8/3: Trump: Factor or Foolery?

While a majority of Republicans and Republican leaning independents nationally, 51%, considers businessman Donald Trump to be a distraction from the presidential primary process, two key groups within the GOP maintain a different view.  At least a majority of those who identify as “strong” Republicans or are Tea Party supporters say Trump is a serious presidential candidate.

These voters also differ in their impressions of Trump.  Unlike some of the other well-known candidates in the GOP field, Trump’s favorable rating among Republicans and Republican leaning independents, overall, is upside down. But, half of “strong” Republicans, 50%, and more than six in ten Tea Party supporters, 62%, have a positive impression of Trump.

And, when it comes to the GOP debates, many Republicans and Republican leaning independents assert all candidates seeking their party’s nomination should be allowed to participate.  Only about one in three says the candidates’ rankings in national polls should determine eligibility.

What do Republicans and Republican leaning independents want in their nominee?  Many favor a candidate who stands on conservative principles, and a plurality say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.  More than one in three say that, although they have reservations, they would back a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage.  However, pluralities of Republicans and Republican leaning independents would definitely not vote for someone who favors a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, supports gay marriage, or backs the removal of the confederate flag from government buildings.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is well-liked among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents while Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is unknown to half of these voters.  When it comes to what Democrats consider important in their party’s nominee, they divide about whether the priority should be nominating someone who will continue the policies of President Barack Obama or who will move the nation in a different direction.

“Donald Trump has been the political story for the summer and don’t expect him to disappear from the campaign stage anytime soon,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “While many see him as a distraction, party activists including strong Republicans and Tea Party identifiers view his candidacy seriously.”

Complete August 3, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Trump Commands Respect among Strong GOPers

Poll points:

  • 51% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents say Trump is a distraction from the presidential primary process.  44% describe him as a serious presidential candidate.
  • But, a majority of those who consider themselves to be “strong” Republicans, 52%, and 61% of Tea Party identifiers think Trump is a serious presidential contender.

Impressions of the GOP Candidates

Among the better-known Republican candidates, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee are well-liked among Republicans and Republican leaning independents.  However, Trump, along with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have upside down ratings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than Six in Ten want Inclusive GOP Debates

62% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents want all the candidates seeking the GOP nomination to be allowed to participate in the Republican debates.  About one in three, 34%, says participation should be determined by a candidate’s ranking in national polls.

GOP Favors Nominee who Stands on Republican Principles

More than six in ten Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 62%, believe it is more important for their party’s nominee to be someone who stands for conservative values.  35% say the priority is a candidate who can win the presidency.

Looking at some of the issues which impact the Republican vote, a plurality of Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 45%, say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.  However, pluralities of GOP voters report they definitely would not vote for a candidate who supports new immigration policies, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, 37%, is in favor of gay marriage, 37%, or supports the removal of the confederate flag from government buildings, 35%.  When it comes to raising the minimum wage, a plurality, 36%, says they would have reservations but would vote for a candidate who favors such legislation.

 

More than Seven in Ten View Clinton Positively

On the Democratic side, with a favorable rating of 72%, Hillary Clinton is well-liked among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents.  These voters also have a more positive than negative view of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 34% to 16%.  However, half of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, 50%, have either never heard of Senator Sanders or are unsure how to rate him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democratic Divide

When it comes to their party’s nominee, Democrats and Democratic leaning independents divide about whether they think it is more important to have a candidate who will continue President Barack Obama’s policies, 45%, or nominate someone who will move the nation in a new direction, 46%. 

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

7/31: Trump as Independent Gives New Meaning to Name “Billary”

If businessman Donald Trump runs for President as an independent, not a Republican, Trump’s candidacy would benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widen her lead against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and yield Clinton almost the exact same share of the vote that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, received in his 1992 win against, then, Republican President George H.W. Bush and independent Ross Perot.

While Clinton, 49%, edges Bush, 43%, by 6 points in a two-way, general election contest, a three-way race with Trump cuts into Bush’s support and gives Clinton, 44%, a 15 point lead over him, 29%.  Trump garners 20% in such a contest.  When Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992, he received 43% of the popular vote.

While Clinton retains her support among her Democratic base in a three-way race, Bush’s support among Republicans freefalls from 92% to 63%, a 29 point difference.  Trump garners 28% of the GOP vote.  Among independents nationally, Clinton’s 6 point edge over Bush, 48% to 42%, more than doubles to 13 points with Trump in the race.

“The 2016 election cycle has already had its share of ups and downs,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, what a rollercoaster ride it would be if Donald Trump runs for president as an independent.” 

Complete July 31, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Clinton Leads GOP Opponents… Paul, Rubio, Bush Closest Competitors

When matched against potential Republican rivals, Clinton is out in front although not over 50 percent against her closest opponents.  Her greatest competition comes from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  Clinton edges Rubio and Paul by 5 points among registered voters nationally and is ahead of Bush by 6 points.  Her widest margin is 21 points.

Clinton receives her highest support, 54%, against Trump. 

Poll points:

Clinton’s lead over Paul has declined from 11 points in March to 5 points now (trend).  Her 14 point advantage over Cruz has narrowed to 9 points (trend).  Against Huckabee, Clinton has a 9 point lead, down from 13 points in April 2014 (trend).

Voters Want Domestic Issues to Dominate National Campaign

Many registered voters nationally, 66%, want the focus of the 2016 presidential election to be domestic issues such as the economy, health care, and roads and bridges.  Foreign policy issues such as ISIS and terrorism are the priority for 21% of the national electorate while only 9% think social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage should be the central themes of the campaign. 

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

To watch Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s in-depth analysis of the poll or to read the full McClatchy article, click here.

7/26: IA: Walker, Trump Vie for Lead… NH: Trump Leads GOP…Sanders Closes Gap against Clinton

In the all-important first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, three Republican hopefuls have moved away from the very crowded GOP field.  In Iowa, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker receives the support of nearly one in five members of the potential Republican electorate, 19%.  Businessman Donald Trump follows closely behind with 17%, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the only other candidate with double-digit support, is competitive with 12%.

In New Hampshire, Trump garners the support of more than one in five potential Republican primary voters, 21%, and bypasses Bush, 14%, and Walker, 12%.  As in Iowa, no other Republican candidate receives double-digit support.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner for her party’s nomination, but Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has cut into Clinton’s lead in both states.  In Iowa, Clinton is ahead of Sanders, 55% to 26%, among the potential Democratic electorate.  Although Clinton is solidly ahead of Sanders, she previously had a 61 point lead over him in last February’s NBC News/Marist Poll.

A similar pattern is seen in New Hampshire where Clinton is currently ahead of Sanders by 13 points, 47% to 34%, among the state’s potential Democratic electorate.  Earlier this year, Clinton held a 56 point lead over Sanders.

If Joe Biden enters the race, Clinton loses support but still maintains a lead in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“With a vivid imagination, you can detect early signs of order to the GOP contest.  Walker, Trump, and Bush occupy one of the top three positions in both Iowa and New Hampshire,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “On the Democratic side, Clinton may be well advised to remember that objects in your mirror may be closer than they appear.  Sanders has narrowed her lead in both early states.”

Poll points:

  • Among potential Republican voters, Walker leads the GOP field among Tea Party identifiers in both Iowa and New Hampshire.  Walker also leads among Iowa’s conservative and very conservative Republican voters.
  • Trump leads among New Hampshire’s conservative and very conservative voters.  But, his support among the potential Republican electorate dipped in New Hampshire from 26% to 14% following his comments about Senator John McCain.
  • Among potential Democratic voters, there is a wide gender gap.  Clinton leads Sanders by 47 points among women in Iowa and 25 points in New Hampshire.  She leads Sanders by only 8 points among men in Iowa and trails him by 6 points in New Hampshire.
  • Among liberal and very liberal Democratic voters, Clinton’s lead narrows to 10 points in Iowa compared with a 46 point lead among moderate Democrats.  There is little difference in Clinton’s lead by voters’ ideology in New Hampshire.
  • Sanders edges Clinton in Iowa among potential Democratic voters who are under 45 years of age.

Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Release of Iowa and New Hampshire
Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa
Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire

Favorably Speaking 

Many of the Republicans vying for their party’s nomination are, generally, viewed favorably by the potential GOP electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire.  However, there is one notable outlier.  Trump is the best known but is also the least liked among these voters.

On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders are well-liked by their party’s potential voters in both states.

Poll points:

  • In Iowa, at least, a majority of the potential GOP electorate has a favorable impression of Walker, Rubio, and Bush, with Walker receiving the highest positive score, 56%.
  • Iowa’s potential Republican electorate divides over Trump who receives the highest negative score.  45% view him favorably while 44% perceive him unfavorably.
  • In New Hampshire, Bush, 56%, receives the highest favorable rating among the potential Republican electorate.  Walker, 51%, and Rubio, 49%, are also well-liked.  Trump, however, garners a 53% negative score.
  • Trump’s unfavorable rating among the potential Republican electorate in New Hampshire increased from 46% to 62% following his comments about Senator John McCain.  There was little change in Iowa.
  • Among the potential Democratic electorate in Iowa, Clinton enjoys a high favorable rating, 74%.  A majority, 54%, also thinks highly of Sanders, but more than three in ten Democrats in the state either do not know him or are unsure how to rate him.
  • In New Hampshire, many potential Democratic primary voters have positive opinions of, both, Clinton, 71%, and Sanders, 65%.

Presidents, Past and Present, Held in High Esteem by Their Party’s Faithful

Could former President Bill Clinton help or hurt his wife on the campaign trail?  83% of potential Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa have a favorable view of former President Bill Clinton.  A similar 84% of the potential Democratic electorate in New Hampshire share this view.  President Barack Obama’s favorable ratings among the potential Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire are 84% and 81%, respectively.

On the Republican side, 75% of the potential Republican electorate in Iowa has a positive opinion of former President George W. Bush.  A similar proportion of potential voters in New Hampshire, 74%, thinks well of Bush 43. 

Impact of Candidates’ Positions on the Vote

There is a consensus of opinion on issues in both Iowa and New Hampshire among the party faithful, but Democrats and Republicans are miles apart from each other.

Poll points:

  • Nearly seven in ten members of the potential Republican electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  They would be less inclined to support a candidate who favors Common Core, a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, or a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • At least a majority of the potential Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire would be more likely to support a candidate who favors a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, or the Common Core curriculum.  They would be less likely to support a candidate who would do away with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Regardless of state or party, there is little consensus about how a candidate’s support of a trade agreement with select Asian and Pacific Rim countries would affect the vote.

Jobs and Economic Growth Key Campaign Issue

Adults in, both, Iowa and New Hampshire consider job creation and economic growth to be the priority in the 2016 presidential election.

Poll points:

  • In Iowa, national security and terrorism, 45%, and the deficit and government spending, 42%, top the list of campaign issues for potential Republican caucus-goers.  Among potential Democratic caucus-goers in the state, a majority, 53%, emphasizes job creation and economic growth.
  • The New Hampshire potential Republican electorate considers national security and terrorism, 47%, and job creation and economic growth, 44%, to be of the utmost importance.  Half of potential Democratic voters in New Hampshire, 50%, mention job creation and economic growth.  Health care follows closely with 45%.

Voters Emphasize Positions on the Issues over Electability 

The potential Republican and Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire believe it is more important that their respective party’s nominee is someone who shares their positions on the issues rather than someone who has the best chance of winning the White House.

Bush and Clinton Fatigue Present in Iowa and New Hampshire

More than six in ten Iowans, 61%, report it is time for someone with a last name other than “Bush” or “Clinton” to occupy the White House.  A majority of New Hampshire residents, 56%, agree.

In each state, members of the potential Republican electorate are more likely than the potential Democratic electorate to think there should be an end to the Clinton and Bush political dynasties. 

Poll points:

  • 67% of Iowa’s potential Republican electorate, compared with 50% of the state’s potential Democratic electorate, say someone other than a Bush or Clinton should have a chance at winning the White House.
  • In New Hampshire, 63% of potential Republicans voters would like to see an end to the Bush and Clinton dynasties.  Members of the state’s potential Democratic electorate divide.  45% do not want another President Clinton or Bush while 46% are not opposed to the idea.

Ayotte Leads Hassan in U.S. Senate Race 

The tides have turned in the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire.  Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte is ahead of Democrat Maggie Hassan by 8 percentage points among registered voters statewide.

Poll points:

  • 50% of New Hampshire registered voters support Ayotte while 42% favor Hassan.  When NBC News/Marist last reported this question in February, Hassan, 48%, and Ayotte, 44%, were more competitive. 

Approval Rating Roundup

President Obama’s job approval rating continues to be upside down in Iowa and New Hampshire.  The governors in each state have experienced declines in their job approval ratings.

Poll points:

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for New Hampshire

 

4/9: Many Americans, Including Most Latinos, Consider Immigration Reform a Priority… Pathway to Citizenship Key Component for Majority of Americans, But Latinos Divide

Immigration reform is important to many Americans, especially Latino residents.  Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, including 81% of Latinos, think immigration legislation which provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants should be addressed by President Barack Obama and Congress.  In fact, 41% of Americans and 59% of Latinos believe the issue should be an absolute priority for this year’s Congress.

Of note, Latino residents who are U.S. immigrants, 74%, are more likely than those born in the United States, 46%, to consider immigration reform to be an immediate concern.

On the question of providing a pathway to citizenship for veterans of the armed forces, Americans and Latinos have similar views.  55% of residents, overall, and 61% of Latinos say providing citizenship to veterans should be an immediate priority for President Obama and Congress this year.

Americans, overall, are more concerned about the inclusion of the pathway to citizenship in immigration reform than Latinos.  Among Latinos, there is slightly greater urgency to pass immigration legislation, even if it does not contain the pathway to citizenship.  While 52% of Americans assert reform should only be passed if it includes this measure, 39% say reform should occur even if the measure is not included.  Latino residents divide with 49% thinking it is more important that a bill be passed only if it includes a pathway to citizenship while 44% report it is more important to pass immigration reform even if it does not provide a way for undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship.

Latinos born in the United States, 52%, emphasize the pathway to citizenship while Latino adults born in another country divide on the issue.

When it comes to President Barack Obama’s use of executive action to implement changes to immigration, opposition rests on procedure not policy.  Nearly six in ten Americans, including more than three in four Latinos, approve of the president’s order.  Among those who disapprove, 56% of Americans and 58% of Latinos oppose the executive action because the president did not seek congressional approval, not because they are against the content of the policy.

If Congress does not pass immigration reform by the end of its current term, Republicans will face the most blame.

Complete April 9, 2015 MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

Diplomatic Recognition of Cuba Supported by Majorities of Americans and Latinos

The opinions of Latinos closely reflect those of the overall population when it comes to U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba.

Poll points:

Economic Sanctions against Venezuela Considered Appropriate by Half of Americans

50% of Americans, including a slim majority of the Latino population, consider the economic sanctions placed on government officials in Venezuela for acts of violence and the prohibition of freedom of expression of protestors to be the right form of censure.  Latinos, 19%, are slightly more likely than Americans, overall, to say the punishment is too strong.

Poll points:

  • 50% of the U.S. adult population, including 52% of Latinos, think the economic sanctions levied against Venezuela are the appropriate punishment for acts of violence endorsed by the nation’s leaders and prohibiting freedom of expression among protesters.
  • 19% of Latinos, compared with 13% of the general population, say the sanctions are too severe.  20% of U.S. residents, including 16% of Latinos, believe the sanctions are not strong enough.

Equal Treatment under the Law?

Americans, 65%, are more likely than Latinos, 54%, to believe police in their local community treat minorities the same as anyone else.  Latinos, especially those under 45, are more likely to report minorities are treated more harshly.

  • 35% of Latinos, compared with 27% of the overall population, report minorities are treated more harshly by their local police.  Only 4% of U.S. residents, including 5% of Latinos, believe minorities are treated less harshly.
  • Latinos under 45 years old, 39%, are more likely than older Latinos, 28%, to say minorities are treated more harshly than anyone else. 

The Impact of Pope Francis on the Views of the Catholic Church

37% of Americans say Pope Francis has improved their opinion of the Catholic Church, and 29% report he has made little difference in their opinion.  The views of Latinos are similar to those of the overall population. 

  • A plurality of Americans, 37%, including 32% of Latinos, reports Pope Francis has given them a more favorable view of the Catholic Church.  Only 6% of Americans, including 7% of Latinos, say the Pope has lessened their view of the Church.  29% of Americans, similar to 32% of Latinos, think the Pontiff has made little difference in their views.  29% of residents, including 28% of Latinos, don’t know enough about the Pope to comment.

Football Takes Top Spot as Americans’ Favorite Sport… Shares Honors with Soccer among Latinos

Football, 42%, is Americans’ favorite pastime.  Among Latinos, football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, vie for the title of top sport.

  • 42% of Americans consider football their favorite sport.  Baseball, 15%, is a distant second followed by basketball, 14%.  11% choose soccer while 5% like hockey.  Three percent cite another sport, and 4% do not have a favorite sport.
  • Football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, are cited as the top sports by Latinos.  Baseball, 15%, and basketball, 14%, trail behind.  Only 2% of Latinos are hockey fans, and 3% mention another sport as their favorite.  Two percent do not have a favorite sport.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

3/10: Americans Support Military Action against ISIS… Many Support Ground Presence

More than six in ten Americans, 62%, would like their member of Congress to vote for President Barack Obama’s proposal to use military force against ISIS.  On the much debated issue of deploying ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State, nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, think at least some ground presence is necessary.  This includes 24% of residents who say a large number of ground troops should be used.

©istock.com/STILLFX

But, voters’ views of the president’s handling of the situation has become increasingly negative.  A majority of voters, 56%, disapproves of how President Obama is handling ISIS compared with a divided electorate last fall.  A majority of voters also continue to assess the job Mr. Obama is doing on foreign policy negatively.

Yet, views of Mr. Obama’s approach to the economy, and his overall job performance have somewhat improved.

While the job approval ratings of congressional Democrats, 30%, and Republicans, 33%, remain low, attitudes toward Congress have gotten better.  Although a majority still has a bleak outlook about the country’s direction, Americans are the most optimistic they have been in nearly two years.

“Voters are more dismayed over President Obama’s handling of ISIS and they want action,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Although Republicans are, overall, more hawkish on ground troops than Democrats, Tea Party Republicans are the most likely to want to send large numbers of troops to battle ISIS.”

Complete March 10, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • More than six in ten adults, 62%, want their member of Congress to vote for President Obama’s proposal to use military force against ISIS.  25% would like their representative to vote against it, and more than one in ten, 13%, is unsure.
  • 70% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats are in favor of authorizing military force against ISIS.  59% of independents agree.
  • 65% of Americans think ground troops should be used in the fight against ISIS.  This includes 24% of residents who believe a large number of ground troops should be deployed, and 41% who support sending a limited number.  More than one in four, 27%, opposes sending any ground troops, and 7% are unsure.
  • Republicans, 40%, are more than twice as likely as Democrats, 17%, to support the use of a large number of ground troops in the war against the Islamic State.  23% of independents also say a large number of boots on the ground is needed.
  • Only 35% of registered voters though approve of how President Barack Obama is handling ISIS, and a majority, 56%, disapproves.  Nine percent are unsure.
  • The president has lost support on the issue of ISIS.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in October, voters divided.  48% approved of how Mr. Obama was handling ISIS, and 46% disapproved.  Republicans and independents account for this change.  Among Republicans, 10% approve of the president’s approach to ISIS now compared with 27% in the fall.  28% of independents, compared with 45% previously, have this view.
  • When looking at President Obama’s overall handling of foreign policy, a majority of voters are not satisfied.  Only 38% approve of how the president is doing in the realm of foreign policy while 56% disapprove.  In December, 38% approved and 52% disapproved (Trend).

Obama’s Rating on Economy Best in Three Years… Uptick in Overall Approval Score

  • While 50% of voters disapprove of how President Obama is handling the economy, there has been an improvement in the proportion of those who approve, 45%.  Three months ago, 41% gave the president high marks on the economy, and 55% thought he fell short in this policy area.  In fact, Obama has reached his highest rating on his economic management since March 2012 when 46% approved of how he approached the economy.  51%, at that time, disapproved (Trend).
  • President Obama’s overall job approval rating is at 46% among registered voters.  50% disapprove.  The president’s approval rating has improved from December.  At that time 43% had a positive view of the president’s performance, and 52% thought it was lacking (Trend).
  • While views of the president’s job performance have gotten slightly better, Mr. Obama’s favorable rating is still upside down.  52% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of the president while 45% have a favorable one.  Similar proportions of voters had these views three months ago when 54% had a negative impression of the president, and 44% had a positive one (Trend).
  • Although still low, the approval rating of congressional Republicans has gotten better.  One in three voters, 33%, approves of the job they are doing, up from 28% in December.  61% currently disapprove of their performance, down from 66% three months ago (Trend).  Attitudes toward Republicans in Congress have improved most among members of their own party.  60% of Republicans think well of how members of the congressional GOP are doing in office, up from 51% previously.
  • 30% of voters approve of how congressional Democrats are doing their job, and 64% disapprove.  In McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, 27% approved of the performance of the Democrats in Congress, and 65% disapproved (Trend).
  • Looking at the direction of the nation, 59% of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction while 36% believe it is moving in the right one.  Americans are slightly more optimistic about the course of the nation than at the end of 2014.  At that time, 31% had a positive view of the nation’s direction while 64% had a more pessimistic one (Trend).  Democrats are more upbeat in their opinion.  60% of Democrats think the country is on the right track while 50% felt that way in December.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

3/9: McClatchy-Marist Poll

What do voters nationally think of how President Barack Obama is handling ISIS?  What do they think of the president’s approach to foreign policy, overall, and do Americans want Congress to allow military action against ISIS?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

President Barack Obama

whitehouse.gov

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

 

3/9: Bush and Walker Emerge as Republican Top Tier… Clinton Maintains Large Lead over Democratic Rivals

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lead the pack of potential Republicans vying for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the only other possible contender with double-digit support.  Among Republicans and Republican leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Bush, 19%, and Walker, 18%, are virtually tied.  But, while Bush receives just slightly more support than he garnered in McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, Walker’s support has grown from only 3% last time.

Walker’s gains are across the board.  But, key to his emergence is his appeal to conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

When looking at what Republicans want in their nominee, there has been a slight, but interesting, shift.  While nearly six in ten Republicans and Republican leaning independents say they value a candidate who stands on conservative principles over someone who can win, the proportion who stresses electability has increased.

Turning to the contest for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still the odds-on favorite, leading her potential rivals by more than four-to-one.  Like their Republican counterparts, some Democrats have reconsidered what is more important in their party’s nominee.  In December, while nearly six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents preferred a candidate who would re-direct the nation from President Obama’s policies over a candidate who continued them, Democrats now divide.

How do several of the Republican candidates fare against Clinton in potential general election contests? With only four points separating them, Walker and Clinton are most competitive.  But, Clinton also fails to reach 50% against Walker, Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.

“The most notable change in this poll from December is the emergence of Scott Walker as a contender for 2016,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “On the Democratic side, Clinton is still way out in front.  But, it will be interesting to see if the email issue impacts her support among Democrats moving forward or if it taps into concerns some voters have about her for the general election.”

Complete March 9, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • In the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, 19% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  A similar 18% favor Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker while former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee receives 10%.  Nine percent back retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson whereas Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has 7%.  Six percent support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has 5% of the vote.  Senator Ted Cruz of Texas receives 4%, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry has 3%.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former business executive Carly Fiorina each garners 2%.  One percent supports Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  More than one in ten, 13%, is undecided.
  • Bush and Walker emerge from a very crowded Republican field.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in December, Bush’s support was 16%.  Walker has gained the most ground.  His support has grown by 15 percentage points, from 3% three months ago to 18% now.  Huckabee, the only other candidate with double-digit support, is little changed from December when he received 12%.  Christie’s support has dropped from 10% to 6%.
  • Walker is bolstered by very conservative Republicans, 24%, and Tea Party supporters, 25%.
  • Looking at Bush’s support, he leads the field among moderate Republicans with 26%.
  • 58% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents say it is more important to have a candidate who stands on conservative principles while 39% report it is better to nominate someone who can win the White House.  In December, 64% thought maintaining the party’s core principles trumped nominating a candidate who could win, 33% (Trend).  This is the first time since this question has been asked that the proportion of Republicans and Republican leaning independents who favor a candidate who stands on conservative principles has dropped below 60%.
  • On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads her potential rivals by more than four to one.  60% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate favor Clinton.  Vice President Joe Biden follows with 13%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts garners 12%.  Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont receives 5%.  Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia each has 1%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Democrats and Democratic leaning independents divide about whether it is more important to have a nominee who continues the policies of President Barack Obama, 45%, or who moves the nation in a new direction, 47% (Trend).  In December, nearly six in ten Democrats, 58%, favored a nominee with a new vision for the nation while 38% wanted a continuation of Obama’s agenda.

Hypothetical General Election Contests: Walker Competitive Against Clinton

Poll points:

  • Clinton, 48%, and Walker, 44%, are in a close contest among registered voters.
  • Clinton, 49%, is also ahead of Bush, 42%, by 7 points.  The race has tightened between Clinton and Bush.  In McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, 53% supported Clinton, and 40% were for Bush (Trend).
  • Clinton, 49%, leads Rubio, 42%, by 7 points.
  • When matched against Perry, Clinton receives a majority, 51%, to 42% for Perry (Trend).
  • Against Paul, Clinton has an 11 point advantage.  51% of voters support Clinton compared with 40% for Paul.  Previously, Clinton, 54%, had a 14 point lead over Paul, 40% (Trend).
  • Clinton, 53%, does the best against, Cruz, 39%.  Clinton has maintained her lead over Cruz (Trend).

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

3/6: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Looking to the 2016 presidential race, a Republican top tier has emerged.  Which GOP hopefuls lead the pack?  Do they pose a significant threat to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who leads the potential Democratic field?

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

2/15: 2016 Wide Open GOP Field in Early Caucus and Primary States… Clinton Solid Front-Runner on Democratic Side

February 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

Taking an early look at the key presidential caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, a Republican front-runner fails to emerge.  In Iowa, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vie for the top spot among the state’s potential Republican electorate.

In New Hampshire, Bush, Walker, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie each receives double-digit support.  Turning to South Carolina, the state’s favorite son, Senator Lindsey Graham, battles Bush, Walker, Huckabee, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for the lead.

The picture is much clearer on the Democratic side.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite for her party’s nomination.  Clinton outpaces her closest Democratic competitors by very wide margins in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

However, in hypothetical general election matchups, despite edging her GOP rivals in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton falls short of 50% in each of the three states polled.  In South Carolina, when paired against Bush or Walker, Clinton garners about what President Obama received in 2012 against Mitt Romney.

“Top tier?  The morning line for these critical states points to a rough and tumble Republican nomination battle.  Seven of the 11 potential GOP candidates has double-digit support in, at least, one of the states, but no one breaks 20% anywhere,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Not so for the Democrats where Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead.”

 

Complete February 15, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Release of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina

Complete February 15, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa

Complete February 15, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire

Complete February 15, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of South Carolina

 

Republicans and Democrats Satisfied with Candidates

Poll points:

Clinton Ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire, Not in South Carolina

Poll Points:

  • Among registered voters in Iowa, Clinton, 48%, is ahead of Bush, 40%.  Clinton, 49%, also outpaces Walker, 38%, statewide.
  • In New Hampshire, Clinton, 48%, edges Bush, 42%.  Against Walker, Clinton has 49% to 42% for Walker.
  • Bush, receives 48%, and Clinton, 45%, in South Carolina.  Clinton garners 46%, and Walker receives 46% when matched in the state.

Voters on the Issues

In Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, more than six in ten voters in each state find a candidate who favors raising taxes on the wealthy to be acceptable.  This is especially true in Iowa, where 73% of voters have this view.  Majorities of voters in all three states also find a candidate who supports repealing the federal health care law, who backs immigration reform, or who promotes action to combat climate change to be preferable.  A candidate who supports Common Core education or favors increased military action against ISIS is also deemed satisfactory to majorities of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

However, registered voters are less likely to find a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage to be acceptable.

On many of these questions, there is a notable divide between the potential Republican and Democratic electorates.

Poll points:

 

Job Creation and Economic Growth Key Issue

Residents in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina consider job creation to be the most important issue in the 2016 election.  Jobs and the economy is also the most pressing concern for the potential Democratic and Republican electorates with the exception of Iowa where the deficit and government spending is the top priority for the potential Republican electorate for 2016.

Poll points:

  • 30% of adults in Iowa consider job creation and economic growth to be the most important issue in the 2016 presidential election.  Deficit and government spending, 21%, military action against ISIS, 17%, and health care, 15%, follow.  11% cite income equality while looking out for the interests of women is the priority for 3% of Iowa residents.
  • Among Iowa’s potential Republican electorate, the deficit and government spending, 32%, tops the list followed by military action against ISIS, 25%, and jobs, 23%.  The potential Democratic electorate prioritizes jobs, 32%, followed by health care, 20%, and income equality, 19%.
  • There is little consensus about Iowans’ second most pressing issue.  Similar proportions of adults mention job creation, 24%, health care, 22%, and the deficit and government spending, 20%.  15% put military action against ISIS at the top of their list while 12% cite income equality.  Six percent select looking out for the interests of women.
  • Job creation and economic growth, 33%, is the most important issue to New Hampshire adults.  The deficit and government spending, 19%, health care, 18%, and military action against ISIS, 14% follow.  11% place income equality at the top of their priority list while only 2% think looking out for the interests of women to be the most important issue in the upcoming election.
  • When looking at New Hampshire’s potential Republican electorate, jobs, 33%, rank number one.  The deficit and government spending with 28% and military action against ISIS at 20% follow.  Among the potential Democratic electorate, jobs, 34%, is tops followed by health care and income equality, each at 21%.
  • When it comes to the second choice issue for New Hampshire adults, job creation and economic growth, 22%, and health care, 22%, top the list.  Military action against ISIS, 20%, and the deficit and government spending, 18%, are close behind.  Income equality, 9%, and looking out for the interests of women, 7%, round out the list.
  • 32% of South Carolina adults think the key issue in the 2016 election is job creation and economic growth.  Health care, 20%, military action against ISIS, 18%, and the deficit and government spending, 15%, also rate highly.  Eight percent believe income equality is the most crucial topic of discussion while women’s interests receive 3%.
  • South Carolina’s potential Republican electorate points to jobs, 29%, as the top priority for 2016.  The issues of military action against ISIS with 28% and the deficit and government spending at 24% are also seen as important.  For South Carolina’s potential Democratic electorate, jobs, 35%, is crucial followed by health care, 28%, and income equality, 15%.
  • Looking at the second most important issue for South Carolina adults, 25% choose job creation and economic growth.  23% select health care and 22% pick the deficit and government spending.  14% mention military action against ISIS, and 8% cite income equality.  Seven percent think looking out for the interests of women should be the priority.

U.S. Senate Race in New Hampshire Competitive

Looking at the 2016 election for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan and incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte are closely matched. 

Poll points:

  • 48% of New Hampshire registered voters support Hassan in the race for U.S. Senate while Ayotte garners 44%.  Seven percent are undecided.

Approval Rating Roundup

In Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, President Barack Obama’s job performance rating is upside down.  The governors in each state are rated highly.

Poll points:

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for New Hampshire

Marist Poll Methodology for South Carolina

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for South Carolina

 

2/12: Obama’s Request for Military Action against ISIS Receives Majority Support…Many Americans Say Boots on the Ground are Needed

February 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

In a poll conducted just hours after President Barack Obama made the case for congressional authorization to use military force against ISIS, a majority of Americans tells the NBC News/Marist Poll they support their congressperson voting for the use of U.S. military action against the Islamic militants.  However, residents divide about whether or not President Obama’s proposal will receive bipartisan support.  With nearly seven in ten residents saying they are aware of the president’s request, the news of possible military action against ISIS has permeated Americans’ consciousness.

While the president is requesting limited use of U.S. ground troops, where do Americans stand?  About two-thirds say at least some presence of ground forces are needed.  In fact, about one in four Americans thinks a large number of boots on the ground is necessary.  Not surprisingly, partisan differences exist.

Despite many Americans’ belief that the U.S and its allies will be victorious in defeating ISIS, confidence in President Obama’s strategy to combat ISIS is mixed.

When it comes to President Obama’s legacy, Americans divide about whether the president will be remembered more for ending a war or for starting a new one.

“This challenge will bear on the president’s legacy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “By nearly two to one, Democrats think President Obama will still be remembered for ending a war, but by more than three to one, Republicans see the president’s legacy as having started a new one.”

Complete February 12, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • 54% of Americans want their member of Congress to vote to authorize U.S. military action against ISIS.  32% are against such approval, and more than one in ten, 13%, is unsure.  A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents think their congressional representative should support the president’s request.
  • Residents divide about whether President Obama’s proposal will have bipartisan support in Congress.  44% think it will not, and 40% believe it will.  16% are unsure.  A majority of Democrats, 56%, and a plurality of Republicans, 44%, say the president’s plan will not receive bipartisan support.  A notable 20% of Republicans are unsure.    Independents divide.  44% think partisanship will be put aside while 43% believe it will be front and center in the debate.
  • About two-thirds of Americans, 66%, think U.S. boots on the ground are necessary, to some degree, to combat ISIS.  This includes 26% who support sending a large number of U.S. ground forces and 40% who back deploying a limited number of troops on the ground.  26% do not want any ground forces involved, and 7% are unsure.
  • Views about the use of ground troops differ based on party.  38% of Republicans, compared with 16% of Democrats and 25% of independents, support sending a large number of ground forces.
  • Many Americans, 66%, are optimistic that the U.S. and its allies will defeat ISIS.  There is little partisan difference of opinion on this question.
  • Looking at Americans’ level of confidence in President Obama’s strategy to combat ISIS, there is a divide.  48% do not have very much faith in the president’s approach.  45% express confidence in the president’s proposal.  Not surprisingly, 82% of Republicans have little or no confidence in the president’s military strategy.  Most Democrats, 71%, are confident in the president’s approach.  Independents are more divided:  44% express confidence and 49% do not.
  • When it comes to President Obama’s legacy, 44% of Americans say President Obama will be remembered more for starting a new war than ending one.  40% think the opposite will be true.  A notable, 16%, are unsure.  More than six in ten Republicans, 62%, and a majority of independents, 51%, believe President Obama’s legacy will be defined by beginning a new war.  59% of Democrats think he will be remembered for ending a war.
  • 69% of Americans have heard about the president’s request to use U.S. military force against ISIS, and 31% have not.

Marist Poll Methodology

Marist Poll Nature of the Sample

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