Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Happy New Year! We're Off Until Next Monday, 4 January 2010

Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 7:31 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack would like to wish you a Happy New Year! We're off until next Monday, 4 January 2010.

Hillary Clinton More Popular Than The President

Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a recent survey by the Clarus Research Group, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintains a higher approval rating as Obama's secretary of State than Obama as president. The poll of registered voters self-identifed as "news watchers," reported Obama's approval rating at 51% (to 45% disapproval). According to CQ Politics analysis of the poll: "Clinton -- who lived in the White House as first lady to President Bill Clinton and later was a U.S. senator from New York -- enjoyed an approval rating as secretary of State of 75 percent to 21 percent negative. Clinton's performance in her Cabinet post received the approval of 96 percent of the Democratic respondents. But what is truly remarkable is that Clinton, who had very few Republican fans as first lady, senator or presidential candidate, received approval from 57 percent of Republican respondents, as well as 65 percent of independents."

Americans Favor Democratic Policies Over Republican By A Wide Margin

Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 2:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN/Opinion Research survey reports that a majority of Americans believe that the Democratic party's policy proposals are good for the country--51% to 46%. By a margin of 53% to 42%, the public in stark contrast rejects Republican policies, believing they will move the country in the wrong direction.

Obama Approval Down Slightly

Posted Dec 28, 2009 at 2:49 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval number has fallen slightly this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 48.5%. The president's approval number remains higher than his disapproval. The bad news: his disapproval number has crept up from last week to 46.8%. PollTrack also notes that this week's average may be skewed by the Christmas holiday--voters distracted by family, celebration, and year-end exhaustion--and daily trackers that take a break through this coming Monday.

Happy Holidays: We're Off Until Monday, 28 December

Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 6:14 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season! We're off until next Monday, 28 December.

Republican Voters Now More Enthusiastic For 2010 Cycle

Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

Are Democrats in trouble due to lack of enthusiasm? CQ Politics reports that "a national survey conducted jointly by a prominent pollster from each of the major parties underscored what has become a theme in the year before the midterm elections. Republicans and independent voters who now are leaning Republican are more fired up to vote in 2010 than Democratic voters . . . The poll of 1,000 Americans deemed likely to vote, taken Dec. 6-9, found that 77 percent of both Republican and independent respondents said they are extremely likely to vote in the 2010 elections. Among Democratic respondents, 64 percent said they are extremely likely to vote. This is worrisome for Democrats, as it is a flip of voters' political attitudes in the 2006 and 2008 elections, which saw them win and grow majorities in both chambers of Congress and capture the White House. The Democratic Party prospered over the past two election cycles because Republicans and Republican-leaning independents -- disappointed with President George W. Bush and the congressional GOP -- were less fired up to vote than Democrats seeking change."


Breakdown Of Obama's Approval Rating

Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:12 AM by Maurice Berger

A Pew Research Center survey offers a breakdown of Obama's approval status by race, age, gender, and political affiliation. At years end, it offers a snapshop of where the President stands with various groups. Fully 88% of non-Hispanic African Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, compared with 39% of non-Hispanic whites. Obama continues to draw broad support from his Democratic base: comparable percentages of liberal Democrats (85%) and conservative and moderate Democrats (82%) approve of the way he is handling his job. By contrast, Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove (19% approve vs. 73% disapprove); among conservative Republicans just 12% approve of Obama’s job performance while 82% disapprove.

Obama Approval Up Slightly

Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:23 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval number has risen slightly this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 49.7%. The good news for the president: his approval number is now higher than his disapproval. The bad news: his disapproval number has crept up slightly from last week to 46%. 

Support For Health Care Reform Dramatically Erodes

Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:12 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal, just 32% of Americans favor of health care reform, with 47% opposed to the plan being debated in Congress. "For the first time in the survey, a plurality prefers the status quo to reform. By a 44-41 percent margin, respondents say it would be better to keep the current system than to pass Obama's health plan."

Election 2012: Democrats Will Start Voting Later

Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:40 AM by Maurice Berger

There is change in the air, at least in how Democrats will pick their presidential nominee in 2012: The DNC Change Commission, charged with revamping the nominating process, discussed draft findings and recommendations regarding the timing of primaries/caucuses, the role of super delegates, and caucus issues . . . As to timing, the discussion was relatively brief and consistent with prior discussions--Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada can [start voting] after Feb. 1, every other state goes after March 1, the rules should encourage regional clusters by offering incentives such as bonus delegates, the RBC will address enforcement procedures and sanctions, and the DNC will try to coordinate timing with the RNC rules committee.  The RNC coordination process is ongoing. Commission members recognized that the best hope for a spread out process lies with agreement with the RNC on starting date, both parties imposing the same penalties for going out of turn, incentives to states to move back and cluster, and the states recognition that frontloading is no longer the best way to get attention."

Americans Now Support Cap And Trade

Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Ipsos Public Affairs survey, a majority of Americans support the so-called "cap and trade" system that some say would lower the pollution levels that lead to global warming. "With cap and trade, the government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. The idea is that many companies would find ways to put out less greenhouse gases, because that would be cheaper than buying permits." As of late last week, 52% of respondents supported cap and trade, 41% opposed, and 7% were not sure.

Americans Remain Pessimistic About Economy And The Nation

Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

Per MSNBC First Read: "A new CNBC poll . . . has Obama’s economic approval rating at 46%, the Democratic Party’s at 39%, and the GOP’s at 26%. Also in the poll, a plurality (43%) believes the economy will improve in the course of the next year. And the survey shows a lack in confidence in American institutions: 77% say they have confidence in the military, compared with 39% for the Supreme Court, 24% for the Fed, 19% for the Treasury Department, 18% for FEMA, 17% for health insurance companies, 15% for Congress, and 10% for the financial industry. Ouch. Here’s one more thing: By a 54%-33% margin, Americans say they prefer using the leftover TARP money for deficit reduction rather than for more stimulus spending."

Obama's Approval Below 50% But Stable

Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

The downward slide in President Obama's approval numbers appears to have abated, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 48.6%, DISAPPROVE: 45.5%. The good news for the president: his approval number is now higher than his disapproval. The bad news, per Tom Bevan: six of the seven major national surveys released this week recorded an all-time low job approval rating for Obama.

Rasmussen: Consumer Confidence Continues To Lag

Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite signs of economic recovery, "The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, held relatively steady at 71.8 on Saturday. The index is down four points from two weeks ago and also down four points from a month ago. Consumer confidence is now up 12 points from the beginning of the year. Nationally, just 6% of adults rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent. Fifty-eight percent (58%) give the economy a poor rating. Among men, 8% give the economy a good or excellent rating, but 56% say it's poor. Women are slightly less optimistic--6% rate it as good or excellent, but 59% rate it as poor."

Number of Democrats Falling

Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 1:07 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Rasmussen, "the number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats fell by nearly two percentage points in November. Added to declines earlier in the year, the number of Democrats in the nation has fallen by five percentage points during 2009. In November, 36.0% of American adults said they were Democrats. That’s down from 37.8% a month ago and the lowest number of Democrats since December 2005 . . . The number of Republicans inched up by just over a point in November to 33.1%. That’s within the narrow range that Republicans have experienced throughout 2009 - from a low of 31.9% to a high of 33.6%."

Americans Less Optimistic About Economy

Posted Dec 09, 2009 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

The slow but steady upturn in public optimism about the state of the economy has apparent come to a halt, according to a CNN/Opinion Research survey: "Two years into the recession, Americans don't see economic conditions getting better any time soon, and the steady growth in optimism that previous surveys measured throughout the year appears to have stalled . . 34% of those questioned say that things are going well in the country today. That finding is 14 percentage points higher than a year ago but a dip of 3 points since November. 'This the first time in Barack Obama's presidency that this number has gone down,' said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. According to the survey, 39% of the respondents said the country is still in a downturn, up 6 percentage points from last month. Nearly half of those questioned said the economy has stabilized and a small minority, 15%, think the country is starting to recover."

Congressional Generic Ballot: Democrats & Republicans Even

Posted Dec 08, 2009 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

The congressional generic ballot, which asks voters to indicate for which party do they intend to voter for the US House of Representatives next November, now shows the two parties virtually tied. PollTrack's averaging of recent polls on the question shows a tiny +0.4% lead for the Democrats: DEM 44.8% to REP 44.4%.

Second Poll + PollTrack Average Reports President Obama's Disapproval Higher Than Approval

Posted Dec 07, 2009 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

For several months, Rasmussen Reports has shown a disapproval number that has been consistently higher than President's Obama's approval rating. Their number, based on a fairly conservative likely voter model, has stood alone. Now a second polling organization, for the first time, reports a similar result: According to a CNN/Opinion Research national survey released Friday, 48% of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing as president, with 50 percent disapproving. The 48% approval is a 7 point drop in approval from last month. "The poll indicates that the biggest drop in approval comes from non college educated white voters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That's one indication among many that Obama's growing unpopularity may be more related to unemployment and the poor economy."

PollTrack's own poll average, as of Sunday evening, indicates that the president disapproval rating is higher than his approval number: Approve: 48% Disapprove: 48.6%.

Isolationism On The Rise

Posted Dec 04, 2009 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Pew Research/Council on Foreign Relations survey, isolationism is on the rise in the US: "Just as President Obama has outlined his broad strategy for Afghanistan and is pushing ahead with other global initiatives, the percentage of Americans who believe the U.S. should mind its own business and let other countries get along on their own has reached an all-time high . . . The survey found 49% of Americans holding that view. The previous highs were 41% in both 1995 and 1976. 44% in the poll disagreed."

POLITICIAN: Unwelcome Career Choice?

Posted Dec 03, 2009 at 2:04 AM by Maurice Berger

So, would you want your child to grow up to be a politician. Upon reflection, most Americans say NO, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey:

"I wanna grow up to be a politician. ..." Just don't tell your folks.

Only 17% of U.S. voters want their child to grow up to be a politician, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Sixty-three percent (63%) say, No way.

But one-out-of-five (20%) aren't sure whether it's a good idea or not. Maybe in part that's because the rest of the line from the 1971 song by the Byrds goes, "I wanna grow up to be a politician - and take over this beautiful land."

Nice job if you can get it, and it pays well, too.

Will Obama Score A Turnaround in January

Posted Dec 02, 2009 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Will the president's sagging approval numbers start moving up soon? Jacob Weisberg, writing in Slate, suggests that the answer may be yes: "About one thing, left and right seem to agree these days: Obama hasn't done anything yet. . . . This conventional wisdom about Obama's first year isn't just premature—it's sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency. This isn't an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It's a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office."


Americans Ambivalent About The Economy

Posted Dec 01, 2009 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey suggests that Americans are ambivalent, at best, about the state of the economy. The poll ""reveals a more pessimistic electorate than we have seen since the early months of 2009, with feelings on the economy turning more negative after months of slight but steady improvement." Who is benefitting from this doubt, Democrats or Republicans? Hard to tell according to PPP: "The country is not ready to listen to a narrative about how Democrats have brought the economy 'back from the brink' and averted an even worse disaster, as articulated by the president in his joint session address to Congress earlier this year. That leaves a lot of receptivity to Republican messages that focus on wasted spending and exploding deficits." Yet, half of the voters in swing (but Republican-leaning) districts continue to "believe that President Obama’s economic recovery plan could help," a number that suggests the economy could still break in favor of Democrats.