Thom Tillis may now officially be in the US Senate race, but Republican voters in North Carolina are still shopping for another candidate. Only 9% say Tillis would be their first choice, which puts him in a tie for third with Renee Ellmers among candidates considering the race.
The first choice of GOP voters by a wide margin is Virginia Foxx who's at 23%,giving her a 12 point edge on runner up Phil Berger at 11%. Rounding out the field after Tillis and Ellmers are Jim Cain at 8%, Greg Brannon at 7%, Mark Harris at 4%, and Lynn Wheeler at 3%.
Foxx's early lead is being driven by the right wing of the Republican Party. Among voters identifying themselves as 'very conservative,' she's at 32% with Ellmers next at 12%. But even with moderates Foxx leads the way at 23% to 11% for Cain. Foxx also has the strongest geographic base of any of the candidates, polling at 55% in the Triad while no one else gets over 25% in their home base.
Voters continue to be closely divided in their feelings about Kay Hagan- 41% approve of her to 42% who disapprove. But with Cherie Berry, who had been the strongest Republican candidate in polling, out of the race Hagan is now back to leading the entire GOP field in head to head match ups.
Our latest national poll on animals and pets finds that six
in ten voters (61%) say they own a pet. Almost half (46%) say they spend between 1-5 hours per week taking care of
their pets, while 25% spend between 6-10 hours, 7% 11-20 hours, 6% more than 20
hours and 16% less than one hour. One in five say they prefer to spend time
with their pets over most human beings. Rural Americans are more likely to
prefer the company of animals to humans, with a 33% saying they would rather
spend time with their pet than other humans, compared to just 12% of suburban
and 19% of urban respondents. Similarly, 30% of respondents who identify as
introverts prefer the companionship of a furry friend, compared to 14% of
third (31%) say their pets sleep in the bed with them. About a quarter of pet
owners (24%) say that “everyone should love their pet”, while 69% do not think
that. Women are slightly more likely to own a pet (64%) than men (58%). Women
who own pets are also put more time into caring for them, with 16% of women
spending more than 10 hours caring for their pets compared to just 9% for men.
asked whether they prefer cats or dogs, dogs win big with 52% while just 21%
choose cats. 44% of voters say they own dogs, and 21% of dog owners say their
dogs bark and jump on people every time they enter the house (79% say their
dogs don’t do that.). 31% of voters own cats, and fully 77% of those cat owners
say their cats are friendly to visitors compared to 23% who aren’t friendly.
whole, Americans are more terrified of snakes than any other animal, with 21%
of respondents claiming they were the scariest. Alligators were a close second
at 19%, with sharks and bears following with 18% and 14% respectively. Though
the shark is deemed scarier than the bear, the bear is the clear favorite to
win in a fight between the two, with 56% of respondents picking the bear over
the shark. Exposure to the ocean may influence the vote, as westerners were the
only geographical group to pick the shark, by a 57/43 margin.
PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds that voters continue to be extremely unhappy with the General Assembly, and oppose the budgets that have been brought forth by both the House and the Senate.
Only 20% of voters approve of the job the legislature is doing to 56% who disapprove. Democrats (10/64) and independents (20/63) are both extremely unhappy with the body and even Republicans (36/40) narrowly disapprove of it despite their party being in charge. Only 19% of voters say they support the House's budget proposal and just 17% support the Senate's, with 49% and 50% respectively being opposed to each of those.
The budget's just the tip of the iceberg though when it comes to legislative actions the voters are unhappy with:
-Only 2% support a bill that would raise interest rates on consumer finance loans up to $4,000 to 30%, while 68% are opposed.
-Just 21% support a bill that would allow guns on all educational properties and eliminate permits for them, 66% are opposed.
-There's only 18% support for a bill that would effectively ban Tesla from selling its electric cars in the state to 48% opposed.
What's most notable on all three of these issues is that even Republican voters are opposed to the moves Republican legislators are trying to make. The GOP rank and file is against the loan bill by a 68/5 margin, the gun bill by a 50/32 one, and the Tesla one by a 34/26 spread.
PPP's newest national poll finds on the 6th month anniversary of Newtown that voters are still angry with Congress over the lack of action on expanded background checks. They continue to have overwhelming bipartisan support with 71% of voters favoring them to only 22% who are opposed. That includes an 85/10 spread among Democrats, a 66/23 one with independents, and a 57/35 one with Republicans.
This still has the potential to be a major issue in next year's midterm elections. 51% of voters say they're less likely to support someone who voted against background checks next year to only 14% who say they would consider that a positive. Even among Republicans 30% say they'd be less inclined to vote for someone who opposed expanded background checks to 25% more likely, so this isn't even something that would be a particular salient issue for potential primary challengers.
Fear of the NRA seems to drive much of the opposition to gun legislation, but our polling continues to find its brand just isn't that strong with average voters. It has a narrowly positive favorability rating at 43/41. But 40% of voters say they're less likely to vote for an NRA supported candidate to only 28% who would be more likely to, suggesting there's a greater intensity of feeling among voters with a negative view of the organization.
We're going to do our monthly national poll this week and as has become our custom in the off year it will mix serious stuff with some less serious questions on a particular topic which this month is...pets and animals. So please give us your pets and animals question suggestions, and your ones for more normal topics as well.
We're also due for our monthly North Carolina poll this week so any question suggestions you have for that would be much appreciated as well.
-Speaking to his increased national stature over the first half of 2013, the leading Republican for President in Michigan is Rand Paul. 18% of primary voters in the state say he would be their first choice for 2016, followed by Jeb Bush at 16%, Chris Christie at 15%, Paul Ryan at 12%, Marco Rubio at 11%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Rick Santorum at 6%, Bobby Jindal at 4%, and Susana Martinez with less than 1%.
Paul leads based on his strength with two key groups. Among voters who identify themselves as 'very conservative,' he's at 31% with none of the other GOP hopefuls higher than 15%. And with voters under 45 he's at 28%, giving him at least a 13 point lead over the rest of the field. That appeal to younger voters suggests he may be able to replicate the strong base of support his father had with them in last year's race.
If Hillary Clinton's the Democratic candidate for President at least for now it looks like the state will remain firmly in the blue column. The only Republican who even comes within single digits of her is Christie, who still trails 44-38. The other 3 trail by margins closer to Barack Obama's 16 point margin of victory in 2008 than his 9 point victory from last fall- Clinton is up 14 on Bush at 51/37, 17 on Rubio at 53/36, and 20 on Paul at 55/35.
-Michigan is like most states in overwhelmingly supporting expanded background checks for gun purchases. 71% favor them to 21% who are opposed and the support cuts across party lines- Democrats favor them 87/7, independents do 64/25, and Republicans do 58/35.
PPP's first look at the Michigan Senate race since Carl Levin's retirement announcement finds Democrat Gary Peters as the early front runner, leading 8 different potential Republican candidates by anywhere from 5 to 20 points.
The strongest potential Republican candidate at this point is former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who announced her candidacy this week. She trails Peters by 5 points at 41/36. Land is the best known person considering the race too, although she still has just 50% name recognition.
Mike Rogers does the next best against Peters, trailing 42/32. After him it's Justin Amash and Dave Camp who each trail by 12 points at 42/30 and 43/31 respectively, Kimberly Small who's 16 points back at 42/26, Roger Kahn and Rob Steele who are each down 18 at 44/26, and Saul Anuzis who has a 20 point deficit at 44/24.
Peters' strength in these early match ups has less to do with him than it does the general Democratic lean of the state in national elections. At this point only 34% of voters know enough about Peters to have formed an opinion of him, with those assessments coming in slightly positive at 18/16. The Republican field is a blur to voters too though- after Land the best known is Rogers with 35% name recognition, followed by Camp at 31%, Amash at 30%, Anuzis at 18%, Small and Steele at 17%, and Kahn at 16%. This simply isn't a very high profile field of potential candidates.
PPP's first poll of the Michigan Gubernatorial race since Mark Schauer's official entry finds the Democrat leading incumbent Rick Snyder 42/38. PPP's polling of this match up over the last six months has been very consistent- in March Schauer also led Snyder by 4 points and in December he had a 5 point advantage.
Schauer's initial lead has a lot more to do with Snyder than it does with himself. Even after his official candidacy announcement, he has just 38% statewide name recognition. But Snyder continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country with only 40% of voters approving of him to 52% who disapprove. He's at 40/51 with independents and Democrats (78% disapproval) dislike him a good deal more than Republicans (68% approval) like him.
Schauer's low name recognition at this point means that things could actually get worse for Snyder. The undecideds for Governor voted for Barack Obama by a 16 point margin, and only 22% approve of Snyder to 64% who disapprove. Those are folks likely to move into the Schauer camp once he becomes better known.
Snyder's role in the passage of right to work legislation continues to be a big problem for him. Just 40% of voters support that law to 50% who oppose it, numbers that have not seen any improvement since the initial furor after it passed in December. Snyder continues to have issues with his brand, as only 34% of voters now consider him to be 'one tough nerd' to 45% who don't.
PPP's newest Virginia survey finds that voters aren't too keen on a 2016 Bob McDonnell Presidential bid. Only 17% think he should make a run for the White House to 57% who are opposed to the idea. Even among Republicans just 30% think he should go for it to 37% who think he should not.
The lack of enthusiasm from Republicans about a McDonnell campaign shows through in numbers that find he is only the fourth choice of primary voters in the state to be their next national standard bearer. 17% support Marco Rubio with Chris Christie at 15% and Jeb Bush at 14% also coming in ahead of McDonnell's 12%. After that it's Rand Paul at 10%, Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan at 8%, Bobby Jindal at 3%, and Rick Santorum at 2%.
McDonnell would start out at a deficit in a general election match up with Hillary Clinton in his home state as well. Clnton leads him 48/42, a larger margin of victory than Barack Obama achieved over Mitt Romney in the state last November. Clinton also leads 46/42 over Marco Rubio.
Despite Mark Warner's immense popularity with voters in Virginia, he still runs a very distant third to Clinton when it comes to who Democrats would like to see as their 2016 candidate. 56% pick Clinton to 14% for Joe Biden, 11% for Warner, 3% each for Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren, 1% each for Kirsten Gillibrand and Martin O'Malley, and less than 1% each for Deval Patrick and Brian Schweitzer. Clinton has majority support from liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, and voters within every age group.
Mark Warner continues to be by far and away Virginia's most popular politician, and doesn't look like he would face much trouble for reelection regardless of who the Republicans put up next year.
53% of Virginians approve of the job Warner is doing to only 27% who disapprove. He's at 58/25 with independents, and has 26% crossover approval from Republicans. He would have an 11 point lead in a hypothetical match up with Bob McDonnell, 50/39. He would also lead Eric Cantor by 19 points at 53/34 and Bill Bolling by 21 points at 54/33. Cantor continues to be unpopular statewide, with only 26% of voters rating him favorably to 40% who have a negative opinion.
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