LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Macron in France, May in the UK – 2020 Iowa – GOP Allegiance – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Down 1 from Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 38% (Gallup) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 44%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today, which is 9 points higher than his approval rating.

Lunchtime Politics will be published Thursday and then take a holiday break. After the holidays, we will resume daily weekday publication January 3rd. 

Among Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa 

Iowa Democratic caucus for president:
Joe Biden: 32%
Bernie Sanders: 19%
Beto O’Rourke: 11%
Elizabeth Warren: 8%
Kamala Harris: 5%
Cory Booker: 4%
Amy Klobuchar: 3%
Michael Bloomberg: 3%
Others: 4%

RON’S COMMENT: This new Iowa poll, which has received a good bit of media attention in the last couple of days, shows what most national polls have found––Biden on top, Sanders second and O’Rourke rising to third place. At this point, Biden, Sanders and O’Rourke appear to be in a developing first tier with Harris, Booker, Klobuchar and Bloomberg in a second tier. Warren is now straddling both tiers. But, expect this line-up to change many times over the next year. This is a wide-open race and anything can happen…. Worth noting: U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland declared his presidential candidacy last year and has been busy campaigning in Iowa since then. He’s already visited all of the state’s 99 counties and has aired more than $1.5 million in TV ads. Despite his efforts, he’s polling about 1%.

I’m going to mention other names people think of as possible presidential candidates. For each, please tell me if you think they would add or detract from the race for president…

% = Add/Detract
Michelle Obama: 76%/22%
Hillary Clinton: 25%/72%
Oprah Winfrey: 40%/55%
Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks: 17%/55%

RON’S COMMENT: Looks like the former first lady Iowa Democrats would most like to see run for president is Michelle Obama, not Hillary Clinton––by a gigantic margin. Obama is so strong, it makes you wonder what would happen if she did, in fact, run. Anyway, Iowa Democrats mostly see potential candidacies by Winfrey, Clinton and Schultz as distractions.

If a Republican candidate chose to challenge Donald Trump in the caucuses, do you think you would consider participating in that party’s caucuses, or would you stay with the Democrats?

Consider participating in that party’s caucuses: 28%
Stay with the Democrats: 64%

RON’S COMMENT: This is interesting. Nearly three in ten Iowa Democrats would consider voting in the GOP caucuses if Trump had a Republican opponent. If anything like that happens, it could skew the Democratic caucus turnout in unpredictable ways.

What is more important to you personally––

That the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses has a strong chance of beating Trump: 54%
That the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses shares your position on major issues: 40%

RON’S COMMENT: A majority of Iowa Democrats are mostly concerned with beating Trump. No surprise. Also, consider how this will give public polls added importance.

Do you think the right person to defeat Donald Trump will be more of a political newcomer, as he was, or more of a seasoned hand?

More of a political newcomer: 36%
More of a seasoned hand: 49%
Not sure: 16%

RON’S COMMENT: While these results suggest that Iowa Democrats would rather a seasoned hand over a political newcomer for the party’s presidential nominee, be careful of how you read these numbers: By linking the concept of a political newcomer to Trump, the pollsters likely biased the question against a newcomer.

Among adults nationwide 

Andy Beshear (D) over Gov. Matt Bevin (R): +8 (48-40)
Rocky Adkins (D) over Gov. Matt Bevin (R): +1 (42-41)
Gov. Matt Bevin (R) over Alison Lundergan Grimes (D): +1 (47-46)

RON’S COMMENT: Looks like GOP incumbent Bevin will have his hands full next year as he seeks re-election. His job rating is weak: 38% approve/53% disapprove. Beshear is state AG, Adkins is state House Minority Leader and Grimes is secretary of state and a former U.S. Senate candidate. Beshear, the son of former governor Steve Beshear, is now considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Local pols caution that we shouldn’t count Bevin out yet. When he was elected in 2015, he trailed in the polls until the end when he beat Jack Conway by almost 9 points.

Among adults nationwide 

Based on what you have been seen, read, or heard about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation, has it given you more doubts about Donald Trump’s presidency or not? 

Yes, more doubts: 50
No, no more doubts: 44%
Not sure: 6%

Which of the following statements comes closer to your point of view about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election? (ROTATE) 

It is time to end the investigation: 34%
The investigation should continue: 45%
Don’t know enough: 21%

Among Republicans nationwide

[ASKED OF REPUBLICANS] Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party? 

Trump supporter: 57%
Republican Party supporter: 40%
Both (volunteered): 2%

RON’S COMMENT: The Republican Party has existed since 1854. Trump, the politician, has existed since 2015. Nevertheless, a majority of Republicans now pledge their allegiance to Trump over the party.

Among voters in France

Trial heat for next presidential election:

Emmanuel Macron (REM): 28%
Marine LePen (RN): 28%
Jean-Luc Melenchon (FI): 13%
Laurent Wauquiez (LR): 10%
Others: 22%

RON’S COMMENT: If the 2022 presidential election in France were held today, Macron and LePen would tie at the top in the first round of voting…. In the actual 2017 election, Macron received 24% of the vote and LePen received 21% in the first round. Then, in the runoff, Macron won with 66%…. Macron’s job approval rating now averages 27% based on the last two polls.

Among voters in Great Britain

Political Party Preference Polling Average
(based on three recent polls):

Conservative: 38%
Labour: 38%
Lib Dems: 9%
UKIP: 5%

RON’S COMMENT: Though politics in the UK have been turbulent over the past year, voter views have remained remarkably steady, with both major parties about tied. For most of this year, the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Theresa May has posted small leads. Interestingly, the tumultuous events of recent weeks have hardly changed that, with today’s average showing a tie…. Despite holding its own in party preference, the May government scores poorly in terms of the job its doing––24% satisfied, 69% dissatisfied. This is what happens when an unpopular ruling party is challenged by an equally unpopular opposition party. Hmmm. Sound familiar?


Since 1980, eight of the 10 winners of the Iowa Democratic caucus went on to win their party’s presidential nomination that year. Who were the two who didn’t?

(See answer below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
IOWA: Des Moines Register/CNN/Selzer, Dec. 10-13
KENTUCKY: Mason-Dixon, Dec. 12-15
FRANCE: Ifop, Dec. 11-13
UK: Opinium, YouGov, Kantar, Dec. 5-14

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.


Richard Gephardt and Tom Harkin.
Gephardt won the Iowa caucuses in 1988, but lost the nomination to Michael Dukakis. Harkin won the Iowa caucuses in 1992, but lost the nomination to Bill Clinton.

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