Clarus’ Lunchtime Politics: Best, Worst Presidents – Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida – Friday’s Generic Ballot

Your Daily Polling Update for Friday, August 24, 2018

Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 43% (Reuters, Monmouth) to 46% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes (although neither is much of an extreme), it would be 44.5%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today, which is 9 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters nationwide 

The Economist: Democrats +6
Fox News: Democrats +11
Reuters/Ipsos: Democrats +4
Monmouth: Democrats +5
Current average: Democrats: +6.5
Last week: Democrats: +8.0

RON’S COMMENT: The average Democratic advantage in the nationwide generic ballot has declined from 8 points last week to 6.5 points now.

Among voters in each state 

ARIZONA (R primary): Martha McSally (R) over Kelli Ward (R): +26 (48-22-Arpaio 18)
PENNSYLVANIA: Sen. Bob Casey (D) over Lou Barletta (R): +15 (53-38)
CONNECTICUT: Sen. Chris Murphy (D)over Matthew Corey (R): +28 (59-31)

RON’S COMMENT: For the Arizona Republican primary, which is Tuesday, this poll shows McSally pulling away from the field…. In Pennsylvania, incumbent Democrat Casey maintains a solid lead. Even though Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016, his job approval rating in the state is now only 37%…. In Connecticut, incumbent Democrat Murphy is in good shape for re-election. He’s ahead 91-3 among Democrats and 51-35 among independents. His job rating is 62% approve/28% disapprove. Most voters don’t know much about his Republican rival, businessman Matthew Corey. Trump’s job approval in this blue state is a weak 30%. Handicappers rate the Senate race solid or safe Democratic.

FLORIDA (R primary): Ron DeSantis (R) over Adam Putnam (D): +15 (39-24)
FLORIDA (D primary): Gwen Graham (D) over Philip Levine (D): +12 (26-Greene 19-Levine 18-Gillum 15)
CONNECTICUT (Quinnipiac): Ned Lamont (D) over Bob Stefanowski (R): +13 (46-33-Other 5)
CONNECTICUT (Sacred Heart Univ.): Ned Lamont (D) over Bob Stefanowski (R): +4 (41-37-Other 5)
PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) over Scott Wagner (R): +14 (54-40)

RON’S COMMENT: What to believe about the Florida Republican primary? This new poll shows DeSantis with a wide lead, although that lead has shifted and bounced around like a ping pong ball in recent weeks…. In the Florida Democratic primary, Graham remains on top, although this poll has Greene edging Levine for second spot…. In Connecticut: Democrat Lamont––a former Greenwich Selectman who lost a Senate bid in 2006 and a gubernatorial race in 2010––holds a big lead in the Quinnipiac poll and a much smaller margin in the Sacred Heart Univ. poll. In the Quinnipiac poll, he wins Democrats 81-3, but loses independents 37-30. His personal rating is 44% favorable/28% unfavorable. Lamont also wins a two-way trial heat in the Quinnipiac poll, 53-37. Bob Stefanowski is a businessman. Gov. Dan Malloy (D), who has high negative ratings, is not running again. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or lean Democratic.

Among voters nationwide

“Who was the best President in U.S. history?”

Abraham Lincoln: 17%
Barack Obama: 16%
Ronald Reagan: 13%
Franklin Roosevelt: 10%
George Washington: 10%
John F. Kennedy: 8%

RON’S COMMENT: In today’s polarized politics, “best president” ratings often reflect party affiliation. For example, 28% of Democrats, 16% of independents and only 2% of Republicans rate Obama the best president. And, 4% of Democrats, 9% of independents and 32% of Republicans picked Reagan…. Washington does better with Republicans than Democrats (13% vs. 6%), and so does Lincoln (21% vs. 17%). FDR does better with Democrats than Republicans (16% vs. 2%), and so does JFK (10% vs. 4%). Other presidents received much lower percentages.

“Who was the worst President in U.S. history?”

Donald Trump: 41%
Barack Obama: 28%

RON’S COMMENT: “Worst president” ratings even more heavily reflect today’s party politics: 74% of Democrats, 39% of independents and 5% of Republicans rate Trump the worst of all time. On the other side: 5% of Democrats, 24% of independents and 64% of Republicans rate Obama the worst in history. Other presidents received much lower percentages.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
CONNECTICUT: Quinnipiac, Aug. 16-21; Sacred Heart Univ., Aug. 16-21
PENNSYLVANIA: NBC/Marist, Aug. 12-16
FLORIDA: Gravis, Aug. 21-22
ARIZONA: Data Orbital, Aug. 21-22
BEST, WORST PRESIDENTS: The Economist/YouGov, Aug. 19-21

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party candidate
Ind = Independent candidate
Other = 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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