PPP finds a much closer race for Ohio's Republican governor than a series of Quinnipiac polls conducted earlier this year. Booker leads in New Jersey...again! And yes, it's still the economy, stupid. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, August 20, 2013.
PPP FINDS CLOSE GOVERNOR'S RACE IN OHIO - An automated, recorded voice survey of Ohio conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald with a slight early edge (38 to 35 percent) over Republican Governor John Kasich: "The closeness of the race is more of a reflection on Kasich than FitzGerald. He has a negative approval rating with 42% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove. That represents a 10 point net decline from our last Ohio poll in November when he was at 45/40. FitzGerald meanwhile remains unknown to most voters in the state with 62% not having an opinion about him one way or the other- among those who do have one 20% see him positively and 18% in a negative light." [PPP]
Quinnipiac polls have shown Kasich ahead - A Quinnipiac University poll of Ohio's registered voters conducted in late June gave Kasich a 14-point lead over Fitzgerald (47 to 33 percent), which was only slightly wider than the results of previous Quinnipiac surveys conducted in April and February. Moreover, Kasich's job approval rating on the June Quinnipiac survey was 54 percent, 12 points higher than PPP's result. The methodologies are different, of course: Quinnipiac uses live interviewers and samples both landline and cell phones and has so far interviewed all registered voters. PPP uses an automated, recorded voice to conduct interviews, samples registered voters with prior voting history from official voter lists and calls the listed landline phone numbers they can match to those lists. The most recent Quinnipiac sample was slightly younger than the PPP sample, but nearly identical in its racial composition. PPP's sample gave the Democrats a bigger partisan advantage (42 to 36 percent) than the most recent Quinnipiac poll (29 to 28 percent), with PPP also finding far more partisans Quinnipiac (though the question text and formats were different). [Quinnipiac results, demographics; Pollster compilation]
Kasich's 'summer swoon'? - Methodological differences aside, it has been a rocky summer for the incumbent Republican governor. Since the last Quinnipiac poll, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, "Kasich has signed a state budget that included anti-abortion amendments. And he's begun to take more flak for the dealings of the state economic development agency he privatized." [Plain Dealer]
BOOKER LEADS IN GENERAL ELECTION POLL - Monmouth: “New Jersey’s post-primary sprint to the Senate election kicks off with Democratic nominee Cory
Booker holding a 16 point lead over GOP standard-bearer Steve Lonegan. The Monmouth
University/Asbury Park Press Poll finds that Booker leads in name recognition and personal ratings, although voters aren’t persuaded by his “new kind of politician” message. Lonegan, on the other hand,could have limited success with his strategy to make this race a referendum on Pres. Obama. Booker currently holds a 54% to 38% advantage over Lonegan among New Jerseyans likely to vote in the October 16 special election. This is nearly identical to a pre-primary June poll, which gave Booker a 53% to 37% lead over Lonegan in what was then a potential match up….Turnout is certainly a question in this unprecedented situation: mid-October Wednesday election coming just three weeks before the regularly scheduled November election for governor, state legislature, and a variety of local offices. If given the choice of voting in only one of those two elections, 67% say they would opt for the November election while just 26% say they would turn out for the special Senate election. There are no significant partisan differences in these results.” HuffPollster’s chart currently gives Booker an average 18.5 point lead.
[Monmouth, HuffPollster chart]]
ECONOMIC ISSUES THE MAIN DRIVER OF OBAMA’S APPROVAL - Jeffrey M. Jones - “The economy carries the greatest weight of nine key issues in determining how Americans rate President Barack Obama overall. Americans who approve of the job Obama is doing on the economy are six times more likely to approve of Obama's overall performance than those who disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy. That is nearly double the impact of any other issue. The next-most-influential issues are healthcare, terrorism, and the federal budget deficit….It's no surprise that the economy is the key issue in determining how Americans rate the job Obama is doing as president. He was elected during the worst economy since the Great Depression and has recently attempted to refocus his attention on it. It is not clear how much presidents' policies can influence the course of the U.S. economy, and Obama may be limited in what he can do in general, given stiff opposition to his economic agenda from Republicans in Congress.” [Gallup]
HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday via email! Just enter your email address in the box on the upper right corner of this page, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).
TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Most California voters still back the Affordable Care Act. [Field Poll]
--82 percent of parents of school age children rate their child's teacher positively. [AP]
-Nate Cohn argues that northeast Colorado succession would make Colorado "bluer" and open a deal for DC statehood. [New Republic]
-Steve Koczela says Twitter doesn't have pollsters running scared. [Commonwealth Magazine]
-There’s no gender gap in the importance younger generations in the workforce place on career advancement.[Gallup]
-Two "treemaps" show the change in share of the labor force of men and women from 2006 to 2010 [Census]
-47 percent of voters think Congress would be outdone by people randomly picked out of the phone book. [Rasmussen]