Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Emanuel Breaks 50% Mark In Chicago Mayoralty

Posted Jan 31, 2011 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest poll out of Chicago shows former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel poised to win the race for mayor outright, without a runoff. The We Ask America poll shows Rahm Emanuel at 52%, with Gery Chico at 14% and Carol Moseley-Braun at 11%.

For The First Time Since 2005, GOP Viewed Positively

Posted Jan 28, 2011 at 1:24 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup Poll reports that voters, for the first time since 2005, view the Republican Party more positively than negatively, by a 47% to 43% margin.

Americans Oppose Most Budget Cuts

Posted Jan 27, 2011 at 1:16 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "a majority of Americans said they favor cutting U.S. foreign aid, but more than 6 in 10 opposed cuts to education, Social Security, and Medicare. Smaller majorities objected to cutting programs for the poor, national defense, homeland security, aid to farmers, and funding for the arts and sciences." Here is Gallup's chart:

Reaction to Cutting Government Spending in Various Areas, January 2011

Obama Showing Strength In Reelection Race

Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's aggregate approval rating surging dramatically in recent days, a new Public Policy Polling survey finds the president in his best position against the major Republican contenders since 2009. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee each trail the president by +5%; Newt Gingrich trails by 12% and Sarah Palin by a whopping 17%.

Chicago Mayoralty 2011: Rahm Emanuel Far Ahead

Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Although Rahm Emanuel was just knocked off the ballot in the Chicago mayoral race by a Illinois court for residency issues, a new Chicago Tribune/WGN poll reports that he is considerably ahead. He is also closing in on the majority he needs to win next month's Chicago mayoral race without a run off. Emanuel leads the pack with 44%, followed by Carol Mosely Braun at 21%, Gery Chico at 16%, Miguel del Valle at 7% and 9% undecided.

Iowa GOP Nomnation 2012: Huckabee Front Runner

Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 12:39 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that Mike Huckabee is the clear leader for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. Huckabee leads with 24%; Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are tied at 14%; Newt Gingrich at 11%; Tim Pawlenty at 8%; and Ron Paul at 7%. PPP writes: "[Huckabee's] ahead with both moderates and conservatives, showing an ability to unify two wings of the party that have become increasingly polarized from each other with the rise of the Tea Party movement. That's important not just for snagging the nomination but also for Republican prospects of winning the general -- they can't do it without a candidate who is able to hold the entire base in line."

Increasing Number of Americans View Obama As Moderate

Posted Jan 21, 2011 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

As Political Wire notes, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reveals a potentially significant change in public perception about President Obama: 40% see him as a moderate, as compared with 45% who see him as a liberal and 11% who view him as a conservative. The number of voters who see him as moderate is the highest ever for Obama in the WSJ/NBC poll.

Palin's Favorability Rating Is Dropping

Posted Jan 20, 2011 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

Americans view of Sarah Palin is trending downward. A new USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Sarah Palin's favorable rating has dropped to 38%, her lowest since becoming Sen. John McCain's running mate in 2008. In the days after the controversy over her response to the Tucson shooting--including her remarks about "blood libel"--Palin's unfavorable rating reached new high at 53%.

Americans See Economy As Improving

Posted Jan 19, 2011 at 1:33 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac poll reports that Americans--by a 54% to 43% margin--believe that the economy is improving. By a margin of 46% to 28%, Americans also believe that President Obama's policies are helping rather than hurting the economy.

President Obama's Approval Rating Up

Posted Jan 18, 2011 at 2:11 AM by Maurice Berger

According to two just released polls, the President's approval numbers have risen considerably. In both polls, his support among Democrats and Republicans remain unchanged. The difference: his numbers among independent voters, now up about 15%. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll reports that Obama's approval rating is at 54%, the highest in more than a year. CNN/Opinion Research poll finds Obama's approval rating is up five points to 53% "as a growing number of Americans consider him a strong leader who is tough enough to handle a crisis."

Voters Want Political Compromise

Posted Jan 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new McClatchy-Marist Poll reports that 71% of registered voters want to political leaders to compromise in order to get things done; 23% believe Republicans should stand firm on their positions, even if it results in a stalemate between them and Democrats. In terms of voter expectations, 52% believe Republicans will stand firm on their positions. As pollster Lee Miringoff observes: "Voters have taken notice of recent legislative successes. But, there is still a wide gap between what voters want from our nation's political leaders and what they think is likely to occur."

Races To Watch In 2011

Posted Jan 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM by Maurice Berger

Yes, 2011 is defintely a quiet year for electoral activity. But an important one. The 2012 campaigns--from president and congress--will actually start in 2011. So much to watch, especially as we near the first GOP presidential primaries in early-2012. And we'll also be following a few key, "off-year" elections, including:

Chicago mayoral race

Iowa Republican presidential straw poll (The Republican Party of Iowa's 2011 Iowa Straw Poll, set for Aug. 14 at the Iowa State Center in Ames)

Kentucky governor's race

Mississippi governor's race

Dallas mayoral race

Phoenix mayoral race

Louisiana governor's race



Is The President's Improved Approval Rating A Result Of More Positive Perceptions About The Economy?

Posted Jan 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM by Maurice Berger

Is President Obama's improved approval rating related to more positive public perceptions about the economy. A new Pew Research survey suggests that the answer might be yes: the poll reports that "the percentage saying they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy has dropped to its lowest point since the question was first asked in December 2008. . . Currently, 24% say they are hearing mostly bad news, down 15 points from 39% in early December. The proportion saying they are hearing a mix of good and bad news has jumped from 55% last month to 68% in the new survey."

Huckabee Ahead In Iowa

Posted Jan 12, 2011 at 1:00 AM by Maurice Berger

If Mitt Romney is way ahead in the New Hampshire primary, a Neighborhood Research poll in Iowa tells a different story: Mike Huckabee leading the GOP presidential field in the crucial first voting state (though a caucus unlike NH) with 24%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19%, Sarah Palin at 11% and Newt Gingrich at 8%. A new Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa also reports that Mike Huckabee is ahead, with 30%, followed by Mitt Romney at 18%, Sarah Palin at 15% and Newt Gingrich at 13%.


Romney way Ahead In 2012 New Hampshire GOP Primary

Posted Jan 11, 2011 at 12:51 AM by Maurice Berger

How does the GOP field for the 2012 presidential contest look in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary next year? A new Magellan Strategies poll in New Hampshire reports that Mitt Romney holds a huge lead with 39%, followed by Sarah Palin at 16% and Mike Huckabee at 10%. How significant are these numbers? As Dave Weigel notes, Romney is "the only 2012 candidate with any geographic claim to New Hampshire" so "anything less than a monster win makes him look a lot like Muskie."

Emanuel Holds Large Lead In Chicago Mayoral Race

Posted Jan 10, 2011 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

A Teamsters/Anzalone Liszt poll in Chicago reports that Rahm Emanuel holds a large lead in theChicago mayoral race. Emanuel leads with 42%, Carol Moseley Braun is at 26%, Gery Chico at 10% and Miguel Del Valle at 7%.

Self-Identified Democrats Drop Off

Posted Jan 05, 2011 at 6:39 PM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup only 31% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats in 2010--a 5% drop from two years ago. That number also ties for the lowest annual average in the last 22 years. Democrats still outnumber Republicans by two points. But the most dramatic change is the percentage of respondents identifying as independents, which increased in 2010 to 38%, among the highest annual averages over the past two decades.

Americans More Optimistic About Economy

Posted Jan 05, 2011 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Twice as many Americans think the U.S. economy will be better rather than worse in 2011.Americans living in the East and Midwest are a little more optimistic about the economic outlook for 2011 than those living in the South and West. Americans making $75,000 or more in annual income are slightly more optimistic than other Americans, and Democrats are considerably more optimistic than their independent and Republican counterparts."

Here is Gallup's chart:


President's Support Among Democrats High, But Uneven

Posted Jan 04, 2011 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, President Obama's support among Democrats remains high but uneven: "51% of all Democrats Strongly Approve of the president’s performance. When you include those who Somewhat Approve, the president received positive reviews from 82% of those in his party. Yet while 75% of Black Democrats Strongly Approve of the job he's doing as president, only 40% of White Democrats share that level of enthusiasm. That gap is much bigger than it was when Obama first took office in January 2009. During his first week as president, he earned Strong Approval from 88% of Black Democrats and 72% of White Democrats . . .  "

Rasmussen continues: "Among White Democratic men, the president now earns Strong Approval from just 33%. That figure is down from 70% during the president’s first week in office. From an ideological perspective, 60% of Liberal Democrats Strongly Approve of Obama’s performance. Only 14% of Conservative Democrats agree (down from 49% during Obama’s first week as president). Overall, including those who Somewhat Approve, the president’s job approval rating is now at 87% among Liberal Democrats and 42% among Conservative Democrats."

Presidential Approval Remains Steady But Does Not Increase Post-Lame Duck Congress

Posted Jan 03, 2011 at 2:42 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup: President Barack Obama's job approval rating for Dec. 26-28 is 47%, was "down slightly from his post-midterm-election peak of 49% recorded last week, and close to his average level of approval since November. Currently, 46% of Americans disapprove of Obama's job performance. The general stability in Obama's approval rating since the Nov. 2 midterm elections -- in which his party lost majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives -- can be characterized as positive for Obama. Most presidents whose party suffers major midterm losses see their approval ratings fall. However, one might have expected Obama to see a bump in approval from the flurry of legislation passed in Congress prior to the Christmas recess. These include a bipartisan agreement to extend the Bush tax cits, repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gay service members, passing a major food safety bill, and Senate ratification of the START arms reduction treaty with Russia."