Poll Watch
January 30, 2021

A new poll released by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday suggests the Republican Party is in a tough spot in Georgia.

Democrats — including President Biden, Stacy Abrams, and newly-elected Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) — have strong favorability ratings, while Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) and former President Donald Trump are floundering.

But the more telling results may belong to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who became a Trump target when he dismissed conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud in the state's presidential election. The refusal to flinch left him in relatively good graces in Georgia, though it turns out his numbers were buoyed in large part by Democrats, 60 percent of whom said they approve of the job he's done. Republicans, meanwhile, backed Raffensperger at around only 38 percent, while nearly 45 percent said they disapprove. For context, President Trump received nearly 85 percent support from Republicans, despite his paltry overall numbers.

And therein lies the conundrum. The poll suggests a Republican like Raffensperger could mount a challenge in a statewide election in Georgia, but winning a Republican primary to get there looks difficult. And a candidate more in the mold of Trump would have a good shot at winning the primary, but would likely face an uphill battle in the general, seemingly leaving the party in no-man's land for the moment.

The poll involved 858 registered Georgia voters and was conducted Jan. 17-28 by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. The margin of error is 4.2 percentage points. Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tim O'Donnell

October 30, 2020

Two new polls are shoring up predictions that Democrats will sweep North Carolina's statewide races next week.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has a 6-point lead over Trump in the typically red state, an NBC News/Marist poll of likely voters out Friday reveals. Meanwhile Democrat Cal Cunningham has a 10-point advantage over Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), suggesting he'll be one of the seats Democrats can count on to flip the Senate. And Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has the biggest lead of all: a whopping 19 points over GOP challenger Dan Forest.

A New York Times/Siena College poll out Friday was a bit more cautious. Biden received 48 percent support to Trump's 45, a point down from where the Democrat was earlier this month in the same poll. Cunningham has the same margin over Tillis, 46-43, a slight decline from where he's been over the past month.

Biden has held a modest lead over Trump in North Carolina for the past few months, leaving his chances in the swing state still uncertain. Cunningham has tended to pull in higher but still modest margins than Biden, even after he admittedly exchanged romantic texts with a woman who isn't his wife, while polls have universally given Cooper a major advantage.

NBC News and Marist surveyed 800 likely voters from Oct. 25–28, with a 4.7 percentage point margin of error. The Times and Siena College surveyed 1,034 likely voters from Oct. 23–27, with a margin of error of about 4 percentage points. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 7, 2020

Poll after poll has shown Democratic nominee Joe Biden slowly pulling out ahead of President Trump in Florida, Pennsylvania, and other swing states. Quinnipiac University's likely voter polls released Wednesday now give Biden his biggest leads yet in those states, as well as a surprising advantage in Iowa.

In Florida, Biden gets 51 percent support to Trump's 40 percent. In Pennsylvania, Biden pulled out 54 percent support to Trump's 41 percent. And in Iowa, Biden has a 5-point lead over Trump, 50-45 percent. The Iowa poll also predicts another win for Democrats in the state's Senate race, with challenger Theresa Greenfield getting 50 percent support to Sen. Joni Ernst's (R-Iowa) 45 percent.

As past polls have rarely, if ever, given Biden double-digit leads in Florida and Pennsylvania, analysts and polling experts have suggested Quinnipiac's results may be outliers. But given that Biden could shave some points and still claim those states' electoral votes, Quinnipiac still seems to forecast good news for him.

Quinnipiac surveyed around 1,200 likely voters in each of the states from Oct. 1–5, each with a 2.8 percentage point margin of error. Kathryn Krawczyk

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

See More Speed Reads