8/10: Clinton, Trump Competitive in Iowa & Ohio… Clinton Leads Trump in Pennsylvania

With a total of 44 electoral votes hanging in the balance in the key battleground states of Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are closely matched with Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence in Iowa.  The Democrats edge the Republicans in Ohio.  Clinton and Kaine have a wider lead over Trump and Pence in Pennsylvania.

In Iowa, Clinton, 41%, edges Trump, 37%, by 4 points among registered voters in a two-way matchup.  When NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist last reported this question before the Republican and Democratic conventions, Clinton received 42% to 39% for Trump.  In a four-way contest including Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party, Clinton and Trump are tied at 35%.  Of note, Johnson receives double-digit support, 12%, among registered voters in Iowa.  Of the three states, Stein does best in the Hawkeye State with 6%.

In Ohio, Clinton is up over Trump, 43% to 38%, among the statewide electorate.  Last month, Clinton and Trump were tied with 39% each.  Clinton maintains a similar advantage over Trump when Johnson and Stein are included in the tossup.  Johnson receives double-digit support, 12%, statewide.  Stein has the backing of 4%.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton, 48%, has an 11 point lead over Trump, 37%, among registered voters statewide.  Previously, Clinton had a 9 point advantage over Trump, 45% to 36%.  Little changes in the contest when Johnson and Stein are added into the equation.

Clinton has made some gains among moderates.  In Iowa, Clinton’s edge over Trump has only inched up from 17 points to 20 points.  But, in Ohio, Clinton now leads Trump among moderates by 24 points, up from just 8 points last month.  And, in Pennsylvania, Clinton currently outdistances Trump by 19 points among this group compared with 14 points in July.

“The convention dust has settled in these three critical battleground states,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Despite the national spotlight of the conventions focused on each candidate, Clinton and Trump have not made any headway in voters’ positive impressions of them.”

Clinton and Trump are both unpopular in Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  57% of residents in Iowa, 60% in Ohio, and 53% of Pennsylvania residents have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton.  Looking at Trump’s favorability, 64% of Iowans, 61% of Ohio residents, and 63% of those in Pennsylvania have an unfavorable opinion of him.  Clinton and Trump received similar scores in the July NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.

Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are still not well known in each of these states.  In Iowa, 45% of residents have either never heard of Kaine, 14%, or are unsure how to rate him 31%.  31% of adults statewide have a favorable opinion of Kaine while 24% have an unfavorable one.  In Ohio, Kaine has low name recognition among 42% of adults who have either never heard of him, 16%, or are unsure how to rate him, 26%.  More than three in ten residents in Ohio, 32%, have a positive view of Kaine while 26% have a negative opinion of him.  In Pennsylvania, 41% of the statewide electorate have either never heard of Kaine, 12%, or are unsure how to rate him, 29%.  36% of Pennsylvania adults think well of Kaine while 23% have an unfavorable view of him.

Turning to Pence, 41% of Iowans have either never heard of him, 14%, or are unsure how to rate him, 27%.  34% have a positive opinion of him while 25% have a negative impression of Pence.  In Ohio, 37% adults have either never heard of Pence, 14%, or are unsure how to rate him, 23%.  34% of Ohio adults have a favorable opinion of him while 30% do not.  In Pennsylvania, Pence is not well known to 38% of residents who have either never heard of him, 13%, or are unsure how to rate him, 25%.  34% of residents in Pennsylvania think well of Pence while 28% have an unfavorable view of him.

In the contest for U.S. Senate in Iowa, Chuck Grassley, the Republican, receives the support of 52% of registered voters to 42% for Democrat Patty Judge.  Grassley maintains his advantage over Judge.  In the July NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll, identical proportions of registered voters were for Grassley, 52%, and Judge, 42%.

In Ohio, Republican incumbent Rob Portman, 48%, is up over his Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, 43%, by 5 points among registered voters statewide.  Last month, Portman and Strickland were tied with each receiving 44%.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Katie McGinty, 48%, edges Republican incumbent Pat Toomey, 44%, among the statewide electorate.  Previously, McGinty garnered 47% to 44% for Toomey.

Looking at the job approval rating of President Barack Obama in each of these states, the president does best in Pennsylvania.  49% of Pennsylvania residents approve of how he is doing in office.  An identical 49% had this view last month.  42% of Pennsylvania adults currently disapprove of how the president is doing in office.  In Iowa, 46% of residents approve of Mr. Obama’s job performance while 41% disapprove.  Iowans divided, 45% to 43%, in July.  In Ohio, 47% think well of President Obama’s job performance while 44% disapprove.  Previously, 44% of Ohio adults approved of how the president was doing in office while 44% did not.

Complete August 10, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Complete August 10, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Iowa (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete August 10, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Ohio (Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete August 10, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Pennsylvania (Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for Ohio

Nature of the Sample for Ohio

Marist Poll Methodology for Pennsylvania

Nature of the Sample for Pennsylvania  

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for Ohio

Nature of the Sample for Ohio

Marist Poll Methodology for Pennsylvania

Nature of the Sample for Pennsylvania

1/28: Trump Leads in IA, NH, and SC… Clinton and Sanders Competitive in IA, Sanders up in NH, Clinton Leads in SC

First things first, in Iowa, both businessman Donald Trump and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are banking on inspiring potential first time attendees to caucus.  In contrast, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton draw strength from voters who have been down this path before.

The latest results in Iowa for the GOP show Trump, 32%, has taken the lead over his nearest rival, Cruz, 25%, by 7 points among likely Republican caucus-goers statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Trump’s support has increased by 8 points while Cruz’s has decreased by 3.  Florida Senator Marco Rubio, 18%, remains in third place but has improved his standing by 5 points.  Cruz, 28%, edged Trump, 24%, by 4 points in the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of the state earlier this month.

In New Hampshire, Trump, 31%, has a 19 point lead over his closest competitor, Cruz, 12%, among likely Republican primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or voted absentee.  Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich follow, each with 11%.  Trump’s lead is comparable to the 16 point advantage he had over Rubio, who was his closest competitor, earlier this month.  Of note, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was in third place with 12%, now receives 7% of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire and places sixth behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 8%.

In South Carolina, Trump, 36%, also has a double-digit lead over, Cruz, 20%, among likely Republican primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Rubio is in third with 14% and is the only other candidate with double-digit support.

It’s worth noting that in all three states, Cruz is the preferred second choice candidate among likely Republican voters with a candidate preference followed by Rubio in each state.

“Trump is positioned to run the house in these first three states.  His supporters are committed and plan to turn out,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Will it happen?  The answer depends on when or if anti-Trump sentiment will coalesce to interrupt his march to the nomination.”

In Iowa, when compared with the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll, Trump is now ahead or closely competitive with Cruz among key voting groups.  Trump has increased his support since last time among likely Republican caucus-goers who are Tea Party supporters (+16), those who practice a religion (+13), white Evangelical Christians (+12), conservatives (+12), independents (+12), those without a college education (+12), or men (+11).  Cruz and Trump now divide Tea Party supporters, 39% for Cruz and 38% for Trump.

In New Hampshire, Trump continues to lead among all key demographic groups.  His support is especially bolstered by those who say they strongly support their choice of candidate, are not married, do not practice a religion, are under 45 years old, are men, do not have a college degree, or identify as Republican.

In South Carolina, Trump also has the advantage over his GOP rivals among all demographic groups.  Trump does best among likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina who strongly support their choice of candidate, do not practice a religion, earn less than $50,000 annually, have not voted in a previous Republican presidential primary, or do not have a college degree.  He also does well among men, those who are not married, or are Tea Party supporters.  Also noteworthy, Trump leads Cruz by 8 points among white Evangelical Christians in the state.

In Iowa, 61% of likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers with a candidate preference, including 76% of Trump backers but only 58% of Cruz supporters, are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.  Three percent of likely Republican caucus-goers are still undecided, and 11% report they might vote differently.

In New Hampshire, 59% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference strongly support their candidate selection.  72% of Trump’s supporters say they will not waver in their commitment to him compared with 59% of Cruz’s backers.  Five percent are undecided, and 12% say they might vote differently.

In South Carolina, 56% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference, including 68% of Trump’s backers, say they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.  57% of Cruz’s supporters and 37% of voters behind Rubio express a similar level of support for their candidate.  Six percent are undecided, and 13% might vote differently.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 48%, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 45%, remain competitive among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, unchanged from earlier this month.

It’s a different story in New Hampshire where Sanders, 57%, has opened up a 19 point lead over Clinton, 38%, among likely Democratic primary voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or voted absentee.  Previously, Sanders had 50% to 46% for Clinton.

In South Carolina, Clinton’s firewall is intact.  Among likely Democratic primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Clinton, 64%, outpaces Sanders, 27%, by more than two-to-one.

“The stakes are sky high for Clinton and Sanders in Iowa,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “If Clinton carries Iowa, she can absorb a defeat to Sanders who has a home field advantage in New Hampshire and then move on to South Carolina.  But, if Sanders carries Iowa and then New Hampshire, this contest will, indeed, be a marathon.”

In Iowa, the contest is unchanged from earlier this month.  Clinton leads among those age 45 or older, Democratic Party identifiers, women, or those who have participated in a previous Democratic presidential caucus.  Sanders leads among those who consider themselves independents, are under 45 years old, men, or are first time participants.

In New Hampshire, Sanders now leads Clinton among most key demographic groups.  The biggest change has occurred among those who identify as Democrats.  Sanders is now ahead of Clinton by 8 points among the party’s base.  Previously, Clinton had an 18 point advantage over Sanders among Democratic identifiers who are likely to vote in the primary.

In South Carolina, Clinton outpaces Sanders by more than three to one among likely primary voters who consider themselves Democrats.  However, independents divide in their support, 47% for Clinton to 46% for Sanders.  Six in ten likely Democratic primary voters in the state are African American, and Clinton leads Sanders by 57 points among this group.

Looking at intensity of support, 77% of likely Democratic caucus-goers with a candidate preference in Iowa, including 79% of Clinton supporters and 76% of those who are for Sanders, strongly support their choice of candidate.  Four percent are undecided, and 6% say they might vote differently.

Three in four likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire with a candidate preference, 75%, have a high level of commitment to their candidate selection.  77% of Clinton’s supporters and 76% of Sanders’ backers strongly support their choice of candidate.  Three percent are undecided, and 5% report they might vote differently.

Nearly two-thirds of likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina with a candidate preference, 65%, including 68% of Clinton’s supporters and 58% of Sanders’ backers, are firmly behind their choice of candidate.  Seven percent are undecided, and 10% say they might vote differently.

South Carolinians consider job creation and economic growth, 27%, to be the most important issue of the 2016 presidential campaign.  National security and terrorism, 24%, follows closely behind.  However a partisan divide exists.  Among likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina, national security and terrorism, 34%, is the issue driving the campaign.  For likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, job creation and economic growth, 42%, is most mentioned.

When it comes to other pressing issues in the campaign, opinions mostly align along party lines.  Likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina are more likely to support sending combat troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and banning Muslims from entering the United States.  They oppose same-sex marriage, creating stricter gun laws, providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and government action to combat climate change.

Likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina are more likely to support stricter gun laws, government steps to combat climate change, creating a pathway to citizenship, and same-sex marriage.  They are more likely to oppose banning Muslims from entering the United States and sending combat troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The one issue on which likely Republican and Democratic primary voters agree is free trade.  About six in ten in each party support free trade with foreign countries.

Turning to the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte, 45%, edges her Democratic challenger Governor Maggie Hassan, 40%, among registered voters statewide.

Looking at President Barack Obama’s job approval rating, his score is upside down in all three states.  Among residents in Iowa, 42% approve of his job performance.  43% of those in New Hampshire, and 42% of South Carolina residents agree.

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Release of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Adults & Registered Voters)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Likely Republican Caucus-Goers)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Likely Democratic Caucus-Goers)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Adults & Registered Voters)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Likely Republican Primary Voters)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Likely Democratic Primary Voters) 

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of South Carolina (Adults & Registered Voters)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of South Carolina (Likely Republican Primary Voters)

Complete January 28, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of South Carolina (Likely Democratic Primary Voters) 

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa 

Nature of the Sample for Iowa 

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire 

Nature of the Sample for New Hampshire

Marist Poll Methodology for South Carolina 

Nature of the Sample for South Carolina

1/10: Cruz and Trump Vie in IA, Trump NH Favorite… Clinton and Sanders Competitive

With just weeks to go until the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 28%, edges businessman Donald Trump, 24%, among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Florida Senator Marco Rubio, 13%, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 11%, are vying for the “third ticket” out of Iowa.

In New Hampshire, Trump, 30%, outdistances Rubio, 14%, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 12%, among likely Republican primary voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 10%, Ohio Governor John Kasich, 9%, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 9%, follow.

 

Cruz does better among likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa who support the Tea Party, identify as conservative, are white Evangelical Christians, are men, or college graduates.  Trump is ahead among those who do not practice a religion, those who are unmarried, and moderates.

In New Hampshire, Trump leads his Republican rivals among all key demographic groups.  He does especially well among likely GOP voters who are college educated, those who do not practice a religion, Tea Party supporters, or conservatives.

Looking at intensity of support, nearly six in ten Iowa likely Republican caucus-goers with a candidate preference, 59%, report they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.  A similar proportion of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference in New Hampshire, 55%, also express a high level of support for their candidate of choice.

Cruz, 21%, is the preferred second choice candidate among likely Republican caucus-goers with a candidate preference in Iowa followed by Trump and Rubio each with 16%.  Among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire with a candidate preference, Rubio, with 17%, is the preferred second choice candidate.  Christie comes next with 14% followed by Cruz with 13%.

“Trump and Cruz are battling for the insurgent lane in Iowa, and likely GOP caucus-goers divide over who will get the third ticket out of the Hawkeye State,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “In New Hampshire, the big question is whether anyone will emerge to unite the GOP establishment and overtake Trump.”

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are competitive among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and among New Hampshire likely Democratic primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  In Iowa, Clinton has 48% to 45% for Sanders.  In New Hampshire, Sanders is backed by 50% compared with 46% for Clinton.

Among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, Clinton has a 15 point lead among Democrats while Sanders has a 33 point margin among independents.  Clinton has a wide lead over Sanders among likely Democratic caucus-goers who are 45 or older.  Sanders has a more than two-to-one lead over Clinton among those under 45 who plan to caucus.  A gender gap exists. Clinton lags behind with 39% among men but receives majority support, 56%, among women.

In New Hampshire, Sanders outpaces Clinton by more than two-to-one among likely Democratic primary voters who identify as independent.  Clinton leads by a wide margin, 18 points, among likely voters who are Democrats.  A gender divide exists.  Clinton narrowly leads Sanders by 4 points among women likely to vote in the Democratic primary.  Among men, Sanders has a 16 point advantage over Clinton.  He also outdistances Clinton by 33 points among voters under 45 whereas Clinton surpasses Sanders by 9 points among voters who are older.

Looking at intensity of support, in Iowa, 71% of likely Democratic caucus-goers with a candidate preference are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.  76% of likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference in New Hampshire express a similar level of support for their selection.

“The Democratic contests in Iowa and New Hampshire could still go either way,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “So, if your New Year’s resolution was to have clarity in 2016, you better also have resolved to be patient.”

Turning to the general election, when Clinton and Sanders are each matched against, Trump, Cruz, or Rubio, Sanders does better than Clinton among registered voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire.  In Iowa, Sanders achieves his largest lead, 13 points, against Trump and is ahead of Cruz by 5 points among the statewide electorate.  Sanders and Rubio are tied among registered voters in Iowa.  Sanders leads Trump and Cruz by 19 points in New Hampshire and has a 9 point lead over Rubio in the state.

Looking at Clinton’s general election prospects, she does best against Trump.  Clinton leads Trump by 8 points in Iowa, but she is in a statistical dead heat with him in New Hampshire.  In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton trails Cruz and Rubio.  Her largest deficit is against Rubio in New Hampshire.  Rubio leads Clinton by 12 points among registered voters statewide.

When it comes to the issue driving the 2016 presidential election, Iowa likely Republican caucus-goers, 35%, and New Hampshire likely Republican primary voters, 36%, consider national security and terrorism to be critical.  However, Iowa likely Democratic caucus-goers, 29%, and New Hampshire likely Democratic primary voters, 30%, say job creation and economic growth is the most pressing topic.

Partisan differences are also reflected in attitudes about many of the hot-button issues facing the United States.  Iowa likely Republican caucus-goers support free trade with foreign countries, sending combat troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and banning Muslims from entering the United States.  They oppose tightening restrictions on the sale of guns, taking action against climate change, and same-sex marriage.  They divide about creating immigration policies which include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  In New Hampshire, likely GOP primary voters are also more likely to support free trade and sending U.S. combat troops to fight ISIS.  However, they support same-sex marriage.  Likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire oppose banning Muslims from entering the United States, strengthening restrictions on the sale of firearms, immigration policies which include a pathway to citizenship, and combating climate change.

The likely Democratic electorates in both Iowa and New Hampshire support same-sex marriage, taking action to combat climate change, strengthening laws covering the sale of firearms, immigration policies which include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented or illegal immigrants, and free trade with foreign countries.  They oppose banning Muslims from entering the United States and sending troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating continues to be upside down among residents in Iowa and New Hampshire.  51% of Iowa residents disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and 40% approve.  In New Hampshire, 50% of adults disapprove of how the president is doing his job, and 42% approve.  President Obama’s approval ratings in Iowa and New Hampshire reflect those reported previously in October’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Release of Iowa and New Hampshire

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Adults & Registered Voters)

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Likely Republican Caucus-Goers)

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa (Likely Democratic Caucus-Goers)

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Adults & Registered Voters)

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Likely Republican Primary Voters)

Complete January 10, 2016 NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire (Likely Democratic Primary Voters)

 Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

 Nature of the Sample for Iowa

 Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

 Nature of the Sample for New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poll points:

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

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

Favorably Speaking 

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

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

Poll points:

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

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

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

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

Impact of Candidates’ Positions on the Vote

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

Poll points:

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

Jobs and Economic Growth Key Campaign Issue

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

Poll points:

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

Voters Emphasize Positions on the Issues over Electability 

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

Bush and Clinton Fatigue Present in Iowa and New Hampshire

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

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

Poll points:

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

Ayotte Leads Hassan in U.S. Senate Race 

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

Poll points:

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

Approval Rating Roundup

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

Poll points:

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for New Hampshire

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Republicans and Democrats Satisfied with Candidates

Poll points:

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

Poll Points:

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

Voters on the Issues

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

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

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

Poll points:

 

Job Creation and Economic Growth Key Issue

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

Poll points:

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

U.S. Senate Race in New Hampshire Competitive

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

Poll points:

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

Approval Rating Roundup

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

Poll points:

Marist Poll Methodology for Iowa

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for Iowa

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for New Hampshire

Marist Poll Methodology for South Carolina

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables for South Carolina

 

10/26: Iowa: Ernst and Braley in Competitive Contest for U.S. Senate… Branstad with Large Lead in Governor’s Race

October 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

With just 3 points separating them, Republican Joni Ernst, 49%, and Democrat Bruce Braley, 46%, are in a tight race for U.S. Senate in Iowa among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early.  Four percent of likely voters are undecided, and 5% of those with a candidate preference think they might vote differently.  In a previous poll earlier this month, Ernst received the support of 46% to 44% for Braley among likely voters statewide.

Braley, 52%, has a slight edge over Ernst, 47%, among early voters.  But, Ernst offsets Braley’s lead with greater support among voters still expected to cast a ballot, 50% to 43%.

In the governor’s race in Iowa, Republican incumbent Terry Branstad, 59%, outdistances Democrat Jack Hatch, 36%, among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early.  Branstad has a more than two-to-one lead over Hatch among independents likely to vote. 

Complete October 26, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Iowa

“The campaigns have taken a toll on both senate candidates who have unusually high negatives for non-incumbents,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The GOP is chomping at the bit over the prospect of picking up a senate seat the Democrats have held for thirty years in a state President Obama carried twice.”

Poll Points U.S. Senate:

  • Among Iowa likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early, Ernst receives 49% to 46% for Braley in the race for U.S. Senate in Iowa.  Four percent are undecided, and 5% may vote differently.
  • Braley edges Ernst 52% to 47% among early voters.  But, Ernst receives the support of 50% of likely voters yet to cast a ballot compared with 43% for Braley.
  • Ernst and Braley have secured their respective party’s base.  Among independents likely to vote, Ernst, 49%, leads Braley, 41%, by 8 points.  Ernst had the same advantage among independents likely to vote, 8 points, earlier this month.
  • Although the margin separating the candidates is little changed from a month ago, the gender gap has narrowed.  Ernst’s once 18 point lead among men likely to vote has diminished to 12 points.  Braley’s lead among women has decreased from 11 points to 5 points.
  • 62% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate including early voters strongly support their choice of candidate.  Five percent with a candidate preference might vote differently.  64% of Ernst’s supporters report a strong commitment to her compared with 60% of Braley’s backers who express the same level of support for him.
  • 83% of likely voters with a candidate preference say they will not waver from their choice of candidate, even though there are libertarian and independent candidates on the ballot.  Braley’s supporters, 9%, are more than twice as likely than Ernst’s backers, 4%, to say they might choose a different candidate.
  • Among registered voters in Iowa including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early, the candidates are tied with 46% each.  In early October, Braley, 45%, and Ernst, 44%, were also in a statistical dead heat.
  • Likely voters divide over their impressions of Ernst. 44% are favorable, and 44% are not, unchanged from a few weeks ago.
  • Braley’s favorability score is still upside down.  39% have a positive view of him, and 46% have a negative one.
  • When it comes to the key issue in deciding their vote for Congress, 19% of likely voters mention breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington followed by job creation and economic growth, 17%.  Social Security and Medicare receives 14% followed by health care with 12% and the deficit and government spending with 11%.  Military action against ISIS and immigration each receives 6%.  Four percent cite looking out for the interests of women.

Poll Points Governor:

  • Looking at the governor’s race in Iowa, Branstad, 59%, outpaces Hatch, 36%, by 23 points among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early.  Branstad was ahead of Hatch by a similar 22 points earlier this month.
  • While Branstad, the Republican, garners 19% of Democrats likely to vote, Hatch, the Democrat, only receives 1% of Republican likely voters.  Among independent voters, Branstad, 62%, has more than double the support of Hatch, 29%
  • 63% of likely voters with a candidate preference including early voters, compared with 58% a few weeks ago, strongly support their choice of candidate for Iowa governor.  70% of Branstad’s supporters are firmly committed to him while only 52% of Hatch’s backers express a similar level of commitment.
  • Among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early, Branstad receives the support of 58% to 34% for Hatch.  Branstad previously held a 23 point lead over Hatch among registered voters statewide.
  • 58% of likely voters have a favorable view of Branstad, and 35% have an unfavorable opinion of him.  When it comes to Hatch’s favorability, 32% of likely voters have a positive impression of him, but 38% view him negatively.  Hatch is also not well-known to three in ten likely voters.
  • 35% of Iowa residents, compared with 39% earlier this month, approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.

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

7/17: Iowa 2016: Rand Paul and Chris Christie Tossup with Hillary Clinton

Looking ahead to 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the odds on favorite against Vice President Joe Biden among Iowa Democrats for her party’s nomination.  But, she would find a general election matchup against either Kentucky Senator Rand Paul or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie very competitive.  Clinton edges former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and has an early lead over Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  There is a wide gender gap in these matchups.  Although each of the potential Republican candidates has a more positive than negative rating with GOP voters, all but Paul and Rubio are upside down when it comes to Iowa residents’ impressions of the Republican candidates.


Click Here for Complete July 17, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll Iowa Release and Tables

But, first things first, one in five 2016 potential Republican caucus goers are unsure who they support for their presidential nominee, and no single potential candidate has broken out of the pack.  Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Paul Ryan have low double-digit support among potential Republican caucus attendees in the state.

On the Democratic side, seven in ten support Clinton over Biden.  Even though Clinton is more popular, both receive positive scores from most Democrats.  Clinton is viewed favorably by a majority of Iowans.  Not so for Biden whose negatives among state residents exceed his positives, overall.

“In a state Obama carried twice, Hillary Clinton would find Rand Paul and Chris Christie formidable opponents in the battle for Iowa’s six electoral votes,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The contest narrows in these two matchups because Paul and Christie do better with independent voters than do the other Republicans.”

Poll Points

  • Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is closely matched against potential GOP rivals Rand Paul, 45% to 45%, and Chris Christie, 44% to 43%, among Iowa’s registered voters.  Clinton has a narrow lead over Jeb Bush, 46% to 42%.
  • In these contests, Clinton and each of the potential Republican contenders, Paul, Christie, and Bush, are competitive among independents.
  • Clinton is ahead of Marco Rubio, 49% to 40%; Ted Cruz, 49% to 37%; and Scott Walker, 50% to 37%.
  • Regardless of the potential GOP opponent against Clinton, there is a wide gender gap.
  • A majority of Iowans, 52%, have a positive impression of Hillary Clinton, and 42% have a negative view of her.  In contrast, more state residents, 48%, have an unfavorable opinion of Joe Biden, and 39% have a favorable one.
  • Rand Paul has a 38% favorable and a 36% unfavorable rating, and Marco Rubio has a 30% favorable and a 28% unfavorable score.  They are the only two Republicans who are not viewed more negatively than positively by Iowans.
  • Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush have higher negative scores than positive.

GOP:  No Leader of the Pack

  • 20% of the potential Republican electorate in Iowa are undecided about their choice for a 2016 GOP nominee.  Bush at 12%, Paul at 12%, and Ryan at 11% are the only potential candidates in double-digits.
  • The contest hardly clarifies when potential Republican caucus goers are asked their second choice.  Bush at 12%, Santorum, Ryan, and Perry each at 11%, and Paul at 10% are the only potential candidates who attract double-digit support as a second choice.
  • All the potential GOP candidates are more popular than unpopular among Iowa Republicans.  Rand Paul is liked best by Iowa Republicans.  66% of Republicans have a positive view of him, and only 18% have a negative impression of him.  A majority of state Republicans also have a favorable view of Bush, 63%, and Rubio, 57%.  50% have a positive impression of Christie.

Dems:  Clinton Strong Front-runner

  • Hillary Clinton receives the support of 70% of the potential Democratic electorate compared with 20% for Joe Biden.
  • Most Democrats in the state, 89%, have a favorable impression of Clinton.  Only 6% view her unfavorably.  Joe Biden is also popular among Iowa Democrats.  72% view him positively, and just 18% see him in a negative light.

Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

7/16: Tossup for U.S. Senate in Iowa, Governor Branstad Leads in Re-Election Bid

Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst are tied in their bid to win the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Senator Tom Harkin.  About one in seven voters are undecided in this contest.  Not surprisingly, there is a strong partisan divide.  Braley overwhelmingly carries Democrats, and Ernst distances her opponent among Republicans by a similar margin.  Independent voters split between the two candidates.  A gender gap also keeps this a close matchup.  Braley is ahead among women, and Ernst leads among men.  A notable proportion of Iowans have yet to form an opinion about each of these candidates.  Both, Braley and Ernst, have similar favorability ratings statewide.  Incumbent Governor Terry Branstad has a double-digit lead over his competitor, State Senator Jack Hatch.  A strong majority of Iowans approve of the job Governor Branstad is doing in office, and he is well liked in the state.  Half of Iowans are not familiar enough with Democratic challenger, Jack Hatch to offer an opinion of him.  A majority of Iowa residents disapprove of President Obama’s job performance.

Click Here for Complete July 16, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll Iowa Release and Tables

“The contest to replace five-term Senator Tom Harkin is neck and neck,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Iowa, right now, represents a chance for the GOP to pick up a Democratic seat in their quest to gain the majority in the U.S. Senate.”

Poll Points

Majority Disapprove of President Obama, Congressional GOP More Unpopular

  • 51% of Iowans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing in office.  36% approve.
  • The Congressional Republicans are not held in high esteem.  63% of adults statewide disapprove of their job performance, and only 21% approve.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Iowans, 66%, think the country is off on the wrong track compared with 26% who describe it as on the right path.  A majority of Democrats, 52%, believe the nation is on course.  But, 88% of Republicans and 69% of independents think the nation’s trajectory is misguided.

Mixed Bag on President’s Agenda

 
Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

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