LUNCHTIME POLITICS: New Numbers on Biden, Afghanistan – California Recall – Virginia Governor – Florida Senate, Governor

Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Down 2 from Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on three polls taken at various times between Friday and Tuesday, ranging from 46% (Rasmussen) to 51% (Politico). Biden’s disapproval rating averages 49% today (up 2 from Thursday)…. Note: This is the first polling average we’re had since Biden became president that shows his negative rating inching ahead of his positive rating, 49-48.

Among voters statewide

Terry McAuliffe (D) over Glen Youngkin (R): +2 (47-45)
RON’S COMMENT: Just a year ago, many Republican operatives gave up on Virginia. But close polls for November’s gubernatorial race has brought state GOP prospects back to life…. Here’s a new ad from McAuliffe’s campaign attacking Florida Gov. DeSantis, linking him to Youngkin: Click here

Among voters statewide

(St. Pete Polls) Sen. Marco Rubio (R) over Val Demings (D): +2 (48-46)
(Susquehanna) Sen. Marco Rubio (R) over Val Demings (D): +11 (50-39)
RON’S COMMENT: Two polls, two different pictures of the race. One has the contest close and the other shows Rubio with a much more comfortable lead. The St. Pete poll is the more recent by a least a week. 

Among voters statewide

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over Charlie Crist (D): +3 (46-43)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over Nikki Fried (D): +10 (50-40)
RON’S COMMENT: Incumbent DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, is in a competitive re-election race next year against former governor Crist. DeSantis does better against Fried.

Among voters statewide

RECALL: Should Gov. Newsom be recalled and removed from his office as Governor?
Yes, recall and remove Gov. Newsom: 48%
No, do not recall and remove: 52%
RON’S COMMENT: This poll of “likely voters” shows a close contest on the recall, but with the pro-Newsom side ahead. Among “all registered voters,” the pro-Newsom side does better, leading 54-46. Turnout is the ballgame; polling now shows Republicans more interested in voting than Democrats. 

  • 52% of men, 44% of women, 51% of Whites, 35% of Blacks, 50% of Hispanics, 41% of Asians, 15% of Democrats, 49% of independents and 92% of Republicans favor the recall.
  • See pro-Newsom/anti-Elder adClick here

Larry Elder (R): 23%
Kevin Paffrath (D): 13%
Kevin Falconer (R): 3%
Kevin Kiley (R): 3%
John Cox (R): 3%
Doug Ose (R): 2%
Caitlyn Jenner (R): 2%
Others: 6%
No One: 20%
Undecided: 25%
RON’S COMMENT: If voters recall Newsom, then the replacement race will decide the next governor. Most polling has shown Elder topping the contest, winning more Republican voters than anybody else. Numbers on Democrat Paffrath have been bouncing around. 

  • Republican Elder is getting 25% of men, 21% of women, 26% of Whites, 14% of Blacks, 23% of Hispanics, 14% of Asians, 2% of Democrats, 21% of independents and 54% of Republicans. 
  • Democrat Paffrath is getting 14% of men, 12% of women, 13% of Whites, 17% of Blacks, 12% of Hispanics, 7% of Asians, 20% of Democrats, 13% of independents and 2% of Republicans.
  • Currently, 34% of Democrats say they will vote for none of the replacement candidates and an additional 29% are undecided. If undecided and no-show Democrats unite behind Paffrath before Election Day on Sept. 14, the 29-year-old YouTube millionaire could possibly win.

Among voters nationwide

RON’S COMMENT: The following questions on Afghanistan provide useful findings, one of which is that large chunks of voters had not made up their minds at the time the poll was conducted, which was between Saturday and Tuesday. My concern with the questions that were asked is that they focus on the war and not on the U.S. pullout and how it has been managed. For example, it’s possible that voters who believe the United States did not make a mistake withdrawing troops from Afghanistan could also believe that the pullout, itself, was not handled properly.
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling the war in Afghanistan? 
Approve: 35%
Disapprove: 45%
Not sure: 19%
RON’S COMMENT: 60% of Democrats, 10% of Republicans and 28% of independents approve of Biden’s handling of the war…. Notice that nearly a fifth of the electorate is not sure.
Do you think the United States made a mistake by recently withdrawing troops from Afghanistan? 
Yes, mistake: 36%
No, not a mistake: 36%
Not sure: 27%
RON’S COMMENT: Voters are split down the middle on whether “the United States made a mistake by recently withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.” Notice that more than a quarter of the electorate is not sure…. By party: 20% of Democrats, 54% of Republicans and 37% of independents say the withdrawal was a mistake.
Do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in Afghanistan? 
Yes, mistake: 40%
No, not a mistake: 30%
Not sure: 30%
RON’S COMMENT: Most voters say sending troops to fight in Afghanistan was a mistake…. However, the wording of this question is less than precise. Is it referring to when Bush 43 ordered the invasion in 2001, or at multiple points since then when troops were sent in, including this past week? Anyway, respondent confusion may have influenced the high “not sure” percentage.

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
FLORIDA SENATE: St. Pete Polls, AUG. 16-17; Susquehanna/, Aug. 4-10
FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Susquehanna/, Aug. 4-10
CALIFORNIA: CBS/YouGov, Aug. 6-12
VIRGINIA: co/efficient, Aug. 8-9 
AFGHANISTAN: The Economist/YouGov, Aug. 14-17

Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics publishes when important new polling data is available, usually at least once a week. When we get closer to the next round of elections, we will resume daily publication. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron

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