Clarus’ Lunchtime Politics: Tariffs – Tax Law – Russian Probe: Stop or Go? – Minnesota, Illinois, Florida – 2020

Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Down 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 42% (Gallup) to 46% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would still be 44%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 52% today, which is 8 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters nationwide

Joe Biden (D) over Pres. Donald Trump (R): +12 (43-31)
Bernie Sanders (D) over Pres. Donald Trump (R): +12 (44-32)
Elizabeth Warren (D) over Pres. Donald Trump (R): +4 (34-30)
Pres. Donald Trump (R) over Cory Booker (D): +2 (29-27)

RON’S COMMENT: While these numbers may be interesting, the undecided vote is surprisingly high for general election match-ups with an incumbent president.

Among voters in each state

FLORIDA: Rick Scott (R) over Sen. Bill Nelson (D): +6 (45-39)
MINNESOTA: Sen. Tina Smith (DFL) over Karin Housley (R): +7 (44-47-2)
MINNESOTA: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL) over Jim Newberger (R): +17 (54-37-2)

RON’S COMMENT: In Florida, Gov. Scott’s job rating in this poll is 48% approve/33% disapprove, while Sen. Nelson’s rating is a much weaker 35% approve/36% disapprove. In the Senate race, Scott is winning independents 44-25…. Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar maintains a big lead in her re-election bid. In the special election to fill former Sen. Al Franken’s seat, appointed incumbent Tina Smith, a Democrat, posts a modest lead. She rates 41% favorable/21% unfavorable. Also in the poll, 32% of Minnesota voters say they want their vote to support the direction Trump is leading the nation, while 47% say they want their vote to change the direction Trump is leading the nation. Also, this poll finds that 46% of Minnesota voters think Franken should have resigned and 45% say he should not have left office.

FLORIDA (R primary): Ron DeSantis (R) over Adam Putnam (D): +1 (32-31)
FLORIDA (D primary): Gwen Graham (D) over Philip Levine (D): +12 (29-17-32)
ILLINOIS: J.B. Pritzker (D) over Gov. Bruce Rauner (R): +16 (46-30-L6-C4)
MINNESOTA: Tim Walz (DFL) over Jeff Johnson (R): +5 (46-41-2)

RON’S COMMENT: What’s going on in the Florida GOP primary? Yesterday, we reported a poll that had Putnam on top by 10 points. Today, we have another survey showing DeSantis ahead by a point. We have seen the lead shift back and forth in this race, and sometimes dramatically, for months now. Trump supports DeSantis…. In Illinois, incumbent Gov. Rauner continues to trail his Democratic challenger by a solid margin. Note that third party continues are drawing 10%, which is a testament to the lack of personal popularity for either major party candidate. Rauner’s rating is 26% favorable/52% unfavorable and Pritzker rates 38% favorable/35% unfavorable. Fun fact: Almost $90 million in TV and radio ads already have been spent in the Illinois gubernatorial race so far, and we’re still 10 weeks away from the election…. In Minnesota, Democrat Walz launches the general election campaign with a modest lead over Republican Johnson, the giant killer who defeated frontrunner and former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the primary.

Among voters nationwide

“A special counsel is currently conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links with the Trump campaign. Should the Russia investigation continue or should it end?”

Continue: 52%
End: 46%

RON’S COMMENT: A majority want the probe to continue––but, the percentage of those who want to end the investigation has increased from 37% in March to 46% now (note: 46% = vote Trump won with in 2016). In this new poll, 16% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 83% of Democrats want to continue the probe. Of course, this survey was taken before yesterday’s legal actions involving Cohen and Manafort.

“Which comes closer to your view about Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election: Russians did not interfere in the 2016 election, Russians interfered in the 2016 election, but their actions did not change the outcome of the election, or Russians interfered in the 2016 election and their actions changed the outcome of the election?”

Did not interfere: 16%
Interfered, but didn’t change election outcome: 36%
Interfered, and did change election outcome: 39%
Unsure: 9%

RON’S COMMENT: 75% of Americans believe Russia did interfere with the 2016 election. And of those, about half think it changed the outcome.

Among voters nationwide

“Do you think Pres. Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on a range of products imported from our trading partners will help or hurt the U.S. economy, will it have no impact either way, or are you not sure?”

Help: 28%
Hurt: 38%
No impact: 4%

RON’S COMMENT: 54% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 7% of Democrats say Trump’s tariffs will help the U.S. economy. And: 10% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 66% of Democrats say they will hurt.

Among voters nationwide

“Do you approve or disapprove of the tax reform plan passed by Congress last year?”

Approve: 37%
Disapprove: 45%

RON’S COMMENT: Support for the tax law is down a little from April when it was 40%.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
PRESIDENT: Morning Consult, Aug. 16-18
FLORIDA: FAU, Aug. 16-20
MINNESOTA: Suffolk, Aug. 17-20
ILLINOIS: NBC/Marist, Aug. 12-16

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party candidate
O = Other candidate(s)
D poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Democrats.
R poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Republicans.

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