9/18: Bowser Front-Runner in DC Mayor’s Race

In the race for mayor of the District of Columbia, Democrat Muriel Bowser leads her opponents by double-digits among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Bowser receives 43% to 26% for independent David Catania and 16% for independent Carol Schwartz.  14% are undecided.  Bowser’s support is bolstered by Democrats who said they supported Mayor Vincent Gray in the Democratic primary.  Nearly half of likely voters who backed Gray, 47%, now support Bowser.

Among registered voters in Washington, DC including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Bowser enjoys a similar lead.  Here, she has the support of 43% to 24% for Catania and 17% for Schwartz.  15% are undecided.

When looking at the candidate with the most desirable attributes and abilities, Bowser still outperforms her opposition in most areas.  However, Bowser does not receive the same level of support that she does in the overall tossup.

Complete September 18, 2014 NBC4/Washington Post/Marist Poll

“Bowser has the advantage going into Thursday night’s debate,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, when considering voters who are undecided and those who say they may still vote differently, there are enough persuadable voters to make for a lively give-and-take.”

Poll points:

  • In the mayoralty contest in the District of Columbia, 43% of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate support Muriel Bowser.  26% back David Catania, and 16% favor Carol Schwartz.  14% are undecided.
  • Bowser maintains the support of many Democrats who voted for her in the Democratic primary, 64%.  She also has the backing of 47% of Democrats who voted for Vincent Gray in the primary.  However, Catania has the advantage, 52%, among those who supported Tommy Wells who came in a distant third in April’s primary.
  • A majority of likely voters who are African American, 55%, favor Bowser.  While Catania leads Bowser by 11 points among white voters, Bowser garners 30% of these voters.
  • Bowser is the choice of 52% of likely voters who mention jobs and the economy as the key issue in the contest for mayor compared with 19% for Catania and 16% for Schwartz.  Bowser also has the support of 40% of those who cite education as the deciding factor.  This compares with 30% for Catania and 14% for Schwartz.
  • Among likely voters in the District who have a candidate preference, 49% strongly support their choice of candidate for mayor.  34% somewhat support their pick, and 16% might vote differently.  Bowser and Catania enjoy a similar level of support from their backers.  51% of those behind Catania and 50% of likely voters backing Bowser are firmly committed to their choice of candidate.
  • When it comes to the second choice of likely voters with a candidate preference, 30% select Schwartz while 28% are for Catania.  Bowser is the second choice of 21%, and 16% are undecided.  When looking at each candidate’s backers, support divides between the remaining two candidates.
  • Each of the candidates is viewed favorably by the likely DC electorate.  Half of likely voters, 50%, have a favorable view of Bowser compared with 22% who have an unfavorable impression of her.  28% don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.
  • 50% of likely voters have a positive impression of Schwartz.  15% have an unfavorable one, and 36% don’t know enough to say.
  • A plurality of likely voters, 46%, thinks favorably of Catania while 19% have a negative impression of the candidate.  35% do not know enough about him to weigh in.
  • About one in three likely voters, 34%, is very enthusiastic to cast their ballot for mayor.  An additional 40% are moderately enthusiastic to vote while 19% are not too enthusiastic.  Seven percent are not enthusiastic at all to go to the polls.
  • Two-thirds of Democratic likely voters in the District, 67%, would consider voting for a candidate who is not a Democrat.  This includes 38% who would very seriously consider doing so.  31% of Democrats would not entertain the idea of voting for a candidate who is not a Democrat.  Included here are 16% who would absolutely not consider voting for someone in another party.
  • 64% of likely voters in the District do not think it is important to have an African American mayor.  Among these voters, nearly four in ten, 38%, say it is not important at all.  More than three in ten, including 13% who report it is essential, thinks it is important to have a mayor who is African American.

Economic Concerns and Education Key Factors to Vote

27% of likely voters report that jobs and the economy is the issue which matters most in deciding their vote.  The same proportion, 27%, mentions education followed by housing with 14%, ethics with 14%, and crime with 9%.  Seven percent of voters cites another issue as the determining factor, and 2% are unsure.

Bowser Tops Competition on Most Image Questions, But…

Bowser is perceived by four in ten likely voters, 40%, to be the candidate with the best temperament to be mayor.  She is also thought to be the candidate who would be the most effective leader and who would do the most to improve the public school system.  However, Bowser and Catania vie for who has the clearest vision for the District and who has the best experience to serve effectively.

Poll points:

Crowded Field in Contest for DC Attorney General

With close to six in ten likely voters in the District undecided, none of the candidates for attorney general has emerged as the favorite.  Among likely voters in the District including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 14% support Paul Zukerberg.  Seven percent are for Lateefah Williams, 7% back Lorie Masters, 5% support Edward “Smitty” Smith, and 5% back Karl Racine.  Four percent support another candidate, and 57% are undecided.

Nearly Two in Three Voters Support Legalization of Marijuana

65% of likely voters in the District including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a position say they will vote “yes” for Initiative 71 which would legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years of age or older.  One-third, 33%, reports they will vote against the initiative.  Only 2% are undecided.

DC Police Chief Receives High Marks… Majority Approves of Chancellor’s Handling of Schools 

71% of residents in the District approve of how Cathy Lanier is doing her job as police chief.  14% disapprove, and 15% are unsure.

Looking at Kaya Henderson’s performance as Chancellor of DC’s public schools, a majority of adults, 52%, approves of how she is doing her job.  22% disapprove, and 26% are unsure.  A majority of residents, 55%, supports changes to neighborhood school boundaries.  23% oppose this proposal, and 22% are unsure.

More than Two-Thirds View District on Right Course

67% of adults say the District is moving in the right direction.  24% think it is on the wrong track, and 8% are unsure.  When this question was last reported in March, 65% of residents thought the District was on the right path.  21% reported it was on the wrong road, and 14%, at the time, were unsure.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

 

9/7: Colorado: Udall Ahead of Gardner in U.S. Senate Race… Hickenlooper Edges Beauprez for Governor

In the contest for U.S. Senate in Colorado, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall leads his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, by six points among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Udall’s advantage is due to his support among Latinos, independents, women, and young voters.

Turning to Colorado’s contest for governor, Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper, 43%, is in a competitive race against Republican Bob Beauprez, 39%, among Colorado likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  The race is wider among registered voters in the state including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  43% support Hickenlooper, and 36% are for Beauprez.  In July, Hickenlooper had a six point lead over Beauprez among these registered voters.

While Hickenlooper’s job performance is viewed positively by 50% of Colorado residents, his rating has inched down from 54% in an NBC News/Marist Poll in July.

Complete September 7, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Colorado 

“Right now, Udall is disrupting GOP plans to add Colorado to its victory column as they seek a Senate majority,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “To seal the deal, Udall needs to mobilize young voters and Latinos who boosted Barack Obama in his presidential wins.”

Poll points: 

  • A plurality of Colorado likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 48%, supports Udall in the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado.  Gardner garners 42%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Udall is bolstered by Latinos likely to participate.  He receives 60% compared with 27% for Gardner.
  • 91% of Democrats likely to vote are for Udall while 87% of Republicans favor Gardner.  Among likely independent voters, Udall has 49% to 34% for Gardner.
  • Udall is strongest among single women where he outpaces Gardner by 29 points, 56% to 27%.  Udall has a 16 point lead among single men. Udall and Gardner are competitive among married women, 46% to 45%.  Gardner has a strong lead against Udall among married men, 55% to 36%.
  • Looking at intensity of support in the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado, about six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference, 58%, report they strongly support their candidate.  An additional 32% are somewhat committed to their pick, and only 9% report they might vote differently.
  • Majorities of each candidate’s backers express a high level of support for their selection.  60% of Udall’s backers and 56% of Gardner’s supporters report they are strongly committed to their candidate.
  • Among registered voters in Colorado, Udall, 48%, is ahead of Gardner, 40%.  In July, Udall received 48% of registered voters’ support to 41% for Gardner.
  • Likely voters in Colorado divide over their impressions of Udall.  45% have a positive view of him, and 42% have a negative one.  Among Colorado adults, 41% think well of Udall compared with 38% who have a lesser impression of him.  In July, 41% of residents had a favorable impression of him while 35% had an unfavorable one.
  • Gardner’s favorable rating is upside down.  38% of likely voters give him a positive score, and 40% give him a negative one.  Among Colorado adults, 31% have a favorable view of the candidate while 38% have an unfavorable one.  Gardner’s negatives have gone up since July when 31% of Coloradans had an unfavorable impression of him.  The same proportion, 31%, had a favorable view of him at that time.
  • In the race for Colorado governor, 43% of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate support Hickenlooper compared with 39% for Beauprez.  Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess has 5%, and Green Party candidate Harry Hempy receives 4%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Independent voters make the difference.  43% back Hickenlooper while 27% support Beauprez.  One in ten is for Libertarian Matthew Hess.
  • A majority of likely voters with a candidate preference, 53%, strongly supports their choice of candidate for governor, and 34% somewhat backs him.  12% might vote differently.  62% of Hickenlooper’s backers strongly support him compared with 50% of Beauprez’s supporters who share a similar level of intensity toward their candidate.
  • Among registered voters, Hickenlooper has a seven point lead over Beauprez, 43% to 36%.  In July, Hickenlooper had 49% to 43% for Beauprez.
  • When it comes to the gubernatorial candidates’ favorability ratings, half of likely voters, 50%, have a positive view of Hickenlooper, and 41% have a negative one.  Among Coloradans, 47% have a favorable impression of Hickenlooper, and 36% have an unfavorable opinion of him.  The governor received a similar rating among adults statewide in July.
  • Looking at Beauprez’s favorability, 41% of likely voters have a positive view of him, and 31% do not.  Of note, 6% have never heard of the candidate, and 22% are unsure how to rate him.  Among Colorado residents, 33% think well of Beauprez.  29% have a lesser opinion of him.  14% have never heard of him, and 25% are unsure how to rate him.  In July’s survey, 33% of adults statewide had a positive opinion of Beauprez.  27% had a negative opinion of him, and 12% had never heard of Beauprez.  28% were unsure.
  • 50% of Colorado residents, down slightly from 54% in July, approve of the job Governor Hickenlooper is doing in office.

Half Disapprove of Obama’s Job Performance… Congressional GOP and Dem’s Even Less Popular 

  • 50% of Coloradans disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.  39% approve.  This is little changed from July when 49% of residents gave the president low marks, and 40% approved of his job performance.
  • About two-thirds of Colorado residents, 66%, disapprove of the job the Republicans in Congress are doing.  One in five, 20%, approves.  In July, 64% gave the GOP a thumbs-down.  Even a majority of the state’s GOP, 52%, thinks the Republicans in Congress are falling short.
  • Opinions of the Democrats in Congress aren’t much better.  59% of Coloradans view their performance as subpar compared with 28% who approve of how they are doing in office.
  • Looking at the overall direction of the nation, more than six in ten Coloradans, 62%, think it is moving in the wrong direction.  32% report the country is travelling in the right one.  This is similar to that previous survey in July when 63% thought the country was off course, and 29% believed it was on track.

Checks and Balances or Cooperation? 

  • As a result of this November’s election, 41% of voters in Colorado want the Republicans to control both houses of Congress to serve as a check on the president’s power.
  • A similar proportion, 39%, wants more Democrats elected to send a message to Republicans that they need to cooperate with the president.
  • 16% say party control does not matter as long as the incumbent is ousted.

On the Issues 

  • 59% of Colorado registered voters would be less likely to support a candidate who favors restrictions on contraceptives.  Only 14% would be more likely to cast their ballot for a candidate with this position on the issue.  23% say it would make no difference to their vote.
  • A plurality of registered voters, 44%, says they would be less likely to support a candidate who voted for the Affordable Care Act.  However, 35% would be more likely to back such a candidate.
  • When it comes to residents’ views of the health care law, a plurality of adults, 46%, thinks it is a bad idea including 41% who strongly have this opinion.  37% believe it is a good idea.  Included here are 26% who strongly have this opinion.  Attitudes have shifted slightly.  In July, a slim majority of residents, 51%, said the Affordable Care Act was a bad idea.
  • A majority of Colorado residents, 55%, is for Colorado’s new marijuana law which allows the legalization of small amounts of the drug purchased from regulated businesses.  Among these Coloradans, 27% actively support the law, and 28% favor the legislation but do not actively do so.  In contrast, 41% oppose the law.  This includes 8% who are actively trying to overturn the legislation.

Majority with Favorable Opinion of Clinton… Romney’s Image Upside Down 

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

9/7: Kentucky: McConnell Leads Grimes by 8 Points in Race for U.S. Senate

In the contest for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell, 47%, has an eight point advantage over his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, 39%, among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Libertarian candidate David Patterson receives a notable 8%.

McConnell, 45%, has a similar lead over Grimes, 38%, among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Nine percent of registered voters support Patterson.  In May’s NBC News/Marist Poll of Kentucky, McConnell and Grimes were neck and neck, 46% to 45%, respectively.

McConnell is doing well despite the fact that the contest for U.S. Senate is taking place within a political environment marred by frustration with the nation’s elected officials.  More than six in ten Kentuckians are dissatisfied with the job performances of both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and a similar proportion disapproves of how President Barack Obama is doing his job.  Registered voters in Kentucky plan to use this November’s elections to send a message to their elected officials.  More than four in ten Kentuckians want the Republicans to control Congress in order to check the president’s power.  In contrast, about one-third would like Democrats elected to the House of Representatives and for the Democrats to maintain control of the Senate to tell Republicans they need to cooperate with President Obama.  About one in seven want to toss out incumbents, regardless of political party.

On the state level, Kentuckians are pleased with the job performance of Governor Steve Beshear.

Complete September 7, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Kentucky

“Democratic hopes of toppling GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to counter expected losses elsewhere is not panning out,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “McConnell is getting a larger share of Democrats than Grimes is getting of Republicans.  McConnell has an advantage among independent voters.”

Poll points:

  • Among likely voters in Kentucky including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 47% are for McConnell while 39% are for Grimes in the race for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.  Libertarian candidate David Patterson garners 8%.  Only 6% are undecided.
  • While a partisan divide exists, 18% of Democratic likely voters support McConnell compared with only 7% of Republicans likely to vote who back Grimes.  McConnell also has the backing of a plurality of independent voters, 41% to 34% for Grimes.  Patterson receives 17%.
  • McConnell leads Grimes by nearly two to one, 60% to 31%, among married men, and has a seven point lead among married women.  In contrast, McConnell and Grimes are closely matched among single men, 42% to 41%.  Grimes leads 47% to 34% for McConnell among single women.
  • A majority of likely voters in Kentucky with a candidate preference, 56%, strongly supports their choice of candidate.  34% somewhat support their choice, and only 9% report they might vote differently.  63% of Grimes backers strongly support her compared with 55% of McConnell’s supporters.
  • Neither candidate is viewed favorably by likely voters in Kentucky.  48% report they have an unfavorable view of McConnell, and 45% say they have a favorable view of him.  Among Kentucky residents, 40% think well of McConnell while 48% have a lesser impression of him.  In May, 39% of adults had a positive opinion of McConnell, and 45% had a negative one.
  • Looking at Grimes’ favorable rating, likely voters in the state also divide.  43% have a negative view of her, and 41% have a positive one.  Among Kentuckians, overall, 36% think well of Grimes while 39% have a lesser view of her.  While Grimes’ positives among residents have not changed since May, her negative rating has gone up 16 points from 23%.

Kentuckians Displeased with Washington Pols

  • Nearly two-thirds of Kentucky residents, 65%, disapprove of how the Republicans in Congress are doing their job.  Even a plurality of Republicans, 45%, shares this view.
  • The Democrats in Congress don’t fare much better.  62% of Kentucky adults view the job performance of congressional Democrats as subpar.  47% of Democrats approve of how the Democrats are performing, and 43% disapprove.
  • Many Kentucky adults, 61%, also voice displeasure with how President Obama is doing his job, and only 31% approveIn May, 55% of residents disapproved of Obama’s job performance, and 33% approved.
  • As a result of this November’s elections, a plurality of registered voters statewide, 44%, wants Republicans to gain control of Congress to keep the president’s power in check.  35% want the Democrats to control the Senate and gain more seats in the House to send a message to the GOP that they need to work with President Obama.  14% say they don’t care which party controls Congress; they just want to unseat the incumbents.
  • However, many residents, 64%, are satisfied with the job of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

More than Six in Ten Have Negative Opinion of Obamacare

  • 61% of Kentucky residents have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare.  Dissatisfaction is up slightly from 56% in May.  31% have a positive impression of Obamacare, and 8% are unsure.
  • When it comes to Kynect, Kentucky’s Health Insurance Marketplace, a majority of Kentuckians have either never heard of the program, 32%, or are unsure how to rate it, 19%.  33% have a favorable view of Kynect while 17% have an unfavorable impression of it.
  • Half of Kentuckians, including 45% who strongly have this view, think the health care law is a bad idea.  About one-third, 33%, says it is a good one.  This includes 24% who strongly feel this way.

Bill Clinton Viewed Positively by Many in Kentucky… Divide over Romney

  • More than six in ten likely voters, 61%, have a favorable impression of former President Bill Clinton, and 35% have an unfavorable view of him.
  • Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney receives mixed reviews in the state.  45% of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Romney while 41% have an unfavorable one.  Looking at Kentucky adults, overall, 42% have a negative view of Romney while 41% have a positive one. However, Romney is very popular among Republicans.  65% have a favorable impression of him, and 21% have an unfavorable one.

Increased Pessimism about the Direction of the Country

  • Close to three in four Kentucky residents, 74%, think the nation is moving in the wrong direction.  This is an increase in the proportion of Kentuckians who had this view.  In May, 66% of adults statewide reported the country was off-track.  While most Republicans, 91%, and independents, 78%, have this view, a majority of Democrats, 55%, also believes the country needs a new direction.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

 

 

9/7: Arkansas: Cotton Leads Pryor in U.S. Senate Race… Hutchinson Ahead of Ross in Governor’s Race

Among likely voters in Arkansas including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Republican Tom Cotton, 45%, is ahead of Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor, 40%, in the race for U.S. Senate in the state.  While allegiances fall along party lines, Cotton leads Pryor among independents, 43% to 34%.

Among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, the double-digit lead Pryor had over Cotton in an NBC News/Marist Poll conducted in May is gone.  Cotton, 41%, and Pryor, 41%, are neck and neck among registered voters.  This compares with 51% of registered voters for Pryor and 40% for Cotton in that earlier survey.

The U.S. Senate race in Arkansas is playing out against a backdrop of dissatisfaction with elected officials in Washington.  There is also a desire to enforce government’s system of checks and balances against President Barack Obama.  A plurality of registered voters in Arkansas reports, as a result of November’s elections, they want to see the Republicans control both houses of Congress in order to balance the president’s power.  About one-third want to see more Democrats elected to send a message to Republicans to work with the president.  Nearly one in five says they don’t care which party has control as long as the incumbent loses.

In the race for Arkansas governor, Republican Asa Hutchinson, 48%, is ahead of Democrat Mike Ross, 39%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Among registered voters statewide, Hutchinson has 46% to 39% for Ross.  In May, Hutchinson also was ahead of Ross by seven percentage points.

Complete September 7, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Arkansas 

“Arkansas is a test of whether an incumbent Democratic senator can survive re-election in a state Mitt Romney carried by 24 points in 2012,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Right now, it’s not going Pryor’s way.”

Poll points:

  • Cotton, 45%, has an advantage over Pryor, 40%, among likely voters in Arkansas including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate in the contest for U.S. Senate.  Three percent are for Green Party candidate Mark Swaney, and Libertarian candidate Nathan LaFrance receives 2%.  One percent supports another candidate, and 9% are undecided.
  • A partisan divide exists with 87% of Democrats likely to vote backing Pryor, and 89% of Republican likely voters supporting Cotton.  Among independent voters statewide, 43% support Cotton while 34% are for Pryor.
  • Looking at gender, a majority of men, 52%, supports Cotton, and 34% back Pryor.  Among women, 45% support Pryor while 39% are for Cotton.
  • When it comes to voters’ intensity of support in the U.S. Senate race, a majority of likely voters with a candidate preference, 52%, reports they strongly support their choice of candidate.  About one in three, 33%, is somewhat committed to their pick, and 13% might vote differently.  58% of Pryor’s supporters back him strongly compared with 51% of Cotton’s backers who have a similar intensity of support for their candidate.
  • Both Pryor and Cotton have weak favorable ratings.  44% of likely voters perceive Pryor favorably while 42% have a negative view of him.  Among adults statewide, 40% think well of Pryor while 37% have a lesser opinion of him.  Pryor’s favorable rating has dipped since May when 46% of Arkansans thought well of him, and 32% did not.
  • Looking at Cotton’s favorable rating, 44% of likely voters have a positive impression of him while 40% do not.  Cotton’s favorable rating among residents, overall, is upside down.  39% do not like him while 36% have a positive opinion of Cotton.  In May, 37% had an unfavorable view of Cotton, and 34% had a favorable impression of him. 

Plurality Favors Divided Government… Obama and Congressional Approval Ratings Below 30%

  • As a result of the 2014 midterm elections, 44% of registered voters in Arkansas would like Republican control of the House and Senate to check President Obama’s power during his last two years in office.  About one in three, 33%, would like to see more Democrats elected to send a message to Republicans that they need to work with the president.  Nearly one in five, 17%, says it doesn’t matter as long as incumbents, regardless of party, are unseated.
  • Only 29% of Arkansas residents approve of President Obama’s job performance while more than six in ten, 61%, disapprove.  In May, the president’s approval rating was 33%, and 57% disapproved.
  • The approval ratings of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are even lower than that of President Obama.  23% of adults in Arkansas approve of how the Republicans in Congress are performing.  62% disapprove.  Congressional Democrats receive similar ratings.  Only 24% of Arkansans approve of the job the Democrats in Congress are doing.  62% disapprove.

Hutchinson Leads Ross by 9 Points in Governor’s Race 

  • In the Arkansas’ governor’s race, Republican Asa Hutchinson has the support of 48% of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Democrat Mike Ross receives 39%.  Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert garners 3%, and Green Party candidate Josh Drake has 3%.  Less than 1% supports another candidate, and 7% are undecided.
  • Independents are key.  Among independents likely to vote in Arkansas, Hutchinson has 48% to 34% for Ross.
  • A majority of likely voters in Arkansas with a candidate preference, 53%, strongly supports their choice for governor33% are somewhat committed to their selection, and 13% might vote differently.  Only 1% is unsure.  59% of Ross’ backers are strongly in his camp compared with 50% of Hutchinson’s supporters who share this sentiment about their candidate.
  • Hutchinson is viewed favorably by 51% of likely voters, and only 32% have a negative view of him.  Looking at residents, overall, 42% like Hutchinson while 32% do not.
  • Ross is also viewed well among likely voters in Arkansas.  46% have a favorable impression of Ross while 31% have an unfavorable one.  Among Arkansans, 39% think well of Ross while 29% have a lesser opinion of him.
  • Governor Mike Beebe’s job approval rating remains strong.  72% of Arkansas adults approve of Beebe’s performance in office, comparable to the 74% he received in May.
  • When it comes to Arkansas’ most famous governor, 62% of likely voters have a favorable view of former President Bill Clinton, and 34% have an unfavorable one.  About two-thirds of residents, 66%, have a positive opinion of him.
  • What do Arkansas likely voters think of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney?  44% have an unfavorable opinion of him while 40% have a positive one.  About two-thirds of Republicans have a positive view of their 2012 presidential nominee, and 22% do not.  Among residents, 44% have an unfavorable opinion of Romney while 35% have a favorable one.

Majority Opposes Health Care Law… More than Seven in Ten Pessimistic about Nation’s Track 

  • 55% of adults in Arkansas think the new health care law is a bad idea.  This includes 48% who strongly have this view.  28% believe it is a good idea, and 14% do not have an opinion either way.
  • Looking at the direction of the nation, 72% of residents believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, and 22% think it is traveling in the right one.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

8/15: Views on Same-Sex Marriage: Supporters Look to Feds, Opponents More to States

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

A majority of Americans favor legalizing same-sex marriage, but there is little consensus about whether the decision should be made on the federal or state level.  Supporters of legalizing same-sex marriage think the issue should be decided for the entire country by a federal law.  Half of those who oppose it believe it should be determined by the states.

And, while Americans’ position on legalizing same sex marriage is a driving factor in the debate, political party affiliation matters, too.  Democrats are more likely to turn to the federal level, and Republicans look more to the states.  Independents are closer to the Democrats on whether to seek federal or state action.

Support for same-sex marriage has grown significantly over the past decade.  And, there has been a sea change in attitudes among Americans toward people who are gay over the past thirty years. Sexual orientation has become less of a societal taboo.  More than seven in ten Americans personally know someone who is gay.  And, for more than half of adults nationally, say their circle of friends, family, and colleagues now includes more people who are gay than a decade ago.

Most people believe it would make no difference to their vote if their party nominated someone who was gay.  And, although about one in three parents would still be upset to learn their child was gay, there has been a major shift in attitudes and acceptance since the mid-1980s.

Complete August 15, 2014 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll

“You would be hard pressed to find an issue that’s had a bigger shift in public opinion over the last several decades than this one,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Poll Points

  • 51% of registered voters think the decision to legalize same-sex marriage should be made by federal law, 44% believe it is a state’s issue, and 6% are unsure.
  • Support for a federal law to resolve the debate over same-sex marriage is being propelled by Americans who believe it should be legalized.  Although a notable proportion of opponents are also looking to the federal government to settle the issue, 50% of Americans who oppose legalizing same-sex marriage believe it is a state matter.
  • A partisan divide exists.  64% of Democrats and 52% of Independent voters favor a federal mandate.  In contrast, 59% of Republicans want the issue to be decided at the state level.

Majority Supports Same-Sex Marriage

  • When it comes to support for legalizing same-sex marriage, 54% of Americans either strongly favor or favor doing so.  According to trend data from the Pew Research Center, support for gay marriage has been on an upswing, reaching a plurality of support among Americans in 2011 and majority support just last year in 2013.
  • Attitudes about legalizing gay marriage fall along party lines with more than six in ten Democrats, 62%, favoring the action.  A similar proportion of Republicans, 63%, are against it.  Age also matters.  65% of Americans under 45 years of age support legalization of same-sex marriage compared with 44% of their older counterparts who share this view.
  • More than one in ten Americans, 12%, has changed their opinion on legalizing same-sex marriage, favoring it now while opposing it previously.  Only 1% now opposes allowing same-sex couples to marry when they once favored legalization.

Sea Change

  • 71% of Americans know someone who is gay, and 52% of adults nationally say the number of gay and lesbian people they know has grown over the past ten years.  This is especially true for younger Americans.  When the Pew Research Center asked a similar question in 1999, only 39% of Americans said they had a friend, colleague, or family member who was gay.
  • More than eight in ten adults, 83%, say knowledge that a congressional candidate is gay or lesbian would make no difference in how they vote.  14% would be less likely to cast their ballot for a gay or lesbian candidate.  The Los Angeles Times Poll asked this question of Americans in 1985.  At that time, 49% said a candidate’s sexual orientation would not make any difference in deciding their vote, and 47% reported they were less likely to cast their ballot if a candidate was gay.
  • 62% of Americans would not be upset if their child were gay, including 48% who would not be upset at all and 14% who describe their reaction as not very upset.  35% of adults nationally would be upset if their child came out to them.  This includes 13% of residents who would be very upset and 22% who would be somewhat upset.  Age matters.  21% of Americans under 30 would be upset if their child shared this with them compared with about one-third of adults between 30 and 59 years of age and nearly half, 48%, of Americans 60 or older.
  • But, attitudes are significantly different than they were in 1985.  In a Los Angeles Times Poll, conducted nearly thirty years ago, 89% of Americans said they would be troubled if their child was gay.  In that earlier poll, 64% of Americans characterized their reaction as very upset and 25% were somewhat upset.  Five percent said they would not be very upset, and only 4%, then, said they would not be upset at all.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

8/14: McClatchy-Marist Poll

What are Americans’ attitudes toward same-sex marriage?  Do Americans know more or less people who are gay or lesbian than in the past, and how would residents nationally feel if they found out their child was gay?

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

 

 

8/14: Clinton Leads GOP Rivals, but Loses Ground

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still favored against several of her potential Republican opponents among registered voters nationally, but she no longer is backed by the majority of the electorate.  In fact, Clinton’s once double-digital lead against GOP hopefuls former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has eroded.  Clinton’s change of fortune is largely due to a shift among independent voters among whom she still leads but not by the margins she did before.

Complete August 14, 2014 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll

But, as for who the Republican nominee will be, that’s still anybody’s guess.  With nearly one in four Republican and Republican leaning independents undecided, an increase from just months ago, no clear front-runner has emerged from the pack.  Bush and Christie currently top the leader board with low double-digit support.  Ted Cruz is the only other Republican candidate to reach ten percent.

“There is no pre-season for team Clinton,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “She needs to perform at Super Bowl level from start to finish.”

Poll Points

  • Clinton leads Jeb Bush, 48% to 41%, among registered voters nationally (Trend).  She receives similar support against Chris Christie, 47% to 41% (Trend), and Rand Paul, 48% to 42% (Trend).  In each of these contests, the proportion of voters who back the Republican candidates is indistinguishable, and Clinton fails to break fifty percent.
  • Clinton’s support among independent voters against each of these three potential rivals has declined from a previous poll conducted in April.  She is down among independents by 10 points against Bush, nine points against Paul, and six points against Christie.
  • In each of these contests, a gender gap exists.  However, Clinton has lost support among, both, men and women since the previous poll.
  • The national electorate is extremely polarized in each of these presidential matchups.  Clinton is backed by most Democrats and the Republican base is unified against her, regardless of the GOP candidate.

Crowded GOP Field Fails to Yield Front-Runner

  • 23% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents are undecided about who they will support in the 2016 Republican primary.  Jeb Bush and Chris Christie each receives 13% while 10% support Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are close behind with 9%.  Texas Governor Rick Perry and Senator Rand Paul are backed by 7%.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal trail.
  • Although the sample size is small, there has been a notable shift in the preferences of Tea Party supporters.  15% of these voters now back Cruz, up from 6% in April.  In contrast, Rand Paul’s support among the Tea Party has fallen from 20% in the previous poll to 7% currently.
  • Men are more likely than women to have a candidate preference in the GOP primary.  30% of women are undecided compared with 14% of men.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

8/13: McClatchy-Marist Poll

In the 2016 race for the White House, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still ahead of her potential Republican rivals, but her lead has shrunk.  Which voting group is most responsible for the turn of the tide?

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

8/12: National Leaders Strike Out with Voters as Mids Approach

August 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

Fueled by his lowest approval rating in handling foreign policy and numbers that are barely higher for his handling of the economy, President Obama’s overall approval rating remains upside down with only four in ten registered voters nationally giving him a positive score.  Although his job performance continues to be viewed positively by Democrats and negatively by Republicans, his approval from independent voters has declined from a previous poll conducted in April.  President Obama’s favorability rating, overall, has also declined from that poll, and is now under water.

President Barack Obama

whitehouse.gov

But, Americans could be uttering Casey Stengel’s baseball refrain, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”  Ratings for both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are even substantially below those of President Obama.  The GOP matches its lowest score, and the Democrats are pretty much stuck at the low approval rating they’ve had for some time.

Although the GOP is now favored over the Democrats in the so-called “generic ballot” test owing to independent voters, this reversal of fortune from the April survey does not automatically convert into a “wave” election for the Republicans.  Fewer than three in ten voters indicate that their impression of President Obama, despite his low numbers, will be a major factor in deciding their vote for Congress this November.

In fact, these poll numbers point to the failings of both political parties to address public concerns.  The proportion of voters who now consider themselves to be independent represents nearly half of the electorate and is at an all-time high.

The bottom line: this gloomy national view all adds up to, by greater than two to one, Americans thinking the country is headed down the wrong track.

“With neither political party having an upper hand with voters, expect a scramble for votes as the mid-term elections approach,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Don’t expect candidates to echo Johnny Mercer’s 1940’s lyrics, ‘Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.’”

Complete August 12, 2014 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll

Poll Points

  • President Obama is at his lowest point with voters for his handling of foreign policy.  Only 33% of registered voters nationally rate the job President Obama is doing in this area positively.  61% disapprove, giving him his highest negative score to date (Trend).
  • With respect to two of the major hot spots internationally, Ukraine and the conflict between Israel and Hamas, less than one-third of the nation’s voters approve of the president’s handling of these crises.  Only 30% believe the president is performing well with regard to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  Similarly, just 32% score the president well when it comes to his policy with Ukraine.
  • President Obama does not score much more confidence from voters when it comes to the economy.  39% rate the job he is doing positively, and 58% rate him negatively (Trend).
  • Overall, 40% of registered voters approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president.  The president’s support among independent voters has waned since last spring (Trend).
  • President Obama’s favorability rating has declined from 49% in April to 43% currently and is upside down (Trend).
  • Congress fares even less well.  The congressional Republicans are back to their lowest approval rating with 22% (Trend)Democrats remain unpopular and are still at 32% (Trend).

Party Politics

The Republicans edge the Democrats by five points, 43% to 38%, on the national generic ballot for the mid-term congressional elections.  This is a reversal from April when the Democrats topped the GOP, 48% to 42%.  Democrats’ support among independents has eroded since last spring, going from 43% to 26% now.  Interestingly, the GOP has not been the beneficiary of the Democrats’ loss of support from independents.  They have remained at 40% in both polls.  The proportion of independents who are undecided or not backing either party has doubled since April (Trend).

  • When considering their impression of President Obama, voters are more likely to back Republicans, 42%, than to support Democrats, 32%.
  • But, how much do voters’ impressions of President Obama count toward their vote in November?  52% say President Obama is not a factor at all in deciding their vote, including 61% of independents, 49% of Democrats, and even 40% of Republicans.  Another 17% of registered voters view Obama as a minor factor in their decision.  29% of voters see the president as a major factor when making their choice this fall.  42% of Republicans, 28% of Democrats, and 22% of independents share this view.
  • Talk of impeachment is a turnoff for voters.  69% do not think Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president.  91% of Democrats, 69% of independents, and even 48% of Republicans have this view.
  • Discussion of impeachment tips the scales in favor of the Democrats.  Voters are more inclined to vote Democratic, 43%, than to back Republicans, 38%, in November.
  • Similarly, suing President Obama is viewed unfavorably by 58% of voters, including 87% of Democrats and 55% of independents.  A majority of Republicans, 57%, want to go forward with this action, and 34% do not.
  • Suing the president also moves the electorate towards voting for the Democrats, 42% to 37%, over the Republicans in November.
  • Party politics in Washington has chased voters from both parties.  45% of voters, a record high, describe themselves as independent and not aligned with either party.

Wrong Course 

64% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and only 28% describe it as on the right track.  This is the lowest optimism measure since the fall of 2011 and is appreciably lower than it was during the fall of 2010 (Trend).

Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

8/11: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Do registered voters nationally approve of how President Barack Obama is performing in office?  Will voters’ views of Mr. Obama impact this year’s mid-term elections?

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

 

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