Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Election 2012: Obama Approval Up Slightly

Posted Nov 07, 2011 at 12:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by Reuters/Ipsos reports that President Obama's approval rating is up slightly, now at 49%, with disapproval at 50%. PollTrack's aggregate numbers alas show slight improvement: with his approval rating at 46% (up from 44% last month) and a disapproval number at 50.8%.

Gallup: Obama Approval Drops To Historic Low

Posted Apr 18, 2011 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

According last Friday's Gallup Daily tracking poll, President Obama's approval rating now ties his historic low, at 41%. The president has hot this number twice before: in August and October 2010.

Americans Remain Divided On Health Care Law

Posted Mar 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM by Maurice Berger

Nearing a full year since passage of the health care bill, a new Gallup poll reports that Americans remain divided about whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, with 46% saying it was a good thing and 44% saying it was a bad thing. 44% also believe the law will make medical care worse, versus 39% who say the law will improve medical care.

 

Poll: Same-Sex Marriage Milestone

Posted Mar 09, 2011 at 12:32 AM by Maurice Berger

The new General Social Survey from the University of Chicago reports that for the first time more Americans support same-sex marriage than oppose it: 46% to 40%. In a similar poll twenty-three years ago, a whopping 73% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage.

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.

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."

Americans See U.S. as Exceptional; 37% Doubt Obama Does

Posted Dec 30, 2010 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup reports that "Americans widely agree that the United States has a unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart from other nations as the greatest in the world. This view, commonly referred to as "U.S. exceptionalism," is shared by at least 73% of Americans in all party groups, including 91% of Republicans. . . . On the whole, Americans, by 58% to 37%, believe Obama thinks the U.S. is exceptional, consistent with what he and his advisers maintain. But Americans are less likely to believe Obama holds this view than they are to think the same about Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush." For more on the survey click here.

Majority Of Americans Continue To Oppose Healthcare Law

Posted Dec 28, 2010 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released survey by CNN/Opinion Research reports that 54% of Americans continue to oppose the new health care law; 43% support the law. 25% of say they oppose the new law because it is not liberal enough; 37% oppose it because it is too liberal.

President's Obama's Support Among GOP Voters Improves

Posted Dec 23, 2010 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

Acoording to a just released Gallup poll shows President Obama's approval rating--now overall at 46%--has improved among GOP voters: "Liberal Democrats' approval of Obama remained subdued, averaging 80% in the past week, similar to the 79% in the previous week and below the 88% found just prior to the midterm elections... In contrast, Obama's approval rating among moderate/liberal Republicans (including independents who lean Republican) has increased in December, rising from 20% to 29% in just the past two weeks. This is his highest level of support from moderate/liberal Republicans since May."

Obama Way Ahead In New Hampshire Primary 2012

Posted Dec 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM by Maurice Berger

Right now, president Obama would win the Democratic primary handily against hypothetical Democratic challengers. A according to a new Magellan Strategies poll in New Hampshire, the President Obama is well positioned in the unlikely event he's challenged in a Democratic presidential primary.  He beats Hillary Clinton by 31 points--59% to 28%, and bests Howard Dean by 68 points--78% to 10%.

GOP Advantage: States Slated To Gain or Loose US House Seats

Posted Dec 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on the 2010 census, which states are now slated to gain or loose U.S. House seats (and well as electoral votes, one per house seat lost). Next week, the Census Bureau will release its official state population totals and the allotment of House seats for the next decade. The Waal Street Journal reports that  "Republicans tightened their grip on the U.S. House with the release of new population figures that show GOP-leaning states in the South and Southwest will add congressional seats in the next election. . . . The big winner in 2012 and beyond is Texas, which will add four seats. Ohio and New York will each lose two seats. Elsewhere in the South, Florida will add two seats, and Georgia will add one . . .
The population count "confirmed long-held assumptions that the balance of power in the country is tilting away from Democratic strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest to warmer states in the Sunbelt, where Republicans hold sway."

Congressional Approval At Historic Low

Posted Dec 20, 2010 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup poll reports that just 13% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job. 83% disapprove -- the lowest level of support ever measured in the history of the survey.

Nation Overwhlemingly Favors Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Posted Dec 16, 2010 at 1:55 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite the unwillingness of Senate Republicans to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"--and the President's longstanding reluctance to end the policy outright--A new Washington Post-ABC News poll reports that 77% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The poll observes: "The support also cuts across partisan and ideological lines, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans, independents, liberals, conservatives and white evangelical Protestants in favor of homosexuals' serving openly."

Majority of American Voters Say They Are Worse Off

Posted Dec 15, 2010 at 12:35 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Bloomberg Poll , a majority of Americans--51%--say they are worse off now than they were two years ago when President Obama took office, compared with 35% who say they're doing better. Bloombeg writes: "Americans have grown more downbeat about the country's future in just the last couple of months, the poll shows. The pessimism cuts across political parties and age groups, and is common to both sexes. The negative sentiment may cast a pall over the holiday shopping season, according to the poll. A plurality of those surveyed -- 46 percent -- expects to spend less this year than last; only 12 percent anticipate spending more. Holiday sales rose by just under a half percent last year after falling by almost 4 percent in 2008." Just as problematic for the Obama Administration: Two thirds of voters now say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Obama's Reelection: How Serious Is The Drop In Liberal and Democratic Support

Posted Dec 14, 2010 at 1:16 AM by Maurice Berger

An analysis of yesterday's polling from Marist University by Nate Silver suggests the erosion of support among Democrats and liberals could--the operative word is could--have an adverse effect on President's Obama's reelection chances. Silver observes: "A new poll from Marist University is suggestive of a potential worst-case scenario for President Obama. As he endures criticism from his left over his handling of the tax policy debate with Republicans, his approval rating has declined among liberals, according to the poll: 69% of them now approve of his job performance as compared with 78% in November. Likewise, his approval rating has declined among Democrats: to 74% from 83%. However, there has been no comparable improvement in Mr. Obama’s standing among independents. . . . " For the full analysis, click here.

McClathchy-Marist: President Obama's Approval Rathing Drops To New Low

Posted Dec 13, 2010 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest McClatchy-Marist poll finds an erosion of President Obama's Democratic political base, probably the result of his tax compromise with the GOP. The president's approval rating has dropped to a new low, according to the polll: 42%. More: "Obama's standing among Democrats dropped from a month ago, with his approval rating falling to 74% from 83%, and his disapproval rating almost doubling, from 11% to 21% . . . . His position among independents remained virtually the same, with 39 percent approving and 52% disapproving. A month ago, it was 38% to 54%."

Gallup: Americans Support Two Key Elements of Tax Compromise

Posted Dec 10, 2010 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup Poll, "two major elements included in the tax agreement reached Monday between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress meet with broad public support. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all Americans for two years, and an identical number support extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed." Here is Gallup's breaking along party lines:

Support for Extending Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits, Among National Adults and by Party, December 2010

In terms of opposition to parts of the bill, Gallup notes: "Looking more specifically at the different ideological wings of each party, only liberal Democrats oppose extending the tax breaks for everyone: 39% are in favor, while 55% are opposed. Among the other groups, support ranges from 64% of conservative/moderate Democrats to 87% of conservative Republicans. "Similarly, conservative Republicans are the only political/ideological group opposing the extension of unemployment benefits. The majority of moderate/liberal Republicans are in favor, as are most Democrats, regardless of ideology."

Americans See US Economy As Lagging Behind China

Posted Dec 09, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Allstate/National Journal poll finds that only 20% of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is the world's strongest; nearly half picked China instead. The poll reports: "Looking forward, Americans are somewhat more optimistic about regaining primacy, but still only about one in three expect the U.S. economy to be the world's strongest in 20 years. Nearly three-fifths of those surveyed said that increasing competition from lower-paid workers around the world will keep living standards for average Americans from growing as fast as they did in the past."

Obama's Core Supporters Oppose Tax Compromise

Posted Dec 08, 2010 at 12:50 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a just released SurveyUSA poll, voters who contributed to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign are overmelingly opposed to his deal with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for those making over $250,000 a year. 74% now say they do not support the deal. 51% say they are less likely to contribute to Obama's reelection campaign in 2012, and 57% say it makes them less likely to support congressional Democrats who support this deal in 2012.

Will The Unemployment Rate Doom Obama's Reelection?

Posted Dec 07, 2010 at 4:07 AM by Maurice Berger

This analysis from Jeff Madrick via Frank Rich via, in The New York Times, should make the Democrats worry, re: the President's reelection chances in 2012: "As the economics commentator Jeff Madrick wrote in The Huffington Post, the unemployment rate has been above 7 percent only four times in a presidential election year since World War II — and in three of the four the incumbent lost (Ford, Carter, the first Bush). Reagan did win in 1984 with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, but the rate was falling rapidly (from a high of 10.8 two years earlier) . . . But as Madrick adds, there has never been a sitting president over that period who has had to run with an unemployment rate as high as 8 percent — which is precisely where the Fed’s most recent forecasts predict the rate could be mired when Obama faces the voters again in 2012."

Americans Reject GOP Tax Plan

Posted Dec 06, 2010 at 2:22 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CBS News poll reports that a majority of Americans--53%--reject the GOP's efforts to extend Bush-era tax cuts to households earning more than $250,000 per year. Just 26% of Americans support extending the cuts for all Americans, even those earning above the $250,000 level.

Republicans Favor Racial Profiling At Airports

Posted Dec 03, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll reports that Republicans are the only partisan group that favors racial profiling at airports. Democrats and independents remain strongly opposed. 53% of Republicans say that race "should be included in a passenger's security profile." Just 39% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

California Continues To Trend Democratic

Posted Dec 02, 2010 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

With its treasure trove of 55 winner take all Electoral Votes, California is important to President Obama's reelection prospects in 2012. A new analysis, suggests that the Democrats are well positioned in the state. A Los Angeles Times/USC poll reports that California voters, by a wide margin, are reluctant to support GOP candidates. "Strikingly, almost one in five California voters said they would never cast a ballot for a Republican," the survey reports. "Among Latinos, that rose to almost one in three. Only 5% of California voters were as emphatically anti-Democrat . . . The negative overlay both explained and helped determine the fates of the party's candidates in November. As a GOP tide swept the nation, Republicans here lost all statewide offices, with one contest, for attorney general, still unresolved but leaning toward the Democrat. Republicans here also failed to gain any congressional seats and lost a legislative seat."

Rahm Emanuel Leads In Chicago Mayoral Race

Posted Nov 30, 2010 at 5:18 AM by Maurice Berger

How is Rahm Emanuel doing in his race for Mayor of Chicago? Will he return to elective office only months after leaving the White House? A new We Ask America poll suggests that Emanuel is in a good position. In the upcoming race for mayor--which is on February 22, 2011--he lead with 39%, followed by former Sen. Carol Mosely Braun at 12%, Gerry Chico at 9%. Rep. Danny Davis at 7% and 19% still undecided. Nevertheless, if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held April 5.

President Obama's Aggregate Approval Number Falls Below 45%

Posted Nov 29, 2010 at 3:00 AM by Maurice Berger

For more than five months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number continues to remain lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval has fallen below the 45% mark and is now at 44.6%. His disapproval is well over the 50% mark at 51.0%

Majority of American Voters Oppose War in Afghanistan

Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A Quinnipiac poll reports that a majority of American voters--by a margin of 50% to 44%--oppose the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan by a margin. While Democrats opposed the war, 62% to 33%, Republicans support it, 64% to 31%. Independent voters are opposed to the war by a 54% to 40% margin.

Polls That Exclude Cell Phones Skew Republican

Posted Nov 23, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released survey by Pew Research Center suggests that polling organizations that exclude cell phones from their survey tend to produce results that skew sharply Republican: "The number of Americans who rely solely or mostly on a cell phone has been growing for several years, posing an increasing likelihood that public opinion polls conducted only by landline telephone will be biased. A new analysis of Pew Research Center pre-election surveys conducted this year finds that support for Republican candidates was significantly higher in samples based only on landlines than in dual frame samples that combined landline and cell phone interviews. The difference in the margin among likely voters this year is about twice as large as in 2008. Across three Pew Research polls conducted in fall 2010 -- conducted among 5,216 likely voters, including 1,712 interviewed on cell phones -- the GOP held a lead that was on average 5.1 percentage points larger in the landline sample than in the combined landline and cell phone sample. For Pew's more detailed analysis click here.

By Wide Margin, Voters Support Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Posted Nov 22, 2010 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac national poll reports that voters overwhelmingly support the repeal of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy by a wide margin, 58% to 34%. Voters with a military member of the military in their family are nearly as supportive of repeal, by a margin of 55% to 38%.

Redistricting 2012: A Look Ahead

Posted Nov 18, 2010 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

Wondering how the congressional map will look in 2012 after the restricting of congressional districts that will begin next year? In his preview of the upcoming reapportionment of congressional districts, Sean Trende notes that the just concluded midterms, which saw a number of state houses turn towards the Republican, may indeed bode poorly for the Democrats: "As bad as 2010 was for House Democrats, 2012 could be even worse. Republicans don't have a lot of exposure, since most of their gains were in red territory. More importantly, Republicans will control more seats in redistricting than they have since the states began regular decennial redistricting in 1972."

Using census estimates of where population is growing and falling within states, Trende "offers his thoughts on how redistricting will most likely shape things in 2012." His analysis is fascinating and insightful--a window onto the upcoming reconfiguration of congressional districts. For more, click here. 

 

Congressional Approval Down to 17%

Posted Nov 16, 2010 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup Poll reports that Congressional has dropped to 17%, down slightly from 21% before the midterm elections.

Health Care Reform Doomed Democrats in Midterm Election

Posted Nov 15, 2010 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a study in The New Republic, health care reform doomed the Democratic Party in the midterm elections. The study found that of the 1/6th of voters who identified health care as their most important issue voted Republican over Democrat, 59% to 35%. The study continues: "Putting all these data together, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the health-reform bill had an independent impact on Democrats in the midterm election, reducing their support below the level to which the economy alone would have depressed it. A back-of-the envelope calculation suggests that health care voters contributed about 10 percent points to the Republicans' share of the vote and only 6 percent to Democrats -- a gap of 4 percentage points."

 

Voters Access Lame Duck Seesion of Congress

Posted Nov 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, 'Most voters think Congress should wait until the new members take office in January before tackling any major new legislation, but even more expect Democrats to try to pass major legislation anyway in the upcoming lame-duck session." The survey finds that 36% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the current Congress should consider major new legislation during the lame-duck session scheduled to begin on Monday. . . .  Fifty-six percent (56%) say Congress should wait until the newly elected members take office after the first of the year. . . .  76% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that House Democrats will try to pass major legislation before the newly elected members are sworn in. That includes 49% who say it is Very Likely. Just 18% think Democrats are unlikely to attempt to pass major legislation between now and the arrival of the new Congress"

Election 2010: GOP Gains In State Legislatures Spell Trouble From Democrats

Posted Nov 09, 2010 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger

This Tuesday, the GOP score another, most unreported victory: at the state legislative level, the party elected a net gain of at least 680 seats to set a modern record.Come 2011, this may prove quite costly for the Democrats. Why? Because once census figures are crunched and adjusted it will be the responsibility of state legislatures--with input from Governors, another problem for Democrats can claim only 20 state houses, a net loss of at least 7 seats--to reapportion that state's congressional districts. With the power to shape--and manipulate districts--the GOP will have the edge in sculpting districts favorable to their party.

President's Approval Remains Below Disapproval Number

Posted Nov 08, 2010 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

For more than three months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating shows a slight decline at 46.5%. His disapproval number holds steady at 49.5%.

Exit Poll in WV: Democrat In Lead For US Senate?

Posted Nov 02, 2010 at 11:37 AM by Maurice Berger

Exit polls in West Virginia, which may or may not be accurate, suggest that Democratic Joe Manchin leads in his race for the U.S. Senate. If Manchin wins, as PollTrack has predicted, the road for a GOP Senate takeover just got steeper, much steeper. So this could be good news for the Democrats, re: Senate control.

Gallup: Presidential Approval Drops To New Low

Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, President Obama's approval rating averaged just 44.7% for the last quarter, a number that marks a new low since he took office in January 2009. Only 39% of Americans believe Obama deserves re-election in 2012; 54% believe he does not. Gallup notes, however, that both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan "were in similar poor standing at this point in their presidencies, and both recovered in time to win second terms as president."

Presidential Approval Continues to Decline, Disapproval Up

Posted Oct 18, 2010 at 12:55 AM by Maurice Berger

Nearing the three month mark of continued deficits in public approval, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating has declined further from last week and is now at 44.8% (from 45.2% last week). His disapproval number, has increased slightly in PollTrack's weekly analysis to 50.4% (from 49.2% last week).

Gallup: GOP With Big Lead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Oct 12, 2010 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest Gallup tracking poll for the generic congressional ballot reports a big GOP advantage: " Republicans maintain a substantial advantage over Democrats among likely voters in Gallup's generic ballot for Congress -- in both lower- and higher-turnout scenarios -- fueled in part by the GOP's strong showing among independents . . . Among voters Gallup estimates to be most likely to vote at this point under either a higher- or lower-turnout scenario, Republicans maintain substantial double-digit advantages. In Gallup's higher-turnout scenario, Republicans lead 53% to 41%. In Gallup's lower-turnout scenario, Republicans lead 56% to 39%" Gallup's reported GOP advantage, if it holds on Election Day, would most probably result in historic loses for the Democrats. Stay tuned. 

Presidential Approval Declines Slightly

Posted Oct 11, 2010 at 1:51 AM by Maurice Berger

For more than two months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating shows a slight decline at 45.2% (from 46.0% last week). His disapproval number, has increased slightly in PollTrack's weekly analysis to 49.2% (from 48.4% last week).

Generic Congressional Ballot: Who's Ahead And By How Much

Posted Oct 06, 2010 at 12:59 AM by Maurice Berger

As per Real Clear Politics: "Probably the biggest polling news of the day was the Gallup generic ballot poll that showed Republicans leading Democrats 56 percent to 38 percent.  That 18-point lead is predicated upon a "low turnout" scenario, and would represent historic highs for the Republican Party -- it would probably represent the most seats won by either party since the early 70s.

Gallup also produced a model anticipating slightly higher turnout.  Under this model, the Republicans led by 13 points, which is still an historic result in the Gallup model.  Among registered voters, Republicans led by 3 points.

Rasmussen Reports, by contrast, saw the race tightening significantly, with Republicans leading Democrats by only three points, 45 percent to 42 percent.  This represented the closest ballot test in roughly a year.  Of course, the big difference between the two polls is the number of undecideds; it may well be that Democrats are truly stuck at around 40 percent, and undecideds are leaning heavily GOP."

Presidential Approval Rating Improves

Posted Oct 04, 2010 at 1:43 AM by Maurice Berger

For more than two months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating shows improvement at 46.0% (a +1% increase from last week). His disapproval number, has also declined in PollTrack's weekly analysis: 48.4% (a significant -3.0% decrease). Statistical blip or are the Democrats coming back to their party and president. Stay tuned.

Majority of Americans Want Third Party

Posted Oct 01, 2010 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

A Gallup survey reports that a strong majority of Americans--now at 58%--are dissatisfied with the two current party system and believe a third party is need to mke government more effective. Gallup writes: "Though the rise in support for a third party could be linked to the Tea Party movement, Tea Party supporters are just about average in terms of wanting to see a third party created. Sixty-two percent of those who describe themselves as Tea Party supporters would like a third major party formed, but so do 59% of those who are neutral toward the Tea Party movement. Tea Party opponents are somewhat less likely to see the need for a third party."

DAILY 2010 MIDTERM ELECTION UPDATES

Posted Sep 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM by Maurice Berger

Until Election Day, PollTrack will place special emphasis on tracking the 2010 midterm election. Posts to the Presidential blog will be sporadic in order to concentrate on continual polling analysis of hundreds of gubernatorial, U. S. Senate and U.S. House races in our Writing on the Wall blog (on the top left of our homepage).

Presidential Aggregate Disapproval Number At Record High

Posted Sep 27, 2010 at 2:09 AM by Maurice Berger

For more than two months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating remains stable at 45.0% (a modest decline from last week). His disapproval number, however, is now at a record high in PollTrack's weekly analysis: 51.3%.

Independent Voters Are As Angry As Republicans

Posted Sep 24, 2010 at 1:20 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be another problem for Democrats, a new Associated Press-GfK Poll reports that 58% of independents and 60% of Republicans said "politics is making them angry," compared with 31% of Democrats. The GOP tilt of independent voters in recent surveys--and the anger that appears to drive the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and others--may give a solid competitive edge to the GOP in its effort to get out the vote in November.

Americans Think They Are Better Informed Than A Decade Ago

Posted Sep 23, 2010 at 12:45 AM by Maurice Berger

Does widespread Internet access lead to a better informed public. A new Rasmussen survey suggests that answer is yes: "While newspapers and broadcast outlets struggle to survive in the Internet age, two-out-of-three Americans (67%) feel they are more informed today than they were 10 years ago . . . just eight percent (8%) consider themselves less informed these days, while 22% think their level of knowledge is about the same."

 

Majority of Americans Support Gay Marriage

Posted Sep 21, 2010 at 1:07 AM by Maurice Berger

Is the tide turning in the United States on gay marriage? A just released AP-GfK Poll reports that 52% of Americans support the rights of same-sex couples to marry. A recent Gallup poll also found majority support for gay marriage.

Presidential Disapproval Number Remains High

Posted Sep 20, 2010 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

For two months straight, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 45.2% (a modest increase from last week). His disapproval number is 50.6% (a +1.0% increase from last week).

Americans Favor Administration View On Tax Cuts

Posted Sep 17, 2010 at 2:16 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Democracy Corps survey reports that by a 55% to 38% margin, Americans favor the view espoused by the Obama administration and Democrats in the debate on extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone earning less than $250,000 but letting them lapse for the wealthiest Americans.

Americans See The Republican Party As Leaderless

Posted Sep 16, 2010 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

What could become a problem for the GOP, a Pew Research survey reports that 54% of Americans do not know who leads the Republican party and 18% volunteer that "nobody" leads the party. In this context, can the GOP produce enough of a coherent national message to win big in November or might Democratic loses be moderated by this public's confusion?

Tea Party Remains on the Fringe

Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Quinnipiac poll reports that the Tea Party remains popular with only a small sector of Americans; now, only 12% of voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement. Earlier surveys have shown support as high as 14%, still minor support. 30% of voters hold a favorable opinion of the Tea Party; 31%, unfavorable.

Generic Congressional Ballot: Another Poll Shows GOP Advantage

Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 1:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup tracking poll reports that the GOP leads the generic congressional ballot among registered voters by +5%, 48% to 43%. One finding that may be particularly troubling to Democrats, though with a possible hopeful sign: "Republicans show substantially more enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year's midterm elections, as they have all year. The gap was slightly smaller in the most recent week -- 18 points, versus at least 23 points in the prior three weeks -- owing to increased enthusiasm among Democrats."

Presidential Approval Numbers Still Lower Than Disapproval

Posted Sep 13, 2010 at 12:39 AM by Maurice Berger

For the seventh straight week, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains considerably lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 44.6% (a slight decline from last week). His disapproval number is 49.6% (a slight decline from last week).

Quinnipiac: Republicans Hold Edge On Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Sep 10, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac poll reports that the Republican Party continues to lead in the Generic Congressional Ballot, 42% to 37% margin. The same poll reports that President Obama continues to receive a negative 44% to 47% approval rating, statistically unchanged from his record-low two weeks ago.

Vote In November May Be More Anti-Democrat Than Pro-GOP

Posted Sep 09, 2010 at 1:27 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA/Today Gallup poll reports that the Republican lead in the congressional generic ballot may have less to do with positive feelings towards the GOP and more with voters rejecting the Democrats. According to the survey, among voters supporting unnamed Republican candidates, "44% say it's more a vote against the Democratic candidate . . . while 48% say it's more a vote for the Republican candidate."

Cook Report: GOP Could Take The U.S. Senate

Posted Sep 08, 2010 at 1:24 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Charlie Cook, in an analysis that PollTrack believes is valid, suggests that Republicans could also take control of the U.S. Senate in the upcoming midterm elections: "For much of this year, it seemed a near mathematical impossibility that Republicans could score the 10-seat net gain needed to flip the Senate, which is split between 59 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats and largely vote with the party) and 41 Republicans. As recently as six weeks ago, I wrote in a CongressDailyAM column that a GOP win was 'certainly possible' but 'still fairly unlikely.' Although the 'fairly unlikely' part is still valid, the possibility of a GOP takeover is growing."

Presidential Approval Takes A Dip, with Disapproval Up to 51%

Posted Sep 07, 2010 at 1:24 AM by Maurice Berger

The summer has not been good to the Obama administration. While the president's numbers showed slight improvement last week, he is back down again, and, for the sixth straight week, his aggregate approval number remains considerably lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating is up to the mid-40s range, at 44.8% (a 2% decline from last week). His disapproval number is 51.0% (a 3% increase from last week).

Obama Job Approval Varies Among Religious Groups

Posted Sep 02, 2010 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup analysis, "Muslim Americans continue to give President Barack Obama the highest job approval rating of any major religious group in the U.S., while Mormons give the president the lowest ratings." Here is Gallup's chart:

Obama Job Approval by Religious Group, First Half and Second Half of 2009, and First Seven Months of 2010

Presidential Approval Numbers Improve Slightly, Though Disapproval Still High

Posted Aug 30, 2010 at 2:22 AM by Maurice Berger

Continued slight improvement for the President this week, though, for the fifth straight week, his aggregate approval number remains considerably lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating is up to the mid-40s range, at 46.0% (a slight decline from last week). His disapproval number is 48.2% (a slight decline from last week).

Most Americans Believe Iraq War Will Be Judged A Failure

Posted Aug 26, 2010 at 2:02 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "although Americans believe Iraq is better off now than it was before the war began, more believe the mission will ultimately be judged a failure (53%) than a success (42%). Most are doubtful that Iraqi forces will be able to maintain security in Iraq, but a slim majority still favor complete U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2011."

U.S. Economic Confidence Down

Posted Aug 25, 2010 at 1:01 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "after improving slightly earlier this month, Gallup's Economic Confidence Index declined over the past two weeks to its current -33, matching the average for all of July. The July confidence numbers are the lowest of the year so far; thus, even with the slight uptick in early August, confidence remains below the levels seen during much of 2010 and below its depressed levels of a year ago. 48% of Americans rated current economic conditions as 'poor' during the week ending Aug. 22 -- approaching the highest levels of the year. This is marginally worse than the early August reading, is in line with the full July average of 47%, and is marginally worse than at this time in 2009."

PollTrack Average: Republicans Hold Significant Lead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Aug 24, 2010 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

According to PollTrack's latest calculation, the GOP holds a significant lead over Democrats in the Generic Congressional Ballot. As of Sunday evening, that lead is a considerable +7.2%, 47.5 to 40.3%. These numbers represent one of the largest leads held by either party in recent years.

Presidential Approval Numbers Improve Slightly, Though Disapproval Still High

Posted Aug 23, 2010 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A slight improvement for the President this week. Still, for the fifth straight week, his aggregate approval number remains considerably lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating is up to the mid-40s range, at 46.5% (a two-point improvement from last week). His disapproval number is 49.8% (a full point decline from last week).

Generic Congressional Ballot: Polls Show Historic GOP Advantage

Posted Aug 18, 2010 at 1:20 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen reports a big lead for the GOP in the generic congressional ballot: "Republican candidates have jumped out to a record-setting 12-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, August 15, 2010. This is the biggest lead the GOP has held in over a decade of Rasmussen Reports surveying." And "the latest Gallup generic ballot test shows the Republicans leading the Democrats by the largest spread in the history of the generic ballot. Republicans lead by seven points -- 50 percent to 43 percent. This also appears to be the first time Republicans have ever hit 50 percent in the history of the Gallup generic ballot."

Gallup: Presidential Approval At All-Time Low

Posted Aug 17, 2010 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup's presidential approval tracking poll over the past few days has registered the lowest number yet for President Obama. As of Monday afternoon, Obama's approval number had dropped to the low-40s to 42% (with disapproval up to 50%, an all time high).

 

UPDATE: As of Tuesday afternoon, Obama's disapproval number ticked up a point to 51.0%. His approval number remains at 42%.

Presidential Approval Considerably Below Disapproval Number

Posted Aug 16, 2010 at 5:23 AM by Maurice Berger

For the forth straight week, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains considerably lower than his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 44.4% (a slight drop from last week). His disapproval number is 50.8% (almost a full point increase from last week).

Who Works For The US Government And Where?

Posted Aug 12, 2010 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup survey reports that 17% of U.S. "workers say they work for federal, state, or local government, ranging from 38% in Washington, D.C., to 12% in Ohio. More than a quarter of workers in Washington, D.C., Alaska, Virginia, and Maryland work for government, as do upwards of 15% in the vast majority of states." Here is Gallup's chart:

States With Highest Perecentages of Government Workers, January-June 2010 States With Lowest Perecentages of Government Workers, January-June 2010

Consumer Confidence Falls To New Low

Posted Aug 11, 2010 at 1:54 AM by Maurice Berger

Further trouble for the Obama administration in the upcoming midterm election: Rasmussen reports that "following release of Friday's government report on unemployment and job creation, consumer and investor confidence has fallen to the lowest level of 2010. Just 21% of Adults nationwide now believe the economy is getting better. That's down from 30% on Friday morning. The number who believe the economy is getting worse is now up to 54%."

 

More Than A Quarter of Americans Still Question President's U.S. Birth

Posted Aug 10, 2010 at 12:43 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll reports that 11% of Americans believe that President Obama was definitely not born in the United States; another 16% say that the president was probably not born in the country--a combined 27% of respondents who continue to question the president's birthplace.

Presidential Disapproval Remains Higher Than Approval Number

Posted Aug 09, 2010 at 1:54 AM by Maurice Berger

For the third straight week, President Obama's aggregate approval number has stalled, and his disapproval number considerably higher. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 44.8%. His disapproval number is 50.0%.

Americans Warming To Health Care Law

Posted Aug 06, 2010 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Kaiser tracking poll reports that opposition to the health care legislation signed into law by President Obama in March has declined over the past month, from 41% to 35%; 50% held a positive view of the law, up from 48% a month ago, and the highest level of support since the legislation was enacted.

Cook Report: Where The Midterms Stand

Posted Aug 05, 2010 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest Cook Political Report forecast predicts a 32 to 42 seat net gain for Republicans in the House of Representatives. In order to take over the House, the GOP needs to net 39 seats to reach a bare majority of 218 seats. In the Senate, Cook's forcast bodes better for the Democrats, with a predicted a 5 to 7 seat net gain for Republicans, not enough to take control of the chamber.

Gallup: GOP Now Back In Lead of Generic Ballot

Posted Aug 04, 2010 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

The newest Gallup survey of national political sentiment adds fuel to the speculation that a an earlier survey by the organization indicating a Democratic lead in the generic congressional ballot--and outlier relative to most other polls--may indeed represent a statistical blip. According to Gallup, Republicans have taken back the lead and are now ahead by +5%, 48% to 43%.
Gallup writes: "While the five-percentage-point edge for Republicans is not statistically significant, it represents a return to the prevailing 2010 pattern, seen since mid-March, whereby Republicans were tied or held a slight advantage over Democrats in most Gallup Daily tracking weekly averages. If sustained through Election Day, this competitive positioning for the Republicans among registered voters would point to major seat gains for that party in November given the usual Republican advantage in turnout."

Midterm Election 2010: Are Democrats Gaining Ground?

Posted Aug 03, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Are Democrats regaining ground in the 2010 mid-term election? One polling organization, Gallup, has reported for tor two straight weeks, that Democrats now maintain a lead in the generic congressional ballot. Does this suggest a trend. Veteran political analyst Charlie Cook suggests that it is too early to tell: "One interpretation of recent results is that the momentum in this critical midterm election has shifted and the Republican wave has subsided. Another interpretation is that it's too soon to tell whether much has changed at all." It is also inportant to add that Gallup's findings are not matched by some other polls: A new Fox News poll, for example, reports a +11% for Republicans in the generic congressional ballot,  47% to 36%. Two weeks ago the Republicans had a +4% advantage.

Presidential Disapproval Considerably Higher Than Approval Number

Posted Aug 02, 2010 at 2:16 AM by Maurice Berger

For the second straight week, President Obama's aggregate approval number remains at a precipitous new low, and his disapproval number is way up, at a new high. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 44.7%. His disapproval number is 50.0%.

First Lady Tops List Of Most Favorably Viewed Public Figures

Posted Jul 29, 2010 at 1:16 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, first lady Michelle Obama's "favorability rating among Americans tops that of several major political players who have called or might someday seek to call the White House home." Here is Gallup's chart:

2010 Favorability Ratings

President's Support Among Hispanics Remains High

Posted Jul 28, 2010 at 1:33 AM by Maurice Berger

A new AP/Univision poll reports that President Obama's stadning among Hispanics remains high, with 57% approving of his job performance. By contrast, his aggregate approval rating among all Americans, according to PollTrack's latest numbers, hovers at around 44%.

Which States Are Most Democratic or Republican?

Posted Jul 27, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "more states are politically competitive this year than was the case in 2009, as fewer Americans nationwide identify with the Democratic Party. Vermont -- along with the District of Columbia -- is the most Democratic state in the U.S. in 2010 so far, while Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho are the most Republican." Here is Gallup's chart of the most Democratic and Republican states in the union:

Top 10 Democratic States, January-June 2010 Top 10 Republican States, January-June 2010

Presidential Approval At New Low, Disapproval at New High

Posted Jul 26, 2010 at 12:52 AM by Maurice Berger

Last week's stabilization of President Obama's approval rating may have been the calm before a brewing storm for the Democratic administration. This week's numbers tell a different story, as Obama's aggregate approval number drops to a precipitous new low, and his disapproval number creeps up to a new high. As of Sunday evening, the president average approval rating stands at 44.5%. His disapproval is way up at 50.3%.

Quinnipiac: Presidential Approval Drops To New Low

Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

Yet another poll has recorded a record low approval rating for the president: a just released Quinnipiac poll reports that President Obama's job approval rating has dipped to 44%, his lowest rating to date in the survey. By a slight 39% to 36% margin, voters say that they would vote for an unnamed Republican rather than reelect Obama in 2012. And by a 48% to 40% margin, respondents say that the president does not deserve reelection in 2012.

Majority Of Americans Incorrectly Assign Bank Bailout To President Obama

Posted Jul 21, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Pew Research poll suggests that the American public remains substantially unaware that the federal government's bank bailout program was actually signed into law by President Bush. 47% incorrectly believe it was enacted during the Obama's administration; just 34% of Americans answered the question correctly. 

Poll: Americans Continue To Blame Former President Bush For Nation's Ills

Posted Jul 20, 2010 at 2:10 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be a note of good news for Democrats facing anti-incumbent sentiment in this year's election, a Bloomberg National Poll reports that Americans blame former President George W. Bush more than President Obama for the budget deficit, unemployment and illegal immigration. Bush doesn't do much better when the question turns for foreign policy: 60% say Bush is primarily responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan, for example. Only 10% name Obama.

President Obama's Approval Rating Improves

Posted Jul 19, 2010 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

This week's aggregate approval rating for President Obama  shows a higher approval over disapproval number. PollTrack's weekly average reports the President's approval number is up from last week at 47.6%. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 46.6%, a slight improvement from his recent numbers.

Presidential Approval At New Low

Posted Jul 15, 2010 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

According to several polls, President Obama is passing through a rough patch vis-a-vis public opinion about his performance in office. Public Policy Polling survey reports that President Obama's approval rating has dropped to a new low: Now, 45% of voters approve of the job he's doing; 52% disapprove. PPP continues: "The two most troublesome things for Obama in his numbers at this point are his standing among white voters and independents. Whites now disapprove of Obama by nearly a 2:1 margin, with 62% giving him bad marks and only 35% saying he's doing a good job. With independents his approval is just 40% and 56% disapprove of his performance." Another poll by Bloomberg reports that Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling "of almost every major issue and are deeply pessimistic about the nation's direction, offering a bullish environment for Republicans in the November congressional elections . . . . A majority or plurality disapproves of Obama's management of the economy, health care, the budget deficit, the overhaul of financial market regulations and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, almost 6 in 10 respondents say the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause."

Americans Continue To Be Divided on Health Care Law

Posted Jul 14, 2010 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new National Journal/Pew Research poll, 47% of Americans continue to disapprove of the health care law; 35% approve; and 17% had no opinion. The poll also found sharp partisan divisions in the perception of the law: "82% of Republicans disapprove, while only 17% of Democrats disapprove. Independents track closer to the overall sample: 52% disapproved of the law, while 30% approve."

Republicans Lead Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Jul 13, 2010 at 12:41 AM by Maurice Berger

A Democracy Corps survey is the latest to show Republicans leading Democrats in congressional races by six points, 48% to 42%. The poll--in line with most other gauges of party strength in the upcoming congressional elections--suggests a wide enough margin to be of real concern to Democrats.

Presidential Disapproval Still Higher Than Approval Rating

Posted Jul 12, 2010 at 1:17 AM by Maurice Berger

For the fourth consecutive week, President Obama's approval remains lower than his disapproval rating according to PollTrack's weekly aggregate. His average approval number, as of Sunday evening, is now somewhat improved at 47.5%; still, his disapproval number higher, at 48.5%.

Wide Enthusiasm Gap Between Parties

Posted Jul 09, 2010 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

In another bit of troubling news for the Democrats, a new Pew Research poll reports that Republicans "are much more engaged in the coming election and more inclined to say they are certain to vote than are Democrats. This could translate into a sizable turnout advantage for the GOP in November that could transform an even race among registered voters into a solid victory for the Republicans. . . . Fully 56% of Republican voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous elections -- the highest percentage of GOP voters expressing increased enthusiasm about voting in midterms dating back to 1994." That year, of course, marked enormous gains by Republican candidates for Congress.

President Obama Behind With Independents

Posted Jul 08, 2010 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

In another ominous sign for the President and Democrats in general in this midterm election year, the latest Gallup tracking poll finds President Obama's approval rating is just 38% among independents. This marks  the first time approval of Obama among independents has dropped below 40%. A year ago, his standing among these voters was 56%, +18% higher than today's numbers. 

Charlie Cook On Midterms: There Is A Wave Out There

Posted Jul 07, 2010 at 12:37 AM by Maurice Berger

Charlie Cook's latest reading on election 2010 sets an ominous tone for Democrats: "There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge . . . To be sure, things could change in the four months between now and November 2. The GOP's failure to get Republicans to vote in the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District underscores that the party can't just sit back and await spontaneous combustion in terms of turnout. Still, the potential is here for a result that is proportional to some of the bigger postwar midterm wave elections. These kinds of waves are often ragged; almost always some candidates who looked dead somehow survive and others who were deemed safe get sucked down in the undertow. That's the nature of these beasts. But the recent numbers confirm that trends first spotted late last summer have fully developed into at least a Category 3 or 4 hurricane."

Presidential Disapproval Remains Higher Than Approval Rating

Posted Jul 05, 2010 at 4:44 PM by Maurice Berger

For the third consecutive week, President Obama's approval remains lower than his disapproval rating according to PollTrack's weekly aggregate. His average approval number, as of Sunday evening, is 46.3%; his disapproval number is 48.6%.

Americans Warming To Healthcare Reform

Posted Jul 01, 2010 at 1:01 AM by Maurice Berger

An in depth survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that Americans are becoming increasingly supportive of the new health care reform law. This month, the number of respondents approving of the legislation is actually higher than disapproving:  48% support the law, while 41% had an unfavorable opinion. Just a month ago, the levels of support were reversed, with 41% approving and 44% against.

Afghanistan: Americans Largely Support Obama Timetable

Posted Jun 30, 2010 at 12:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by Gallup, "Americans largely support President Obama's timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan beginning in July 2011, with 58% in favor and 38% opposed. Most who are opposed think no timetable should be set rather than favoring an earlier or later date."

Gallup: Public Disapproval Of Congress At Near Low

Posted Jun 29, 2010 at 12:46 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup a mere 20% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, a near record low. Gallup's analysis does not bode well for the party now in power: "This year's low approval ratings for Congress are a potentially ominous sign for President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress. Gallup has found greater party seat change in Congress in midterm elections when Congress has had low approval ratings. Specifically, in the five midterm elections in which Congress' approval ratings at the time of the election were below 40%, there was an average net change in seats of 29 from the president's party to the opposition."

Presidential Disapproval Higher Than Approval

Posted Jun 28, 2010 at 12:04 AM by Maurice Berger

For the second straight week, President Obama's approval continues to trend lower than his disapproval rating according to PollTrack's weekly aggregate. His average approval number, as of Sunday evening, is 46.2%; his disapproval number is 47.4%. Once gain this week, the most recent daily tracking polling shows his approval number migrating slightly downward, but with his aggregate disapproval number creeping downward, as well.

Presidential Race 2012: Romney Most Popular GOP Candidate In Iowa

Posted Jun 22, 2010 at 1:26 AM by Maurice Berger

Who is the most popular candidate among Iowa Republicans for the 2012 presidential race? A recent Iowa Poll reports that 62% of Republicans are very or mostly favorable toward Mitt Romney; 58% like Sarah Palin; and 56% are favorable to Newt Gingrich. PollTrack suggests not reading much into this very early sampling of GOP sentiment. Much can change over the next years and a half.

President Obama's Approval Continues to Trend Downward

Posted Jun 21, 2010 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval continues to trend lower than his disapproval rating according to PollTrack's weekly aggregate. His average approval number, as of Sunday evening, is 47.0%; his disapproval number is 49.0%. Once gain this week, the most recent daily tracking polling shows his approval number migrating downward (with disapproval as much as 15% higher than approval).

Democrats Lead In The Congressional Generic Ballot?

Posted Jun 18, 2010 at 1:01 AM by Maurice Berger

With polls contradicting each other daily, it's hard to know who is really ahead in the congressional generic ballot. Today's survey, out from AP-GFK reports a healthy +7% point lead for the the Democrats, 46%-39%. The same poll reports that the Democrats  they also lead Republicans 47%-42% on "who Americans trust more to guide the economy." But there is also a caveat for Democrats: "There's plenty in the poll to encourage Republicans, and nothing that contradicts many analysts' views that the GOP has a solid shot of capturing majorities of one or both chambers of Congress. The public's anti-Washington mood remains robust, with 55% saying they want a new member of Congress — bad news for Democrats with more incumbents to defend. A low 24% approve of how Congress is doing its job, a hefty 72% still say the nation's economy is in poor condition, and 77% consider huge federal budget deficits a top concern."

Majority of Americans Support Supreme Court Nominee

Posted Jun 17, 2010 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 58% of Americans--a solid majority--support Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Writes the Washington Post: Kagan's support is "in line with previous successful nominees the past two decades."

GOP Ahead In Congressional Generic Ballot?

Posted Jun 16, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

It looks like yesterday's PPP survey showing the Democrats leading the congressional generic ballot may be an outlier. All other recent polls show a GOP advantage. The latest Gallup Poll, for example, reports that Republicans now hold +5% lead in the generic ballot, 49% to 44%. A new poll of the battleground congressional districts, conducted by NPR by Democratic polling firm GQR and Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, "finds reason for deep concern among Democrats. The poll . . . tested the 60 most competitive Democratic districts and shows an increasingly difficult environment for candidates of the majority party.

"The results are a wake-up call for Democrats whose losses in the House could well exceed 30 seats," GQR notes in its findings. In the Democratic districts, several findings were most disconcerting for the party: just 34% said they would vote to re-elect their representative, whom the questioner named; in a separate question, 56% said they will not vote to re-elect their representative because new people are needed to fix Washington; and when both the Democratic and Republican candidates were named, 47% said they'd vote for the Republican and 42% chose the Democrat. Also tested were the 10 most competitive Republican districts, where 53% say they'll vote for the GOP candidate and 37% for the Democrat."

New Poll Shows Democrats Leading Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Jun 15, 2010 at 1:10 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey reports that Democrats are now leading in the generic congressional ballot. Although the margin is small--43% to 41%--this survey marks the first time since December that PPP shows an advantage for the Democrats.

Obama Approval Lower Than Disaaproval Rating

Posted Jun 14, 2010 at 2:05 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating is now slightly lower than his disapproval rating according to PollTrack's weekly aggregate. His average approval number, as of Sunday evening, is 47.3%; his disapproval number is 47.8%. Once gain this week, the most recent daily tracking polling shows his approval trending downward (with disapproval from 3% to 7% higher than approval).

Americans Turning Against Offshore Drilling

Posted Jun 10, 2010 at 2:27 AM by Maurice Berger

After years of generally supporting offshore drilling, Americans are now starting to turn against it. A CBS News Poll reports that many are reconsidering their view of offshore drilling, as the BP fiasco rapidly pollutes the Gulf of Mexico.  51% of Americans now believe increased offshore drilling is "too risky"; 40% remain in favor. Just two years ago, 62% of Americans favored it, while just 28% opposed it. In April 2010, a mere month ago, 41% believed offshore drilling was too risky and a plurality--46%--were in favor. What a difference a month can make.

Obama In Trouble With Washington Insiders Over Oil Spill?

Posted Jun 09, 2010 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Political Insiders Poll reports that among political/Washington insiders, President Obama is fairing poorly in his response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: Democrats give him an average grade of C-; Republicans an average grade of D-. The problem may extend well beyond the political class to the electorate at large, as a number of polls measuring the president approval rating this week have shown a discernible decline this week.

Check Out PollTrack's Predictions For Today's Primary Races in Writing On The Wall (at Left)

Posted Jun 08, 2010 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

For up to the minute predictions on today's numerous primary races for governor and U.S. Senate, check out WRITING ON THE WALL.

Check Out PollTrack's Predictions For Today's Primary Races in Writing On The Wall (at Left)

Posted Jun 08, 2010 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

For up to the minute predictions on today's numerous primary races for governor and U.S. Senate, check out WRITING ON THE WALL.

Presidential Approval/Disapproval Now Tied

Posted Jun 07, 2010 at 1:26 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's aggregate approval number is now exactly equal to his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 46.8%; his approval number is 46.8%. The weeks ahead may prove difficult politically for the president: the most recent polling shows his approval trending downward (with disapproval now higher than approval).

AZ Immigration Law Popular

Posted Jun 03, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac University poll reports that American voters--by a 48% to 35% margin--would like to see their state  pass an immigration law similar to Arizona's: "The strong plurality who says they would like a similar law in their own state probably portends the law will be an issue in many, many campaigns this November across the country. Depending on how those elections and court challenges come out, copy cat Arizona laws could be a hot issue in state capitals after November."

Democrats In Trouble In 2010 Mideterms?

Posted Jun 02, 2010 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey suggests serious trouble ahead for Democrats in this November's midterm elections: The latest Gallup poll reports that Republicans now lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot by six points, 49% to 43%. Gallup goes on to note that this is the largest GOP lead in the survey since it began in 1950.

President Obama's Approval And Disappoval Numbers Nearly Tied

Posted Jun 01, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval number is nearly equal to his disapproval number, an increase of support over the past two weeks. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 46.3%; his approval number is 46.8%, a virtual tie.

Rasmussen: President Obama's Approval Rating At Record Low

Posted May 26, 2010 at 12:54 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen's daily tracking survey for Tuesday 25 May reports the lowest approval rating for President Obama thus far: 42%. While Rasmussen's disapproval number has been consistently higher than most other polls throughout the last year, their approval number has hovered at or near PollTrack's polling average. Does this new low suggest a trend? Or does it represent an anomaly? Stay tuned.

Republicans Could Have Serious Problem Come November

Posted May 25, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

Before Republicans start celebrating what some predict may be a massive victory in November, they may want to take notice of one sobering phenomenon: In Colorado and Arizona, Public Policy Polling reports that Hispanic voters are now swinging dramatically towards Democrats in the wake of Arizona's new immigration law. PPP continues: "Hispanics in the Mountain West are leaning much more strongly toward the Democrats since the Arizona law was passed. The big question then becomes whether there are white voters who are going to go Republican this fall who wouldn't have if that bill hadn't been passed. We don't see any evidence of that happening yet." This trend could easily shift into other states with significant Hispanic populations, effecting very close race in states as disparate as California, Ohio, and Florida, not to mention Colorado and Arizona. Stay tuned. This could be the sleeper phenomenon of the 2010 cycle.

Obama Disapproval Higher Than Approval Rating

Posted May 24, 2010 at 12:39 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite a spate of relatively good news for the administration, PollTrack's weekly average indicates that President Obama's approval number have fallen BELOW his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 48.3%; his approval number is 46.0%, a decline from the past few weeks.

The week Ahead: Senate and Gubernatorial Races

Posted May 16, 2010 at 11:19 PM by Maurice Berger

This week, PollTrack will devote it's coverage to upcoming and competitive U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. We will resume regular coverage next Monday, 24 May.

Colorado As Bellwether: Is It Swinging The Other Way

Posted May 13, 2010 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack has consistently argued that Colorado can be seen as a bellwether of sorts in recent years, offering clues to the political direction of the rest of the country. Over the past six years, Democrats have made significant gains in the states, as the party's fortunes nationally have risen, culminating in President Obama's victory in the state in 2008. Recent polling in the states, now suggests that the bellwether may be swing in the GOP's direction.

The New York Times reports that in the state of Colorado, "Republicans are now well positioned for a statewide resurgence, threatening several Democratic seats in the midterm elections and raising questions about whether the opening chapter of the Obama administration has eroded gains that Democrats had been making here for the previous six years." For more of the Times' analysis, click here. 

 

Americans Continue To Support Offshore Drilling

Posted May 12, 2010 at 12:58 AM by Maurice Berger

Even recent headlines have not turned most Americans against offshore drilling. With the massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana fresh in the news, a DailyKos/Research 2000 reports that 60% of Americans continue to favor offshore drilling for oil and gas with 32% opposing.

Jobs Report: 290K Jobs Added, But Unemployment at 9.9%

Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

One political marker to watch for in this year's midterm election in the unemployment rate and job growth. The more quickly the nation recovers from the devastating recession of 2008-2009, the better the chances of the party in power . . . in this case the Democrats. With April's job report in, things could be looking up for the Democrats: employers added 290,000 more jobs, the largest one month gain since March 2006. Still, troubling sings persist: the unemployment rate actually increased to 9.9%, a clear indicator that more Americans are looking for jobs.

President Obama's Approval Remains Steady

Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

This week's aggregate approval rating for President Obama  continues to show a higher approval over disapproval number. PollTrack's weekly average reports the President's approval number down from last week at 48.2%. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 44.7%, a one-point improvement from last week.

290K Job Gain In April

Posted May 07, 2010 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

The New York Times reports that "the American economy added an unexpectedly strong 290,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent, the government said Friday. Analysts had expected a gain of about 190,000 in the month." The pace of job production--as well as the general health of the economy--could have a major impact on fall's election, so this may be a very important story, indeed. 

Democratic Turnout Low In Tuesday's Primary Elections

Posted May 06, 2010 at 1:47 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be an ominous sign for Democratic prospects in this November's midterm elections, turnout among Democratic voters "dropped precipitously in 3 statewide primaries on Tuesday, giving the party more evidence that their voters lack enthusiasm ahead of midterm elections. In primaries in NC, IN and OH, Dems turned out at far lower rates than they have in previous comparable elections . . . By contrast, GOP turnout was up almost across the board." As PollTrack reported on Wednesday, the lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters--coupled with a fired-up Republican base--could spell trouble for the Democratic Party this fall.

Enthusiasm Gap Hurts Democrats

Posted May 05, 2010 at 1:45 AM by Maurice Berger

Although U.S. registered voters are closely divided in their 2010 congressional election preferences, a new Gallup survey reports that "those who say they are 'very enthusiastic about voting' this year show a strong preference for the Republican Party . . . Gallup has consistently found Republicans expressing a higher level of enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year's election campaign. Theoretically, those who are enthusiastic about voting would be more likely to turn out to vote than those who are not enthusiastic. This fall, Gallup will be better able to measure the potential impact of turnout on the vote by applying its 'likely voter' model to the generic ballot results. That model takes into account a more complete set of factors related to voting, including interest in the election, intention to vote, and past voting behavior."

Gallup: Amaericans Who Have Heard Of AZ Immigration Law Favor It

Posted May 04, 2010 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "more than three-quarters of Americans have heard about the state of Arizona's new immigration law, and of these, 51% say they favor it and 39% oppose it . . .  The law makes it a state crime for illegal immigrants to be in the country, and allows Arizona law enforcement officials to detain those suspected of being in the country illegally unless they can prove otherwise. The law has sparked protests in Arizona and other parts of the U.S., and calls for economic boycotts of the state."

President Obama's Approval Number Up

Posted May 03, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

This week's aggregate approval rating for President Obama shows marked improvement. PollTrack's weekly average reports the President's approval number at 49.0%. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 45.8%, a significant improvement from last week.

Do American Want President Reagan On Their Currency?

Posted Apr 30, 2010 at 12:40 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite his continued popularity with Americans, Ronald Reagan does not warrant depiction on American currency according to a new poll. As congress moves to consider replacing the portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty dollar bill with that of former President Reagan, a new Marist Poll reports that an overwhelming 79% of Americans think it's a bad idea; just 12% say it's a good one and 9% are unsure.  

Most Americans See GOP AS The Party Of No

Posted Apr 29, 2010 at 12:53 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Economist poll reports that just 24% of Americans think Republicans "mostly provide constructive policy alternatives"; 52% say they "mostly just oppose the other party." These numbers could prove a considerable stumbling block to Republican hopes to take back one or both houses of congress this fall.

GOP Narrows Gap With Democrats In Party Affiliation

Posted Apr 28, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

A recently released Gallup poll reports that Democrats now have the smallest advantage in political party affiliation in five years. During the first quarter of 2010, 46% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 45% identified as or leaned Republican.

Administration Victories Not Translating Into Improvement in Presidential Approval

Posted Apr 27, 2010 at 1:26 AM by Maurice Berger

Oddly, a string of political victories for the President--from dramatic passage of the health care bill to improvement in many economic indicators--is not translating into improved approval numbers for Obama. A new Citizen Opinion/Democracy Corps poll, for example, reports "a significant drop in the proportion thinking the country is off on the wrong track and a rise in the number who think the economy is improving." Yet, this positive assessment is  "not producing a change in political thinking. The Republican 7-point advantage on the economy is unchanged this month. There is no growth in people believing Obama's economic policies have produced a better economy." Indeed, the President's aggregate approval number has never been lower. This pattern is somewhat unusual, given the public's tendency to translate an improving economy into increased support for the administration in power. Stay tuned.

 

Obama Disapproval Higher Than Approval

Posted Apr 26, 2010 at 12:56 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's weekly average indicates that President Obama's approval number have fallen BELOW his disapproval number. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is 47.3%; his approval number is 46.3%, a slight decline from last week.

PPP: Republicans Maintain Lead in Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Apr 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey reports that Republicans continue to lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, 47% to 42%. The survey analysis finds that "92% of Republicans are committed to supporting their party this fall while just 86% of Democrats are," a modest enthusiasm gap that could hurt Democrats come November.

Americans Confident in President Obama's Supreme Court Choice

Posted Apr 22, 2010 at 12:28 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Quinnipiac poll reports that 53% of American voters are "very confident" or "somewhat confident" that President Obama  will make the right decision in nominating a U.S. Supreme Court justice; 46% percent are "not too confident" or "not confident at all."

Cook Report: Republicans Poised To Take Back Many Seats In The House

Posted Apr 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

In a new and complex report, one of the nation's most experienced analysts suggests that the Democrats may be in trouble in this falls mid-term elections. The Cook Political Report now  projects that come November, the Republicans are poised to gain 30 to 40 seats in the House of Representatives. The GOP needs 40 seats to take control. "If the trend over the past  seven months continues," writes Cook, "the GOP will do even better."

Obama In Tenuous Position For 2012

Posted Apr 20, 2010 at 12:40 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey reports that President Obama is virtually tied with all four of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination. The poll's results: Obama trails Mike Huckabee 47% to 45% and Mitt Romney 45% to 44%. He is tied with Newt Gingrich, at 45%. He leads one candidate by a slim margin: Sarah Palin, at 47% to 45%. PPP's analysis suggests that the President is at his weakest point in "13 monthly surveys and a pretty clear indication that passing health care has not done anything to enhance his political standing, at least in the short term."

Obama Approval Levels Off To Tie

Posted Apr 19, 2010 at 12:58 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's weekly average indicates that President Obama's approval numbers have leveled off to a tie. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number equals his approval--both now stand at 48.6%, a slight improvement from last week.

Democratic Party Favorability Drops To New Low

Posted Apr 16, 2010 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

According to  new Gallup Poll, the Democratic party's favorable rating has dropped to 41%, the lowest point in the 18-year history of this measure. The Republican party's favorable rating is now at 42%. As recently as last summer, the Democratic advantage over  Republicans was a significant +11%. Now, that advantage has completely evaporated. According to Gallup, "Americans' current 41% favorable rating of the Democratic Party is five points lower than the party's previous low, recorded twice in 2005."

Voters Rate Economy As Top Issue

Posted Apr 15, 2010 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

In a not unsurprising result, a new Gallup survey reports that 57% of registered voters expect the issue of the economy to be extremely important to their vote for Congress this year, making it the top issue in the 2010 elections. Other problems, of lesser importance:  health care, unemployment, and the federal budget deficit. The least important of the seven issues ranked in the poll: the environment

Palin Favorability Remains Low

Posted Apr 14, 2010 at 12:55 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a CBS News Poll, "former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to receive unfavorable ratings from the American public overall . . . though many Republicans do hold a favorable opinion of her. But even as the former GOP vice presidential candidate continues to build up her persona as a media personality and conservative spokesperson, nearly 4 in 10 self-identified conservatives say they do not have an opinion of her or know too little about her to have an opinion. 24% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin, while 38% view her unfavorably   . . . 37% of the public is undecided or hasn't heard enough to offer an opinion. Her ratings have held fairly steady over the past year. Only 7% of Democrats say they have a favorable view of Palin and 59% have a negative view. By contrast, 43% of Republicans have a positive view of Palin and 16% have a negative view."

Nate Silver: Democrats Could Loose 50 Seats

Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

Nate Silver speculates that Republican advantage now registered by a number of surveys in the generic congressional ballot could result in the Democrats loosing a significant number of House seats this November: "Although analysts debate the precise magnitude of the difference, on average the generic ballot has overestimated the Democrats' performance in the popular vote by 3.4 points since 1992. If the pattern holds, that means that a 2.3-point deficit in generic ballot polls would translate to a 5.7 point deficit in the popular vote -- which works out to a loss of 51 seats, according to our regression model." Still, as PollTrack notes, it's to early to tell if these numbers will hold up. Even Silver hedges his bet: "If Democrats were to lose 50, 60, 70 or even more House seats, it would not totally shock me. Nor would it shock me if they merely lost 15, or 20. But their downside case could be very far down."

Further Decline In Obama Approval

Posted Apr 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM by Maurice Berger

With the modest health care bounce in President Obama's approval numbers gone, PollTrack's weekly average indicates a downward trend in his approval numbers. As of Sunday evening, the president's aggregate disapproval number is higher than his approval. His approval now stands at 46.1%; his disapproval, at 47.3%. The most recent polls actually indicate a more precipitous drop, with the President's approval number -3.4% lower than his approval number. Stay tuned. 

Congressional Generic Ballot Tied

Posted Apr 09, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup Daily tracking for the week ending April 4 finds the two major parties tied at 46% in the congressional voting preferences of registered voters nationally. In the two weeks since Congress passed health care reform on March 21, Democrats have tied or trailed the Republicans, after having at least a slight advantage in the weeks prior. Here is Gallup's chart:

March-April 2010 Trend: Candidate Preference
 in 2010 Congressional Elections, Among Registered Voters

Americans Very Dissatisfied With Congress

Posted Apr 08, 2010 at 12:52 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup Poll reports that a record-low number of American voters--28%--say most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected. The previous low was 29% in October 1992: "The same poll finds 49% of voters, a near-record low, saying their own member of Congress deserves to be re-elected. This marks only the second time since Gallup began asking this question in 1992 that the figure has dipped below 50%, and the first on the doorstep of a midterm election."

Americans Loosing Faith With Politicians

Posted Apr 07, 2010 at 12:23 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Americans are loosing faith with politicians--attitudes "are reminiscent of those in 1994 and 2006, when control of Congress switched from one party to the other." 28% pf respondents say most members of Congress deserve re-election , a record low. Both major parties have exceptionally low favorability ratings: 41% for Democrats and 42% for Republicans. The President is not exempt from this negativity: 26% saying he deserves "a great deal" of blame for the nation's economic troubles, double the percentage in July.

Is Congress In Trouble With Voters?

Posted Apr 06, 2010 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Marist Poll, 45% of registered voters nationwide remain unsatisfied with their elected officials in the U.S. Congress and would vote against them in November; 41% would vote for the incumbent, and 14% are unsure.

Obama Approval: The Health Care Bounce Is Gone

Posted Apr 05, 2010 at 2:17 AM by Maurice Berger

Last week it appeared that President Obama received a slight bounce in his approval numbers, a week after in historic victory in congress. As of Sunday evening, it looks like the bounce is gone. The president's aggregate approval stands at 47.0%; his disapproval, almost equal at 46.6%. A new CBS News Poll actually shows the president sinking to an all time low approval rating of 44%,

Americans Prefer 5-Day Postal Deliver To Increase in Fees Or PO Closings

Posted Apr 02, 2010 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup reports: as the U.S. Postal Service officially takes steps toward a reduced, five-day delivery schedule to help solve its financial problems, Gallup finds that 68% of Americans favor such a move -- easily more than would like to see government funding for the postal service, higher stamp prices, or the closing of their local post office branches." One interesting note reported by Gallup: "Americans may not object to reduced mail delivery in part because they are more likely to send e-mails than letters in the mail (67% vs. 53%) -- although they are still more likely to pay bills by mail than online (66% vs. 47%)."

 

Palin Divides American

Posted Apr 01, 2010 at 1:56 AM by Maurice Berger

Sarah Palin remains a polarizing figure in American politics, according to a new Washington Post poll. She's remains popular with those respondents who view the Tea Party movement favorably--with a 60% favorable rating--as well as conservative Republicans, garnering a whopping 71% positive rating. At the other end of the spectrum, 85% of liberal DEmocrats have an unfavorable view of the former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate. Overall, 55% of Americans say they view Palin unfavorably.

Democrats Are Fired Up Again

Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 12:55 AM by Maurice Berger

One great advantage for the Democrats in President Obama's congressional victory on health care: the party faithful are once again fired up: a new Washington Post/ABC News poll reports that 76% of registered Democrats are enthusiastic to vote this November, compared to 75% of registered Republicans are enthusiastic.The enthusiasm gap between the two parties has effectively evaporated.

Obama Approval: A Slight Bounce For Health Care Victory

Posted Mar 29, 2010 at 12:58 AM by Maurice Berger

It does not appear that President Obama has received more than a slight improvement in his approval numbers, a week after in historic victory in congress. Last Sunday, Obama's three-day rolling average reported a 46% approval and 48% disapproval rating. As of this Sunday evening, the numbers are reversed 48.0% approve to 46.5% disapprove--an aggregate +3.5% improvement in his overall performance numbers. The two daily tracking polls--Rasmussen and Gallup--show no movement at all (with a slight decline in the latter survey). The president's numbers in the coming weeks will give us a clearer picture of the effect, if any, of his historic victory on his approval rating.

Does Pessimism About Economy Spell Trouble For Democrats In November?

Posted Mar 24, 2010 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

While the passage of heath care legislation has buoyed the Democratic Party, the poor state of the economy may continue to spell trouble for Democrats come November. A new Bloomberg Poll reports that Americans by a significant margin believe the economy has worsened during the past year: "A sense of despair pervades perceptions of the economy and nation. Barely one-in-three Americans say the country is on the right track. Fewer than one in 10 say they believe the economy will be strong again within a year. Just 4 percent of Americans who cut back on spending during the recession now say they are confident enough to open their wallets, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points."

Poor economic outlook is often the most important factor in determining the political health of the party in power and of incumbents in general. Will the economy improve enough to help the Democrats in the mid-term election or will voters turn to an alternative. Conversely, does the relatively depressed standing of the Republican Party--a recent poll shows a significant decline in GOP support among independent voters--help the Democrats hold on to both houses.

Public Does Not Understand Provisions Of Healthcare Bill

Posted Mar 23, 2010 at 12:59 AM by Maurice Berger

A new  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, suggests that Americans do not fully understand the provisions and details of the health care legislation just passed by congress. For example: "Only 15% of Americans, for instance, know that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the legislation will decrease the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. And 55% believe the CBO has said the legislation will increase the deficit over that period." 

President Obama's Approval/Disapproval Tied

Posted Mar 22, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

As of Sunday evening, President Obama's approval and disapproval numbers are tied--at 47%--according to PollTrack's weekly average.

Gallup: President Obama's Disapproval Higher Than Approval Rating

Posted Mar 19, 2010 at 1:16 AM by Maurice Berger

For the first time, Gallup reports that President Obama's disapproval rating is higher than his approval number. As of Thursday afternoon, Obama's three-day rolling average was 46% approve, 48% disapprove of his job performance as president.

Congressional Generic Ballot Evenly Split

Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 12:56 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls suggest that if the November election were held today, the generic vote for congress would be evenly split: Public Policy Polling survey finds a slim Republican advantage, 46% to 43%; the latest WSJ/NBC News poll shows Democrats with a three point lead, 46% to 43%; Gallup reports a similar advantage,  47% to 44%. PollTrack's average shows the Democrats with a tiny +1% lead, 45.3% to 44.3%.

Americans Ambivalent About Daylight Savings Time

Posted Mar 17, 2010 at 1:45 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Rasmussen Reports, "47% of Americans don’t think the time change is worth the hassle. 40% disagree, and 13% more aren’t sure . . . Men tend more than than women to think advancing the clock an hour to guarantee more sunlight in the afternoon and evening is worth the trouble. Adults 40 to 64 are more likely to feel the change is worth the hassle than those in other age groups."

Gallup: Americans Say Unemployment Top U.S. Problem

Posted Mar 16, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

According a new Gallup survey, "Americans mention unemployment or jobs (31%) more than any other issue when asked to name the most important problem facing the country today. Americans predict the federal budget deficit will be the top problem the U.S. will face 25 years from now, just ahead of the economy and the environment." As for the present top problems, "31% of Americans mention jobs or unemployment, significantly more than say the economy in general (24%), healthcare (20%), or dissatisfaction with government (10%)."

President Obama's Approval Holding Steady

Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 2:23 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating has stabilized this week. His aggregate approval rating now stands at 48.6%. His disapproval number, however, continues to remain fairly high at 47.6%.

Does The Government Spend Enough On Education?

Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

Does the U.S. Government spend enough on education? A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 67% of Democrats and 55% of voters not affiliated with either party say the government does not spend enough, a view shared by just 42% of Republicans . . . Just 20% think the government spends too much on public education, while another 21% say the amount it spends is about right. While government leaders attempt to tackle budget deficits that are ballooning to historic proportions, 55% of Americans say the government does not spend enough money on public education."

 

Seven in Ten Americans Happy With Their Job

Posted Mar 11, 2010 at 12:45 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite high unemployment and a depressed economy, seven out of ten employed Americans say that "their jobs are ideal, leaving nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce who feel their jobs aren't exactly right for them." According to a recent Gallup survey, "While majorities of respondents at all income levels report that their jobs are ideal, the percentage saying so increases with income. Americans with annual household incomes of at least $120,000 per year are the most likely to say their jobs are ideal (77%), while those making less than $12,000 per year are the least likely (57%)."

Young Republicans More Enthusiastic About Midterm Elections

Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 12:13 AM by Maurice Berger

In an ominous sign for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, A Harvard Institute of Politics survey of 18 to 29 year-old voters, reports that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting and participating Democrats, with 41% of Republicans planning on voting, compared to 35% of Democrats and 13% of Independents.

Americans Remain More Confident in Obama Than Congress on Healthcare

Posted Mar 09, 2010 at 1:07 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup survey reveals that "Americans remain more confident in the healthcare reform recommendations of President Obama (49%) than in the recommendations of the Democratic (37%) or Republican (32%) leaders in Congress. But these confidence levels are lower than those measured in June, suggesting that the ongoing healthcare reform debate has taken a toll on the credibility of the politicians involved."

President Obama's Approval Up Slightly

Posted Mar 08, 2010 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating stabilized this week, improving considerably from last week. His aggregate approval rating now stands at 49.3%. His disapproval number remains fairly high, however, and now stands at 47.3%.

Americans Not Optimistic About Future Of U.S. Military

Posted Mar 05, 2010 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

In a result that suggests that Americans are not optimistic about the future of the U.S. military, a recent Gallup survey reports that while 64% of Americans believe the U.S. is the No. 1 military power in the world today, far fewer--a staggering 36%--believe that the U.S. will be No. 1 militarily in 20 years. Nevertheless, "most Americans believe the U.S. will continue to have combat troops regularly involved in fighting around the world over the next two decades."

Democrats More Confident About Economy Than Republicans Or Independents

Posted Mar 04, 2010 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Democrats were less negative than either independents or Republicans about the economy in February, as has been the case since shortly after President Barack Obama took office in early 2009. Democrats' -10 reading on Gallup's Economic Confidence Index in February compares to -34 among independents and -44 among Republicans . . . Americans' views of the economy clearly reflect their political orientation and can vary sharply, depending on which party controls the White House. Republicans are most positive when there is a Republican president. Democrats are the most positive when the president is a Democrat."

Americans Spending Less To Cope With Recession

Posted Mar 03, 2010 at 1:46 AM by Maurice Berger

In order to cope with the fall-out of the Great Recession, Gallup reports in a new survey, "nearly 6 in 10 Americans (57%) now say they are spending less money than they used to, and 38% say this reduced spending will be their new, normal spending pattern. In a marked shift from earlier this decade, 62% of Americans now say they more enjoy saving rather than spending, while 35% say the reverse."

Obama Falling Behind in Purple States

Posted Mar 02, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

In a series sign of weakness for the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, Tom Jensen reports that President Obama at present "has a negative approval rating in every state he flipped from the Bush column to his in 2008. In each of those places his level of support is now in the 44-46% range. It's probably a good thing he doesn't have to run for reelection this year. He can only hope things start turning around for him once the midterms are in the rear view mirror, much as they did for Bill Clinton."

President Obama's Approval Rating Falls, Disapproval Up

Posted Mar 01, 2010 at 1:10 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating dropped noticeably this week. His aggregate approval rating now stands at 46.6%. Even more alarming for the president is the sharp rise of his disapproval number, now higher than his approval score at 48%.

Americans More Confident In War On Terror

Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, "voter confidence in America's conduct of the War on Terror has reached its highest level since last May. The survey finds that 50% of likely voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, up 12 points from last month and 14 points from late-December.  Only 21% now believe the terrorists hold the advantage, down 10 points from January and the lowest level measured since last August. Another 21% say neither side is winning, a figure that has held relatively steady over the past several years. Democrats are slightly more confident in U.S. efforts in the war, with 54% who believe the United States and its allies are winning. A month ago, just 41% of Democrats felt that way. Forty-eight percent (48%) of Republicans and 46% of those not affiliated with either party agree."

American Skeptical About Healthcare Plan, Oppose Reconciliation

Posted Feb 25, 2010 at 1:22 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Americans are skeptical that lawmakers will agree on a new healthcare bill at Thursday's bipartisan healthcare summit in Washington, D.C. If an agreement is not reached, Americans by a 49% to 42% margin oppose rather than favor Congress passing a healthcare bill similar to the one proposed by President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate. By a larger 52% to 39% margin, Americans also oppose the Democrats in the Senate using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible Republican filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote."

Americans By Wide Margin Think US Government Is Broken

Posted Feb 24, 2010 at 1:20 AM by Maurice Berger

In an astonishing result, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll.
reports that "Americans overwhelmingly think that the government in this country is broken." 86% say that our system of government is broken, with 14% saying no. One note of optimism: of the 86%, 81% say that the government can be fixed, with only a scant 5% saying it's beyond repair.

Democrats Loosing Young Voters

Posted Feb 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

In what is surely a troubling sign for Democrats, the party appears to be loosing young voters--a key component of President Obama's margin of victory in 2008: "The "Millennial Generation" of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009. The Democratic advantage over the Republicans in party affiliation among young voters, including those who "lean" to a party, reached a whopping 62% to 30% margin in 2008. But by the end of 2009 this 32-point margin had shrunk to just 14 points: 54% Democrat, 40% Republican." Still, as the survey reports, "While the Republican Party picked up support from Millennials during 2009, this age group continues to favor the Democratic Party more than do other generations. And the underlying political values of this new generation continue to be significantly more liberal than those of other generations on many measures.

Obama Disaaproval Up This Week

Posted Feb 22, 2010 at 1:40 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's overall approval/disapproval rating declined this week, his disapproval number rising considerably from last week. His aggregate approval rating now stands at 47.5%. His disapproval number is now at 47.3%, almost equal to his positive number.

New Poll Shows Surprising Strength For Tea Party Movement

Posted Feb 19, 2010 at 4:31 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll reports suprising strength for the Tea Party movement: "The poll indicates that about 24 percent of the public generally favors the Tea Party movement but has not taken any actions such as donating money or attending a rally. Adding in the 11 percent who say they are active, a total of 35 percent could be described as Tea Party supporters. That larger group is also predominantly male, higher-income, and conservative. Some 45 percent of all Americans say they don't know enough about the Tea Party to have a view of the movement; one in five say they oppose the Tea Party. According to the survey, most Tea Party activists describe themselves as Independents."

By Wide Margin, Americans Want Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Posted Feb 18, 2010 at 1:26 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner reports that by a substantial margin--54% to 35%--voters overwhelmingly support repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. GQR writes:
"Unlike so many other issues in the country right now, this issue simply does not polarize voters. Even among Republicans, repeal finds support with four in ten voters."

President Obama 's Approval Rating Stabilizes

Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:27 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating stabilized this week, improving considerably from last week. His aggregate approval rating now stands at 48.7%. His disapproval number has dropped considerably, as well, and now stands at 44%.

US Senate 2010 Analysis All Week

Posted Feb 09, 2010 at 2:30 AM by Maurice Berger

Through next Monday, the presidential blog will tale a breather as PollTrack devotes is coverage to the analysis of competitive 2010 US Senate races. We'll be posting up at least two posts per day in the WRITING ON THE WALL blog tracking these races.

President Obama's Approval Drops Sharply

Posted Feb 07, 2010 at 5:09 PM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating has taken a serious dive this week, suggesting that his modest State of the Union bounce was very short lived. His aggregate approval rating nows stands at 46.3%. Even more alarming for the president is the sharp rise of his disapproval number, now at an all-time high of 49%.

Public Unaware Of Health Care Details

Posted Feb 05, 2010 at 5:47 AM by Maurice Berger

The public often forms opinion based on the overall contours of an issue--rather than inside-the beltway details--an observation that seems particularly true of its reaction to health care reform. A Pew Research poll reveals that just 32% of Americans know the health care reform bill received no support from Republican Senators; just 26% know that 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster in the Senate. And, as other polls have confirmed, even fewer understand the basic provisions of a bill that is both cumbersome and has remained mostly unexplained to the American public.

Conservatives Outnumber Liberals In Every State, Except DC

Posted Feb 04, 2010 at 2:08 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup survey reports that "three U.S. states in the Deep South -- Alabama (49%), Mississippi (48%), and Louisiana (48%) -- had the greatest percentage of residents self-identifying as conservatives in 2009. Aside from the District of Columbia, which has the greatest proportion of liberals, conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state." For more, click here. Here's Gallup's chart of the most "Liberal"/ "Conservative" states:

Top 10 Conservative States Top 10 Liberal States

Gallup: Obama Back Up to 50% Approval

Posted Feb 03, 2010 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

A week of relatively positive press following the President's State of the union address has helped his approval rating, according to Gallup: "President Barack Obama's job approval rating has jumped up to 51% in the most recent three-day Gallup Daily tracking. This follows 11 straight days of Gallup reporting in which Obama's approval rating was below the 50% mark. Here is Gallup's chart posted on Monday:

President Obama Job Approval -- Gallup Daily Tracking for January 2010

How Many Watched State of the Union?

Posted Feb 02, 2010 at 1:16 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Nielsen Wire, President Obama's first State of the Union address was viewed by more than 48 million viewers -- down 7% from President Bush's first official address in 2002.

President's Approval Up

Posted Feb 01, 2010 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

The President Obama's State of the Union address appears to have given him a slight lift in approval numbers this week: His approval number has risen this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 49.0%. Also of note: the president's disapproval has now fallen below his approval number to 47.8%. It will be interesting to see if the increase in approval will be sustained over the next few weeks.

Presidential Approval/Disapproval A Problem?

Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

In polling leading up to Wednesday's state of the union address, President Obama's disapproval rating is showing signs of eclipsing his approval rating (a problem demonstrated by Monday's weekly PollTrack rating). In two polls, Obama's disapproval is higher (Rasmussen, CNN Opinion Research) in two others, the numbers are more or less even (NPR and Gallup). Stay tuned. Monday's average may gives us a sense if Wednesday's national address has approved the president's standing.

GOP Leads Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 2:32 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new NPR poll, the GOP leads Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, 44% to 39%--a +5% advantage. 
In 2008, the Democratic advantage in the survey was +8%.
Among the most motivated voters, the GOP lead is even greater: "Most significantly, the generic ballot improves to blowout levels among the voters most interested in the elections.   Among the 70% of likely voters who rate their interest in the upcoming November elections as an 8-10 on a scale of 1-10 (where one means not interested/ten means very interested), the GOP lead on the generic ballot grows to 48%-38%.  Among 10s, it is a 50%-36% margin."

Americans Pessimistic About Economy

Posted Jan 27, 2010 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, American remain pessimistic about the economy: "Americans are thinking in terms of years, not months, when pondering how much longer it will be before the U.S. economy starts to recover. The vast majority (67%) believe it will be at least two years before a recovery starts, and nearly half (46%) think it will be at least three years . . . a full third of Americans (34%) say it will be four or more years before a recovery starts, the mean response is 4 ½ years-- putting the average predicted onset of recovery well into 2014."

Obama Approval Down, Disapproval Up

Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 1:51 AM by Maurice Berger

After several weeks of bad news--including the Democrat's devastating loss in Massachusetts--President Obama's approval number has fallen this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 47.0%. Extremely alarming for the president: the president's disapproval has crept up WELL above his approval number, now at an alarming 50.5%.

Obama's Decline In Public Approval: How Serious A Problem For Democrats in 2010

Posted Jan 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Republican pollster Frank Luntz fires a warning shot to Democrats in his analysis of the president's declining popularity. While his overall opinion of--and some of his ideas about--the seriousness of the dilemma now facing Democrats may be colored by ideology, two of his points about looming red flags are backed up by the results of a number of non-partisan public opinion surveys:


According to Gallup, Obama has suffered the greatest fall in approval of any elected president since the company started ongoing tracking during the Eisenhower administration. Obama came into office with the approval of two out of every three voters (67 percent) but ended his first year with just half the electorate (50 percent) offering a positive evaluation of his performance. Only the unelected Gerald Ford fared worse in the court of public opinion.


While the Republican brand has barely moved since its electoral disasters of 2006 and 2008 and remains unpopular, Democratic popularity has collapsed as well. Most surveys now have the GOP even or even slightly ahead in the generic congressional ballot, and Americans now see the Republicans to be as good if not better in handling the economy.

What Luntz fails to point out, however, is that the Republican brand is suffering as well: A new Public Policy Polling poll reports that only 19% of voters nationally are happy with the direction of the Republican Party, compared to 56% who are unhappy with it. Even more surprising--GOP voters are not particularly happy with the direction of their own party: just 35% support the direction of the party; 38% say they are unhappy.

Health Care Reform NOT Popular

Posted Jan 20, 2010 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirms what last night's returns from Massachusetts infer: health care reform is not popular. In the survey, only 33% of Americans say President Obama's reform effort is a good idea; 46% consider it a mistake.

Support Of Health Care Package Hurting Blue Dog Democrats

Posted Jan 19, 2010 at 2:11 AM by Maurice Berger

So-called "Blue Dog" Democrats--moderate Democratic Senators and congressmen in marginally conservative or Republican districts or states--are suffering because of the unpopularity of the health care bill now working its way through congress. A prime example, Sen. Ben Nelson who has campaigned hard to sell Nebraskans on his vote to support the bill: "Nelson, who once enjoyed some of the highest job performance marks in the U.S. Senate, has now seen his approval rating dip below 50 percent in Nebraska, according to The World-Herald Poll. Nelson said the poll results come as no surprise, especially since Nebraskans have been 'bombarded' with millions of dollars in 'misleading advertisements.' He said he expects that people will come to appreciate the health care bill. In the survey, Nelson's job approval rating was 42 percent and his disapproval rating was 48 percent. By comparison, Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who voted against the bill, had a 63 percent job-approval rating."


President Obama's Job Approval Numbers Up

Posted Jan 18, 2010 at 1:58 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval numbers are up this week. PollTrack's average as of Sunday night: 49.2% APPROVE to 45.3% DISAPPROVE. Also of note, the President's disapproval number has dropped considerably from last week: His approval rating is now +4% higher than his disapproval number.

Conservativism Popular, But Moderates And Liberals Dominate

Posted Jan 15, 2010 at 12:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite the inroads made by Democrats in recent years--and the historic election of Barack Obama as president--more Americans consider themselves conservative relative to other political mindsets: "The increased conservatism . . . identified among Americans last June persisted throughout the year, so that the final year-end political ideology figures confirm Gallup’s initial reporting: conservatives (40%) outnumbered both moderates (36%) and liberals (21%) across the nation in 2009." PollTrack points out that the combined total of moderates and liberals--now at 61%--far outnumbers conservatives. So it's hard to say if Gallup figure has broader meaning relative to changes in the electorate.

Divorse Higher In States That Ban Gay Marriage

Posted Jan 14, 2010 at 2:27 AM by Maurice Berger

In a fascinating analysis, Nate Silver notes a distinct correlation between states that have passed gay marriage bans and the divorse rate among hetrosexual couples: "Over the past decade or so, divorce has gradually become more uncommon in the United States. Since 2003, however, the decline in divorce rates has been largely confined to states which have not passed a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. These states saw their divorce rates decrease by an average of 8 percent between 2003 and 2008. States which had passed a same-sex marriage ban as of January 1, 2008, however, saw their divorce rates rise by about 1 percent over the same period."

Americans Continue To Blame Bush For The Bad Economy

Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

In a bit of good news for the Obama administration, a new Rasmussen survey, reports that "51% of voters nationwide continue to believe that the economic woes can still be blamed on Administration of George W. Bush . . . [the] survey finds that just 41% hold the opposite view and believe the policies of Barack Obama are to blame."

Obama Approval Moves Downward

Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1:42 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval number has dropped by a point this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating is as follows: APPROVE: 47.5%. The president's disapproval number is now higher than his approval, a possibly alarming development for the administration. The president's disapproval number has also crept up from last week to 48.5%. 

Midterm Elections: Too Early To Tell

Posted Jan 08, 2010 at 2:20 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack suggests taking a look at this informative New York Times round table on the upcoming midterm elections. While certain political signs point to possibly significant Democratic loses (presidential job approval below 50%, shrinking Democratic partisan identification, a GOP lead on the Congressional Generic ballot), it is still too early to tell. An improved economy--and an uptick in job creation--could well benefit the Democrats (ten months is a relatively long time in the politics of the Internet age). Or continued stagnation may well add seats to the GOP column. Will shrinking Democratic turnout--relative to last year's wave of enthusiasm for candidate Obama--ultimately hurt the party in power or will Democrats, still weary from 8-years of George W. Bush, turn out in sufficient numbers to keep things stable? Click here for the complete NYT round table.

Gallup: Obama At 50% At Start of Second Year

Posted Jan 07, 2010 at 1:46 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup notes that President Obama begins his second year as president with 50% of Americans approving and 44% disapproving of his overall job performance: "This is well below the 68% approval rating Obama received in his first few days as president, and matches his average for all of December -- which included many days when public support for him fell slightly below that important symbolic threshold. . . . Obama's initial approval rating in his second year as president is among the lowest for elected presidents since Dwight Eisenhower. Only Ronald Reagan -- who, like Obama, took office during challenging economic times -- began his second year in office with a lower approval score (49%). However, Obama's disapproval rating is slightly higher than Reagan's was (44% vs. 40%)." Of course, as PollTrack notes, Reagan went on to become one of the most popular US presidents in the 20th-Century. So at this early stage, it's hard to tell if these numbers are in any way significant.

50% of Americans Believe Recession Will Continue Into 2010

Posted Jan 06, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

How soon will the recession end? Not so soon, if American perception are correct. According to a newly released Rasmussen survey, "50% of Americans believe the country will still be in recession at the end of 2010 . . . Just 20% disagree and say America will not be in recession by then. 31% aren’t sure. While many economists say the recession is over, 71% of all adults say it is not. 75% of investors still believe the economy is in a recession.

Obama, Clinton: Most Admired Americans

Posted Jan 05, 2010 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by USA TODAY/Gallup finds that President Obama is the man Americans admired most in 2009, and finds Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are virtually tied as the most-admired woman.The close finish by Clinton, named by 16% in the open-ended survey, and Palin, named by 15%, reflects the nation's partisan divide. Clinton was cited by nearly 3 in 10 Democrats but only 6% of Republicans, Palin by a third of Republicans but less than 1% of Democrats. Obama dominates the field among men at 30%, though his support also shows a partisan split. He was named by more than half of Democrats but just 7% of Republicans.

Obama Approval Stable

Posted Jan 04, 2010 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval number remains stable this week, according to PollTrack's weekly average. As of Sunday evening, his rating remains the same as last week: 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 47.5%. PollTrack also notes that this week's average may be skewed by the Christmas and New Year holiday season--polling is irregular and sporadic during this time--and daily trackers that take a second break through this coming Monday.

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."

 

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."

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%.

Democrats In Trouble In 2010?

Posted Nov 17, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Veteran analyst Stu Rothenberg, analyzing the rest of the 2009 off-year races, argues that the Democratic brand may be in trouble in the 2010 midterm elections: "Now it will be the GOP who can push the “culture of corruption” argument that Democrats used so successfully in the recent past. Now Republicans will complain about high unemployment numbers, about causalities in Afghanistan and the administration’s foreign policy and about the government’s inability to get H1N1 flu shots to the American public. Moreover, as we are already seeing with health care reform, the internal contradictions of the Democratic Party are becoming apparent. For the past year, the national media have been focused on internal Republican divisions. But now, a fracturing in the Democratic ranks is likely to give plenty of fodder for journalists, columnists and talking heads. This is likely to further erode Democratic poll numbers."

Rothenberg also points out that such shifts in voter sentiment, away from the party principally in power, are fairly common in midterm cycles: "There is nothing unnatural about this, of course. It’s the inevitable result of a party gaining more than 50 seats over the past four years, including in districts that are conservative and lean Republican. And it always happens when one party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House."

Bellwether Colorado: Are The Democrats In Trouble?

Posted Sep 10, 2009 at 12:19 AM by Maurice Berger

The Washington Post wonders whether Colorado, a new and potent bellwether of national partisan support, is slipping away from the Democrats: "In 2008, Colorado became a symbol of the changing politics in a region once firmly in Republican hands -- and also of the grass-roots power and energy fueling Barack Obama's candidacy. Today, the state embodies the uneasiness spreading throughout Democratic ranks as Obama struggles with major challenges and the 2010 midterm elections approach."

Colorado has been one of the Democratic Party's major success stories. Between 1968 and 2004, Republican presidential candidates carried the state in all but one election. Last year, Obama crushed John McCain in Colorado, part of a broader shift in the balance of political power in the Rocky Mountain West. Obama's victory and earlier Democratic wins here have transformed the state. Early in the decade, Republicans controlled virtually everything -- the governor's office, almost all other statewide offices, the congressional delegation and both houses of the Colorado legislature. Today, Democrats are in control of all of those. A year ago, Denver enthusiastically hosted the Democratic National Convention, which culminated with Obama's acceptance speech before more than 80,000 people at the Denver Broncos' football stadium. Legions of volunteers, young and old, fanned out across the state throughout the fall to rally the vote for Obama's campaign."

"Today, the energy that powered Obama to victory has begun to dissipate. Some of his supporters remain on the sidelines; others are, if not disillusioned, questioning what has happened to his presidency. As they look toward 2010, Democrats are nervous. Gov. Bill Ritter, appointed Sen. Michael F. Bennet and at least one Democratic member of the House will probably face difficult election campaigns next year."

Health Care Reform Big Issue in 2010?

Posted Sep 09, 2009 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "the American people are no less divided on healthcare reform today than they were a month ago. [The survey] finds 39% of Americans saying they would direct their member of Congress to vote against a healthcare reform bill this fall while 37% want their member to vote in favor. . . .[The poll] suggests the issue could be politically potent in 2010. Sixty-four percent of Americans say their representative's position on healthcare reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election; just over a third say it will be no more than a minor factor." Here is Gallup's chart:

 

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Will Older Voters Hurt Democrats in 2010 Midterm Election?

Posted Sep 08, 2009 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

Will 2010 be the year of the angry white senior, especial in more localized House races? A recent analysis by the Cook Report suggests it may: "Today's divide . . . is the generation gap – no, make that gulf – that characterized President Obama’s victory in 2008. In 1992 and 2000, Bill Clinton and Al Gore performed just slightly better among voters 60 and older than they did among voters 18 to 29 years of age. But in 2008, Obama won 66 percent of voters 18 to 29 and just 45 percent of voters 65 and older – a staggering 21 point difference. Much has been made about how this disparity in support poses a big long-term problem for the GOP. That’s true, assuming younger voters maintain their current outlook towards the political parties as they age. But aside from flurries of stories about angry senior citizens packing town halls, precious little attention has been given to why the generation gulf poses a grave short-term threat to Democrats in 2010."

"Put simply, older voters dominate midterms and have consistently been Obama's weakest age group. Unlike Bill Clinton’s gender gap, Obama’s generation gap complicates Democrats’ midterm math substantially. There's little discernible variation in gender shares of the electorate from midterm to presidential years. But midterm electorates typically skew older and whiter than those in presidential years. According to exit poll data, voters over 45 comprised 54 percent of the total electorate in 2004 and just 53 percent of the electorate in 2008, but they were 63 percent of all voters in 2006. And diminished turnout on the part of African-American and Hispanic voters, which was a factor in 1994, looks like a double whammy for Democrats."

GOP Catches Democrats On Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Jul 31, 2009 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

Is the Democratic brand in trouble? After years of leading the Generic Congressional Ballot--often by wide margins--the Democrats have fallen slightly behind. According to a new NPR poll, "The so-called generic ballot question was also very close. Asked whether they would support a Democrat or a Republican for Congress in 2010 if the election were held today, 42 percent said they would choose a Democrat and 43 percent a Republican, a difference well within the poll's margin of error (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for each number in each question)."

Charlie Cook's Crystal Ball: Congressional Midterm Elections, 2010

Posted Jun 10, 2009 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

The brilliant political analyst Charlie Cook--taking an early look at the electoral landscape for the 2010 congressional midterm election--predicts a split decision, "with Republicans picking up a few House seats but losing a Senate seat or two. The difference is that Democrats have the larger number of vulnerable House districts, while Senate Republicans have more seats that are in serious jeopardy."

Cook on the House: "Having gained 54 House seats over the past two elections, Democrats now represent 49 districts that GOP presidential nominee John McCain won last year. By comparison, Republicans represent 34 districts that Obama won. Simple arithmetic indicates that in the absence of overwhelming hostility toward the Republican Party, the GOP ought to gain a few, maybe even a dozen or so, House seats."

Cook on the Senate: "On the Senate side, the math is a bit different and is not driven directly by the results of the past two elections. In 2010, Republicans will be defending 19 seats, only one more than Democrats will. Originally, Republicans would have had 20 seats to defend versus 15 for the Democrats, but that changed with Joe Biden's election to the vice presidency and Hillary Rodham Clinton's selection as secretary of State. Two Democratic seats that would not have been up again until 2014 and 2012, respectively, will be in 2010. Add in Arlen Specter's party switch, and next year's lineup brings almost complete parity in the parties' exposure."

For more of Cook's fascinating analysis click here.

Democrats Move Ahead On The Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Parhaps as a testament to President Obama's high level of popularity over the past month--and the public's increasingly negative view of the GOP--Democrats have moved ahead slightly on what had been a tied generic congressional ballot: "Democratic Congressional candidates have moved further ahead of Republicans this week in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot." The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that "41% would vote for their district’s Democratic congressional candidate while 38% would choose the Republican. Support for Democrats is up one point from last week, while support for the GOP has dropped a point. The latest results mark the lowest level of support for the GOP since April 12, while they mark the highest level of support for the Democrats since the end of March."

Republican Insiders: Is Former VP Cheney Hurting GOP?

Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

Is former Vice-President Dick Cheney hurting the Repulican Party. GOP insiders seem to think so, according to a new survey: A solid 57% of Republicans said former Vice President Dick Cheney has "hurt the Republican Party since leaving office" in this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll. Here are some representative remarks from some of the respondents:

"Cheney has emerged as the GOP's most visible spokesman. And you're more likely to find WMDs in Iraq than independent voters who like the former vice president."

"As the Republicans try to move beyond the political disaster of the Bush years, Dick Cheney is a surreal public presence that is hurting Republicans very badly."

"Cheney's comments about [Colin] Powell versus [Rush] Limbaugh will drive moderate voters even further from the party. Republicans need these voters and spokesmen that will attract them."

"Cheney's disapproval rating is 60 percent: He's so unpopular that he probably couldn't get a gig on an infomercial. He's certainly not the right guy to become the face of a revived and repositioned Republican Party."

Bellwether Colorado: Is Obama In Trouble?

Posted Apr 24, 2009 at 1:40 AM by Maurice Berger

In the 2008 cycle, the state of Colorado was the ultimate swing state, a strong bellwether of other states that have remained close in recent national cycles. Where does the state stand today with regard to Barack Obama? PollTrack suggests that the answer may not be good news for the new president. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, Obama receives approval from only "49% of voters with 45% dissenting. . . . a much smaller swath of the electorate approving of [his] job performance than voted for [him] last fall, and it looks like a lot of that may have to do with [his] standing among independent voters. An average of PPP’s final three Colorado polls last year found Obama . . . doing spectacularly well among independent voters. Obama had a 24 point lead . . . But now only 48% of independents approve of what the President is doing with 47% disapproving."

Generic Congressional Ballot Virtually Tied

Posted Apr 09, 2009 at 1:55 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be a bit of a red flag for the Obama administration, a new poll of registered voters indicates that they are evening divided in terms of the party they would vote for if congressional elections were held today: "Republicans have pulled within one point of Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 40% would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 39% would choose the Republican. Support for Democratic congressional candidates fell two points this week, while support for GOP candidates gained one point to tie its highest level this year so far. Three weeks ago, Republicans took a two-point lead over Democrats, their first in several years, but that quickly reversed the following week. Democrats began the year holding a six- or seven-point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. Recently, the gap has been smaller. Prior to the current update, Democrats have held a three-or-four point advantage for three of the prior four weeks."

Obama's Approval Rating Indicates Widest Partisan Gap In Past Four Decades

Posted Apr 07, 2009 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating--when matched to voters' party affiliation, according to a new Pew Research Survey--suggest as wide partisan gap: "For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama's job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president -- 88% job approval among Democrats -- and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%). By comparison, there was a somewhat smaller 51-point partisan gap in views of George W. Bush's job performance in April 2001, a few months into his first term. At that time, Republican enthusiasm for Bush was comparable to how Democrats feel about Obama today, but there was substantially less criticism from members of the opposition party. Among Democrats, 36% approved of Bush's job performance in April 2001; that compares with a 27% job approval rating for Obama among Republicans today." The longterm implications of this are unclear, PollTrack believes, because the poll does not report the leanings of the all-important independent and unaffiliated voters.

NY-20: National Implications?

Posted Apr 01, 2009 at 1:58 AM by Maurice Berger

With the NY-20 special election ending in a virtual tie--with Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco at 50% each--it's hard to ascribe a trend to the results. Indeed, as PollTrack has observed before, the traditionally low turnout in special elections almost guarantees that the results will be ambiguous at best. But there are two take aways from yesterday's content: [1] Even after the national GOP poured a good deal of time and money into the local contest, in a district with a decided Republican advatage in registration, its candudate still lost. There cannot be joy in the offices of the RNC this morning. [2] The extreme closeness of the race--in a swing district where Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand nevertheless won by a large margin last November--suggests that the district, and by a slight stretch of the imagination, the nation remains more divided than many pundits realize.

Obama's 2008 Victory May Have Been Narrower Than It Seems

Posted Mar 30, 2009 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new analysis, in which the 2008 presidential election was re-run using a district-based system of awarding electoral votes, used only in two states (ME and NE), instead of the winner-take-all Barack Obama still would have defeated John McCain, though the Electoral College tally would have been closer than the actual 365-173 margin of victory.

The CQ Politics analysis concludes that Obama would have beaten McCain 301-237 "using a district-based system, under which a candidate receives two electoral votes for winning a state and one electoral vote for every congressional district he or she wins. Only Maine and Nebraska allocate electoral votes in this fashion. The analysis found that Obama won 242 districts and McCain won 193 districts. Obama also posted another 59 electoral votes by carrying 28 states and the District of Columbia, which is entitled to three electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment. McCain would have received another 44 electoral votes as a result of winning 22 states." PollTrack observes that such results suggest the country remains more politically divided than the initial 2008 results suggest, divisions that now appear to be playing out in the polling that gauges political sentiment in the upcoming congressional elections of 2010. Such surveys now indicate an electorate evenly divided between support for Democrtic and Republican congressional candidates.

Republican Party Increasingly Irrelevant To Young Voters

Posted Mar 27, 2009 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Democracy Corps surveys suggests storms clouds ahead for Republicans--the increasing disaffection of young Americans from the party and its ideology: the "post-election survey of youth shows the Republican Party growing more and more irrelevant to America’s young people. In marked contrast, young people’s support for the President has expanded beyond the 66 percent support they gave him last November. However, progressives have work to do among these voters—and would be voters—as well, as this survey signals insufficient enthusiasm for participating in the 2010 elections.

Democracy Corps continues: "In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain warned her party that it was, “on the precipice of becoming irrelevant to young people.” This conclusion comes in the wake of a 66 to 32 percent drubbing by young people in the 2008 elections. Our survey of young people taken three months after the election underscores the alienation of Republicans from the millennial generational. By a 59 to 14 percent margin, young people prefer the Democrats when it comes to “paying attention to issues that affect younger people,” a six point gain since 2007."

Democratic Support Up A Tick On Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Mar 18, 2009 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

In a bit of bright news for the Obama administrations and congressional Democrats, the party has "managed to move slightly further ahead this week. . . . The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 42% of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 38% said they would choose the Republican. In recent weeks, the Democratic advantage on the Generic Ballot has ranged from one-to-four points. Democrats enjoy a larger advantage when it comes to partisan identification among the electorate."

Republican Voters See Their Party As Leaderless

Posted Mar 11, 2009 at 2:06 AM by Maurice Berger

A hefty majority of Republican voters now see their party as leaderless, according to a new poll. 68% of Republican voters say their party has no clear leader; another 17% are undecided:"Just 5% view either John McCain, the GOP's unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate, or new party chairman Michael Steele as the party's leader. 2% see conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh in that role, 1% name McCain's running mate, Alaska Govenror Sarah Palin. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner are each seen as GOP leader by less than one-half of one percent." These numbers suggest problems ahead for a party that needs to regroup and sharply hone its message in anticipation of the 2010 mid-term elections. 

Republicans Pull Close in Generic Congresional Ballot

Posted Mar 06, 2009 at 1:28 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may suggest a looming problem for the Obama administration in the 2010 congressional elections, a new Rasmussen survey reports that "the race between Republicans and Democrats has once again tightened up in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. For the third time in the last four weeks, Republicans have pulled to within two points of the Democrats. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 39% said they would choose the Republican. While support for the Democrats has not changed since, support for the GOP has increased two points."

Republicans Rate Poorly On The Economy

Posted Feb 27, 2009 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger

White President Obama continues to enjoy high approval on his handling of the economy and other problems facing the nation, the Republicans fare very poorly. A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll Reports that the Democratic Party leads the Republicans by 56-30 percent in trust to handle the country's main problems. "That has slightly improved from 56-23 percent in December, as congressional Republicans found a unified voice in opposition to the stimulus. But the December number was the Republicans' worst in ABC/Post polls since 1982; they still have far to climb."Additionally, the Democrats hold the edge in partisan affiliation: 36% in the poll identified themselves as Democrats, just 24% as Republicans. On average in 2003, by contrast, the parties were at parity, 31 percent apiece."

Gaither Performance May Be Hurting Consumer Confidence

Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 2:11 AM by Maurice Berger

Following Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s presentation of the White House financial rescue plan, the "Rasmussen Consumer Index fell a point-and-a-half to 56.6. That’s another all-time record low, surpassing the mark set ten days ago. During 2008, record lows for consumer confidence were recorded on a regular basis. The Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, is down three points from a week ago and two points from a month ago."

The Democratic Brand May Be In Trouble

Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 2:36 AM by Maurice Berger

In an ominous sign for the Democrats, public displeasure with Congress seems to be translating into much decreased support for Democratic legislators. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys found that in the generic congressional balllot, the Democrats’ lead is down to just one percentage point. Forty percent (40%) of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 39% said they would choose the Republican. "This marks the lowest level of support for the Democrats in tracking history," Rasmussen reports, "and is the closest the two parties have been on the generic ballot."

Obama Popularity Boosts Democrats in Congress

Posted Jan 29, 2009 at 5:02 AM by Maurice Berger

Diageo/Hotline Poll of 800 registered voters conducted in late-January finds that President Obama's popularity is helping to boost voter perceptions of Democrats in congress: "Now that Democrats control both the White House and both Houses of Congress, Democrats in Congress currently find themselves as beneficiaries of President Obama's high favorability and job approval ratings . . . 49% of voters say they approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, while only 26% of voters who approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing. And, while the 111th Congress has been in session barely three weeks, the Poll finds that the Democratic candidate leads the Republican candidate 46%-22% in a generic 2010 congressional election match-up, with 27% of voters saying they are undecided."

43% of Americans Think Obama Transition Did Nothing Wrong In Blagojevich Scandal

Posted Dec 22, 2008 at 7:05 AM by Maurice Berger

 

A new CNN/Opinion Research survey indicates Americans are split on whether aides to President-elect Barack Obama did something inappropriate in their contacts with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: 12% of those questioned say Obama aides did something illegal, with another 36% feeling Obama aides didn't act illegally but did do something unethical.43% say no Obama aides did anything seriously wrong."

Democratic Brand Could Be In Trouble With Voters

Posted Dec 19, 2008 at 3:19 AM by Maurice Berger

In a sign that the Republicans may have an opening in the Blogojevich scandal (and that Obama may have a looming PR problem), a new Rasmussen survey reports that a "number of voters are unsure which political party they can trust to deal with government ethics and corruption has climbed to its highest level since June." The poll found that 39% do not know which party to trust. Trust in both the Democratic and Republican Parties "is also at the lowest levels since June. Now, 36% trust the Democrats more, while 26% trust Republicans more. In November, voters trusted Democrats more when it came to corruption by a 38% to 31% margin."