The latest on the presidential horse race.

Archives: 2014

Obama’s Approval Ratings Hover Around 45%

The latest Gallup poll tallying President Barack Obama’s approval ratings is in. Obama achieved a pretty standard approval rating that was consistent with his overall average.

What is your opinion of the president?

  • Approve – 45%
  • Disapprove – 49%

A different poll by Fox News pegged Obama’s approval rating at 42 percent and his disapproval rating at 51 percent, while a poll by Rasmussen Reports had the totals at 47 percent and 52 percent respectively.

There is nothing unordinary about these totals and they suggest that the majority of Americans are indifferent to Obama. For the majority, they recognize that his time in office is nearly done and that it is time to start thinking about who they want to elect as the next president.

Obama’s presidency started on high hopes, saw the implementation of Obamacare, and saw the government protect Wall Street, despite their role in bringing the economy to its knees. Most Americans are eager to move on from Obama, not because he was a bad president, but more so because they are antsy to elect someone new and see if they can fix the country.

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Republican Bill Cassidy Has Dominant Lead Over Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana Poll

Vox Populi, 11/16-11/17
Louisiana Run-off

  • Cassidy: 53
  • Landrieu: 42

Gravis Marketing, 11/12-11/14

  • Cassidy: 59
  • Landrieu: 38

The tough beats aren’t over just yet for the Democrats as they stand to lose yet another seat to the GOP.

Two new polls have Republican challenger Bill Cassidy leading Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu by double-digits in Louisiana’s run-off election scheduled for December 6.

A new Vox Populi poll, conducted between November 16 and November 17, sampling 761 likely voters with a margin of error of 3.6 percent, has Cassidy leading Landrieu by 11 points, a 53-42 margin.

Among those, just 33 percent of respondents said they are “definitely” voting for Landrieu while 9 percent say they’re leaning toward Landrieu. On the flip side, 45 percent of respondents said they’re “definitely” voting for Cassidy while another 8 percent said they’re leaning toward the Republican.

An earlier Gravis Marketing poll, conducted between November 12 and November 14, sampling 643 likely voters with a margin of error of 4.0 percent, suggests that it could be even worse than that for Landrieu as it shows Cassidy leading by a whopping 21 percent, a 59-38 margin.

That poll found that 61 percent of likely voters disapprove of President Obama though incredibly their sample size was made up of 44 percent Democrats, 36 percent Republicans, and 20 percent independents.

Looks like another tough loss for the Democrats as they turn the page and look to 2016 when the pendulum could very well swing the other way.

Midterm Assessment: 59% of Voters Expect the Republican Congress to Be a Disappointment

Rasmussen Reports, 11/4 – 11/5

Midterm Assessment

The Republicans may have seized both the U.S. Senate and Congress, but a recent Rasmussen Reports poll has revealed that voters have little confidence in them and believe that they will be a disappointment.

How likely is it that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress before the 2016 elections?

  • Very likely – 36%
  • Somewhat likely – 23%
  • Not very likely – 19%
  • Not at all likely – 7%
  • Undecided – 15%

The results of this question, more than anything, demonstrate the current political climate in the United States. Voters do not believe in either of the major parties and they see them as corrupt entities who only serve their own ambitions.

The majority of females believe that the Republicans will be disappointing, and this result is not surprising. The Republicans are not known as a party who advocate women’s rights, and in many cases, they outright dismiss them with backwards beliefs that are deeply rooted in religious rhetoric.

The poll did not directly address the Republican Senate, but it would be safe to say that voters would likely feel the same way. Now that the Republicans control both major political institutions, it will be interesting to see how they do. Like the Democrats, they will be held to a strict standard, and all of their failures will be amplified.

Photo credit: Jay Westcott / Politico.

Bill Cassidy Has Strong Lead Over Mary Landrieu in Louisiana Senate Run-Off Race

NBC News/Marist

  • Cassidy (R): 50
  • Landrieu (D): 45

USA Today/Suffolk

  • Cassidy (R): 48
  • Landrieu (D): 41

As expected, no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in Louisiana’s open primary, thus triggering a run-off election between the top two vote-getters.

On December 6, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu will go head-to-head with Republican Bill Cassidy to determine the state’s senate seat.

Landrieu led the open primary with 42 percent of the vote while Cassidy received 41 percent and fellow Republican Rob Maness received 14 percent.

With Maness out of the race, the scales have tipped heavily into Cassidy’s favor.

Aside from getting just 42 percent of the vote compared to 55 percent for the top two Republicans, head-to-head polls show Landrieu is in serious trouble as the run-off approaches.

An NBC News/Marist poll has Cassidy leading by 5 percent, a USA Today/Suffolk poll has Cassidy leading by 7, and a CBS News/New York Times poll has Cassidy up by 4.

While that in itself is a solid lead, we also saw on Tuesday just how much polls were skewed toward Democrats.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the average poll was skewed 4 percent toward Democrats, the largest Democratic bias recorded since 1990. Polling bias obviously didn’t help as the Democrats were slaughtered on election night, though part of the bias may have been related to a low voter turnout among Democrats.

This means that Cassidy is likely even more ahead of Landrieu, especially given the 55 percent of the vote the two GOPers received in the open primary. Landrieu also has just a 44 percent favorable rating in her state while 50 percent of Louisiana residents have an unfavorable view of the three-term senator.

Governor Races: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin

Rasmussen Reports, 11/3

Governor Races

Are you ready to vote today? Rasmussen Reports has compiled a last minute assessment of the major governor races throughout the country.

In Colorado, Republican Bob Beauprez leads with 49 percent of the vote to John Hickenlooper’s 47 percent. The numbers are negligible and it is difficult to predict who will win in this state.

We wrote about Connecticut the other day and the numbers are still very similar. Democrat Dan Malloy is expected to receive 48 percent of the vote to Foley’s 47 percent.

What about Florida? Despite Republican Rick Scott’s reputation, he will head into Election Day tied with Charlie Crist with 47 percent of the vote.

Hawaii will likely be won by Democrat David Ige, who currently has 40 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent, Duke Aiona secured 39 percent.

Illinois is a tight race. Republican Bruce Rauner has 48 percent of the vote to Pat Quinn’s 47. This one is a toss-up and it is impossible to say what the results will be given the information at hand.

Maine is another toss-up state. Republican Paul LePage appears to have 41 percent of the vote to Mike Michaud’s 40 percent.

Massachusetts, a blue state, appears to be heading towards the red side. 48 percent of the voters prefer Republican Charlie Baker, while 46 percent like Martha Coakley.

In Michigan, Republican Rick Snyder currently has 49 percent of the vote to Mark Schauer’s 46 percent. The election could end up either way, but the current numbers clearly favor Snyder.

Wisconsin is another toss-up. Democrat Mary Burke leads with 49 percent to Scott Walker’s 48 percent. This poll is well within the margin of error and could swing either way.

Photo credit: Presentation Voice.

Final 2014 Senate Polls Update and Predictions: New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky

With Election Day just hours away, let’s take a look at how all of the key swing races are shaping up and what we can expect the Senate to look like come January.

In New Hampshire, we are seeing a slew of new polls with very different results so we have to look at the most reliable pollsters. CNN/Opinion Research have Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen leading Republican Scott Brown by 2, CBS/New York Times have her leading by 5, and New England College has Scott Brown leading by 1. RealClearPolitics has Shaheen leading by a point on average and that appears to be the case heading into Tuesday. Look for New Hampshire to have a very tight race, but Shaheen remains a very slight favorite.

In Iowa, Quinnipiac shows a 47-47 tie between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley while CNN/Opinion Research have Ernst up by 2 and YouGov has Braley up by 1. RCP has Ernst leading Braley but a little over one point on average and she appears to have a very slight lead heading into Election Day.

The race in Colorado has gotten closer as a new Quinnipiac poll has Republican Cory Gardner leading incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall by 2 percent, as does Survey USA. Gardner has led all but one poll over the last month and is the slight favorite to win Colorado for the GOP.

In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan appears to have a slight 2-3 point lead over Republican Thom Tillis according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, a YouGov poll, and a PPP poll. NBC News and Survey USA have the race tied. According to RCP, Hagan has a very slight lead over Tillis but is currently a slight favorite to hold on to her job.

In Georgia, Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn by 3 percent in a new Survey USA poll, 4 percent in an NBC News poll, and 2 percent in a YouGov poll. That sounds about right and the Republican is a slight favorite to win. One thing to watch, however, is that if Perdue fails to win 50 percent of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the two without Libertarian Amanda Swafford on the ballot.

In Alaska, it doesn’t look good for incumbent Democrat Mark Begich who trails Republican Dan Sullivan by 4 percent in a new CBS News/NY Times poll and 6 points in a new CNN/Opinion Research survey. Sullivan is the odds-on favorite to win Alaska back for the GOP.

In Louisiana, Democrat Mary Landrieu continues to lead Tuesday’s open primary against Republican David Cassidy and fellow Republican Rob Maness but that’s a moot point. Landrieu and Cassidy will face off in a runoff on December 6 and Cassidy leads Landrieu by 5 percent in an NBC News/Marist poll and 4 percent in a CBS News/NY Times poll and is the odds-on favorite to win Louisiana for the GOP.

Kentucky was close for a while but that’s no longer the case. A new NBC News/Marist poll has incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell leading Democrat Alison Grimes by 9 percent while a new PPP poll has McConnell up by 8. Don’t look for Kentucky to turn blue on Tuesday.

The Kansas race has drawn closer and a new Survey USA poll has independent Greg Orman leading Republican incumbent Pat Roberts by 2 percent while an NBC News poll has him up by 1. Orman appears to be a very, very slight favorite and says he will caucus with whichever party is in control of the Senate.

In Arkansas, Republican Tom Cotton looks to be the overwhelming favorite to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Cotton leads Pryor by 8 points in a new PPP poll and 7 percent in a new Rasmussen poll.


The Democrats are slightly favored to hold on to their seats in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

The Republicans are likely to win Arkansas, Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Colorado, and slightly favored to win Iowa.

Greg Orman is slightly favored to win Kansas and would likely caucus with the Republicans, assuming they win the majority.

Connecticut Governor: Malloy and Foley Go Head to Head in a Tight Race

Rasmussen Reports, 10/29 – 10/30

Connecticut Governor

  • Dan Malloy – Democrat – 48%
  • Tom Foley – Republican – 47%
  • Other – 2%
  • Undecided – 4%

Rasmussen Reports has released a political poll that analyzed the tight race for the Connecticut Governor. The poll asked 977 likely voters who they would vote for if an election were to occur today. The Republican Tom Foley dropped significantly from his previous numbers, while Dan Malloy made a significant gain. 48 percent of voters chose Malloy, while only 47 percent chose Foley.

In a mid-Oct. poll, 46 percent chose Foley and 42 percent Malloy. There was a noticeable change in position for Foley.

The results for this poll may have been slightly biased due to the party split. 41 percent of voters identified as Democrat, 28 percent as Republican, and 31 percent as a different party.

Both Foley and Malloy achieved a favorability rating of 47 percent. In addition, 30 percent see Foley as an unfavorable candidate and 35 said the same about Malloy.

The majority of voters, 53 percent, believe that Connecticut is worse off than it was four years ago. If either candidate wants to secure a win, they need to convince voters that they can offer meaningful change.

Voter opinion for the major issues was as follows: On government spending, 46 percent chose Foley to Malloy’s 42 percent, for taxes, 47 percent chose Foley to Malloy’s 40 percent, on social issues, 49 percent chose Malloy to Foley’s 38 percent, and for ethics and corruption, 44 percent chose Malloy to Foley’s 38 percent.

Photo credit: Hartford Courant.

Alaska Senate: Dan Sullivan (R) Holds a Safe Lead over Mark Begich (D)

Rasmussen Reports, 10/27 – 10/30

Alaska Senate

  • Dan Sullivan – Republican – 47%
  • Mark Begich – Democrat – 42%
  • Other – 5%
  • Undecided – 6%

The latest political poll for the Alaskan Senate election has been released by Rasmussen Reports. The poll asked 887 likely voters who they would vote for if an election were to occur today. 47 percent of voters said that they would vote for the Republican Dan Sullivan, while 42 percent chose the Democrat Mark Begich. In addition, 5 percent of voters liked a different candidate and 6 percent were undecided.

An Oct. 8-12 poll had the Democrats in a more favorable position. In that poll, Sullivan led with 48 percent of the vote to Begich’s 45 percent.

The demographics for this poll were standard for Alaska. Gender was split at an even 50 percent. 35 percent of voters identified as Republican, 17 percent as Democrat, and 48 percent as a different party. 81 percent of voters were white. The majority of voters, 53 percent, were aged 40-64.

In terms of favorability, 47 percent of voters see Begich as a favorable candidate. However, 50 percent see him as unfavorable, and amongst that number, 37 percent see him as very unfavorable.

On the other hand, 50 percent of voters see Sullivan as a favorable candidate, while only 47 percent see him as unfavorable. 37 percent of voters saw him as a very unfavorable candidate.

Only 18 percent of voters admitted that they had already voted, while 82 percent said that they did not. Also, 91 percent said that they were certain to vote.

Photo credit: KTUU.

2014 Senate Polls Update: Iowa, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia

Iowa: Reuters

  • Ernst (R): 45
  • Braley (D): 45

Kentucky: Courier-Journal/Survey USA

  • McConnell (R): 48
  • Grimes (D): 43

Colorado: Quinnipiac

  • Gardner (R): 46
  • Udall (D): 39

North Carolina: Rasmussen

  • Hagan (D): 47
  • Tillis (R): 46

Georgia: WSB-TV/Landmark

  • Nunn (D): 47
  • Perdue (R): 47
  • Swafford (L): 3

With the elections just days away, polls out of the most competitive states in the country are seemingly changing every day. Luckily, most voters have made up their mind by now and poll results are growing increasingly closer to what is likely to be the final tally. Let’s take a look at how some of the tightest senate races are shaping up heading into election week.

Iowa figures to be one of the closest races in the country, possibly to the point where we don’t even know the winner on election night. A new Rasmussen poll has Republican Joni Ernst up by 1, a Loras College poll has Democrat Bruce Braley up by 1, and a new Reuters poll has the race dead even.

According to RealClearPolitics, Ernst leads Braley by an average of 46.5-45.3 and is a slight favorite to win.

In Kentucky, Republican Mitch McConnell is expected to win but not by a whole lot. McConnell leads Democrat Alison Grimes by 5 percent in a new Courier-Journal poll and 6 percent in a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

In Colorado, Republican Cory Gardner is also a likely favorite to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. A new Quinnipiac poll has Gardner up by 7, a Rasmussen poll has him up by 6, and RCP has him leading by an average of 47-43.

North Carolina is another state that is going to be very, very tight. Three of the last eight polls released this week have the race dead even while a Rasmussen poll, CBS News poll, Survey USA poll, and PPP poll have Democrat Kay Hagan leading Republican challenger Thom Tillis by 1-3 percent.

Hagan remains the slight favorite but certainly a very vulnerable one.

Georgia is one state to watch. We have seen Democrat Michelle Nunn make some headway of late as she’s attacked Republican David Perdue’s business practices, notably his overseas outsourcing and a pay discrimination lawsuit he was hit with while heading up Dollar General. A new WSB-TV poll has Perdue and Nunn tied with 47 percent of the vote while Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford is polling at 3 percent.

If neither candidate can get 50 percent plus one vote, the two will face each other in a run-off with Swafford out of the race.

2014 Senate Polls Update: Iowa, Kansas, Georgia, Michigan

Iowa: Quinnipiac

  • Ernst (R): 49
  • Braley (D): 45

Georgia: Survey USA

  • Perdue (R): 48
  • Nunn (D): 45
  • Swafford (L): 3

Kansas: NBC News/Marist

  • Orman (I): 44
  • Roberts (R): 42

Michigan: Mitchell Research

  • Peters (D): 52
  • Land (R): 38

Polls are being released daily, sometimes even more frequently, in the states with the tightest senate races and we are getting a pretty good idea of who stands where. Let’s take a look at the latest numbers from four of the most competitive races in the nation.

In Iowa, we are seeing some very contradictory poll results as a Quinnipiac poll of likely voters has Republican Joni Ernst up by 4 while a Loras College poll of likely voters has Democrat Bruce Braley up by 1. RealClearPolitics has Ernst leading by an average margin of 47-45. According to FiveThirtyEight, Ernst has a 67 percent chance of winning the race while Braley has a 33 percent chance.

In Georgia, three new polls have Republican David Perdue leading Democrat Michelle Nunn by 2-3 percent with Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford pulling in 3-4 percent. If no candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote there will be a runoff election in January. A runoff race would definitely change things but right now FiveThirtyEight gives both Nunn and Perdue a 50-50 chance at winning, the only such race in the country.

In Kansas, independent candidate Greg Orman leads Republican incumbent Pat Roberts by 2 percent in a new Survey USA poll and by 1 percent in a new NBC News/Marist poll. FiveThirtyEight gives Orman a 51 percent chance to defeat the Republican.

In Michigan, in a race that was separated by 2-3 percent just two months ago, Democrat Gary Peters has absolutely blown open his lead, leading Republican Terri Lynn Land by 14 percent in the latest Mitchell Research poll and 15 percent in the latest Detroit News poll. According to FiveThirtyEight, Peters has a 98 percent chance to win this race.