12/16: Standard-Bearers Party Favorites for 2016

Two familiar Republican faces, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, lead the crowded field of potential candidates for the GOP nomination in 2016.  Looking at what Republicans and Republican leaning independents want in a nominee, close to two thirds prefer a candidate who stands on conservative principles rather than a nominee who can win.  However, there has been a slight shift in opinion toward selecting a nominee with a viable chance of winning the White House.

On the Democratic side, there has been a major change in what the Democrats want in their presidential nominee.  Close to six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents prefer a candidate who will move the nation in a new direction and not someone who will continue the policies of President Barack Obama.  One year ago, Democrats divided between charting a new course and continuing the current Democratic agenda.

What does this mean for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?  If she were to seek the Presidency, Clinton is the odds-on favorite to win her party’s nomination.  In several hypothetical matchups, Clinton also leads her potential Republican opponents by double digits.

But, could a third party candidate be a spoiler?  Looking at a generic ballot which includes an independent choice, neither a Democrat nor a Republican has the edge.  Close to one in five says they would support an independent candidate.

“Open seats often are a political free-for-all, and this one could very well end up that way,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, right now, Clinton is in the driver’s seat both for her party’s nomination and the general election.”

Complete December 16, 2014 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • If he decided to run in the 2016 Republican primary, former GOP nominee Mitt Romney would be the choice of 19% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents to represent his party.  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush receives 14% of the vote.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee each has the support of 9% while retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson garners 8%.  Five percent are for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.  Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Texas Governor Rick Perry each garners 4% while Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker each receives 3%.  Ohio Governor John Kasich has the support of 2% while Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former business executive Carly Fiorina each has the backing of 1%.  More than one in ten, 13%, is undecided.
  • Without Romney in the primary, Bush takes over the lead with 16% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents followed by Huckabee with 12% and Christie with 10%.  Carson receives 8%, Ryan garners 7%, and Paul has 6%.  Cruz and Perry each has the support of 5% followed by Rubio, Walker, Kasich, and Santorum with 3% each.  One percent is for Jindal, and the same proportion, 1%, supports Fiorina.  Nearly one in five, 18%, is undecided.
  • By nearly two to one, Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 64%, report it is more important to have a nominee who will stand on conservative principles than it is to have a nominee for president who can win.  Last December, 67% thought the priority was to have a nominee who stood on conservative principles (Trend).
  • Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite in the Democratic primary.  62% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents support the former Secretary of State.  Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second with 11% while Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has 9%.  Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont receives 4%.  Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has 1% as does former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.  11% are undecided.
  • Nearly six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, 58%, think it’s more important to have a nominee who will move the nation in a new direction while 38% want someone who will continue President Barack Obama’s policies.  This is a major shift since last December when Democrats divided.  46% said they wanted a candidate who would go in a new direction, and 49% reported they wanted a continuation of Obama’s policies (Trend).

Clinton Bests GOP Rivals by Double Digits

Poll points:

  • Clinton, 53%, has a 12 point lead against Romney, 41%, among registered voters nationally.  Six percent are undecided.  Clinton, 53%, outpaced Romney, 44%, by 9 points in February (Trend).
  • Twelve points also separate Clinton, 53%, from Christie, 41%.  Six percent are undecided.  Clinton, 51%, outdistanced Christie, 42%, by 9 points in October (Trend).
  • Clinton, 53%, is up by 13 points over Bush, 40%.  Seven percent are undecided.  In October, Clinton, 53%, was ahead of Bush, 42%, by 11 points (Trend).
  • Clinton has the support of 54% of voters to 40% for Paul.  Six percent are undecided.  Clinton, 52%, had a 9 point lead over Paul, 43%, earlier in the fall (Trend).
  • Looking at a generic ballot which includes a choice for an independent candidate, neither the Democratic candidate, 37%, nor the Republican candidate, 35%, has the advantage among registered voters.  17% of voters would support an independent candidate.  12% are undecided.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

10/6: Clinton Outpaces Democratic Opponents, Bests GOP in General Election Bid

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the early favorite in the 2016 presidential contest.  Clinton leads her potential opponents for the Democratic nomination by more than four-to-one among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents nationally.  Looking at her general election prospects, Clinton receives the support of, at least, a majority of registered voters in hypothetical matchups against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

On the Republican side, a front-runner has not emerged from the list of potential candidates seeking the GOP’s nomination in 2016.  Bush receives 15% among Republicans and Republican leaning independents nationally.  The only other candidates to achieve double-digit support are Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Chris Christie.

Complete October 6, 2014 McClatchy-Marist Poll

“Right now, the 2016 election is all about Hillary,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Without a strong Democratic opponent for the nomination and a fragmented GOP field, she’s the early front-runner.”

Poll points:

  • Clinton, 64%, outpaces Biden, 15%, among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents in the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination.  Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has 8%, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has 4%, and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley receives 2%.  Former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia garners 1%.
  • Clinton leads Jeb Bush, 53% to 42%, among registered voters nationally.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in August, Clinton was ahead of Bush, 48% to 41% (Trend).
  • Against Rand Paul, Clinton has the support of 52% of registered voters to 43% for Paul.  Previously, Clinton was ahead of Paul, 48% to 42% (Trend).
  • 51% of registered voters support Clinton while 42% are for Chris Christie.  In mid-August, Clinton received 47% to 41% for Christie (Trend).
  • There continues to be no clear front-runner in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination. Bush has 15% to 13% each for Paul and Ryan.  Christie garners 12% while Texas Governor Rick Perry has 7%.  Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, 6%, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, 4%, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, 4%, follow.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, 3%, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 3%, round out the list.  21% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents nationally are undecided.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

10/5: Iowa: Ernst and Braley Neck and Neck in Contest for U.S. Senate… Branstad with Wide Lead in Governor’s Race

Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley are closely matched in the race for U.S. Senate in Iowa among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who have voted early or by absentee ballot.  Intensity of support is one of the key dynamics in the race.  Ernst’s voters are more strongly committed to their candidate than are Braley’s backers.  Ernst’s supporters also describe their vote as an affirmation of her candidacy.  In contrast, Braley’s voters are more motivated by their opposition to Ernst than positive impressions of Braley.  Braley has a wide lead among the small proportion of Iowans who have already voted.

It’s a different story when it comes to the governor’s race in Iowa.  Republican incumbent Terry Branstad leads his Democratic opponent, State Senator Jack Hatch, by 22 points among Iowa likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who have voted early or by absentee ballot.  With solid job approval and favorable ratings, Branstad is held in high-esteem by many Iowans.

Complete October 5, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Iowa

“National attention is focused on the Hawkeye State because it may determine party control in the U.S. Senate, and the contest is very competitive,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The choice for voters centers more on their impressions of Ernst than Braley.  Most of Ernst’s supporters are inspired to rally for her, and many of Braley’s backers are motivated to vote against Ernst.”

Poll points:

  • Ernst, 46%, and Braley, 44%, are in a close contest in the race for U.S. Senate in Iowa among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot.
  • Although the sample of early voters is small, Braley leads Ernst, 61% to 38%.
  • Both candidates receive overwhelming support from their base, Braley has 91% among Democrats, and Ernst receives 88% from Republicans.  A plurality of independents likely to vote, 46%, supports Ernst compared with 38% for Braley.  15% of likely voters who identify as independents, the plurality of voters in the state, are undecided.
  • The gender gap is wide, but political party trumps gender.  Ernst holds an 18 point lead over Braley among men, 53% to 35%.  Braley leads Ernst by 11 points, 52% to 41%, among women.  Ernst is strongest among married men with a lead of 28 points over her opponent.  Braley leads by 26 points among single women.
  • Nearly six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference, 57%, strongly support their choice of candidate for U.S. Senate.  35% are somewhat committed to their pick, and 7% might vote differently.  62% of Ernst’s supporters are strongly committed to her compared with 51% of Braley’s backers who express a similar level of support.
  • 50% of Iowa likely voters with a candidate preference for Senate report they are supporting their choice of candidate because they are for that candidate.  45% say they back their selection because they are against the other person in the race.  More than six in ten Ernst backers, 61%, say they are voting for her because they believe in her.  However, 57% of Braley’s supporters plan to vote for him because they are against Ernst.
  • Among registered voters in Iowa including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot, 45% support Braley while 44% are for Ernst.  Little has changed on this question since NBC News/Marist’s July survey when 43% supported Braley, and 43% were for Ernst.
  • 44% of Iowa likely voters have a favorable impression of Ernst, and 44% have an unfavorable one.  Among Iowa adults, Ernst’s favorable rating is upside down.  38% have a positive view of her while 43% have a negative one.  Ernst has become more well-known to Iowans but not for the better.  While there has been little movement in Ernst’s favorable rating among Iowans since July, 36% to 38%, her negative rating has gone up 11 points from 32% in July to 43% now.
  • Looking at Braley’s favorable rating, 39% of likely voters in Iowa think well of him while a plurality, 44%, has a negative view of the candidate.  Among Iowans overall, Braley, too, has made inroads with residents but not necessarily positive ones.  Since July, the proportion of Iowans with a favorable impression of him has gone from 33% to 36% while those with a negative view have increased from 31% to 40%.
  • In the governor’s race in Iowa, Branstad, 58%, leads Hatch, 36%, by 22 points among Iowa likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot.
  • Most Republicans, 96%, support Branstad.  While most Democrats, 82%, are for Hatch, 13% say they will vote for the Republican incumbent.  62% of independent likely voters back Branstad compared with 30% for Hatch.
  • The small group of early voters divide between the candidates for governor, 51% for Branstad and 49% for Hatch.
  • Close to six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference, 58%, strongly support their choice of candidate for governor in Iowa.  35% somewhat back their pick, and 6% might vote differently.  Brandstad’s supporters, 63%, are more likely than Hatch’s backers, 52%, to say they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.
  • 60% of likely voters in Iowa have a favorable impression of Branstad, and 33% have an unfavorable one.   Among Iowans, 57% think well of Branstad, up from 51% in July.
  • Hatch is still unknown to 30% of likely voters in Iowa.  34% of voters likely to cast a ballot have a favorable impression of Hatch, and 36% have an unfavorable one.  Among Iowa residents, Hatch has become better known, but his negative rating has increased.  In July, Hatch’s favorable rating was 27% among Iowans, and now, 30% have a positive view of him.  23% of state residents had a negative view of him last summer, and now, 33% do.
  • 63% of residents approve of the job Branstad is doing in office, up from 58% in July.

Low Marks for President Obama and Congress

Although slightly improved, Iowans are dissatisfied with how President Obama is doing in office.  They are also displeased with the performances of congressional Democrats and Republicans.  About two-thirds are pessimistic about the direction of the country.

Poll points:

Obamacare Lacks Support in Iowa

More Iowa residents think the Affordable Care Act is bad idea than a good one.

Poll points:

  • 46% of adults in Iowa, including 39% of those who strongly have this opinion, say the new health care law is a bad idea.  31% think it is a good idea including 23% who strongly maintain this view.  22% of Iowans have no opinion or are unsure.  In July, 49% reported Obamacare was a bad idea, 31% said it was a good one, and 19% had no opinion of the law or were unsure.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

10/3: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Is Hillary Clinton still the front-runner in the 2016 presidential contest?  Has a Republican emerged from the pack of potential GOP candidates to pose a formidable challenge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poll points: 

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

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

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

Checks and Balances or Cooperation? 

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

On the Issues 

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

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

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poll points:

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

Kentuckians Displeased with Washington Pols

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

More than Six in Ten Have Negative Opinion of Obamacare

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

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

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

Increased Pessimism about the Direction of the Country

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

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poll points:

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

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

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

Hutchinson Leads Ross by 9 Points in Governor’s Race 

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

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

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

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

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

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

Complete August 14, 2014 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll

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

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

Poll Points

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

Crowded GOP Field Fails to Yield Front-Runner

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

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

8/13: McClatchy-Marist Poll

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

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

7/25: Candidate Clinton? 50-50 Odds Are Never a Sure Bet

July 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Lee Miringoff

There are two schools of thought on whether Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016.  Some say she is and some say she isn’t.

But, is Clinton in essence already on the campaign trail?  I don’t know.  What have we learned about whether she will eventually run for real?  I don’t know.

Why? Because if Hillary Clinton is running for president, she’d be doing exactly what she’s been doing lately… a book tour, public pronouncements, TV appearances etc.  If Hillary Clinton is not running for president, she’d also be doing exactly what she’s been doing lately… a book tour, public pronouncements, TV appearances etc.

There are several interesting take-aways from our recent NBC News/Marist Polls of Iowa and New Hampshire on what the public thinks about the former First Lady, former US Senator, and former Secretary of State.  First off, Democrats are ready for Hillary.  Her favorable rating with her party’s faithful is 89% in Iowa and 94% in New Hampshire.  WOW!  And, she trounces VP Joe Biden in both of these states in early hypothetical matchups by 50 points in Iowa and 56 points in New Hampshire.  DOUBLE WOW!!

Dems may be ready for Hillary, but the rest of the voters in these two states are less than eager.  In fact, she is closely matched against most of her potential GOP rivals, and is under 50% in both states against all comers except Scott Walker in Iowa and Ted Cruz in New Hampshire.  To make matters even less comforting for the Clinton for President team, each of the Republicans runs better in pairings against Clinton than their own favorability rating.  In other words, Hillary Clinton unifies the GOP opposition.  Right now, she’d make Iowa and New Hampshire, states that Obama carried both times, swing states.  Not a pretty picture for the Democrats.

So, Hillary Clinton may ultimately toss her hat into the ring.  And, she may have a clear path to her party’s nomination.  But, she will have to go through a prolonged battle against her eventual GOP opponent before anyone should talk of her winning the White House.

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