-PPP's newest Arizona poll finds that John McCain is unpopular with Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike and has now become the least popular Senator in the country. Only 30% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing to 54% who disapprove. There isn't much variability in his numbers by party- he's at 35/55 with Republicans, 29/53 with Democrats, and 25/55 with independents, suggesting he could be vulnerable to challenges in both the primary and general elections the next time he's up.
McCain trails in hypothetical general election match ups with both 2012 nominee Richard Carmona (41/35) and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (42/35). He would lead though in a match up with former Governor Janet Napolitano, 44/36. This has the potential to be an interesting one in 2016.
-The Presidential race in Arizona in 2016 could be interesting as well. Hillary Clinton narrowly trails Jeb Bush (45/44), but leads Chris Christie (44/41), Rand Paul (46/43), and Mike Huckabee (47/41). Arizona could finally reach its long anticipated battleground status this cycle.
Ted Cruz leads the Republican primary field in the state with 16% to 14% for Rand Paul, 12% for Chris Christie, 11% each for Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush, 8% each for Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, 4% for Marco Rubio, and 2% for Bobby Jindal. This is the best poll showing we've found for Cruz in a long time- he leads based on his strength with 'very conservative' voters, among whom he gets 22%.
-Almost four years after it passed, we're finding declining support for Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona. In October of 2010 we found voters favored it by a 25 point margin, 60/35. They still support it now, but it's only by an 8 point spread at 44/36. The bill's popularity has declined with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
We're due for our monthly North Carolina poll. We'll do all our standard stuff on the Senate race and the legislature, and we're certainly open to any other question suggestions as well.
We're also going to do a national poll. We'll do our normal political stuff and would appreciate question suggestions on that front. We're also going to ask some questions about what people think about aliens, so if you have any question ideas along those lines we'd appreciate them as well! Thanks as always for the good ideas.
-Charles Grassley continues to be Iowa's most popular politician. 51% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 32% who disapprove. Grassley would lead former Governor Tom Vilsack 48/41 in a hypothetical 2016 reelection contest, and it's hard to imagine any other Democrat would fare much better than that against him at this point. Tom Harkin's approval is on positive ground as well at 45/36.
-Almost 5 years after gay marriage became legal in Iowa, 78% of voters in the state say it's either had a positive impact or no impact at all on their lives. Even among Republicans, 61% grant that its being legal hasn't had a negative effect on them. Iowans remain closely divided on the issue- 46% think it should be legal to 45% who believe it should be illegal- but that represents a net 8 point increase in support from October of 2011 when only 41% of voter supported it to 48% who thought it should be illegal.
-Iowa voters support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by a 52/36 margin. It has near total support from Democrats (80/12) and also from 26% of Republicans. Voters in the state also feel by a 60/35 spread that Congress should continue extended unemployment benefits rather than cutting them off. On that issue 44% of GOP voters side with Democrats' majority position.
PPP's new Arizona poll finds not only that voters in the state agree with Jan Brewer's veto of Senate Bill 1062, but that they also for the first time support legalizing gay marriage in the state.
Only 22% of Arizonans say they support Senate Bill 1062, compared to 66% who opposed it. Opposition to the bill is bipartisan with majorities of Democrats (11/86), independents (18/64), and Republicans (34/51) alike against it. 72% say they agree with Jan Brewer's veto of it, compared to only 18% who disagree with her action.
Brewer's approval rating stands at 44/42 and that +2 spread is almost identical to the +1 she had at 47/46 the last time PPP polled on her in October of 2012. She's down slightly with Republicans from the last poll (72/18 then, 66/22 now), but up slightly with Democrats (14/82 then, 20/62 now).
For the first time in our polling we find that a plurality of Arizonans support gay marriage. 49% are in favor of it to 41% who are opposed, a net 9 movement in favor of gay marriage in the state since November of 2011 when there was 44/45 opposition to it. Voters under the age of 45 support it 55/36 with seniors the only age group against it at this point. 77% of Arizonans support at least civil union for same sex couples, including 69% of Republicans, with only 19% opposed to any form of legal recognition at all.
Moving on to the Governor's race for this year, it looks pretty wide open for both the Republican primary and the general election. The leader for the GOP nomination is 'undecided' at 34%. 5 candidates have measurable amounts of support at this point- Ken Bennett at 20%, Christine Jones at 16%, Scott Smith at 12%, Andrew Thomas at 9%, and Doug Ducey at 6%. Al Melvin, John Molina, and Frank Riggs all register at 1% in the poll.
PPP's newest Iowa poll finds the same 2 things as every other recent 2016 poll: an overwhelming lead for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, and a pretty wide open race on the Republican side.
Mike Huckabee leads the GOP race with 17% to 14% for Rand Paul, 13% for Jeb Bush, 10% for Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, 9% for Paul Ryan, 7% for Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, and 3% for Marco Rubio. He leads based on his strength with 'very conservative' voters, among whom he gets 28% to 18% for Cruz and 12% for Paul.
Huckabee is one of three Republicans we tested with a favorability rating over 60% with GOP voters in the state. He is at 63/19 and is joined in a high level of popularity by Paul Ryan (63/13) and Sarah Palin (61/21). Rand Paul (59/15) and Jeb Bush (50/17) are the other two candidates who are seen positively by a majority of Republicans in the state.
There are a few GOP hopefuls who are clearly on the decline with Iowa Republicans. Chris Christie's favorability has dropped a net 15 points from July and is now only a narrowly positive 38/35 spread after having been 45/27 before. His support for the nomination has dropped from 16% to 10%. Marco Rubio's seen a big drop as well. Last summer he had a 54/14 rating, but that's now only 42/14. His support for the nomination has dipped from 11% to 3%.
A few other quick notes on the Republicans:
-Ted Cruz is the only whose favorability has notably improved since the summer. He was at 27/12 then, and that's now up to 40/14.
-Donald Trump may once again float a trial balloon in 2016, but he's not even popular with Republican voters at this point. Only 23% in Iowa see him favorably to 44% with a negative view.
-Rick Perry now has a better net favorability (+28 at 45/17) with Iowa Republicans than he did on our final pre-caucus poll in 2012 when it was +13 at 52/39. Rick Santorum's gone in the other direction- he was at +30 (60/30) then and now he's down to +23 (44/21).
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton continues to be completely dominant. 67% want her to be the nominee, compared to 12% for Joe Biden, 5% for Elizabeth Warren, 3% for Mark Warner, 2% for Andrew Cuomo, and 1% for Cory Booker. Clinton's dominance is near total- she has an 82/9 favorability rating and polls over 60% with liberals, moderates, men, women, young voters, and older voters alike.
Arizona won our vote on where to poll this week. Obviously we'll look at the Governor's race, the religious discrimination bill, how voters in the state feel about their key politicians, etc. What else should we ask about in Arizona? Thanks as always for your great suggestions!
PPP's newest Iowa poll finds that the US Senate race has narrowed since the summer, but that Democrat Bruce Braley continues to hold a clear lead over all of his Republican opponents. In July Braley led the GOP field by an average of 11 points. Now it's an average of 7 points: he leads Matt Whitaker 40/34, Joni Ernst and Mark Jacobs 41/35, and Sam Clovis 42/34. At least part of Braley's leads at this point is a product of name recognition- 56% of voters know enough about him to have formed an opinion, where none of the Republican hopefuls have more than 25% familiarity.
The Republican primary for Senate is still pretty wide open, with 42% of voters undecided. Mark Jacobs has opened up a small lead at 20% to 13% for Joni Ernst, 11% for Matt Whitaker, 8% for Sam Clovis, and 3% each for Paul Lunde and Scott Schaben. Even with Republican primary voters the highest name id any of the candidates has is 32% for Jacobs.
There's a pretty clear reason why the Senate race has tightened over the last seven months. Barack Obama's approval rating in the state has dropped a net 10 points compared to the summer, from a -4 spread at 46/50 to now a -14 one at 40/54. That decline in the overall political climate for Democrats is having an effect in races like Iowa and Michigan where the actual candidates aren't particularly well known.
In the Iowa Governor's race Terry Branstad continues to have approval numbers that aren't terribly impressive, but still leads by double digits for reelection against a Democratic opponent who isn't particularly well known. Branstad has a 45/40 approval spread and leads Jack Hatch 48/36, the same 12 point lead he held in July. Hatch only has 31% name recognition and the undecideds in the race skew Democratic so just like the Senate race could get better for the Republicans as the candidates get better known, this one could get better for the Democrats.
-PPP finds that Kansas voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the proposed bill in the legislature that would let businesses refuse service for same sex couples. Only 29% support it, compared to 59% who are opposed. The opposition to the bill is bipartisan with Democrats (13/80) and independents (24/61) overwhelmingly against it and even Republicans (40/44) narrowly so.
At the same time support for legalizing gay marriage has increased a net 8 points over the last year and now 44% of voters favor it to 48% who are opposed, compared to a 39/51 spread last February. Those under the age of 45 support it by a 55/37 spread. 66% support at least civil unions for same sex couples to only 32% who are opposed to any sort of legal recognition, and even GOP voters support civil unions 53/44.
-With Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts both under water with Kansas voters, Jerry Moran wins honors as the most popular politician in the state. 37% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 26% who disapprove. The 36% with no opinion about him is still an unusually high number for a Senator though, speaking to the state having one of the most low profile delegations in the country.
-Mike Huckabee is the top choice of Kansas Republicans to be their candidate for President in 2016. 20% support him for the nomination compared to 13% for Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, 12% for Ted Cruz, 11% for Rand Paul, 7% for Paul Ryan, 5% for Marco Rubio, 4% for Scott Walker, and 2% for Bobby Jindal. This makes 4 out of our last 5 GOP polls across the country where Huckabee has been in the lead.
All of the potential Republican candidates for President lead Hillary Clinton in hypothetical contests, although the margins are far closer than they were for Barack Obama in the state last year. Jeb Bush leads Clinton by 9 points at 50/41, and everyone else leads her by 7 points- it's 49/42 for Mike Huckabee, 48/41 for Rand Paul, and 46/39 for Chris Christie.
PPP's newest Kansas poll finds that Sam Brownback has continued to become even more unpopular in the last year, and that he slightly trails his Democratic opponent for reelection. Only 33% of voters in the state approve of the job Brownback is doing, compared to 51% who disapprove. That's down from a 37/52 spread when PPP last polled the state a year ago. It's not surprising that Brownback is doing poorly with independents (33/51) or Democrats (10/76) but what really drags his numbers down is that even Republicans aren't particularly enthusiastic about him, with just 46% approving to 37% who disapprove.
Brownback trails Democratic challenger Paul Davis for reelection by a 42/40 margin. Davis isn't particularly well known- only 41% of voters have an opinion about him one way or the other- so those numbers are more a referendum on Brownback than anything else. Davis leads largely because he is winning 23% of the GOP vote, a large amount of crossover support in this polarized political climate, while only 11% of Democrats plan to vote for Brownback.
There are a few big issues causing Brownback trouble. Only 26% of voters in the state think his much heralded tax plan has been a success, compared to 47% who feel it hasn't been. And voters are also at odds with Brownback on education funding. 59% of voters in the state think the schools are inadequately funded, compared to 31% who think they receive enough state money, and by a 59/29 spread they want the Kansas Supreme Court to rule that funding has to be increased. Brownback's even losing his party on this issue- 47% of Republicans want the Supreme Court to require more education funding to 40% who are opposed.
Pat Roberts has seen his net approval rating decline 12 points over the last year, in the wake of news media reports that he spends little time in the state. In February of 2013 we found him on slightly positive ground at a 31/28 spread, but now only 29% of voters approve of him compared to 38% who disapprove. Roberts doesn't appear to be at too much risk of losing his seat to a Democrat though. He leads Chad Taylor 48/32 in a hypothetical contest and on the off chance the state's most well known Democrat, Kathleen Sebelius, were to make a Senate bid she would trail Roberts 52/38. Sebelius' time in the Obama administration has badly hurt her popularity back at home- she has a 38/55 favorability rating now.
-David Vitter will start the 2015 race for Governor as a pretty strong early favorite. He has a 51/33 approval spread, some of the best numbers we've seen for him during his time in the Senate. Vitter leads in hypothetical match ups with Democrats Mitch Landrieu (50/37) and John Bel Edwards (51/30), and would also have the upper hand against fellow Republican Jay Dardenne (41/29) if two candidates from their party made it through to the runoff. Dardenne also leads Landrieu (46/36) and Edwards (48/27) in hypothetical contests so the GOP starts out ahead by double digits in every possible iteration we looked at.
-Bobby Jindal continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country, with only 35% of voters approving of him to 53% who disapprove. Even among Republican primary voters in his home state only 37% want him to run for President, compared to 51% who think he should sit it out. Mike Huckabee is the top choice of GOP primary voters in the state at 20% to 13% for Jindal, 12% for Ted Cruz, 10% for Rand Paul, 9% for Jeb Bush, 8% each for Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, 7% for Marco Rubio, and 2% for Scott Walker.
All the Republican contenders for President lead Hillary Clinton in hypothetical contests, but the margins are closer than they've been in the state since her husband was on the ticket. Christie leads her by just a point at 44/43, Jindal's up 2 at 47/45, Paul leads by 4 points at 47/43, Huckabee has a 5 point advantage at 49/44, and the strongest Republican with a 7 point edge at 50/43 is Jeb Bush.
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