Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, is there a clear front-runner? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is a strong, early favorite to win re-election as he heads into 2014. When matched against several potential Republican gubernatorial candidates, Cuomo leads each of them by at least 40 percentage points.
“Right now, Governor Cuomo is in good shape to win a second term. None of Governor Cuomo’s likely challengers are in striking distance,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, voters think any plans Cuomo might have for 2016 need to take a backseat until Hillary Clinton declares her intentions.”
If the 2014 election for New York State Governor were held today, here is how Governor Cuomo would fare among registered voters in New York State:
- Against Steve McLaughlin, Cuomo would garner 64% while McLaughlin would receive 24%. 12% are undecided.
- 65% would back Cuomo compared with 23% for Rob Astorino. 12% are undecided.
- If Cuomo were to face off in a rematch against Carl Paladino, Cuomo — 67% — would defeat Paladino — 24% — by 43 percentage points. Nine percent are undecided.
- 70% of registered voters would support Cuomo in a contest against Donald Trump — 24%. Seven percent are undecided.
A majority of registered voters in New York State — 52% — approves of the job the governor is doing. This includes 8% of voters who think Cuomo is doing an excellent job and 44% who describe Cuomo’s job performance as good. 31% give Cuomo fair marks while 13% report he is performing poorly. Three percent are unsure.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in April, 54% of registered voters approved of how Mr. Cuomo was performing in office. 27% rated his job as fair while 14% believed his performance was subpar. Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
- Cuomo’s approval rating is strong among his base. 63% of Democrats statewide think well of how Cuomo is doing his job. This compares with 66% in April.
- Among Republicans, 39% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This is little changed from the spring when 37% had this view.
- Cuomo’s approval rating has changed little among non-enrolled voters. 48% of these voters approve of Cuomo’s job performance compared with 46% in April.
- New York voters’ rating of Cuomo has changed little throughout the state.
- In New York City, 56% of voters give Cuomo high marks. A similar 58% had this opinion in the previous Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll.
- In the suburbs of New York City, 57% applaud Cuomo’s job performance. Here, too, Cuomo’s approval rating is status quo. 59% of suburban voters thought this way in April.
- A plurality of upstate voters — 47% — approve of how Governor Cuomo is doing his job. This is comparable to the 48% in this region who said the same in the spring.
Cuomo also continues to be well-liked in New York State. Two-thirds of registered voters — 66% — have a favorable view of the governor. 28% have an unfavorable impression of him, and 6% have either never heard of Cuomo or are unsure how to rate him. In April, similar proportions of registered voters shared these views. 65% had a positive view of Cuomo. 27% had an unfavorable one, and 8% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
Cuomo Viewed as Making Positive Mark on Albany and Focused on Empire State
About six in ten registered voters in New York State — 61% — think Cuomo is changing the way things in Albany work for the better. 35% do not think the governor is improving Albany, and 4% are unsure. In April, 58% of voters thought Governor Cuomo was positively changing state government. 33% had the opposite view, and 9% were unsure.
Is Cuomo paying too much attention to national politics and not enough attention to the Empire State? 59% do not think he is focused on the national agenda while 35% say he is. Six percent are unsure. In the spring, 51% of voters believed Cuomo’s attention was focused on New York while 40% thought he was too concerned with national politics. Nine percent, at that time, were unsure.
What are voters’ perceptions of Cuomo’s political ideology? 45% say he is a moderate. 35% think he is a liberal while 11% believe he is a conservative. Nine percent are unsure. In The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist’s previous survey, 38% described Cuomo as a moderate. 34% said he was a liberal, and 13% reported he was conservative. 15%, then, were unsure.
2016: Cuomo Trails Clinton by 50 Points Among Dems, but Both Lead Christie
If Cuomo were to turn to the national stage and run for president of the United States in 2016, what would his electoral chances look like? In this hypothetical contest for the Democratic nomination, among New York State registered Democrats, Cuomo comes in a very distant second behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton leads all of her potential Democratic opponents by more than four to one in New York.
64% of registered Democrats statewide support Clinton compared with 14% for Andrew Cuomo. Eight percent back Vice President Joe Biden while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren garners 6%. Three percent support Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and 5% are undecided.
On the Republican side, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads a crowded GOP primary field. Among registered Republicans in New York State, Christie has the backing of 40%. 10% are for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul while the same proportion — 10% — supports Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the support of 8% compared with 5% for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker each garners 3%. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has the backing of 2%. An additional 2% support former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. 15% are undecided.
However, when matched against Cuomo or Clinton in the general election contest, Christie does not fare as well in this very blue state. Cuomo leads Christie, 51% to 44%, among New York’s registered voters. Five percent are undecided. Clinton has a wider lead over Christie. 57% of registered voters in New York State support Clinton compared with 39% for Christie. Four percent are undecided.
Voters Don’t Blame Cuomo for State’s Sluggish Economy
67% of registered voters think Governor Cuomo inherited the state’s economic woes while 27% say the condition of the economy is a result of his policies. Five percent are unsure. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist last reported this question, 74% thought Cuomo inherited New York’s economic slump while 17% said the state’s economic conditions are mostly a result of his own policies. Nine percent were unsure.
Looking at how New York’s economy is performing, a slim majority of registered voters in New York — 51% — say it has stayed about the same. This compares with 20% who report it has gotten better, and 29% who say it has gotten worse. In April, nearly identical proportions shared these views. 51% thought New York’s economy was steady state. 21% said it was getting better, and 29% believed it was getting worse.
On the personal side, 52% of New York voters believe their personal family finances will not change in the coming year. 31% think they will get better while 17% believe they will get worse. In March, 56% said their money matters would be steady state. 25% thought they would improve while 19% said they would decline.
Opposition to Hydrofracking Grows
On the issue of hydrofracking, 47% of adults in New York oppose hydrofracking at the Marcellus Shale to extract natural gas. 37% support this technique, and 16% are unsure. When this question was last reported in March, 39% opposed hydrofracking while 40% supported it. 21%, at that time, were unsure.
The views of registered voters mirror those of New Yorkers overall. 49% are against using hydrofracking while 39% support it. 12% are unsure. In March, voters divided. 41% opposed hydrofracking, and 40% supported it. One in five — 20% — was unsure.
State Senate and Assembly Approval Ratings Still in the Basement
While a majority of voters approve of Governor Cuomo’s job performance, the New York State Senate and Assembly do not fare as well. Only 27% of registered voters in New York State approve of the job the Senate is doing. Included here are 2% who say they are doing an excellent job and 25% who think they are doing a good one. 47% rate the legislative body’s performance as fair. 22% report they are doing a poor job, and 4% have either never heard of the Senate or are unsure how to rate it.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last released this question in April, 29% gave the Senate high marks. 41% thought its performance was average, and 26% said it fell short. Four percent, at that time, either never heard of it or were unsure how to rate it.
When it comes to the New York State Assembly, 26% think it is doing either an excellent — 2% — or good — 24% — job in office. 47% rate this legislative body’s performance as fair while 23% report its job is subpar. Four percent are unsure.
In that previous survey, 27% of voters thought highly of how the Assembly was performing its job. 42% gave it mediocre marks while 24% said it was performing poorly. Six percent were unsure.
Half Say State Moving in Right Direction
50% of registered voters think New York State is traveling on the right course. 45%, however, believe it is moving in the wrong direction, and 5% are unsure. In April, 53% of voters said the Empire State was on the right course. 41% believed it was off track. Six percent, at that time, were unsure.
Steady State for Schumer and Gillibrand
A majority of voters continue to give Chuck Schumer a positive rating for his performance as senator. 56% of registered voters in New York State approve of how Schumer is doing his job. This includes 17% who say Schumer is doing an excellent job and 39% who think he is doing a good one. 26% rate Schumer’s performance in office as fair while 15% say he is doing a poor job. Four percent have either never heard of Schumer or are unsure how to rate him.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in April, 58% praised Schumer. 24% thought he did an average job, and 13% said he fell short. Six percent, at that time, had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
There has also been little change in the perception of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s job performance. 47% think Gillibrand is doing either an excellent — 13% — or good — 34% — job. 30% give Gillibrand fair marks while 12% say she is performing poorly in her post. 12% have either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
In April, 48% approved of Gillibrand’s job performance. 27% gave her average grades while 9% said she performed poorly. 17% had either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
Obama Approval Rating at Lowest Point in New York State
Four in ten registered voters — 40% — approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. This is Obama’s lowest approval rating in New York since taking office. Included in Mr. Obama’s approval rating are 11% who think he is doing an excellent job and 29% who believe he is doing a good one. 25% give him fair marks while 36% rate the president’s job performance as poor. Less than 1% has either never heard of Obama or are unsure how to rate him.
The president’s approval rating has plummeted. In April, 52% gave the president high marks. 22% thought his job performance was average while 26% said he fell short. One percent, at that time, had either never heard of Obama or was unsure how to rate him.
If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were to announce a candidacy for the Presidency, she would be the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Clinton outdistances her closest potential opponent, Vice President Joe Biden, by almost five-to-one in a hypothetical contest. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley each receives single-digit support. On the Republican side, there is no clear frontrunner among the pack of potential candidates.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll*
“Get ready for round two of Hillary Clinton as the inevitable,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “The big question is whether she runs.”
Among Democrats nationally including Democratic leaning independents, here is how the contest stands:
- 63% Hillary Clinton
- 13% Joe Biden
- 6% Andrew Cuomo
- 1% Martin O’Malley
- 18% undecided
Do Democrats and Democratic leaning independents want a nominee who will continue President Obama’s policies, or would they rather a nominee who will move in another direction? They divide. 46% believe it is more important to have a nominee who will move President Obama’s policies forward while 44% want someone with a new vision. 10% are unsure.
Looking at the Republican contest, among Republicans nationally including Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest stands:
- 15% Chris Christie
- 13% Paul Ryan
- 12% Marco Rubio
- 10% Jeb Bush
- 9% Rand Paul
- 7% Ted Cruz
- 4% Rick Perry
- 2% Rick Santorum
- 2% Scott Walker
- 1% Bobby Jindal
- 1% Susana Martinez
- 25% undecided
“In a crowded field, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is at the top of the list,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “None of the potential Republican candidates who appeal to the more activist base of the party have broken free of the pack.”
By more than two-to-one, Republicans and Republican leaning independents would prefer a Republican nominee who stands on conservative principles rather than one who can win. Nearly two-thirds — 64% — think it is more important to have a candidate who stands firmly on Republican ground. This compares with 31% who believe the priority should be nominating a candidate who can defeat his or her Democratic opponent. Five percent are unsure.
Clinton Leads GOP Opponents in Potential 2016 General Election Matchups
Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner not only for her party’s nomination but also against the leading Republican presidential wannabes for 2016. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush run the most competitively against Clinton yet she still leads Christie by 6 percentage points and Bush by 8. She outdistances her other possible Republican opponents by double-digits.
Among registered voters nationally, here is how Hillary Clinton fares against potential Republican candidates:
- Clinton — 47% — leads Chris Christie — 41% — by 6 percentage points. 12% are undecided. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in April, Clinton — 46% — and Christie — 43% — were neck and neck. 11% were undecided.
- Against Bush, Clinton is ahead by 8 percentage points. Here, Clinton receives 48% to 40% for Bush. 12% are undecided. In April, Clinton — 54% — led Bush — 38% — by 16 percentage points. Eight percent, at that time, were undecided.
- In a contest against Rubio, Clinton has a 12 percentage point advantage. She receives the support of 50% of registered voters compared with 38% for Rubio. 12% are undecided. Little has changed on this question. Clinton — 52% — outpaced Rubio — 40% — in McClatchy-Marist’s previous survey.
- When matched against Paul, 50% of voters are for Clinton compared with 38% for Paul. 11% are undecided. In April, 52% were for Clinton while 41% were for Paul. Seven percent were undecided.
- 53% of voters support Clinton when matched against Ryan — 37%. Nine percent are undecided.
- Clinton — 52% — also outdistances Perry — 36%. 12% are undecided.
Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential contest, would Hillary Clinton be the inevitable Democratic nominee if she were to throw her hat into the ring? Is there a potential Republican candidate who could pose a serious threat to her? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy story, click here.
5/8: Nearly Seven in Ten New Jersey Voters Applaud Christie’s Job Performance, Re-election Prospects Bright, But Not 2016
Six months after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey residents are optimistic about their governor and the state in general. Nearly seven in ten — 68% — approve of how Governor Chris Christie is doing his job. 24% disapprove, and 8% are unsure. Registered voters share these views. 69% of registered voters give Christie a thumbs up as governor. 24% of voters disapprove, and 7% are unsure.
“The key elements are in place for Governor Christie’s re-election…his high approval ratings, voters’ upbeat mood about the direction of the state, and, of course, his efforts following Hurricane Sandy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “This makes it extremely difficult for his Democratic challenger.”
The governor is lauded by residents for his handling of New Jersey’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Eight in ten — 81% — approve of Christie’s hurricane recovery efforts. 13% disapprove and 5% are unsure. 56% also approve of how Christie is handling the state’s budget, and 33% disapprove. 11% are unsure.
Many New Jersey residents view the state as on track. 62% believe it is moving in the right direction. 31% disagree and say New Jersey is on the wrong path. Seven percent are unsure.
Christie Leads Buono by More than Two-to-One in Governor’s Race
In the contest for New Jersey governor, Republican incumbent Chris Christie — 60% — outpaces Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono — 28% — by 32 percentage points among registered voters. One percent supports another candidate, and 10% are undecided. Among the probable electorate, including voters who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Christie has 62% to 28% for Buono. One percent supports another candidate and 9% are undecided.
- Party ID. Most Republicans — 94% — support Christie while only a slim majority of Democrats — 51% — back Buono. Among independent voters in New Jersey, 64% are for Christie while 22% are behind Buono.
- Intensity of Support. Among registered voters in New Jersey who have a candidate preference, 56% strongly support their choice of candidate. 30% are somewhat committed to their pick while 11% might vote differently. Three percent are unsure. Among Christie’s supporters, 57% are firmly behind him while 55% of Buono’s backers are strongly in her camp.
- Gender. Among men, 66% are for Christie while 24% support Buono. A majority of women — 56% — support Christie compared with 32% for Buono.
- Age. Christie is ahead of Buono among all age groups. Christie — 63% — leads Buono — 26% — among voters 60 and older. Christie — 58% — also outdistances Buono — 30% — among those 45 to 59. Looking at those 30 to 44, 60% support Christie compared with 29% for Buono. 63% of voters under the age of 30 are for Christie while 29% are behind Buono.
- Past Vote. Christie also receives notable support from those who voted for President Obama last fall. 42% of Obama backers support Christie while 46% support Democrat Buono. 32% of those who voted for Jon Corzine, the Democratic candidate in the 2009 gubernatorial race, now support Christie. 55% of Corzine voters plan to vote for Buono.
More than six in ten registered voters — 61% — are satisfied with the candidates running for governor in November while 28% are not satisfied with the candidates from which they have to choose. 11% are unsure.
Two-Thirds Have a Favorable Opinion of Christie…Buono Largely Unknown
Governor Chris Christie is perceived well by 67% of New Jersey residents. 28% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 5% are unsure. Registered voters have similar impressions. 68% of voters have a favorable view of the governor, 27% have an unfavorable one, and 4% are unsure.
However, Buono is little-known in the state. Only 23% have a favorable view of Buono while 18% have an unfavorable impression of her. Most residents statewide — 59% — have either never heard of Buono or are unsure how to rate her. Buono is not much better known among registered voters. 24% of voters have a favorable impression of her, 18% have an unfavorable view, but 57% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her.
Majority Says Christie Should Not Run for President in 2016
Despite his popularity, when talk turns to a possible presidential run, 55% of New Jersey registered voters do not want Christie to throw his hat into the ring. 34% believe Christie should run for president, and 12% are unsure.
- Among Republicans, 50% would like to see Christie run for President. 34% do not want him in the race, and 15% are unsure.
- 26% of Democrats want Christie in the presidential contest, but 64% do not. Nine percent are unsure.
- 32% of independents want the governor in the 2016 race. 56% do not, and 12% are unsure.
- Among Tea Party supporters, 34% support a Christie 2016 run, and 55% are opposed to it. 11% are unsure.
In fact, in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match-up with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Christie trails Clinton, 41% to 52% among New Jersey voters. Six percent are undecided.
Christie bests Vice President Joe Biden for president, 51% to 40%, among registered voters in the state. Eight percent are undecided.
45% Approve of Job Senator Menendez is Doing in Office, 38% Believe He Acted Unethically in Donor Dust-Up
A plurality of residents — 45% — approve of the job Senator Robert Menendez is doing in office. 31% disapprove, and 24% are unsure. Registered voters have similar opinions. 46% of voters in the state rate Senator Menendez positively, 32% rate him negatively, and 22% are unsure. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats — 65% — give the senator high marks, whereas 25% of Republicans and 39% of Independents say the same.
Opinion is divided about the investigation of Senator Menendez’ ties to a wealthy donor. 14% of New Jersey residents believe he did nothing wrong while 38% think he did something unethical but not illegal. 16% say he did something illegal. One-third — 33% — are unsure.
Majority of New Jersey Residents Approve of Obama, Democratic Party, But GOP Doesn’t Fare So Well
President Obama has the approval of 57% of New Jersey residents. 38% disapprove of the job the president is doing in office, and 6% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views. 56% of voters approve of the president’s job performance, 38% disapprove, and 5% are unsure. Among Democrats in the state, 88% give Obama a thumbs up, and 8% disapprove. 78% of Republicans, however, disapprove of the President’s job, and 16% approve. Independents divide — 48% approve and 45% disapprove. 61% of residents view Obama favorably while 36% do not. Three percent are unsure. Registered voters agree. 60% approve of the job the president is doing, 37% disapprove, and 3% are unsure.
The Democratic Party is viewed favorably by a slim majority — 51% — of New Jersey residents. 42% have an unfavorable impression of the party, and 7% are unsure. Registered voters parallel these impressions. 50% of voters have a positive view, 43% have a negative one, and 6% are unsure.
The Republican Party is not highly regarded. 33% have a favorable view of the party while 58% of New Jersey residents view the party unfavorably. Nine percent are unsure. There is little difference in opinion among registered voters. 34% of voters have a favorable opinion, 59% do not, and 7% are unsure.
Sequester Cuts Not Affecting Most, Two-Thirds Want Stricter Gun Laws
Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents — 65% — report they are not experiencing much impact personally from the federal spending cuts triggered by the sequester on March 1st. Seven percent say they have been affected a great deal, and 8% have been affected quite a bit. 16% have only been affected some, and 4% are unsure.
A plurality of New Jersey residents — 42% — say the sequester cuts will hurt the economy. 29% believe the cuts will have no impact, and 18% think the cuts will be good for the economy. 11% are unsure.
Most New Jersey residents think laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. 67% hold this view while 24% say current gun laws are sufficient. Six percent say the laws should be less strict, and 3% are unsure. Registered voters share these views. Among gun owners, a plurality — 48% — believes gun laws should be kept as they are now, and 38% want stricter laws. 12% of gun owners think the laws should be less strict, and 2% are unsure.
In the race for governor in Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe — 43% — and Republican Ken Cuccinelli — 41% — are in a close contest among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. One percent are for another candidate, and 16% are undecided.
“The contest is close, the candidates are not well defined, and they still need to connect with voters,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, keep an eye on those who say they are going to vote.”
- Party ID. There is a wide partisan divide. 91% of registered Democrats support McAuliffe while 91% of registered Republicans back Cuccinelli. Among independent voters statewide, Cuccinelli — 36% — and McAuliffe — 36% — are locked in a dead heat. However, a notable proportion of independent voters — 27% — are undecided.
- Intensity of Support. 50% of registered voters in Virginia who prefer a candidate are strongly committed to their choice. 33% are somewhat behind their pick while 13% might vote differently. Four percent are unsure. Looking at the candidates’ supporters, 53% of those behind Cuccinelli strongly support him. This compares with only 47% of McAuliffe’s backers who express a similar degree of support.
- Gender. There is a wide gender gap. McAuliffe — 50% — leads Cuccinelli — 34% — among women. 14% of women voters are undecided. However, Cuccinelli — 49% — is ahead of McAuliffe — 34% — among men. 17% are undecided.
- Age. McAuliffe — 48% — has the advantage over Cuccinelli — 35% — among registered voters under the age of 30. Among those 30 to 44 years old, Cuccinelli receives 44% to 37% for McAuliffe. Looking at those 45 to 59 McAuliffe has 45% to 41% for Cuccinelli. Among Virginia registered voters 60 and older, McAuliffe — 43% — and Cuccinelli — 42% — are neck and neck.
Slim Majority Satisfied with the Field
52% of Virginia registered voters are satisfied with the candidates from which they have to choose for governor this year. One-quarter — 25% — are not satisfied, and 23% are unsure. About six in ten Democrats — 58% — and Republicans — 61% — are satisfied while only a plurality of independents — 42% — feel the same.
More Information Needed about Candidates, Say Many
Looking at the favorability ratings of the candidates, 31% of residents have a positive impression of McAuliffe. 23% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and a plurality — 46% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Registered voters have similar impressions. 32% of voters have a positive impression, 24% have a negative one, and 44% have either never heard of McAuliffe or are unsure how to rate him.
While Cuccinelli is better known among Virginians, he also needs to improve his standing. 40% have a favorable view of Cuccinelli while 26% have an unfavorable one. 34% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Similar proportions of registered voters share these impressions. 42% of voters have a favorable view of Cuccinelli, 27% have an unfavorable one, and 32% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
Impressions of the Candidates
How do Virginia residents compare the gubernatorial candidates?
- 27% of adults think McAuliffe is too liberal. Five percent say he is too conservative, and 32% think he is about right. Almost four in ten though — 36% — are unsure where he stands politically.
- As for Cuccinelli, 6% of state residents see him as too liberal while 25% think he’s too conservative. 38% say he is about right while more than three in ten — 31% — are unsure how to assess him ideologically.
- When asked which candidate better understands the problems of people like themselves, 33% give Cuccinelli the nod and 29% pick McAuliffe. 31% are unsure.
- Who do Virginians trust more to do what’s best for the state? 37% choose Cuccinelli while 31% say McAuliffe. 26% are unsure.
- When it comes to social issues such as abortion, 31% of adults say Cuccinelli is closer to their position, and 30% say the same about McAuliffe. 34% are unsure.
- Residents divide about which candidate cares more about the middle class. 30% select Cuccinelli. McAuliffe is the choice of 29%, and 34% are unsure.
- Which candidate do residents say shares their values? Cuccinelli — 34% — has the advantage over McAuliffe — 28%. 31%, however, are unsure.
Cuccinelli’s Performance as Attorney General
How do Virginia residents think Cuccinelli is doing as the state’s Attorney General? 49% approve while 23% disapprove. 28% are unsure. Among registered voters, a majority — 51% — approve, 24% disapprove, and 25% are unsure.
By party, 74% of Republicans approve of the job Cuccinelli is doing in office, and only 6% disapprove. 49% of independent voters have a positive impression of the job Cuccinelli is doing as Attorney General, and 25% have a negative one. Among Democrats, a plurality — 41% — disapprove while 32% approve.
Six in Ten Approve of McDonnell’s Job Performance
60% of Virginia adults approve of the job Governor Bob McDonnell is doing in office. 22% disapprove, and 18% are unsure. Registered voters have similar views. 61% of registered voters give McDonnell a thumbs up. 24% of voters disapprove, and 15% are unsure.
When the NBC News/Marist Poll last reported this question in March 2012, 51% of registered voters in Virginia approved of the job he was doing in office. 30% disapproved, and 19% were unsure.
58% of Virginia adults currently have a favorable impression of McDonnell. 23% have an unfavorable one, and 19% are unsure. Registered voters parallel these views. 60% of voters have a positive opinion of the governor, 24% have a negative one, and 16% are unsure.
Virginians Wouldn’t Mind Another Term for Governor McDonnell, But Say “No” to 2016 Prez Run
If Bob McDonnell was not limited to one term as governor, he would be the favorite for re-election against Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. In a hypothetical matchup, Governor McDonnell receives the support of 51% to 36% for McAuliffe among all registered voters. One percent chooses another candidate, and 12% are undecided.
McDonnell’s gubernatorial support among voters in Virginia does not carry over to a bid for president. 58% of voters statewide do not want McDonnell to run for president in 2016. 24% would like to see him make a run, and 18% are unsure. Democrats — 73% — and independents — 59% — do not support a McDonnell presidential run. Republicans divide. 41% of registered Republican voters would like to see him on the presidential campaign trail while 43% would not.
How does McDonnell fare against Democrats Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden? In a hypothetical matchup, Hillary Clinton — 52% — has the advantage over Bob McDonnell — 41% — among registered voters in the state. Seven percent are undecided.
In fact, 60% of Virginia residents have a favorable impression of Hillary Clinton. 33% have an unfavorable view, and 7% are unsure. There is little difference of opinion among registered voters. 60% of voters have a positive impression of Hillary Clinton, 34% have a negative one, and 6% are unsure.
In contrast, when matched against Joe Biden, McDonnell receives the support of 49% to Biden’s 42%. Nine percent are undecided.
Six in Ten Optimistic About the Direction of the State
60% of Virginia residents think the state is moving in the right direction. 33%, however, believe it needs a new course. Seven percent are unsure. Registered voters share similar views. 61% of registered voters think Virginia is on the correct course, and 32% say the state is headed in the wrong direction. Seven percent are unsure.
Majority Approve of Obama’s Performance and Like Him, Too; Political Parties Not as Popular
A slim majority of Virginia residents — 51% — approve of the job the president is doing in office. 45% disapprove, and 4% are unsure. Registered voters reflect the views of adults.
Similarly, 53% of residents have a favorable impression of the president while 43% have an unfavorable impression of him. Three percent are unsure. Registered voters agree. 54% have a favorable view of the president, 44% have an unfavorable opinion, and 3% are unsure.
The Democratic and Republican parties do not fare as well. 44% of Virginians have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party. 45% give the party a thumbs down. 11% are unsure. The opinions of registered voters differ little from residents. 44% have a positive view of the Democratic Party, 46% have a negative one, and 10% are unsure.
As for the GOP, only 36% of residents have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. A majority of Virginia residents — 52% — have an unfavorable view. 12% are unsure. Registered voters concur. 37% have a positive view of the Republican Party, 53% have a negative impression, and 11% are unsure.
Stricter Gun Laws Say Majority
55% of Virginia residents think laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter than they are now. Six percent say they should be less strict while 36% think they should be kept as they are. Three percent are unsure.
Gun owners feel differently. Nearly six in ten — 57% — want gun laws to remain as they are. 30% of gun owners think laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter, and 11% would prefer these laws be less strict. Two percent are unsure.
Across-the-Board Spending Cuts No Personal Impact for Majority, But Hurt Economy
Although a majority — 54% — of Virginia residents say the across-the-board automatic spending cuts that went into effect on March 1st have not had an impact on them or their family, personally, 43% say they have felt at least some impact from the cuts. This includes 12% who say the cuts have impacted them a great deal, 10% who say quite a bit, and 21% who report some impact. Three percent are unsure.
Almost half — 49% — think these cuts will mostly hurt the economy. 18% think the across-the-board cuts will help the economy, and 26% think they will have no impact. Eight percent are unsure.
Speculation about who the presidential candidates will be in 2016 is a year round sport. On the Democratic side, much attention has been given to the possible candidacies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. How do the two run against potential Republican candidates? With the exception of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Clinton receives majority support nationally and outdistances her possible rivals by double digits. Biden also does well except against Christie where both candidates are locked in a close contest.
“This is, of course, a very early peek at the 2016 presidential contest,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, these matchups underscore the message from 2012: the GOP still has work to do to get ready for the next presidential go around.”
Among registered voters nationally, here is how Hillary Clinton fares against potential Republican candidates:
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie runs competitively against Clinton. In fact, he is the only Republican challenger tested that keeps her numbers under majority support. Clinton garners the backing of 46% of registered voters nationally while Christie has the support of 43%. 11% are undecided. Not surprisingly, the partisan divide is wide. 81% of Democrats support Clinton while 82% of Republicans back Christie. Independent voters divide. 43% favor Clinton and 40% are for Christie. A notable 18% are undecided.
- Clinton fares best against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. 54% of voters back Clinton compared with 38% for Bush. Eight percent are undecided. While a partisan divide exists, Clinton receives majority support — 52% — among independents. Bush has the support of 35% of these voters. 13% are undecided.
- Clinton also has a double-digit lead against Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Here, 52% of voters favor Clinton while 40% are for Rubio. Eight percent are undecided. More independent voters are in Hillary Clinton’s camp. Nearly half — 49% — are behind Clinton compared with 37% for Rubio.
- Against Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Clinton also has a strong lead. 52% of voters support Clinton compared with 41% for Paul. Seven percent are undecided. While the candidates’ support is along party lines, independents divide. 47% back Clinton compared with 45% for Paul.
Looking at Biden’s chances, among registered voters nationally:
- Against Chris Christie, the two are neck and neck. Christie receives the support of 46% of registered voters nationally while Biden garners 43%. 11% are undecided. Not surprisingly, there is a partisan divide, but Christie — 47% — has the advantage over Biden — 35% — among independent voters. 18% of independents are undecided.
- Biden has his largest lead against Marco Rubio. Here, Biden receives majority support. 53% back Biden while 39% are for Rubio. Eight percent of voters are undecided. Again, there is a partisan divide. Biden, though, receives the backing of half — 50% — of independent voters nationally while 36% are behind Rubio. 14% are undecided.
- Against Rand Paul, 50% are for Biden compared with 41% for Paul. Eight percent are undecided. Independent voters are the key. A plurality — 47% — favor Biden while 39% rally for Paul. A notable 14% are undecided.
- Biden garners the support of 49% of registered voters against Jeb Bush — 41%. 10% are undecided. Among independent voters, 43% back Biden while 41% are behind Bush. Nearly one in five independent voters — 17% — is undecided.
Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential contest, what are the chances of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden?
The latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll takes a look at their odds against potential Republican candidates. To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
Since presidents elected to a second term don’t have to worry about re-election, they are freed from political considerations and can press however hard they wish to accomplish their goals. What are President Obama’s priorities for his second term? The Marist Poll’s John Sparks talks with political columnist Carl Leubsdorf who writes a weekly column for The Dallas Morning News about President Obama’s agenda items for his second term and the likelihood of them being enacted into law by Congress.
Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
Listen to Part 1:
Carl, President Obama is beginning his second term, and we want to talk about his agenda for his final four years in office. Do you think that the president feels he has a mandate from the people to achieve his goals?
Well, I think the president felt he had a mandate on at least one issue because he mentioned it over and over in the campaign, and that was higher taxes on wealthier Americans. And, in a sense of course, he’s already gotten some of that in the bill that was passed to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, and he made clear during that debate that he felt he had gotten a mandate for that, and in fact, he had gotten a mandate for that. After that, it gets a little fuzzier because it’s not like he went and promised a whole bunch of things in the campaign. There were certain issues he talked about, and certainly, he feels there’s a national mandate to do something about immigration, and it was sort of interesting because in his inaugural speech the other day, he basically stressed a number of issues that each of which sort of tied to a different part of his electoral coalition. What he was promising was very close to where he got his votes. For example, he talked about immigration and that’s for Hispanics. He talked about expanding gay rights for the lesbian and gay community. He talked about people shouldn’t be on line to, have to stay in line forever to vote. That’s a major concern in the African-American community. So it was sort of like each part of the coalition was getting its due in his speech. The things that he’s going to push basically fit his electoral coalition. Now, whether they can get passed is something else again.
Let’s go into some of them, and I want to start off with something we’ve been hearing a lot about in recent days, and that concerns gun control.
Well, there are a whole lot of issues in gun control, and Vice-President Biden’s task force recommended, I think, two dozen different actions — some legislative and some administrative. I think it’s very problematic that he can get much done through legislation, and I think they’re aware of that. For example, the idea of banning assault weapons which was done during the Clinton Administration, and the law was allowed to expire. That’s going to be very difficult. For one thing, you’ve got a number of Democratic senators from more conservative states who are going to be up for re-election in 2014. They’re going to be reluctant to go forward, and secondly, you’ve got a Republican House that is unalterably opposed to such legislation. Now, when it comes to legislation for some kind of universal registration and background checks for example, into people who are buying guns, there are now laws that affect background checks, but they’re not complete. The so-called gun show loophole where people who buy guns at gun shows, not from registered dealers don’t have background checks the way they do when they buy from a registered dealer so I think there’ll be a proposal to tighten that law, and that probably has a better chance of passing.
Listen to Part 2:
Let’s go on to some other areas. In his inaugural address, the president spoke of protecting people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Well, he also said that it’s time to make hard choices on the deficit and the future of health programs, and when he talks about the future of health programs, he’s really talking about Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And, the fact is that before Congress gets to any of the subjects that President Obama is most interested in, whether it be immigration or gun control or something in the environmental area, it’s going to have to deal with the budget. I think it’s possible that the entire issue of cutting Medicare and Social Security will come up again, and President Obama is sort of caught between his promise to, you know, face up to the fiscal realities which requires cuts in those programs or protect the programs totally.
You know, Carl, the president will not be running for another term, but members of the Congress will be. Now, I’m just curious what you think the affect of politics will be on shaping revisions on Medicare and Social Security?
It’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to require a bi-partisan majority. It’s going to require some Democrats and some Republicans. Because there are Republicans unalterably opposed to any increases, any further increases in revenue, and there are Democrats who are unalterably opposed to cutting back benefits to these programs. So, you have to work sort of in the middle of the street to do anything. In the Senate, as I mentioned, there, you know, among the Democratic senators who are up for re-election are a number from conservative states that were carried by Republican candidate Mitt Romney in last year’s election. So, they’re going to be very cautious about voting for anything like Medicare cuts or increase, increases in revenues. So, it’s going to be tough.
Listen to Part 3:
It’s clear that the budget, debt ceiling, Medicare, Social Security, this must be really resolved before a whole lot of other things can happen. But, I do want to go on to some other topics. In the speech the other day, the President spoke about responding to climate change. Do you think that there will be a chance for any significant legislation dealing with things like clean energy?
I was surprised to see that frankly in the president’s speech and to see him make such a big, uh, major part of the speech about it. Because they were not able to pass that kind of legislation in a Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010. I find it hard to believe this is going to pass.
You mentioned earlier in our conversation about gay rights. It’s clear from the president’s speech it seems like to me he would support a gay marriage act. Any chance of seeing something like this happen?
I think not. Again, I think there’s no way it would get through Congress. I think everyone is sort of waiting at this point to see what happens when the Supreme Court rules on the California law that banned gay marriage which is being appealed. And, there’s more likely to be action in the courts and state by state. I think it’s unlikely a national law will be passed, and I think it’s also unlikely that they’ll repeal the federal law that says a marriage is between a woman and a man.
What are we likely to see in the way of immigration law?
Well, I think there’s a good chance that there will be some kind of legislation there. The president is pushing for comprehensive reform, and there are Democrats on the Hill working with Republicans, something fairly unusual these days, in trying to come up with a bill that both deals, that deals with long-term immigration problem. The key is providing some kind of pathway, ultimate pathway, to citizenship and also some kind of a guest worker program in the meantime. It’s frankly in the interest of both parties. The Hispanic population is rapidly growing. It’s the largest minority group in the country. And, the Republicans have taken quite a beating in recent years among Hispanics in part due to their antagonism to immigration reform legislation. And, so there’s an impetus in both parties to do something in this area. As far as border security, we still hear this a lot, the fact is border security has been increased considerably, the amount of money being spent is up considerably, and the number of people coming through and being arrested is here illegally has gone down sharply. Also, several papers including USA Today have done articles about the question of crime near the border and found that a lot of the stories that have been told are very much exaggerated and that the crime problem is not nearly as great as some officials have been saying.
Listen to Part 4:
How about upgrading our infrastructure? Any chance for something happening in that arena?
The problem is that that takes money. And, it’s going to be difficult at the time when the entire emphasis is on cutting to get the money now. Congress has been struggling with transportation legislation for several years.
Carl, is there anything else that we should be looking for in a second Obama term. For instance, we have not really talked about defense or foreign policy.
You know, defense spending is going to go down ‘cause the Democrats feel that, you know, there’s been a lot of emphasis on cutting domestic spending, and in order to protect the safety net that we talked about at the beginning of this interview, one way to do that is to trim back some of the defense projects that, perhaps, weapons systems that are not necessary for the kind of warfare the United States is likely to have. We also haven’t talked much about foreign policy. One thing that happens with presidents, they often come into office with domestic agendas and find themselves spending most of their time dealing with foreign problems. There’s no doubt that the United States faces a very volatile situation in the Middle East. The civil war in Syrian which has taken over 60,000 lives is continuing. Fortunately, it has not spread into neighboring countries, but there is a danger of that if it is not settled soon. The Obama Administration has steadfastly refused to get involved in that. That’s not going to change. Hopes for reviving talks between Israel and the Palestinians are not great. The fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been re-elected does not bode well for those talks although he’ll have some additional pressure from the fact that the more centrist parties seem to have done pretty well and may pull him back from going so far to the right. And, then there’s the question of Iran and the development of nuclear weapons there. So, I think there, you know the administration has a whole series of potential land mines in the Middle East, and it’s a little hard to tell which one is going, you know, to explode first.
Thank you, Carl. It’s always a pleasure talking with you.
I’m always happy to do it, John.
Along with most of the nation today, I’m thinking inauguration. My first memories of a president taking the oath of office date to 1961. My age. Ask not! My favorite inauguration was the first I had attended, Bill Clinton’s in 1993.
There are many great memories from those few days in Washington from the swearing in (excellent seats) to attending the NYS ball that evening (rubbed shoulders with Nelson Mandela).
The top recollection, after the passage of several decades, remains watching the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from Senator Moynihan’s apartment. Our own private viewing stand.
My contact with Senator Moynihan dates to phone calls I would regularly receive in the early ‘80s about his latest Marist Poll numbers from his, then, staff aide, Tim Russert. The relationship with the Senator grew over the years to include seminars at Marist College where he would treat political science students to his special take of politics and policy. On one occasion, he was even a good enough sport to try his hand at an interview as “Daniel Patrick” with a voter who unfortunately couldn’t rate Senator Moynihan because he had never heard of him. (Won’t ever try that again.) And, there were the lunches in the Senate dining room always full of insight and dripping with Capitol lore.
But, his invitation to attend his inauguration party was the best. And, the memories stay fresh as does my recollection of Senator Moynihan as a great host and gentleman.