Rasmussen – The President had three straight days at 48%, but finished the week by hitting the 50% benchmark three days in a row. His negative index slid into single digits, which was his best showing in three weeks.
Gallup – The President dropped about half of a point on average for the week as he was just below 50% four out of seven days.
Pew – The President’s approval improved noticeably as he moved back over 50%. His 51/43 positive spread marks a seven point net improvement from Pew’s 47/46 March survey. A strong majority of Americans, however, believe that the country is on the wrong track (32/56).
The gubernatorial race in Virginia is now fully underway as both Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli have aired their first television ads. Keeping with proper political form, both candidates open with soft biographical pieces. McAuliffe makes sure voters know that he has been a Virginian for over 20 years – an early attempt to diffuse the carpetbagger claim, while Cuccinelli concludes his ad promising to be honest and principled – a subtle indicator that his Democratic opponent is neither honest nor principled.
Virginia residents should enjoy the soft ads now because the race will likely be one of the nastiest the state has seen. McAuliffe’s main gambit will be to convince voters that Cuccinelli is a smoother talking, better educated Todd Akin. Cuccinelli is likely to direct his attacks at McAuliffe’s character. Expect to hear the term “used car salesman” more than once while describing McAuliffe.
The three recent polls in South Carolina’s first Congressional District have one thing in common. The higher Republican turnout is, the better Mark Sanford performs. While this does not sound like a startling revelation, the election will hinge almost exclusively on whether or not Mark Sanford can turn out an electorate similar to Mitt Romney’s in 2012.
In 2012, Mitt Romney won the district by 18 points, which was a 22 points better than his national performance (-4). Sanford’s scandal and ongoing drama will likely hurt him among his own party. He is still underwater in terms of likeability, while Elizabeth Colbert is viewed positively by a majority of voters. While Republicans are unlikely to votes in large numbers for the Democratic candidate, many may stay home rather than vote for someone they deem as morally questionable.
The final PPP poll released before the election shows Sanford accomplishing two key goals. First, the number of likely Republican voters has increased. In this poll, Romney voters outnumbered Obama voters by 13 percent. The previous PPP poll only found five percent more Romney voters than Obama voters. The other key for Sanford is to define Colbert Busch as a liberal. The PPP finding that 47% of likely voters now believe the Democratic candidate is too liberal is positive news for Sanford.
Overall, momentum is moving in Sanford’s direction. Campaign appearances by Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, and Tim Scott have helped consolidate Republican support, while voters now tend to see Colbert Busch in a more partisan light. While the race is close, it has yet to be determined if these factors can offset Sanford’s significant likeability deficit.
Rasmussen – This week the President reached lows not seen since last August. He rebounded at the end of the week to finish with 50% approval and (-10) in the index.
Gallup – The President stayed even as his approval hung right around the 50% mark throughout the week.
Quinnipiac – The President’s approval rating dropped a point to 48%, which is still up a couple of points from Quinniacs February and March survey. Democrats and Republicans are pretty evenly split in opposite directions while Independents disapprove of President Obama’s job performance by a six point margin.
Obama on the economy 41/53 (40/55)
Obama on foreign policy 47/43 (47/44)
Obama on immigration 40/50
Obama on guns 41/50
Satisfied/Dissatisfied with the direction of the country 27/72 (30/69)
Republicans in Congress 24/67 (19/71)
Democrats in Congress 31/60 (34/59)
Better on the economy – Republicans 40, Democrats 38
Better on healthcare – Democrats 43, Republicans 38
Better on Immigration – Democrats 39, Republicans 38
Better on gun policy – Republicans 42, Democrats 38
Better on taxes – Republicans 43, Democrats 39
CBS/NYT- The President’s approval/disapproval among all respondents was 47/45, which is three point improvement for him over last month’s poll.
Impressions of Islam – Favorable 21, Unfavorable 38
Islam more/same amount or less violent – 43/39
More public surveillance – Good idea 78, Bad idea 16
Rasmussen – The President’s uptick from last week disappeared as he hit a post-election low of (-15) on the index (strongly approve minus strongly disapprove). For the week, the President averaged 49% approval while spending six of seven days with double digit negatives on the index.
Gallup – The President continued his momentum from last week finishing with an average approval of 51%.
National Journal – The President’s approval rating dropped to 46%, which was a significant drop from the his 54% approval in National Journal’s November poll. The poll focused on the middle class and found that 45% of those who self-identified as middle class approved of the President’s job performance while 50% disapproved.
Trust for economic solutions – Obama 41/ Republicans 33 (down from 48/32 in November)
Economy will improve/worsen over the next 12 months 34/35 (44/31 in November)
Obama’s economic policies helped/hurt the middle class – 36/45
Republican elected officials’ economic policies helped/hurt the middle class – 17/43
Fox News - The President’s approval/disapproval among all respondents was 47/45, which is consistent with Fox’s other post-election surveys.