Poll Watch
September 16, 2020

The good news keeps pouring in for Democrats looking to retake the Senate this fall.

After a poll released earlier Wednesday put Democrat Mark Kelly 10 points over Sen. Martha McSally (R) in Arizona, a Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday gave Sara Gideon a similar edge over Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.). The poll also showed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tied with his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, mirroring other recent polls that show a tight race in the state.

Collins is a moderate senator who's held her seat for more than 20 years. But her votes to approve Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sparked anger from Democrats and a flood of outside donations for her opponent even before a challenger joined the race. Now, less than two months before Election Day, Gideon has a 12-point lead over the incumbent, the Quinnipiac poll shows. That's a big swing from 2014, when Collins won re-election with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

In South Carolina, Graham is tied at 48 percent with former state Democratic party chair Harrison, per Quinnipiac. The last Quinnipiac poll also had them tied at 44 percent in early August. Still, things aren't looking quite as good for Amy McGrath, the former Marine fighter pilot challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell got 49 percent support to McGrath's 45 percent support in the state, another Quinnipiac poll showed.

From Sept. 10-14, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,183 likely voters in Maine with a 2.9-point margin of error. In Kentucky, it surveyed 1,164 likely voters with a 2.9 point margin of error. And in South Carolina, it surveyed 969 likely voters with a 3.2 point margin of error. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 29, 2020

Most Americans indicated they would receive a U.S.-made coronavirus vaccine should one get approval, but Republicans are more likely to refuse one, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds.

Only 9 percent of Democrats said they wouldn't get vaccinated compared to 24 percent of Republicans. On the other hand, Republicans were actually more likely — 26 percent to 21 percent — than Democrats to favor the government unveiling a vaccine as swiftly as possible, even if that means it had not been fully tested.

Overall, though, the country seems to prefer waiting to make sure a vaccine's safety is confirmed, even as the government, drug companies like Pfizer, and research institutions operate at an unprecedented pace to produce a vaccine amid the pandemic. More than 60 percent of those surveyed want any potential vaccine to be fully tested before it becomes available.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll was conducted online between July 24-26 among 1,997 registered voters. The margin of error was 2 percentage points. Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

July 10, 2020

Two-thirds of Americans now disapprove of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations, two of the biggest issues roiling the U.S. in the lead-up to November's election, ABC News and Ipsos find in a national poll released Friday morning. Roughly mirroring the U.S. COVID-19 case count graph, Trump's disapproval numbers on his coronavirus response held relatively steady from April until June, then rose sharply through July.

Overall, 67 percent of Americans say they disapprove of Trump's coronavirus response while 33 percent approve. Trump saw some slippage among Republicans — 78 percent approve of his response, down from 90 percent in June — but his numbers among independents tanked. In mid-June, 40 percent of independents approved of Trump's COVID-19 oversight and 59 disapproved; now, only 26 percent approve and 73 percent disapprove. Men (66 percent) and women (67 percent) equally disapprove of the president's response, and even white Americans without a college degree narrowly disapprove, 50 percent to 49 percent approving.

The percentage of American who said the economy was being pushed to open too quickly rose 3 percentage points, to 59 percent, ABC News/Ipsos found, versus 15 percent who said it is opening too slowly. On Trump's handling of race relations, 59 percent of white Americans, 92 percent of Black Americans, and 83 percent of Latinos disapprove.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted July 8-9 among 711 U.S. adults in English and Spanish. The poll's margin of sampling error is ±4.1 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 30, 2020

For most of President Trump's presidency, Pew Research polls have showed Republicans remaining consistently satisfied with the state of the country. As recently as April, the number was at 55 percent, but the latest survey tells a different story, as Republican satisfaction with the U.S. tanked all the way down to 19 percent.

The number is still higher than the 7 percent of Democrats who feel the same way, making the overall satisfaction rate among Americans is just 12 percent, but it's a significant change for GOP voters, either way.

The reasons behind the fall aren't made clear, but the rest of the survey indicates it's probably not entirely directed at Trump, who despite a five-point dip from the previous Pew survey still enjoys 78 percent approval from Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. It's reasonable, then, to assume the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis it has created have played a large role in the new wave of pessimism.

Pew Research Center surveyed 4,708 U.S. adults online between June 16-22. The margin of error is 1.8 percentage points. Read more survey results here. Tim O'Donnell

June 17, 2020

President Trump was so upset about a CNN/SSRS poll last week that showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 14 percentage points, he threatened to sue the network if it didn't retract and apologize for the survey. On Wednesday morning, Reuters/Ipsos released a poll with Biden beating Trump among registers voters by 13 points, 48 percent to 35 percent, Biden's widest margin this election cycle. Biden's lead over Trump is 8.1 points, 50.1 percent to 41. 7 percent, in the RealClearPolitics polling average (which does not yet include the Reuters/Ipsos poll).

In both the CNN and Reuters polls, Trump's job approval rating sagged at 38 percent, with 57 percent of U.S. adults disapproving. Trump last hit 38 percent approval in Reuters polling last November, when the House was on the verge of impeaching him. Trump still has the upper hand on the economy: 43 percent of voters said he would be better than Biden to handle the economy, versus 38 percent who picked Biden. But Trump was 15 points underwater on handing of the coronavirus pandemic — 55 percent disapproved, 40 percent approved — and his overall net approval rating has steadily dropped a total of 13 points among Republicans since March.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted June 10-16 among 4,426 U.S. adults, and it has a credibility interval of ± 2 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 8, 2020

A CNN/SSRS poll released Monday morning shows former Vice President Joe Biden crushing President Trump by 14 percentage points, 55 percent to 41 percent, in a head-to-head matchup five months before the election. Those are Biden's highest marks yet and Trump's lowest back to April 2019 in CNN's tracking polls. Worse for Trump, his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, never got close to breaking 50 percent in any polling average from June 2016 to the election, Harry Enten writes at CNN, while Biden's average in live interview polls conducted over the past week is 51 percent.

"If the election were held today," The Associated Press reports, Trump would "likely lose." Trump, his political advisers, and campaign staff "have grown increasingly concerned about his re-election chances as they've watched Trump's standing take a pummeling first on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and now during a nationwide wave of protests against racial injustice," AP says. "Internal campaign surveys and public polling showed a steady erosion in support for Trump among seniors and in battleground states once believed to be leaning decisively in the president's direction."

A source briefed on Trump's internal polls tells Axios' Jonathan Swan they are "brutal," especially his significant drop-off among independents — though, another adviser added, Trump also has a "woman problem." Trump's top political advisers all huddled for the first time last week to try to right Trump's campaign ship, Swan adds. "There's a thought that we need to shift to be much more cohesive in terms of a message of healing, rebuilding, restoring, recovering ... a theme that goes with COVID and the economy and the race stuff," a senior Trump adviser tells Axios. "The messaging that works for the red-MAGA-hat base doesn't resonate with independents."

The CNN/SSRS poll was conducted June 2-5 via live interviews with 1,125 registered voters, and its margin of sampling error is ±3.6 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 8, 2020

There's a partisan split on COVID-19, police violence against black Americans, and President Trump's handling of both issues in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday, but a remarkable 80 percent of voters agreed the U.S. is "out of control."

"Out of control — that's America in 2020," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. It's "one of the few things Americans can agree upon and the one finding that we can definitively state given the tumult and torment of the past 12 days."

By a 2-to-1 margin, voters also said they found the police killing of George Floyd, a black man asphyxiated under a white officer's knee in Minneapolis, more troubling than the huge wave of protests the killing sparked, even the ones that turned violent. A 59 majority of voters were more troubled by the police actions and Floyd's killing than protests that have turned violent, and that includes 54 percent of white voters, 78 percent of black voters, 65 percent of Hispanic voters, 81 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents, and 29 percent of Republicans; 27 percent of voters said the protest violence was more troubling.

Opinions about Trump and his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, seem pretty calcified. Trump's job approval, 45 percent, is down 1 percentage point from April but well within the narrow 43-47 percent band in 18 WSJ/NBC polls conducted since the 2018 midterms. Biden's 7-point lead over Trump, 49 percent to 42 percent, is the same as two months ago, though Biden's lead grows to 8 points in 11 battleground states. Voters favor Democratic control of Congress over GOP control, 51 percent to 40 percent, a 5-point swing toward Democrats since January.

The WSJ/NBC News poll was conducted May 28 to June 2 among 1,000 registers voters contacted via phone. It's overall margin of error is ±3.1 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 4, 2020

President Trump is now 7.8 percentage points behind Vice President Joe Biden in RealClearPolitics' polling average, and when you scratch deeper than the national head-to-head polling, his numbers have "turned from mixed to bleak," Axios reports. He and Biden are statistically tied in Texas, per a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday, and in Ohio, according to a new Fox News poll. Fox News' pollsters also have Trump losing badly in Wisconsin and modestly in Arizona, both states he needs to win.

Top Republicans say "Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago," Axios reported Thursday morning. And "yesterday, advisers admit, was inarguably brutal," with Defense Secretary Mark Esper dissenting from Trump's use of active-duty troops and Esper's predecessor, James Mattis, excoriating Trump as divisive, immature, and a violator of the Constitution who must be held to account.

Trump is sending a clear, consistent signal "that in the five months remaining between now and Election Day he will be singularly focused on his core supporters — and whatever energizes them most," Gabby Orr writes at Politico. "The base-only strategy is a gamble for Trump, whose campaign spent much of the past year trying to build up good will with suburban swing voters — knowing their disapproval alone could cost him re-election. But the base is also his safe space." And given his slumping poll numbers with independents, senior citizens, suburban woman, and even his core white evangelical base, it may be his best option. Peter Weber

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