LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Analysis of 8 House Districts – Anonymous Allegations – Iowa, West Virginia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Down 2 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 37% (CNN) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 40%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today, which is 13 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters in each state and district 

MICHIGAN: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) over John James (R): +23 (56-33)

RON’S COMMENT: Incumbent Stabenow looks strong in this poll. Handicappers rate the race likely or solid Democratic.

IOWA: Fred Hubbell (D) over Gov. Kim Reynolds (R: +5 (36-31-O7)
MICHIGAN: Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Bill Schuette (R): +14 (50-36)

RON’S COMMENT: In Iowa, Democratic businessman Hubbell leads incumbent Reynolds by a modest margin in this poll. Looking at personal ratings, Hubbell is 43% favorable/22% unfavorable and Reynolds is 36% favorable/37% unfavorable. Younger voters comprise a large portion of the undecideds in the poll: 33% of voters under 50 are undecided, as compared to 16% of voters over 65. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or tilt Republican…. In Michigan, Democrat Whitmer has managed to increase her lead over Republican Schuette. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or tilt Democratic…. Yesterday, we incorrectly said the New York state primary was today. It’s Thursday.

IOWA 1: Abby Finkenauer (D) over Rep. Rod Blum (R) +5 (43-38)
IOWA 2: Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) over Christopher Peters (R) +24 (45-21)
IOWA 3: Rep. David Young (R) over Cindy Axne (D): +16 (47-31)
IOWA 4: Rep. Steve King (R) over J.D. Scholten (D): +10 (41-31)
WEST VIRGINIA 3: Carol Miller (R)over Richard Ojeda (D): +8 (48-40)

RON’S COMMENT: Note that incumbent Blum in Iowa 1 is running behind in this poll…. Incumbents in the other three districts are running ahead of challengers…. In West Virginia 3, Republican Miller is leading Democrat Ojeda by 8 points––in a coal country district that Trump carried by 49 points. It should be noted that Democrat Ojeda is pro-coal and pro-gun rights, and he has strong labor support.

Among voters nationwide

As you may know, there have been anonymously published allegations that senior advisors to President Trump work behind his back to stop him from making what these advisors believe are bad decisions. Do you believe these allegations are true, or not?

Yes/Believe true: 55%
No: 28%
Don’t Know: 17%

RON’S COMMENT: 27% of Republicans, 82% of Democrats and 52% of independents believe the anonymous allegations.

Do you think that the person who wrote these allegations did the right thing or the wrong thing by having them published anonymously?

Right thing: 39%
Wrong thing: 51%
Don’t know: 10%

RON’S COMMENT: While a majority of voters––55%–– believe the allegations that have been anonymously made against Trump, only 39% think they were the right thing to do. By party: 7% of Republicans, 65% of Democrats and 38% of independents say making the allegations anonymously was the right thing to do.

Among voters statewide

As you may know, President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or not?

Yes/confirm: 41%
No: 42%
Don’t know: 17%

RON’S COMMENT: 81% of Republicans, 9% of Democrats and 45% of independents favor confirmation.

Special report

The following summary of findings is based on polls conducted in eight competitive congressional districts over the summer by Monmouth University. These districts include a mix of suburban, rural, and industrial areas. The results are based on 3,390 interviews conducted in CA48, PA01, PA17, NJ03, NJ11, OH12, VA10, WV03 from June to August. It should be noted that Republicans usually won these eight districts by double digit margins in recent elections.

Among all potential voters from the eight districts surveyed, support is fairly evenly divided between the Democratic (43%) and the Republican (42%) candidates for Congress. The Democratic advantage increases slightly (47% to 43%) when the sample is limited to only likely voters (an indication that voter energy favors Democrats).

The following is quoted from the Monmouth report:

Where voters live has an impact on the margin of support. GOP House candidates are underperforming in Republican precincts relative to the Democrats’ performance in their base precincts. The Republican lead is between 4 and 13 percentage points in precincts that Romney/Trump carried, with the range depending on the size of the GOP presidential ticket’s margin. The Democratic lead is much stronger at 15 to 28 points in districts carried by Obama/Clinton.  In competitive districts – those where the average margin was less than 5 points for either party’s presidential ticket – Democratic House candidates have a slim lead of 4 points. Also, the Democratic House candidate does better overall in precincts where Trump did worse than Romney even after controlling for the precinct’s partisan lean.

Race, education and gender define key voting groups. Republicans’ core voting bloc is comprised of white men without a college degree, while Democrats can count on strong support from white female college graduates as a well as women of color regardless of educational attainment. White women without a degree and white male college graduates are more competitive groups, as are, to a lesser degree, men of color. White men without a degree who are registered Democrats and women of color who are registered Republicans are the most likely to cross party lines in their 2018 House vote.

Partisan differences in election interest. High interest is more prevalent among voters supporting the Democratic candidates (62%) than it is among those supporting the Republicans (54%) in these eight races. The highest levels of interest come from college educated white men (75%) and women (72%) who are supporting a Democratic House candidate.

Strongly held opinions of Trump lean negative. While voter opinion of Trump is evenly divided at 49% approve and 48% disapprove, there is a negative gap when looking only at strongly held opinions – 33% strongly approve and 40% strongly disapprove in these eight districts.


Which U.S. president was older than at least four of his White House predecessors?

(See answer below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
IOWA: Emerson College, Sept. 6-8
MICHIGAN:Glengariff Group, SEPT. 5-7
WEST VIRGINIA 3: Siena/NYT, Sept. 8-10

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.


Ronald Reagan. Born on February 6, 1911, Reagan was older than four of his predecessors, the greatest number to date: Richard Nixon (Reagan was older by 1 year, 11 months, and 7 days); Gerald Ford (2 years, 5 months, and 8 days); John F. Kennedy (6 years, 3 months, and 23 days); and Jimmy Carter (13 years, 7 months, and 25 days).

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