 (-11)

Not included

It's interesting to note that the 5 most popular figures we polled- Bush, Palin, Ryan, Giuliani, and Christie- are all not actually running. That shows you how much room there still is for someone else to enter this race and vault straight to the top tier of contenders. We actually asked a question about a sort of Republican 'dream field' in Florida and unsurprisingly Bush led the way in his home state with 27% to 17% for Romney, 14% for Palin, and 12% for Christie and Bachmann.

Full results here
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