LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Biden’s Intensity Problem – 2024 Nominations – Size of Government – Boston – New York – Virginia – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Down 1 since Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 42% (Economist, Rasmussen) to 46% (Reuters, Politico). Biden’s disapproval rating averages 52% today (same as Thursday), putting him 8 points net negative.

Among voters statewide

(Fox News) Terry McAuliffe (D) over Glenn Youngkin (R): +5 (51-46)
(Trafalgar-R) Terry McAuliffe (D) over Glenn Youngkin (R): even (48-48)
RON’S COMMENT: As we’ve said before: McAuliffe is struggling not to lose, but Youngkin has yet to win it. The average of the four latest polls give McAuliffe a slim 2.3-point lead…. Political operatives from both sides are expecting a close finish. Should Youngkin win, it would be a major blow to Democrats nationally. 

  • Big money: McAuliffe has raised $45 million so far in the race, compared to $42 million for Youngkin. With an estimated personal net worth of over $440 million, Youngkin has put more than $16 million of his own money into the campaign.
  • The prior Fox News poll (Sept. 26-29) had McAuliffe ahead by 4 points; their new poll has him up by 5. Trafalgar polls often show Republicans doing better than other polls. 

Among voters citywide

Michelle Wu over Annissa Essaibi George: +32 (62-30)
RON’S COMMENT: Wu has a commanding lead over George. Both women are city councilors…. Top issues: Education and housing, followed by racial justice and the economy. 59% of voters support rent control…. In the primary, Wu led George 33-23…. Endorsements: Wu has the support of both U.S. senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Planned Parenthood, the Sunrise Movement and the Sierra Club. George has substantial labor support… The runoff is Nov. 2.

Among voters statewide

Democratic primary for governor

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul: 39%
  • Letitia James: 20%
  • Bill de Blasio: 10%
  • Jumaane Williams: 8%
  • Someone else: 1%
  • Don’t know: 22%

RON’S COMMENT: Gov. Hochul, the only declared candidate, leads the possible 2022 Democratic primary field––she’s running nearly two-to-one over AG James and nearly four-to-one over NYC Mayor de Blasio in the new Siena College poll. Hochul polls 48% of Whites, 20% of Blacks and 48% of Latinos…. Williams is NYC Public Advocate and a democratic socialist…. In his hometown, de Blasio gets only 16% of fellow Democrats….. Another recent poll from Marist College showed Hochul 44%, James 28%, Williams 15%.
Ratings among all voters in New York state:

  • Joe Biden is 51% favorable/44% unfavorable among all voters statewide. He’s net negative in the suburbs and upstate. That’s a disappointing showing for the president; in 2020, he won the state 61-39.
  • Hochul is 42% favorable/26% unfavorable among all voters; a lot of them don’t yet feel that they know her. Among Democrats, she’s 58% favorable/12% unfavorable. 
  • Donald Trump is 37% favorable/59% unfavorable.
  • Andrew Cuomo is 33% favorable/60% unfavorable. He’s now doing worse than Trump among all voters.
  • Bill de Blasio is 26% favorable/56% unfavorable. He leaves office distinctly unpopular among voters statewide. Even among Democrats, de Blasio is net negative, 36% favorable/47% unfavorable.

Among Republican voters nationwide

Among Republicans nationwide: 

  • Donald Trump: 47%
  • Mike Pence: 13%
  • Ron DeSantis: 12%
  • Donald Trump, Jr.: 6%
  • Mitt Romney: 3%
  • Nikki Haley: 3%
  • Marco Rubio: 3%
  • Ted Cruz: 3%
  • Lynn Cheney: 2%
  • Others received 1% or less

RON’S COMMENT: This poll shows the former president outdistancing the 2024 nomination field among Republican voters, but his support falls below 50%. Of course, if you add his son’s 6% to his, the total Trump vote rises above 50%…. Note that Pence edges DeSantis for second place…. Also: 

  • 63% of Republican voters want Trump to “play a major role in the Republican party,” 19% want him to play a “minor role” and 13% want him to play no role. 
  • 51% of Republicans say Trump should “definitely” run in 2024 and another 16% say he should “probably” run again.
  • Of Republicans who do NOT want Trump to run again, 26% favor Pence and 20% favor DeSantis.

Among Democratic voters nationwide

Among Democrats nationwide: 

Joe Biden: 85%
Someone else: 11%
RON’S COMMENT: At this point, Democrats are sticking with Biden as their 2024 nominee. 

Among adults nationwide

Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view? 
Government doing too much: 52%
Government should do more: 43%
RON’S COMMENT: This Gallup poll has received considerable attention in recent days, with Republicans using it to show that voters fundamentally oppose the policy direction of the Biden administration…. Gallup’s previous measure from a year earlier (during the 2020 presidential election) found that only 41% thought government was doing too much and 54% wanted it to do more. That’s a big turnaround in a year. This poll also finds that: 

  • 80% of Republicans, 57% of independents and 18% of Democrats say “government is trying to do too many things.”
  • 19% of Americans say they’d prefer “more government services if that meant more taxes” and 50% say they’d prefer “less government services in order to reduce taxes.” Also, 29% say they’d prefer services and taxes as they are now. Worth noting: The percentage who want less services/reduced taxes has risen from 42% in 2019 to 50% now.
  • 43% of Americans believe there is “too much” government regulation of business and industry, which is up from 36% a year ago. Also, in the latest poll, 25% say there is “too little” regulation and 30% say the level of regulation is “about right.”


Terry McAuliffe was elected governor of Virginia eight years ago and served one term. Because of the state’s prohibition against serving two consecutive terms as governor, McAuliffe could not run for re-election four years ago, but he’s now running for a second non-consecutive term. Who was the last governor of Virginia who was elected to two non-consecutive terms?

(See answer below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
VIRGINIA: Fox News, Oct. 10-13; Trafalgar Group (R), Oct. 11-13
NEW YORK: Siena College, Oct. 10-14
BOSTON: Suffolk Univ./Boston Globe/NBC10, Oct. 15-17
BIDEN ISSUE APPROVAL: The Economist/YouGov, Oct. 9-12
2024 PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS: Morning Consult, Oct. 8-11
GOVERNMENT: Gallup, Sept. 1-17 

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

Mills Godwin was the last Virginia governor elected to two non-consecutive terms. Interestingly, Godwin was elected as a Democrat in 1965 and as a Republican in 1973. He was the first governor in U.S. history to be elected both as a Democrat and a Republican.

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