LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Debate – Hurricane Severity – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – Trump vs. Generic Democrat

Your Daily Polling Update for Friday, September 13, 2019

Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 42% (CNN) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes, it would still be 44%. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today (same as yesterday), which is 9 points higher than his approval rating.

by Ron Faucheux

The debate probably did little to change the dynamics of the race. The more debates there are, the harder it is to move the needle. 

  • Elizabeth Warren consistently does well. She scored points by integrating her own life’s experiences into her policy proposals. At some point, though, she will need to nail down the economics of her healthcare plan.
  • Joe Biden had a good start. He has a range of solid arguments, but he lacks a theme to pull them all together. His overall performance continues to be inconsistent. His constant need to correct himself often makes him appear unsteady. His reference to having “the record player on at night” must have alarmed his debate prep staff, hitting exactly the wrong note at exactly the wrong time.
  • Beto O’Rourke had, by far, his best debate. Seems he’s found his voice by moving left and using gun control as his issue. 
  • Amy Klobuchar also turned in her best performance. She is positioning herself to win over Biden’s more centrist supporters should the former VP’s prospects fade. 
  • Cory Booker, once again, was strong on issues, especially involving race and social justice. But, will his orotund approach ever pay dividends in the polls?
  • Sanders is now going after Biden, especially on healthcare and Iraq. While Sanders may not help himself much with this tactic, he could do damage to Biden’s ability to hold onto a chunk of the party’s left flank.
  • Buttigieg did very well, as usual, but the glow has dimmed.
  • Kamala Harris always has a few crowd-pleasing applause lines, such as her focus on attacking Trump. It’s become obvious that she’s struggling to repeat the success of her first debate “moment.” The whole act feels increasingly opportunistic and shallow.
  • Andrew Yang, who has perked up in the polls, fell victim to a gimmicky idea to give ten people $1,000 a month. Not only will that cost him money, it may cost him some of his newfound credibility.
  • Julian Castro hurt himself with his shot at Biden––accusing the former VP of forgetting what he had just said. Democratic voters are not reacting well to personal attacks against other Democrats this year.

Among voters nationwide

If the election for president were held today with Donald Trump as the Republican running against a Democratic Party candidate, who would you vote for? 
Democratic candidate: 48% (+2 since last week)
Trump: 39% (-2 since last week)
It depends: 10%
RON’S COMMENT: The “generic” Democrat was ahead by 5 points last week, now it’s 9 points.

Among voters in each state

Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R): +2 (44-42)
Bernie Sanders (I/D) over Donald Trump (R): +6 (49-43)
Elizabeth Warren (D) over Donald Trump (R): +1 (43-42)
Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R): +1 (42-41)
Donald Trump (R) over Bernie Sanders (I/D): +3 (43-40) 
Donald Trump (R) over Elizabeth Warren (D): +1 (42-41)
Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R): +4 (45-41)
Bernie Sanders (I/D) over Donald Trump (R): +2 (44-42)
Elizabeth Warren (D) over Donald Trump (R): +2 (43-41)
RON’S COMMENT: Trump carried these three states in 2016 by small margins. This polling shows these states remain close contests, although Democrats are winning Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Biden wins Michigan.

Among voters nationwide

Generally speaking, do you think hurricanes have become more or less severe than they used to be in the past or are they about the same? 
More severe: 54%
Less severe: 5%
About the same: 34%
RON’S COMMENT: While 76% of Democrats think hurricanes have become more severe, only 31% of Republicans do.
Do you think the severity of recent hurricanes is most likely the result of global climate change, or is it just the kind of severe weather events that happen from time to time? 
Global climate change: 48%
They just happen from time to time: 41%
Not sure: 11%
RON’S COMMENT: While 72% of Democrats think the severity of recent hurricanes is most likely the result of global climate change, only 21% of Republicans do.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
KEY STATES: Firehouse/Optimus, Sept. 7-9

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