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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Biden’s Independents Problem – Governors Rated – Ohio, Texas, California – Kennedy, Hickenlooper, Bullock Lead – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, May 12


Same as Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls. The range is 42% (Politico) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes, it would be 46%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 52% today (same as Thursday), which is 7 points higher than his approval.


Among general election voters

Trump over Biden: +3 (46-43)

RON’S COMMENT: Trump won Ohio in 2016 by a substantial 8 points. Democrats have won the state in four of the last seven presidential elections.

Trump over Biden: +6 (47-41)

RON’S COMMENT: Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016. Republicans carried the Lone Star state in the last ten presidential elections

(Emerson) Biden over Trump: +34 (67-33)
(UMass Lowell) Biden over Trump: +28 (58-30)

RON’S COMMENT: No surprise. Hillary Clinton beat Trump in 2016 by 27 points…. In the UMass Lowell poll, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s rating among all voters in this Democratic state is an outstanding 81% approve/18% disapprove. He actually does better among independents and Democrats than fellow Republicans.

Biden over Trump: +30 (59-29)

RON’S COMMENT: Trump lost California by 30 points in 2016––and appears to be headed for another similar defeat. The state voted Democratic in all seven of the last seven presidential elections.


Among voters in each state

John Hickenlooper (D) over Sen. Cory Gardner: R: +18 (54-36)

RON’S COMMENT: Everyone agrees Republican Gardner is vulnerable, but this poll shows a wider-than-expected margin for Democrat Hickenlooper, a former governor…. Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 5 points in Colorado; Biden currently has a polling advantage in the state…. Handicappers rate the Senate race somewhere between tilt/lean Democratic and a tossup.

(MSU-Bozeman) Gov. Steve Bullock (D) over Sen. Steve Daines (R): +7 (46-39)
(Progress Campaign) Gov. Steve Bullock (D) over Sen. Steve Daines (R): +3 (49-46)

RON’S COMMENT: The Montana State Univ. poll has raised eyebrows. The sample has been criticized for having too many young voters and too few older ones. The survey also had a lengthy 18-day interviewing window…. The other survey from The Progress Campaign shows Democratic challenger Bullock, the incumbent governor, ahead of Republican Senate incumbent Daines, but by a tighter margin…. In any case, this is a contest Republicans cannot afford to lose if they want to hold their Senate majority…. But, let’s wait for additional polling before we reach any conclusions, Montana is not an easy state for Democrats to win…. Handicappers rate the race lean Republican.

Democratic primary
(Emerson) Joe Kennedy over Sen. Ed Markey: +16 (58-42)
(UMass Lowell) Joe Kennedy over Sen. Ed Markey: +2 (44-42)

RON’S COMMENT: Kennedy, a member of the U.S. House and grandson of RFK, continues to hold a lead over Democratic incumbent Markey in the Sept. 1 primary––although the size of the lead is in question. These two polls paint different pictures of the race…. Markey won the seat in 2013 when former Sen. John Kerry became Secretary of State…. On other matters:

  • Biden’s running mate: The Emerson poll finds that Joe Biden’s voters in Massachusetts are scattered when it comes to his running mate’s selection––29% prefer Elizabeth Warren, 21% favor Kamala Harris and 17% support Amy Klobuchar. For the others: Stacy Abrams 6%, Gretchen Whitmer 3%, Tammy Baldwin 1% and Val Demmings 1%. Though Warren leads, a substantial seven-out-of-ten Massachusetts Democrats have resistance to selecting their own state’s senator for VP.
  • Cuomo vs. Biden: Among Massachusetts Democrats in the Emerson poll, 49% prefer Andrew Cuomo as the presidential nominee and 51% prefer Biden, nearly an even split.


Among adults in each state

Do you approve or disapprove of the way [your state’s governor] is handling the coronavirus outbreak?

% = Approve/Disapprove

  • Ohio (DeWine-R): 86%/14%
  • New York (Cuomo-D): 81%/18%
  • California (Newsom-D): 79%/20%
  • Virginia (Northam-D): 78%/21%
  • New Jersey (Murphy-D): 77%/23%
  • North Carolina (Cooper-D): 74%/25%
  • Michigan (Whitmer-D): 72%/25%
  • Pennsylvania (Wolf-D): 72%/27%
  • Illinois (Pritzker-D): 71%/27%
  • Florida (DeSantis-R): 60%/38%
  • Texas (Abbott-R): 57%/41%
  • Georgia (Kemp-R): 39%/61%

RON’S COMMENT: Except for Kemp in Georgia, the 12 governors tested in this poll all score majority support in their home states for their handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Most score above 70%. DeWine in Ohio does best and Cuomo in New York is second. Whitmer, who is being considered for Biden’s running mate, polls well in Michigan, a critical state in the presidential election…. It should be noted that the question asked referred to each state’s governor, without mentioning names or political parties.


Among voters nationwide

If Biden winsDo you think the U.S. economy will get better, get worse or will it stay the same if Joe Biden is elected President in 2020? 

Better with Biden: 35%
Worse with Biden: 40%
Stay the same: 13%

If Trump winsDo you think the U.S. economy will get better, get worse or will it stay the same if Donald Trump is reelected President in 2020? 

Better with Trump: 39%
Worse with Biden: 38%
Stay the same: 13%

RON’S COMMENT: Trump has an advantage over Biden on making the economy better.

Biden/RecessionAre you confident in Joe Biden’s ability to deal wisely with an economic recession, or are you uneasy about his approach? 

Confident: 38%
Uneasy: 46%
Not sure: 16%

RON’S COMMENT: More voters are uneasy than confident in Biden’s ability to handle a recession. Biden’s problem is among independents: only 19% have confidence in him.


Among voters nationwide

Are you confident in Joe Biden’s ability to deal wisely with the COVID-19 outbreak, or are you uneasy about his approach?

Confident: 39%
Uneasy: 45%
Not sure: 25%

RON’S COMMENT: More voters are uneasy than confident in Biden’s ability to deal wisely with the COVID-19 outbreak. Biden’s problem on this issue, too, is apparent among independents: only 18% have confidence in him.


What was the most recent national Democratic ticket that did NOT carry the home state of its vice-presidential candidate?

(See answer below)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
CALIFORNIA, OHIO, TEXAS: Emerson, May 8-10
COLORADO: KOM Colorado Poll/Keating Research/OnSight Public Affairs and Melanson, May 1-3.
MONTANA: Montana State Univ./Bozeman, April 10-27
MASSACHUSETTS: Emerson, May 5-6; UM Lowell, April 27- May 1
APPROVAL OF GOVERNORS: Washington Post/Ipsos, April 27-May 4

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Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics will publish Tuesdays and Thursdays during the weeks ahead, but will add special editions when important new data becomes available. As soon as political polling gears up again, we will return to regular daily publication. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron


2004. The John Kerry-John Edwards ticket did not carry Edwards’ home state of North Carolina, losing it to the George Bush-Dick Cheney ticket by a substantial 12.5 points. Interestingly, the Democratic ticket lost North Carolina in 2000 by almost the identical margin of 12.8 points when it did not have a North Carolinian on the ticket.

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux, Chief Analyst at Certus Insights. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2020 Ronald A. Faucheux

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Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.