LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Republicans Distrust Elections: Turnout Problem? – Testing Dem Pols – Key Issues: Ds vs. Rs. – Virginia and New Jersey

Your Daily Polling Update for Thursday, October 28, 2021

Up 1 since Tuesday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 39% (Trafalgar-R) to 46% (Politico, Reuters). Biden’s disapproval rating averages 53% today (up 1 from Tuesday), keeping him at 10 points net negative.

Joe Biden’s intensity problem: The president’saverage job approval ratinghas been hovering in the lower 40s, which is not good. But when you look at internal numbers, it gets worse: In the latest Quinnipiac poll, for example, the number of Americans who strongly disapprove of the job the president is doing is more than twice that of those who strongly approve, 45% vs. 20%. In the Economist poll, he’s 39% strongly disapprove and 19% strongly approve among voters. 

  • We find a similar situation in terms of Biden’s personal popularity. Among all voters, he’s 48% favorable and 48% unfavorable in the latest Economist poll. However, the very unfavorable is bigger than the very favorable (39% vs. 27%). 
  • Biden also has an intensity problem when it comes to his handling of important issues. Economist polling finds that almost twice as many voters strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of jobs and the economythan those who strongly approve (38% vs. 20%). In addition, 35% strongly disapprove of Biden’s performance on health care, while only 17% strongly approve, and 35% strongly disapprove of his handling of the abortion issues, while only 15% strongly approve. On foreign policy, 38% strongly disapprove and 17% strongly approve. On crime, 38% strongly disapprove and 12% strongly approve.
  • Even on civil rights, a core Democratic issue, Joe Biden’s overall rating is under water at 42% approve, 47% disapprove. Adding to the sting: Strongly disapprove is more than twice that of strongly approve (35% vs. 16%). Immigration is worse. The new Economist survey finds Biden’s overall rating on the issue is 32% approve, 57% disapprove. Looking at intensity, 43% strongly disapprove and a mere 9% strongly approve. 
  • None of this is good news for Democrats, just like it wasn’t good news for Republicans when President Trump’s hard negative ratings wreaked havoc on his party in the 2018 midterm elections, when the GOP lost 41 House seats, and in the 2020 presidential election, when they lost the White House. In the latest Economist poll, Trump’s very unfavorable rating is nearly twice as big as his very favorable rating (49% vs. 26%).

Among voters statewide

Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R): +1 (49-48)
RON’S COMMENT: McAuliffe’s average lead from the four latest polls is now .05%. That’s really tight…. CNU’s previous poll from early October had McAuliffe ahead by 4 points.

Among voters statewide

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) over Jack Ciatterelli (R): +11 (51-40)
RON’S COMMENT: This Monmouth Univ. poll shows a wider margin for Democrat Murphy than the recent Emerson College poll we reported. Murphy’s vote percentage is about the same in both, but Monmouth finds fewer votes for Republican Ciatterelli. Even though this new poll is much better news for Murphy, it still shows his lead tightening from 16 points in August to 11 points now…. It should be noted that one of Monmouth’s turnout models shows Murphy’s lead at 8 points…. Other insights from the poll report:  

  • Most of the tightening in the New Jersey race seems to have come from voters 65 years old and older, Murphy’s margin among seniors slipped from 16 points to 5 points since August. 
  • This poll shows Murphy winning Blacks 83-6 and other voters of color 63-22. Murphy wins White college grads by 6 points, but loses Whites who are not college grads by 20 points.
  • Issues (from poll report): “Ciattarelli has an advantage over Murphy on being trusted more to handle taxes (39% to 29%), but Murphy has a larger edge on education (42% to 27% for Ciattarelli) and the pandemic (45% to 26%), as well as abortion (39% to 23%) and transportation (36% to 24%). The two candidates are about evenly matched on handling jobs and the economy (34% Murphy to 33% Ciattarelli) and crime (32% Ciattarelli to 30% Murphy).”
  • Common trends with Virginia (from poll report): “There are some interesting parallels in the issue environment for the country’s two gubernatorial races this year. There has been a swing in both states from voters’ being concerned with the pandemic to a greater focus on schools. In Virginia, the Republican candidate took advantage of a gaffe by the Democrat to shift the conversation from Covid safety protocols to parental input on the curriculum. In New Jersey, though, the Murphy camp has maintained control by tying the two issues together in an ad attacking Ciattarelli’s positions on school mask and vaccine mandates. This probably helped preserve the incumbent’s advantage in both areas.”

Among voters nationwide

Among all voters nationwide:
% = Favorable/Unfavorable

  • Bernie Sanders: 47%/47%
  • Kamala Harris: 43%/50%
  • Pete Buttigieg: 37%/39%
  • Stacey Abrams: 36%/36%
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 35%/46%  

Among Democrats only:
% = Favorable/Unfavorable

  • Bernie Sanders: 82%/13%
  • Kamala Harris: 81%/12%
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 65%/14% 
  • Stacey Abrams: 64%/7%
  • Pete Buttigieg: 64%/9%

RON’S COMMENT: Among all voters, four of the five politicians tested have net negative ratings. Only Sanders doesn’t, and he’s even (47-47). Harris has the highest negative rating, at 50%…. Democratic voters, on the other hand, love all five of them––with “democratic socialist” Sanders, technically an independent, doing best…. All, or at least most, of these names will likely be national Democratic Party players during the next three years or longer. 

Among voters nationwide

Generally speaking, how much do you trust the United States’ election system? 
Trust a lot: 27%
Trust some: 25%
Distrust some: 19%
Distrust a lot: 24%
RON’S COMMENT: 52% of voters nationwide trust the American elections’ system to some extent––with 77% of Democrats, 49% of independents and 28% of Republicans in agreement. Interestingly, only 20% of Republican women trust the elections’ system…. This poll also shows that 69% of all Republicans distrust the elections’ system, including a hard 40% who distrust it “a lot”…. The big question: Will deep distrust of the elections system keep some Republicans from voting? If so, will this have an impact on turnout in close races?

Among voters nationwide

Who do you trust more to handle each of the following issues? 
% = Democrats in Congress/Republicans in Congress 

  • Climate change: 48%/29% (D +19)
  • Coronavirus: 46%/35% (D +11)
  • Healthcare: 46%/37% (D +9)
  • Protecting Medicare, Social Security: 45%/38% (D+7)
  • Education: 43%/39% (D +4)
  • The economy: 39%/45% (R +6)
  • Gun policy: 39%/45% (R +6)
  • Immigration: 39%/46% (R +7)
  • National security: 36%/48% (R +12)

RON’S COMMENT: Climate change is the best issue for Democrats and national security is the best issue for Republicans.  

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
TRUST U.S. ELECTIONS, TRUST MOST TO HANDLE ISSUES: Politico/Morning Consult, Oct. 22-24
VIRGINIA: CNU, Oct. 17-25
NEW JERSEY: Monmouth, Oct. 21-25

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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