Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

CA Governor Maintains Stable Approval Rating

Posted May 31, 2013 at 10:12 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite his state's continuing economic woes, Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown maintains a relatively stable approval rating. A new poll by Public Policy Institute reports that 48% of voters approve of Brown's job performance while just 36% disapprove 

Gallup: Approval Ratings of Ex-Presidents Improve With Time

Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM by Maurice Berger

In a fascinating analysis, Gallup accesses movement in approval ratings for presidents as the memory of their time in office recedes: "[Our] review of presidential job approval ratings finds that presidents' retrospective approval ratings are almost always more positive than their job approval ratings while in office. In particular, Americans rate John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan much more positively in retrospect than they did while the men were president." Here is Gallup's chart: 

Presidential Job Approval Ratings While in Office vs. Retrospective Job Approval Ratings

New York Mayor's Race: Quinn Leads, But Weiner A Strong Second

Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Marist  in New York City reports that  Christine Quinn leads the Democratic mayoral race with 24%, followed by Anthony Weiner at 19%, Bill de Blasio at 12%, Bill Thomson at 11% and John Liu at 8%.

Majority Oppose Obama Care, But For Different Reasons

Posted May 28, 2013 at 8:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new by CNN/ORC reports that 54% of Americans oppose President Obama's new health care law, but with one important caveat: more than a quarter of those who oppose Obamacare, reject the measure because it doesn't go far enough.

American More Concerned About Civil Liberties Than Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Time/CNN reports that Americans say they are more concerned about the restriction to civil liberties from the US government enacting new anti-terrorism policies (61%) than they are concerned about the government failing to enact strong new anti-terrorism policies (31%). CNN/Time also notes that "concerns about government encroachment on civil liberties, however, have grown in recent years, despite the Boston attacks. When asked if they would be willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism, 49% of Americans said they were not willing, compared to 40% who were willing. A poll by the Los Angeles Times in 1996 after the Atlanta Olympics bombing asked the same question, and found resistance from only 23% of the country."

Democrats Ahead In Generic Congressional Ballet

Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:12 AM by Maurice Berger

While a year-and-a-half away, the 2014 election is not far from the mind of pollsters (and political parties). A new poll by Quinnipiac reports that American voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic than Republican for Congress in 2014 -- 41% to 37%. If this holds true, and Democrats gain seats in congress, it would, according to Quinnipiac, "violate the historical model of the president's party losing ground in the sixth year of a presidency."

Americans Access Congressional Leaders

Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:23 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a survey by Gallup, "the top Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate are a generally unpopular foursome, with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi being the most well-known, but also the least well-liked. 31% of Americans view Pelosi favorably and 48% unfavorably. Her resulting net -17 image score compares with -11 for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, -10 for Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, and -8 for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell."

Obama Approval Remains Steady At 51%

Posted May 22, 2013 at 6:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Washington Post-ABC News reports that President Obama's approval rating continues to remain steady at 51% to 44%, despite "fresh disclosures about the IRS, the Benghazi attack and the Justice Department's secret collection of telephone records of Associated Press journalists as part of a leak investigation."

Majority Want Gun Background Checks

Posted May 21, 2013 at 5:04 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by Gallup, "65% of Americans say the U.S. Senate should have passed the measure that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases, while 29% agree with the Senate's failure to pass the measure." Here is Gallup's chart:

(Asked of a half sample) As you may know, last week the U.S. Senate voted on, but did not pass, a measure to expand background checks for gun purchases. Do you think the Senate should or should not have passed the measure to expand background checks for gun purchases? April 2013 results

Are Democrats Too Complacent In Massachusetts?

Posted May 20, 2013 at 4:04 PM by Maurice Berger

Stuart Rothenberg notes that democratic complacency in the 2013 special election in Massachusetts to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry could backfire: "The special election . . . took an interesting turn this week, when former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez drew more than 50 percent of the vote to win the GOP nomination. . . . The total GOP primary vote was less than what Lynch received in the Democratic race, and the Bay State’s Democratic bent is undeniable. But Gomez has an interesting story, and at least the GOP didn’t nominate an old white guy who had served in the Massachusetts Legislature. . . Democrats won’t allow themselves to be surprised the way they were when Scott P. Brown beat Martha Coakley in the last Senate special election, in early 2010, and the national party’s image can’t do anything but hurt Gomez’s already uphill chances. But there is no reason to rush to judgment on this race, at least for a couple of weeks, and it’s worth watching to see how it unfolds. Obviously, Markey begins as the clear favorite.

Clinton Way Ahead For 2016 Democratic Nomination

Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac reports former US Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over other potential 2016 candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, with 65%, followed by Joe Biden at 13% and Andrew Cuomo at 4%.

PPP Survey: Mixed Result About Obama's Effectiveness as President

Posted May 14, 2013 at 4:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Pew Research poll reports mixed results on voter's attitudes about President Obama's performance in office: just 49% believes that President Obama is "able to get things done," a steep decline from 57% in January and closer to his levels of confidence in 2012. Conversely, and a net positive for the president, the vast majority of Americans, 67%, believe Obama is fighting hard for his policies, a significant improvement.

Tight Mayoral Race In LA

Posted May 13, 2013 at 2:39 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs reports that Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti are in a virtual dead heat in the Los Angeles mayoral race, where Greuel leads Garcetti by a scant +2%--46% to 45%--among likely voters; 9% remain undecided. The elections is on 21 May 21.

Markey Ahead In MA Special Election, But By How Much?

Posted May 10, 2013 at 8:22 AM by Maurice Berger

Two conflicting polls on the state of the special election to fill Secretary of State's John Kerry's US Senate seat: a new WBUR poll in Massachusetts reports that Democrat Rep. Edward Markey leads Republican Gabriel Gomez, 41% to 35%. This would suggest a very competitive race. But a contemporaneous Suffolk University poll finds Markey ahead by 17% points, 52% to 35%.

Republican Leads In VA Governor's Race

Posted May 09, 2013 at 8:16 AM by Maurice Berger

For decades, the Virginia gubernatorial election has been a bellwether of sorts: the candidate from the opposing party of the president of the United States wins. Will 2013 be an exception. Possibly not. According to a new poll from the Washington Post, Republican Ken Cuccinelli holds an early lead over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in their race for governor, 46% to 41% among all voters and 51% to 41% among those voters most likely to cast a ballot.

MA US Senate Race: Headed For Upset?

Posted May 08, 2013 at 7:54 AM by Maurice Berger

Is the special election to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry in Massachusetts head for an upset, much like the race to fill the seat of the late-Edward Kennedy? Possibly. A new survey by  Public Policy Polling reports that the race is a surprisingly close , with Democrat Rep. Ed Markey leading Republican Gabriel Gomez by just +4%--44% to 40%.

Majority Not Concerned About Sequestration Cuts

Posted May 07, 2013 at 8:10 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "a majority of Americans still don't know enough to say whether the federal budget sequestration cuts are a good thing or a bad thing for the country -- as has generally been the case since they went into effect. But of those who do who have an opinion, more continue to say sequestration is a bad thing, rather than a good thing." Here is Gallup's chart. 

Is Sanford Bouncing Back In SC?

Posted May 06, 2013 at 10:01 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Public Policy Polling in South Carolina's 1st congressional district reports that the special election is too close to call. But it also shows a marked reversal of Republican Mark Sanford's standing in the district. Two weeks ago, PPP showed his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, leading by nine points, 50% to 41%. Today, the poll reports that the race is  too close to call, with Sanford edging Colbert Busch by +1%--47% to 46%.

Rubio Holds Tiny Lead For 2016 GOP Nomination

Posted May 03, 2013 at 9:01 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll for Fairleigh Dickinson University reports that there is no clear frontrunner for the 2016 GOP presidential primary. If the election were held today, Marco Rubio 18% would hold a slight lead, followed by Jeb Bush 16%, Chris Christie 14%, and Rick Santorum at 9%.

Majority Oppose US Military Action In Syria and N. Korea

Posted May 02, 2013 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by the New York Times, most Americans oppose US military action in Syria and North Korea: "62% of the public say the United States has no responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and antigovernment groups, while just one-quarter disagree. Likewise, 56% say North Korea is a threat that can be contained for now without military action, just 15% say the situation requires immediate American action and 21% say the North is not a threat at all."

Hillary Clinton Way Ahead For 2016 Democratic Nomination

Posted May 01, 2013 at 7:48 AM by Maurice Berger

If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, anew Fairleigh Dickinson University poll puts those doubts to rest:  Clinton leads with 63%, followed by Joe Biden 12%, Andrew Cuomo 3%.