7/21: Obama Approval Rating Solid Despite Pessimism about America’s Future

While a slim majority of registered voters nationally have a positive opinion of President Barack Obama’s job performance, the attitude of the national electorate toward how Congress is doing its job remains sour.  On the whole, many Americans have a pessimistic view of the direction of the nation, a sentiment reflected in their opinions about their financial situation.  While a majority of Americans say their family finances will remain the same in the upcoming year, there has been a dip in those who believe their financial picture will improve.  Additionally, nearly six in ten U.S. residents assert future generations will be worse off financially.

51% of registered voters approve of the job President Obama is doing in office, and 43% disapprove.  President Obama’s approval rating is significantly better than those of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.  More than seven in ten voters, 72%, disapprove of the job performance of the Republicans in Congress, and 55% have a negative opinion of how congressional Democrats are doing their job.  On each of these questions, there has been little change since McClatchy-Marist last reported them in April.

Looking at Americans’ opinions toward the direction of the nation, 68% of residents think the country is moving in the wrong direction while 25% say it is moving in the right one.  In the spring, nearly identical proportions of Americans had these views.

While a majority of Americans, 56%, say their personal family finances will remain about the same in the coming year, 28% report their financial situation will get better.  17% say it will get worse.  While there has been a slight downtick in the proportion of residents who think their family finances will improve, residents are not increasingly negative about their money matters.  When this question was last asked in the fall, 33% of Americans said their finances would get better, 15% reported they would deteriorate, and 52% thought they would remain about the same.

Americans under 45 years of age, 37%, are nearly twice as likely as those who are older, 19%, to have an optimistic view of their personal family finances.  Men, 31%, are also more likely than women, 24%, to think their finances will improve in the next year.  Women, 60%, are more likely than men, 52%, to say their financial outlook will reflect its current state.  Racial differences also exist.  Only 18% of white residents say their finances will improve compared with 41% of Latinos and 48% of African Americans.

A majority of adults nationally, 57%, think future generations will be worse off financially than people today.  19% say younger Americans will be better off, and about one in four, 24%, believes their financial picture will be about the same as this generation.  Republicans, 72%, are more likely than Democrats, 41%, and independents, 61%, to report future generations will be worse off.  Americans 45 years of age or older, 61%, are more likely than younger residents to believe America’s youth will be in a worse financial spot.  Still, a majority of those under 45, 52%, have this view.  White residents, 63%, are more likely than African Americans, 40%, and Latinos, 36%, to say future generations will be worse off financially than their elders.

Complete July 21, 2016 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample

7/20: McClatchy-Marist Poll

What do registered voters nationally think of President Barack Obama’s job performance?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

 To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

Complete McClatchy-Marist Poll tables and methodology

7/18: Beyond the Bounce

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, Lee Miringoff

The GOP and Democratic political conventions are finally upon us.  They will be scored by the media for tone and how well each side makes its case to Americans.  No sooner will the gavel end these proceedings for campaign 2016, then those of us in the public opinion community will try to measure how the public reacted. But, beware the post-convention bounce.  If history is any guide, there is no guarantee that there will be a significant change in the presidential contest as a result of the conventions, or that it will be long-lasting.

Relying upon public opinion polls to draw accurate conclusions about the relative success of each convention can be tricky. There is no one, proven formula to anticipate what is a “good,” post-convention bounce, and subsequently, what “good” or “bad” means for the future of each campaign.

In fact, there are many factors which give meaning to post-convention polls.  First, both Trump and Clinton are well-known to the public even if neither one is particularly well-liked.  The spectacles in Cleveland and Philadelphia are likely to have important and lasting moments, but the public is not likely to learn much new about either presidential candidate.

Second, history tells us that the underdog is more likely to receive a significant post-convention lift, but it is, more times than not, short-lived.  Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale are two examples that come to mind.  But, with candidates at the top of each 2016 ticket that are already household names, in a campaign that has had its unprecedented share of surprises, who exactly is the underdog?

Third, the most recent and impactful convention was 1992.  Bill Clinton rose to the occasion.  But, there were other factors at work including the unexpected withdrawal of Ross Perot as the convention came to a close.

Fourth, like the last two quadrennial gatherings, these conventions are back-to-back.  For political junkies, this may give the appearance of one two-week political fix and reduce the potential for a significant change in the contest.

This is not to say that the conventions will be irrelevant.  Unforced errors, in what are increasingly well-scripted events, can still occur.  Clint Eastwood’s chair comes to mind.  Also, according to the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll, both Trump and Clinton have plenty of work to do.  Trump needs to secure supporters of the other 16 candidates during the primaries.  Right now, Trump has the support of only 60% of voters who said they backed someone else in a GOP primary.  Clinton still needs to convince Sanders’ backers that she is the right choice.  Clinton only attracts 57% of those who “felt the Bern” during the nomination fight.

Of course, the reaction of the national electorate to the conventions obscures how voters in each state (and therefore, the Electoral College totals) view the four nights of the political hoopla in Cleveland and Philadelphia.  The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll conducted pre-convention surveys in seven key battleground states.  They show very competitive races in the Midwest states of Iowa and Ohio and a Clinton advantage in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  Pre-convention, Trump and Clinton both have negatives that outpace their positives.

What should you look for post-convention?  Have there been any changes in Americans’ impressions of the candidates?  Has the political dialogue changed, and which candidate’s agenda is ruling the day?  Does their respective selection for Vice President suggest leadership, consensus, or pandering?  Does it reflect an appeal to their base supporters or an opportunity to reach out to undecided voters?  Do the candidates score differently as tickets post-convention than they did pre-convention when matched one on one?  The plan is to revisit these states after the shows move on to see whether voters have changed.

Whatever the result of the conventions, one thing we do know for sure.  Most Americans believe this is an election that will truly make a difference depending upon who wins or loses.  73% of Americans express this opinion today compared with only 60% who shared this view just four years ago.

So, will there be a bounce? Will it be long-lasting? Or, just a blip.  Stay tuned.

 

7/16: McClatchy-Marist Poll

What do voters nationally think of the potential vice presidential picks of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

Complete McClatchy-Marist Poll tables and methodology

7/15: McClatchy-Marist Poll

How do Democrats and Republicans view the nation’s most pressing issues?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

Complete McClatchy-Marist tables and methodology

7/15: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, & Virginia: Clinton with Pre-Convention Advantage

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is ahead of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump by single digits in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.  With 9 electoral votes on the line in Colorado, 29 in Florida, 15 in North Carolina, and 13 at stake in Virginia, Clinton has the early edge.  In 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama carried these states with the exception of North Carolina.  Obama lost North Carolina by 2 points in 2012.

In Colorado, Clinton, 43%, is ahead of Trump, 35%, among registered voters statewide.  Among those who say they definitely plan to vote in November, Clinton’s advantage remains 8 points.

In Florida, 44% of registered voters support Clinton to 37% for Trump.  When the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in March, Clinton received 49% of the statewide electorate to 41% for Trump.  Among Florida’s registered voters who say they definitely plan to vote, three points currently separate Clinton and Trump.

In North Carolina, Clinton garners the support of 44% of registered voters compared with 38% for Trump.  Clinton and Trump are separated by four points among those who report they definitely plan to vote in November.

In Virginia, Clinton, 44%, leads Trump, 35%, among registered voters statewide.  Among those who say they will definitely go to the polls on Election Day, Clinton is up by 10 points.

In each of these four states, Clinton’s Democratic base is intact as is Trump’s support among Republicans.  Although Clinton leads Trump by almost 20 points in Colorado among independent voters, independents in all four states have not coalesced behind either candidate.  In fact, more than one in four independents in Florida and North Carolina say they support neither Clinton nor Trump, back another candidate, or are undecided.  About one in three independents in Colorado and Virginia say the same.

A gender gap exists in Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia.  49% of women in Colorado, 50% in North Carolina, and 52% of female voters in Virginia support Clinton while 42% of men in Colorado, 46% in North Carolina, and 41% of male voters in Virginia are for Trump.  In Florida, Clinton, 45%, leads Trump, 35%, among women.  Among Florida voters who are men, Clinton, 42%, and Trump, 39%, are closely matched.

In each of these four states, Trump leads Clinton by double digits among white voters without a college degree.  In North Carolina, 56%, and Virginia, 54%, Trump receives majority support among these voters.  In Florida and Colorado, Trump receives the backing of pluralities of white voters without a college degree, 47% and 44%, respectively.  However, he underperforms what Mitt Romney received among these voters in 2012.

Among white voters with a college education, Clinton garners the support of pluralities in Colorado, 49%, and Virginia, 42%.  Trump, 41%, and Clinton, 39%, are competitive among white voters with a college education in North Carolina.  In Florida, Trump receives 44% to Clinton’s 39% among this group.  Although Trump underperforms the Republican share from 2012, Clinton receives about the same support as Obama among these voters.

“With 66 electoral votes at stake in these four states, Donald Trump is playing catchup against Hillary Clinton,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The driving force behind voters’ choices is the negative impressions they have of both Trump and Clinton.  Clinton’s single-digit lead in each of these states is due to her slight advantage in how voters perceive the two candidates.”

In a four-way contest with Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, and Jill Stein of the Green Party, little changes in these four states.  Clinton retains her single-digit advantage over Trump.

Clinton and Trump are unpopular in each of the states polled, and their favorable scores are upside down.   59% of residents in Colorado, 56% of those in Florida, 58% in North Carolina, and 57% of adults in Virginia have a negative opinion of Clinton.  Impressions of Trump aren’t any better.  68% of Colorado adults, 63% of Floridians, 61% of North Carolina residents, and 64% of those in Virginia have an unfavorable impression of Trump.

Turning to the contests for U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Michael Bennet, 53%, leads his Democratic challenger Darryl Glenn, 38%, by 15 points among Colorado’s registered voters.  In Florida, a hypothetical matchup between former presidential candidate and Republican Senator Marco Rubio and potential opponent Democrat Patrick Murphy, shows a close contest, 47% to 44%, among the statewide electorate.  In North Carolina, incumbent Senator Richard Burr, 48%, leads Democrat Deborah Ross, 41%, among the North Carolina electorate.

In the race for governor in North Carolina, Democrat Roy Cooper, 49%, is competitive against Republican Governor Pat McCrory, 45%, among registered voters statewide.

The job performance of President Barack Obama is viewed more positively than negatively by residents in each of these states.  In Colorado, 50% of adults approve of how the president is doing his job while 41% disapprove.  In Florida, 49% of residents statewide approve of how President Obama is performing while 41% do not.  Floridians were divided, 48% to 44%, in the March NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.  In North Carolina, the president’s approval rating stands at 49% among residents statewide while his negative score is at 42%.  In Virginia, 49% think the president is doing his job well while 43% disapprove.

Complete July 15, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia

Complete July 15, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Colorado (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete July 15, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete July 15, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete July 15, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Virginia (Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Colorado

Nature of the Sample for Colorado

Marist Poll Methodology for Florida

Nature of the Sample for Florida

Marist Poll Methodology for North Carolina

Nature of the Sample for North Carolina

Marist Poll Methodology for Virginia

Nature of the Sample for Virginia

7/15: Clinton and Trump Competitive Nationally

In the race for the White House nationally, presumptive nominees Democrat Hillary Clinton, 42%, and Republican Donald Trump, 39%, are closely matched among registered voters nationally.  13% say they would not support either candidate, 1% backs someone else, and 4% are undecided.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in April, Clinton, 50%, was ahead of Trump, 41%, by nine points among the national electorate.

While a partisan divide exists, there is little consensus among independent voters.  36% of independents say they would vote for Clinton while 33% would support Trump.  A notable 23% of independents say they won’t support either candidate.  Among Democrats, 83% are behind Clinton while a similar proportion of Republicans, 85%, back Trump.

A gender gap is present.  A slim majority of women voters, 51%, support Clinton while a plurality of men, 47%, is for Trump.  Interestingly, 16% of men say they do not support either candidate.  Differences also exist between white voters with a college degree and those without a college education.  A majority of white voters without a college education, 56%, support Trump.  Among white voters who are college graduates, 45% back Clinton to 41% for Trump.

“Both candidates need to step up their game during their respective conventions,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “They have an opportunity to turn around the negative impressions many voters have of each of them.”

However, the national electorate is not overwhelmed by either Clinton or Trump.  49% of Clinton’s supporters report they chose her because they are for Clinton while 48% say they made their selection because they are against Trump.  Notably, 37% of Democrats and 70% of independents who support Clinton say they are ‘with her’ because they oppose Trump.

Among Trump’s backers, a majority, 56%, made their selection because they are against Clinton while slightly more than four in ten, 41%, are behind Trump.  Looking at party, 51% of Republicans and 69% of independents who are Trump supporters say they made their choice because they are against Clinton.

To make matters worse for both Clinton and Trump, their favorable ratings are upside down.  Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally, 64%, have an unfavorable opinion of Trump while a similar 60% have a negative opinion of Clinton.

When Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, and Jill Stein of the Green Party are included in the presidential tossup, Clinton receives the support of 40% of voters to 35% for Trump.  Johnson garners 10% of the national electorate while 5% back Stein.  Two percent support someone else, and 9% are undecided.  Of note, more than one in four voters who report they supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic contest say they are for Johnson, 14%, or Stein, 13%.  Similarly, about a quarter of voters who backed a Republican other than Trump in the primaries report they plan to vote for Johnson, 19%, or Stein, 5%.

Do voters think it matters if Clinton or Trump is elected in November?  Nearly three in four voters, 73%, say it makes a big difference, and an additional 14% report it makes some difference.  One in ten members of the electorate, 10%, says it does not matter at all.  In 2012, 60% of voters nationally thought in mattered a great deal who was elected president.

Looking at the issues, more than six in ten voters, 61%, put greater trust in Clinton to handle the treatment of Muslim Americans in this country.  More voters have greater confidence in Clinton than Trump to handle issues facing gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans, 59%, immigration, 54%, illegal Mexican immigrants, 54%, and gun violence, 50%.  The national electorate divides about whether Clinton or Trump is more trusted when it comes to negotiating fair trade policies, the war against terrorism, the separation between Church and State, and the creation of good jobs.

 

When it comes to the qualities of the candidates, Clinton is overwhelmingly perceived as the candidate who has the experience to be president, 60%, and a majority, 56%, reports she has the temperament to be president.  Clinton is also thought to be the candidate who cares about the average person, 45%, and who shares voters’ values, 43%.  The national electorate divides about whether Clinton or Trump is better described as honest and trustworthy or who is closer to them on the issues.  22% say neither candidate is honest and trustworthy.

Complete July 15, 2016 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample

 

7/14: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Do registered voters wax nostalgic?  Would they prefer former President Bill Clinton be the Democratic nominee rather than Hillary Clinton?  Would voters prefer former President Ronald Reagan be the Republican nominee rather than Donald Trump?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

Complete McClatchy-Marist Poll tables and methodology

 

7/14: IA, OH, & PA: Trump and Clinton Competitive in Iowa & Ohio… Clinton Ahead in Pennsylvania

In the race for the White House, presumptive nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are in a tight battle for Iowa’s 6 and Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.  In Pennsylvania, Clinton is currently well-positioned to carry the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes.  In 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama won each of these three states.

In Iowa, three points separate Clinton, 42%, and Trump, 39%, among registered voters statewide.  The contest has tightened since January when Clinton had an eight point advantage over Trump.  Among registered voters in Iowa who say they definitely plan to vote, one point separates Clinton and Trump.

In Ohio, Clinton and Trump are tied among the statewide electorate at 39%.  Here, too, the contest has become more competitive.  In March, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 6 points among registered voters in Ohio.  Among registered voters in Ohio who say they definitely plan to vote, the margin between Clinton and Trump is 3 points.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton, 45%, leads Trump, 36%, by 9 points in the hunt for the state’s 20 electoral votes.  This is down from the 15 point lead Clinton had in April’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.  Among registered voters in Pennsylvania who say they definitely plan to vote, Clinton maintains her 9 point advantage.

“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that she is still even or ahead of Donald Trump in these three critical states in the aftermath of the FBI’s report on her email controversy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The bad news for her is the contest has gotten closer in all of these states, and the issue does not seem to be going away anytime soon.”

 

In all three states, Clinton and Trump maintain the support of their respective party’s base. Among independents, there is little consensus.  In fact, neither Clinton nor Trump has a double-digit lead among independent voters in any of these three states.  More than one-quarter of independents are still shopping for a presidential candidate to support when given a choice between Clinton and Trump.

A gender gap exists in all three states with Clinton outperforming Trump among women, and Trump leading, or strongly competitive with Clinton among men.  While nearly half of women voters in Iowa, 49%, support Clinton, 48% of men are for Trump.  The scenario is similar in in Ohio where 47% of female voters favor Clinton compared with 47% of male voters who support Trump.  In Pennsylvania, 49% of women back Clinton.  However, men divide, 42% for Trump to 41% for Clinton.  Also of note, pluralities of white voters without a college degree in Iowa, 43%, Ohio, 49%, and Pennsylvania, 43%, support Trump while pluralities of white voters with a college education in Iowa, 44%, Ohio, 39%, and Pennsylvania, 47%, are for Clinton.

When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party are included in the general election contest, Clinton and Trump remain competitive in Iowa and Ohio, and Clinton maintains her single-digit advantage in Pennsylvania.

Clinton and Trump are not well liked by a majority of residents, and their favorable ratings are upside down in all three states.  Majorities of adults in Iowa, 59%, Ohio, 60%, and Pennsylvania, 54%, have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton.  Trump’s negatives are also high.  More than six in ten residents in Iowa, 62%, Ohio, 61%, and Pennsylvania, 62%, perceive Trump unfavorably.

Turning to the U.S. Senate, in Iowa, Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley, 52%, leads his Democratic opponent, Patty Judge, 42%, by 10 points among registered voters statewide.  However, Republican incumbents Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are in tight contests against their Democratic challengers.  In Ohio, Portman and Democrat Tom Strickland are tied at 44% among the Ohio electorate.  In Pennsylvania, 47% of registered voters statewide support Democrat Katie McGinty while 44% are for Toomey.

Residents in Iowa and Ohio divide about the job performance of President Barack Obama.  In Iowa, 45% of Iowans approve of how the president is doing his job while 43% disapprove.  President Obama’s approval rating has improved in the Hawkeye State.  At the end of January, 42% of residents approved of the president’s job performance while 50% disapproved.  In Ohio, 44% of residents approve of how the president is doing his job while 44% do not.  Ohio adults divided, 45% to 48%, when the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in March.

President Obama fares best in Pennsylvania where 49% of adults statewide approve of his job performance while 41% disapprove.  In April, residents divided with 49% saying they approved of how Mr. Obama was performing in his role.  46%, at that time, disapproved.

Complete July 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Complete July 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Iowa (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete July 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Ohio (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete July 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Pennsylvania (Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for Ohio

Nature of the Sample for Ohio

Marist Poll Methodology for Pennsylvania

Nature of the Sample for Pennsylvania

7/13: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Where does the presidential contest stand nationally?

Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.  To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

Complete McClatchy-Marist Poll tables and methodology

Next Page »