LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Ratings – McSally, Hawley Leading – Gillum Ahead – Florida Senate Polls Conflict

Your Daily Polling Update for Monday, October 22, 2018

Down 1 from Friday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 42% (CBS) to 47% (Rasmussen, Fox). Without these two extremes, it would still be 45%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today, which is 8 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters in each state and district

FLORIDA (St. Pete Polls): Rick Scott (R) over Sen. Bill Nelson (D): +1 (49-48)
FLORIDA (CNN): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) over Rick Scott (R): +5 (50-45)
FLORIDA (SE&A-D): Rick Scott (R) over Sen. Bill Nelson (D): +2 (47-45)
ARIZONA: Martha McSally (R) over Kyrsten Sinema (D): +2 (48-46)
MISSOURI: Josh Hawley (R) over Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): +1 (47-46-Others 4)
MINNESOTA: Sen. Tina Smith (DFL) over Karin Housley (R): +6 (47-41)
MINNESOTA: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL) over Jim Newberger (R): +23 (56-33)
CALIFORNIA: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) over Kevin de Leon (D): +18 (41-23)
VERMONT: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) over Lawrence Zupan (R): +41 (60-19)

FLORIDA––We have conflicting polls today. The CNN poll shows Democratic Sen. Nelson ahead in his bid for re-election. The poll by Democratic affiliated SE&A, as well as the survey from St. Pete Polls (which is the most recent), has Republican Scott ahead. According to CNN, Scott is winning men 52-44 and whites 55-41, Nelson leads women 55-39 and nonwhites 68-25. The SE&A poll shows Scott’s personal rating is 46% favorable/38% unfavorable and Nelson is 38% favorable/39% unfavorable. Most voters in the state approve of Gov. Scott’s handling of recent Hurricane Michael.
ARIZONA––This new poll has Republican McSally ahead by 2 points. The average of the three previous polls had Democrat Sinema up by 3.3 points. Trivia: Arizona has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988 (Dennis DeConcini).
MISSOURI––The race remains tight, with GOP challenger Hawley edging Democratic incumbent McCaskill. The previous poll we reported had the race a tie. Based on this new survey, independents are keeping McCaskill in the game, she’s leading them 44-41. GOP operatives are becoming more confident that Hawley will win.
MINNESOTA––Democratic incumbent Smith, who was appointed to the seat of former Sen. Al Franken (D), maintains a modest lead in a race that has tightened. This is the first poll showing Republican Housley breaking the 40s, and that’s largely due to her growing strength among independents and young voters. Most previous polls have had Smith ahead by 7-9 points, although a recent NBC/Marist poll had her up 17 points. Note: Most of this poll was conducted before the story broke that Housley criticized Michelle Obama in 2009, using a reference to the chimp from Ronald Reagan’s movie, Bedtime for Bonzo…. For Minnesota’s other Senate seat, Democratic incumbent Klobuchar is well ahead.
CALIFORNIA––The average of recent polling gives Democratic incumbent Feinstein a lead of 15 points.

FLORIDA (St. Pete Polls): Andrew Gillum (D) over Ron DeSantis (R): +1 (47-46)
FLORIDA (SE&A-D): Andrew Gillum (D) over Ron DeSantis (R): +6 (48-42)
FLORIDA (CNN): Andrew Gillum (D) over Ron DeSantis (R): +12 (54-42)
MINNESOTA: Tim Walz (DFL) over Jeff Johnson (R): +6 (45-39)
CALIFORNIA: Gavin Newsom (D) over John Cox (R): +20 (52-32)
VERMONT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) over Christine Hallquist (D): +14 (42-28)

FLORIDA––The CNN poll shows Democrat Gillum with his widest margin yet, 14 points––which some local observers find very hard to believe. The SE&A poll shows Gillum ahead by 6 points. The most recent survey, by St. Pete Polls, has the race nearly tied with Gillum up by 1. What to believe?
MINNESOTA––Democrat Walz has been consistently leading this open race. Three of the four most recent polls give him an average margin of 6 points. The fourth poll, from NBC/Marist, gave the Democrat a much bigger 17-point advantage.
CALIFORNIA––The average of recent polling gives Democrat Newsom a lead of 15 points.
VERMONT––Republican Scott is governor of one of the nation’s most liberal states, and he’s posting a clear lead in his re-election bid. Democrat Hallquist, the first openly transgender major party nominee for governor in the U.S., served as CEO of the Vermont Electric Coop.

WASHINGTON 3: Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R) over Carolyn Long (D): +7 (48-41)
ARKANSAS 2: Rep. French Hill (R) over Clarke Tucker (D): +12 (52-40)
FLORIDA 15: Ross Spano (R) and Kristen Carlson (D): even (43-43)
FLORIDA 27: Donna Shalala (D) over Maria Salazar (R): +7 (44-37)
PENNSYLVANIA 8: Matt Cartwright (D) over John Chrin (R): +12 (52-40)

RON’S COMMENT: Today, we have polls from four GOP-held districts. Republicans are leading in two of them, one is tied and a Democrat leads in one. The Democratic incumbent in today’s report leads.
WASHINGTON 3––Herrera Beutler, the GOP incumbent since her election in 2010, leads Democratic political science professor Long in a district that Trump carried by 7 points. The district covers suburbs of Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA. During the campaign, the Democrats have been chipping away at Herrera Beutler’s lead. In March, one poll had it at 20 points (49-29). Long has outraised Herrera Beutler $2.4 million to $2.1 million. If Democrats upset Herrera Beutler, it would be an indication that there is truly a “blue wave” sweeping House elections. Handicappers rate the race lean or likely Republican.
ARKANSAS 2––GOP incumbent Hill, who first won this House seat in 2014 by 8 points, posts a clear lead in his re-election bid. Democrats are hoping the Little Rock mayor’s race will boost turnout and give Democrat Tucker an Election Day boost. Handicappers rate the race lean or likely Republican.
FLORIDA 15––This poll shows a dead heat. The district includes the suburbs of Tampa and Lakeland. Trump carried it in 2016 by 10 points. Republican incumbent Dennis Ross did not seek re-election. Democrat Carlson has outraised Republican Spano by 2 to 1. Handicappers rate the race for this open seat either lean or likely Republican.
FLORIDA 27––Former Clinton cabinet member and university president Shalala, a Democrat, has a lead in this poll. The previous survey we reported showed GOP candidate Salazar slightly ahead. Six in 10 voters in this district are Latino, mostly Cuban American. The seat is now held by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is not seeking re-election. Hillary Clinton beat Trump here by 20 points.
PENNSYLVANIA 8: Democratic incumbent Cartwright has a clear lead in the new Eighth District, which includes much of the old Seventeenth District (including Scranton and Wilkes-Barre), from which Cartwright was elected. Sanctuary cities and Social Security have emerged as issues. Handicappers rate the race for this open seat either likely or lean Democratic. See Republican Chrin’s ad defending his position on Social Security (along with his mother):

Among voters nationwide

% = Positive/Neutral/Negative
Donald Trump: 42%/7%/51%
Republican Party: 36%/19%/44%
Democratic Party: 35%/20%/44%
Nancy Pelosi: 22%/20%/48%
Mitch McConnell: 21%/19%/36%
Robert Mueller: 27%/23%/22%
Brett Kavanaugh: 34%/16%/40%
Me Too Movement: 41%/22%/23%
The U.S. Supreme Court: 50%/27%/21%
The FBI: 52%/29%/18%

RON’S COMMENT: Trump’s positive rating has improved from 35% in April to 42% now. His negative rating has gone down from 53% to 51%…. The Republican Party’s positive rating has gone up since September from 32% to 36%. The Democratic Party’s rating has gone down since September from 38% to 35%…. Mueller’s positive rating has declined from 30% in September to 27% now…. Trump’s positive rating is higher than that of his party, 42% vs. 36%…. Note: These ratings include three options: positive, neutral and negative––which differs from the usual two-pronged favorable/unfavorable ratings.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
FLORIDA: CNN, Oct. 16-20; SE&A Research (D), Oct. 17-20; St. Pete Polls, Oct. 20-21
MINNESOTA: Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon, Oct. 15-17
ARIZONA: NYT/Siena, Oct. 15-19
MISSOURI: Missouri Scout, Oct. 17-18
MINNESOTA: Mason-Dixon, Oct. 10-15
CALIFORNIA: Emerson College, Oct. 17-19
VERMONT: Vermont Public Radio, Oct. 5-14
WASHINGTON 3: NYT/Siena, Oct. 14-19
FLORIDA 15, 27, PENNSYLVANIA 8: NYT/Siena, Oct. 16-19
ARKANSAS 2: Talk Business/Hendrix, Oct. 17-18
RATINGS: WSJ/NBC, Oct. 14-17

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party 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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