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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Cunningham Holds Lead, Despite Scandal – Michigan Senate Tightens – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, October 13


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 42% (Reuters) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 45%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today same as yesterday)…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.


Among general election voters

Nationwide Popular Vote

(JTN/RMG) Biden +8 (51-43)
Average of last seven polls: Biden +9.3

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016
MICHIGAN (NYT): Biden +8
PENNSYLVANIA (Reuters): Biden +7
PENNSYLVANIA (Trafalgar-R): Biden +2
WISCONSIN (Reuters): Biden +7
WISCONSIN (NYT): Biden +10
FLORIDA (Emerson): Biden +3
FLORIDA (FAU): Biden +4
NORTH CAROLINA (Monmouth): Biden +4

States Clinton carried in 2016
COLORADO (KUSA): Biden +10

RON’S COMMENT: This is good news for Biden. He’s continuing to lead the Triple Crown states with healthy margins (except in the Trafalgar poll) and even edges Biden in Florida and North Carolina. He also posts decent leads in Colorado and Minnesota, which are “must wins” for Democrats.


Among voters in each state

(Monmouth) Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): +5 (49-44)
(WRAL-TV) Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): +10 (49-39)

COMMENT: These two polls were both taken Oct. 8-11, and they both show Cunningham surviving the texting scandal. But, Democrats are still worried­­––Cunningham’s negative ratings in the Monmouth poll have been going up––but for now their candidate appears to be weathering the scandal in terms of the matchup against GOP incumbent Tillis…. From the internals:

  • Says the Monmouth poll report: “…very few voters (14%) feel that the sexting revelation disqualifies Cunningham from holding office. Another 32% say this behavior calls his character into question but is not a disqualifier, while just over half (51%) say this should only be an issue for him and his family.”
  • The WRAL-TV poll shows Cunningham strengthening among men and Tillis doing better among women since the scandal.
  • Polling shows that Cunningham would helped by a very high overall turnout.
  • Handicappers rate the race a tossup or tilt Democratic.

Sen. Gary Peters (D) over John James (R): +1 (43-42)

RON’S COMMENT: This poll shows the Michigan Senate race narrowing to a thin 1-point lead for Peters. The five previous polls gave the Democratic incumbent an average lead of 6.6 points…. A Democratic loss of this seat would be a major blow to the party’s chances to pick up Senate control…. Handicappers rate the race lean Democratic.

Sen. Tina Smith (D) over Jason Lewis (R): +7 (44-37)

RON’S COMMENT: The two previous polls have Democrat Smith with an average lead of 9 points. Handicappers rate the race safe or likely Democratic.


Among voters nationwide

MASK AND DISTANCINGHow much do you think that wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can reduce your chance of catching the coronavirus . . . ?

A great deal: 56%
A good amount: 19%
Just some: 17%
Not at all: 7%

RON’S COMMENT: 75% of the electorate says wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can reduce their chance of catching the coronavirus a good bit…. From a poll question perspective, not sure what’s the difference between “a good deal” and “a good amount.”


Which candidate won the popular vote in the contested 1876 presidential election?

(See answer below)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
STATE POLLS: Pollsters indicated along with results; most interviewing done within the last week, or otherwise noted.

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Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics publishes daily, Monday thru Friday, between now and the Nov. 3 election. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron


Samuel J. Tilden (D). Tilden beat Rutherford B. Hayes (R) 51-48 in the popular vote, but ultimately lost the electoral vote 185-184After the first vote count, Tilden had 184 electoral votes to 165 for Hayes, with 20 disputed. A deal was then cut to give Hayes all 20 disputed electoral votes in return for the Republicans agreeing to end Reconstruction and withdrawing federal troops from the South.

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.