Public Policy Polling

WV Senate: Another questionable poll from Public Policy Polling

If you’ve been following the race for United States Senate in West Virginia between Gov. Joe Manchin and John Raese, you’ve probably heard about the latest poll from Public Policy Polling that shows:

  • Manchin: 50%
  • Raese: 44%
  • Undecided: 6%

The problem here is, once again, the details of the polling. Below is the party ID breakdown from the last four public polls for which the information is available.

As you can see, there is reason to take this poll with a grain of salt, much like the last poll that Public Policy Polling produced in this race. To believe this, you would have to believe that the Democratic Party’s base is motivated within the state to levels in hasn’t been within the last three cycles.

NC Senate: Karl Rove’s preferred candidate trails Kay Hagan

Thom Tillis

State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenberg) may hold a slim lead over Republicans vying for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination, but he’s the only potential challenger who trails Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in a head-to-head matchup.

The latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey out of North Carolina found that Hagan trails most of the Republican field. Mark Harris (44/40) and Heather Grant (43/39) both hold a 4-point lead over Hagan. Greg Brannon, who has received a lot of grassroots support, holds a 2-point edge, at 42/40.

But Hagan leads Tillis, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, by a 2-point margin, at 43/41. Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, attributes this his being more well known than the other Republicans in the race.

“In Tillis’ case being well known is not necessarily a positive thing,” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, “his time at the helm of an unpopular legislature has left him with a 20/39 favorability rating.”

Here’s the thing, though. Tillis is the Republican establishment’s pick in this race. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads dropped $1.1 million to promote Tillis ahead of the May 6 primary, hoping that it would help his preferred candidate grab the 40% he needs to avoid a runoff.

NC Senate: Tillis, Brannon tied in Republican primary

The Republican primary race for the rights to take on Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) took a turn yesterday, with a new poll showing that state House Speaker Thom Tillis is now tied with a conservative challenger with strong grassroots support.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that Tillis’ support has dropped from 20% in February to 14% this month. What’s more, Tillis now trails Hagan, 45/43, in a preview of a potential November match up.

Tillis has had a rough time on the campaign trail in recent days. A radio interview recently surfaced in which the establishment favorite said, ”Obamacare is a great idea that can’t be paid for.”

“Only 15% of primary agree with Tillis’ sentiment that ‘Obamacare is a great idea,’” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, ”compared to 78% who say they disagree with it.”

Greg Brannon is now tied with Tillis, taking 14% of North Carolina Republican voters, according to the poll. The two are followed by Heather Grant (11%) Ted Alexander (7%), Mark Harris (7%), Alex Bradshaw (6%), Jim Snyder (4%), and Edward Kryn (1%). More than a third of GOP voters (36%) are undecided.

NC Senate: Hagan tops out at 40% against all GOP challengers

Kay Hagan

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) fails to capture more than 40% of the vote against any of her potential Republican opponents, according to a poll released this morning by Public Policy Polling, though the race remains competitive.

“Hagan is tied with Edward Kryn at 40% but beyond that trails the Republican field,” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling. “She’s down 2 points to Heather Grant, Mark Harris, and Thom Tillis at 41/39, 42/40, and 42/40 respectively, trails Greg Brannon by 3 at 43/40, and has her largest deficit against Ted Alexander of 7 points at 45/38.”

Though still statistically tied with most of her potential Republican opponents, the vulnerable Democrat’s numbers have fallen significantly in the past several months. In September, for example, Hagan lead Tillis by 15 points, at 51/36, and Brannon by 16, at 52/36.

Since that time, however, she has been significantly hurt by the disastrous Obamacare rollout and the canceled health plan controversy. Just 38% of North Carolina voters approve of the law, while 51% disapprove.

Hagan’s approval rating is at 41%, up slightly from 39% in January. But 50% disapprove of her job performance, according to the latest poll, also up from last month’s 49%.

LA Senate: Landrieu tied with GOP opponent, 52% disapprove of job performance

The latest Public Policy Polling survey out of Louisiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in a statistical tie with her top Republican opponent and her job performance numbers falling.

While she led her Republican by a 10-point margin in August, the Public Policy Polling now finds Landrieu with a 1-point lead, 45/44, over Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). That lead is statistically insignificant given the poll’s 3.9% margin of error.

“The big thing that’s changed over that period of time is Landrieu has lost much of her crossover support from Republicans,” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling. ”Six months ago she trailed by only 42 points with GOP voters at 65/23, but now that’s a 63 point deficit at 77/14.”

Landrieu’s approval rating is down from 46% in August to 37% in February, an ominous sign for an incumbent Democrat running in a traditionally red state. Her disapproval rating has jumped 9 points to 52%.

“It’s no coincidence that her 52% disapproval rating is almost identical to the 53% disapproval rating Obamacare has in the state, compared to only 33% of voters who approve of it,” said Jansen. “Similarly to Kay Hagan the early ad blitz seems to have had the effect of creating a strong correlation between attitudes toward Landrieu and attitudes toward Obamacare.”

Though his disapproval numbers are higher, President Obama actually outperforms Landrieu’s approval rating. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Louisiana voters approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 56% disapprove.

GA Senate: Questionable poll shows Dem leading GOP candidates

Barack Obama and Michelle Nunn

A new poll out of Georgia shows Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee, leads each of the four top Republican contenders in a Senate race that could decide control of the chamber this fall.

Conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Americans United for Change, a leftist organization, the poll found Nunn leading Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), 42/41, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 45/41.

Nunn, the daughter for former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA), also leads former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, 44/40, and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), 44/42. The poll has a 3.9% margin of error.

Democrats have been keen on Nunn’s chances. She’s running in the center on most issues, including Obamacare, hoping that the political landscape in Georgia has changed enough put her in the Senate.

On the surface, the poll seems like good news for Nunn, who has been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). But the party ID breakdown is questionable. Public Policy Polling surmises that Democrats and Republicans will each compromise 38% of Georgia voters. That’s probably not an accurate picture of the state’s electorate, at least for Democrats.

Todd Rehm, a Georgia-based political consultant, estimates that Republicans compromise around 35% of the electorate, while Democrats represent a little less than 31%. The remaining 34% are independents.

MI Senate: Republican candidate competitive in Democratic-leaning state

Terri Lynn Land

Could a Republican win the open Senate seat in Michigan? Weeks ago, most political observers would have said this is unlikely, and some may still say that Republicans face an unlikely path to winning what is a Democratic-leaning state.

But new survey by Public Policy Polling shows that, at the very least, Republicans will be competitive. The likely Republican nominee, Terri Lynn Land, holds a small, 2-point lead (42/40) over her likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI).

In June, Public Policy Polling found that Peters had a 5-point lead, 41/36, over Land.

The reason for the swing is (surprise!) Obamacare. The poll found that 63% voters in the state don’t believe the implementation of the law has been successful. Just 6% describe implementation as “very successful” and 24% say it has been “somewhat successful.”

Overall, 48% of Michigan voters disapprove of Obamacare, while 34% approve of the controversial law, which has caused an estimated 225,000 policy cancellations in the state, as of the end of November.

Land, who served as Michigan Secretary of State from 2003 to 2011, is viewed favorably by 34% of voters, just 23% view her unfavorably. Just 22% have a favorable view of Peters, 21% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic candidate.

Michigan voters aren’t too thrilled with President Barack Obama, who won the state by 9 points last year. His job approval in among voters is underwater, at 47/51.

NC Senate: Obamacare rollout hangs over Hagan

Kay Hagan

The troubled rollout of Obamacare remains a point of contention between North Carolina voters and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, and President Barack Obama’s unpopularity may also be hurting her.

Just 38% of North Carolina voters approve of Obamacare, while 50% disapprove of the law. The poll found that 65% voters in the state don’t believe the implementation of the law has been successful. Just 4% describe implementation as “very successful” and 26% say it has been “somewhat successful.”

Hagan is statistically tied with each of her five potential Republican opponents, confirming last month numbers, which found the led she once held over the GOP field entirely wiped away after the botched Obamacare rollout began.

Hagan leads state House Speaker Tom Tillis by a 2-point margin, 44/42, though, that’s within the poll’s margin of error. She is in a 43/43 tie with Mark Harris and Heather Grant. Hagan trails two of her potential opponents, Bill Flynn and Greg Brannon, 43/45.

Brannon, who has been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), was the only Republican candidate to hold a lead over Hagan in last month’s Public Policy Polling survey. His lead was inside the margin of error.

NC Senate: Poll shows Hagan in virtual tie with GOP opponents

Kay Hagan and Barack Obama

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) once enjoyed solid leads over each of her potential Republican challengers. But the problems with Obamacare have caught up with her, according to a survey released yesterday by Public Policy Polling (PPP).

Hagan now finds herself in a virtual tie in head-to-head matchups with each of her potential Republican opponents, according to the PPP survey. She leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis, 44/42, and Heather Grant, 43/40. She also leads Mark Harris, 43/41. Each lead is inside the 3.7% margin of error.

Greg Brannon holds a slight edge over Hagan, 44/43. Though much of the national and state GOP establishment are behind Tillis, Brannon has been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and is getting support from the grassroots.

Hagan’s approval rating is underwater, 44/49, and as is the approval rating of Obamacare, at 38/48. As far as the implementation of the law goes, 69% of North Carolina voters believe that it has been unsuccessful. Just 25% said that it’s successful.

With President Obama’s blessing, Hagan has emerged as one of a handful of Senate Democrats who have criticized the Obama Administration for the problems with the federal Obamacare exchange website and the millions of insurance cancellations triggered by the law’s regulations.

No, control of the House of Representatives isn’t in play next year

The political stalemate in Washington that has led to a government shutdown has Democrats salivating at the prospect of winning back the House of Representatives in the 2014 mid-term election.

MoveOn.org, a leftist organization, released a set of polls earlier this week showing that 24 Republicans could be vulnerable next year, alleging that the government shutdown “has significant electoral implications” in the district they represent. The polls, which were conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), were immediately seized upon by Democrats, who need a net-17 seats to win control of the chamber.

While it’s true that many polls show Republicans taking the brunt of the blame of the government shutdown — though a recent CNN poll shows that blame is pretty close to evenly spread — Stu Rothenberg, a political analyst and namesake of the Rothenberg Political Report, disputes the notion that control of the House is up for grabs.

“Is the House in play now? Of course not. My newsletter’s most recent race-by-race assessment, completed just days before the shutdown began, found that the most likely overall outcome next year is a small gain for one of the parties,” wrote Rothenberg, who spent a fair amount of the column picking apart the Public Policy Polling surveys.


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