POLITICS
02/24/2014 05:43 pm ET | Updated Feb 24, 2014

HUFFPOLLSTER: Texas 2014 Races Don't Look Too Competitive, Poll Finds

A new Texas poll shows a not very close contest in the Republican U.S. Senate primary and a comfortable early general election lead for the GOP governor. Chris Christie's ratings continue to fall in New Jersey. And live television viewing is collapsing like a house of cards. This is HuffPollster for Monday, February 24, 2014.

ABBOTT LEADS DAVIS BY 11 IN TEXAS - Ross Ramsey: "After what are shaping up to be easy primary wins in March for the leading gubernatorial candidates, Republican Greg Abbott starts the general election race for governor with an 11-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll...In the governor’s race, Abbott would beat Davis 47 percent to 36 percent in a general election held today, with 17 percent of registered voters saying they have not made up their minds about which candidate to support, according to the poll. 'We’ve been talking since the beginning of this race about whether anything would be different, and we’re not seeing anything that’s different,' said Jim Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. 'There was some talk about how Davis had done better in our last poll, and that was partially an artifact of her rise in the fall, and we’re seeing something of a reassertion of the normal pattern.'" [Texas Tribune]

Cornyn has huge lead over Stockman - More from Ramsey: "U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, facing a field of seven other Republican primary candidates in his bid for re-election, won the support of 62 percent of the likely Republican primary voters, followed by U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, who got 16 percent. Support for the rest was in single digits." The Texas primary election will be held on March 4. [ibid]

CHRISTIE'S APPROVAL CONTINUES TO DROP IN NEW JERSEY - Monmouth: "Public opinion of Chris Christie has further eroded since the Bridgegate emails were released last month. The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll found the governor’s job approval rating has dropped 20 points over the past year. In addition to growing suspicion of his involvement in the toll lane closures, New Jerseyans grade Christie’s handling of Superstorm Sandy recovery much less positively than they did when he was running for re-election….His approval numbers have dropped 9 points since [a January poll taken directly after the scandal broke]." Christie's approval rating is down 12 points since last month among the GOP, 8 points among independents, and 7 points among Democrats...It doesn’t help that the Bridgegate scandal has been compounded by charges from the mayor of Hoboken that the governor’s administration withheld Sandy aid unless an unrelated development project was approved in that town. Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) New Jerseyans have heard about this allegation and they are more inclined to believe (49%) rather than doubt (40%) the Hoboken mayor’s claims.[Monmouth]

POLL SHOWS VOTERS WATCHING LESS LIVE T.V. - A new survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Global Strategy Group (D) and commissioned by Google and digital consulting firms Well & Lighthouse (D) and Targeted Victory (R) finds voters "ditching live television in favor of streaming shows and movies on their smartphones or tablets. Emily Schultheis: "Other than watching live sports, almost a third of voters — 29 percent — said they had not watched any live TV in the past week. That figure is even higher among younger voters: Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 43 percent didn’t watch any live TV over the past seven days, and 40 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds said the same. It’s also higher among key demographic and ideological groups: Thirty-eight percent of self-identified independents said they hadn’t watched live TV in the last week, as did 32 percent of moderates and 36 percent of Hispanic voters...The poll is further evidence of a shift in the way voters get their political information — and suggests that campaigns that advertise only on broadcast TV will miss important and growing swaths of voters." Results are from a telephone poll of 800 likely voters surveyed January 25-28, 2014, with 30 percent of interviews conducted with voters on their cell phones. [Politico, POS slide deck]

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MONDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-The percentage of Americans who think leaders of other countries have respect for Barack Obama (41 percent) has fallen (from 51 percent) over the past year. [Gallup]

-Americans' views of Mitt Romney haven't changed since he lost the election. [Gallup]

-87 percent of Ohio voters support legalizing the use of medical marijuana, and 50 percent now support allowing same sex couples to marry. [Quinnipiac]

-Both state and national leaders are unpopular in North Carolina. [High Point University]

-Americans still consider electricity the greatest invention in U.S. history. [YouGov]

-Appointed senators don't get an incumbency boost in the next election. [WaPost's Monkey Cage]

-Aaron Strauss explains more about the difficulty of estimating the impact of presidential campaigns on voter turnout based on observational data rather than experiments. [Mindless Philosopher]

-Andrew Rice chronicles the fall of Intrade. [Buzzfeed]

-PPP asks Kansans: "If the candidates for Governor were Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West, who would you vote for?" [PPP]

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