LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, California, North Carolina 9

Your Daily Polling Update for Monday, October 8, 2018

Same as Friday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 40% (IBD/TIPP) to 51% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 43%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 51% today, which is 7 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters in each state and district

ARIZONA: Kyrsten Sinema (D) over Martha McSally (R): +3 (47-44)
TENNESSEE: Marsha Blackburn (R) over Phil Bredesen (D): +8 (50-42)
NEW JERSEY: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) over Bob Hugin (R): +10 (49-39)
TEXAS (CBS): Sen. Ted Cruz (R) over Beto O’Rourke (D): +6 (50-44)
TEXAS (Emerson): Sen. Ted Cruz (R) over Beto O’Rourke (D): +5 (47-42)

RON’S COMMENT: ARIZONA––This race remains close. Looking at the issues, Democrat Sinema wins healthcare by 12 points, but Republican McSally wins immigration by 4, crime by 10 and gun policy by 6. 46% of voters in the state approve of Trump. The average of recent polls has Sinema ahead by 2.8 points… Sidebar: This race is for the seat now held by Sen. Jeff Flake (R), who is not running. His rating is heavily negative in his home state: 23% favorable/50% unfavorable.

TENNESSEE––Republican Blackburn has jumped into a clear lead, based on this poll. Internals show she’s winning on immigration, guns and crime. Voters in the state also favored Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation 47-30, a difficult issue for Bredesen––and most other red state Democrats. The average of recent polls has Blackburn ahead by 2.7 points
NEW JERSEY––Democratic incumbent Menendez does best on healthcare and immigration, but Republican Hugin leads on crime. Guns are close. Menendez’s biggest obstacle is voter perceptions that he’s not honest or trustworthy. The average of recent polls has Menendez ahead by 9 points.
TEXAS––Two new polls give Republican incumbent Cruz a modest lead. In the CBS poll, Cruz is beating Democrat O’Rourke on issues, but O’Rourke is seen as the candidate who represents change and Cruz is seen as the status quo. The average of recent polls has Cruz ahead by 6 points

CALIFORNIA: Gavin Newsom (D) over John Cox (R): +5 (50-45)
TEXAS: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over Lupe Valdez (D): +20 (53-33)

RON’S COMMENT: CALIFORNIA––This poll shows a considerable tightening of the governor’s race. This pollster’s previous poll, taken a week earlier, had Democrat Newsom ahead by 11 points. One caution: The poll was conducted by automated phone interviewing and reached landlines only. Likely voters were determined based on 2010 and 2014 election data plus in-house turnout modeling.

TEXAS––The average of recent polls has GOP incumbent Abbott ahead by 19.3 points.

NORTH CAROLINA 9 (NYT/Siena): Mark Harris (R) over Dan McCready (D): +5 (47-42)
NORTH CAROLINA 9 (SurveyUSA): Dan McCready (D) over Mark Harris (R): +4 (45-41)

RON’S COMMENT: The case of the dueling polls––one gives Republican Harris a modest lead and the other gives Democrat McCready the edge. Harris, who defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger in the GOP primary, is a Baptist minister. McCready, a businessman and former Marine, is running as a moderate and says he won’t support Pelosi for Speaker. Handicappers rate the race toss-up or tilt Republican. Normally a GOP-leaning district, Trump won it by 12 points.

Among voters nationwide

  • 51% of voters favor the use of our taxes to provide college tuition free for students who go to college, 36% opposed and 13% were undecided.
  • 52% of voters favor increasing enforcement of immigration laws at US borders with 31% opposed and 17% undecided.
  • 53% of voters favor a Medicare-for-all plan open to anyone who wants it with 31% opposed and 16% undecided.
  • 44% of voters oppose the federal government ensuring a basic income for every adult in the United States, 39% favor and 17% were undecided.
  • 53% of voters think that the recreational use of Marijuana should be legal, 38% said no and 10% were unsure.
  • 54% of voters plan to have a flu vaccine shot this winter, 35% said no and 11% were unsure.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
TEXAS: Emerson, Oct. 1-5
CALIFORNIA: KFI-NBC/Thomas Partners/Optimus, Sept. 28-30
NORTH CAROLINA 9: NYT/Siena, Oct 1-5; SurveyUSA, Oct. 2-4
VOTER OPINION ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES: Emerson College, Oct. 1-4 (Summary points excerpted from survey report)

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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