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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Iowa Senate – Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi – Testing “Socialism”

Your Daily Polling Update for Monday, March 9


Same as Friday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 44% (Reuters, The Economist, Politico) to 48% (Rasmussen). President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today (same as Friday), which is 8 points higher than his approval rating.


Among Democratic primary voters in each state

(Free Press) Biden over Sanders: +24 (51-27)
(Mitchell) Biden over Sanders: +21 (54-33)
(Target-Insyght) Biden over Sanders: +41 (65-24)

RON’S COMMENT: These three polls show Biden with commanding leads in Michigan, the top prize in tomorrow’s primary schedule with 125 delegates at stake. In the Mitchell poll, Biden wins whites 50-38 and blacks 64-21. If these polls are anywhere near accurate, it will be a hard blow to Sanders’ candidacy.

(Scout) Biden over Sanders: +22 (53-31-10)
(DFP) Biden over Sanders: +30 (62-32)

RON’S COMMENT: These two polls give Biden wide leads over Sanders. The Scout survey includes Warren and Gabbard. The DFP poll is a few days more recent. 68 delegates are at stake.

Biden over Sanders: +55 (77-22)

RON’S COMMENT: No contest here. Biden trounces Sanders in this Mississippi poll. The primary is tomorrow for 36 delegates.

(DFP) Biden over Sanders: +3 (47-44-8)
(KING-TV) Biden over Sanders: +1 (36-35-10)

RON’S COMMENT: Two polls show Biden edging Sanders by small margins in Washington state. Both polls include Warren and Gabbard, who get a total of 8-10%…. The primary is tomorrow for 89 delegates…. In the DFP poll:

  • Big gender divide: Biden wins women by 20 points, yet Sanders wins men by 18 points.
  • Big ideological divide: While Biden wins “somewhat liberal” voters by 20 points and moderates by 34 points. Sanders leads “very liberal” voters by 37 points.


Among voters statewide

If a vote for U.S. Senate were held today, would you definitely vote to re-elect Joni Ernst, consider someone else, or definitely vote to elect someone else, or would you not vote?

Definitely vote to re-elect Ernst: 41%
Consider someone else: 20%
Definitely vote to elect someone else: 31%

RON’S COMMENT: Republican Sen. Joni Ernst is seeking re-election this year and considered potentially vulnerable. Her job rating is 47% approve/38% disapprove. Between February 2019 and this March, Ernst’s approval rating fell 10 points in this poll. 79% of Republicans approve of the job she’s doing, as well as 45% of independents and 14% of Democrats…. A lot of outside money has already been spent in the state …. Democrats Michael T. Franken, Kimberly Graham, Theresa Greenfield, Eddie Mauro and Cal Wood are running. Others could get in as well …. Handicappers rate the general election lean or likely Republican.


by Frank Newport

Excerpts from Gallup’s Polling Matters analysis:

  • The word “socialism” is likely to resonate throughout the 2020 election campaign, regardless of which candidate eventually gets the Democratic Party nomination.
  • We can say definitively that the word “socialism” is viewed more negatively than positively by Americans, taken as a whole.
  • Gallup most recently found that 39% of Americans have a positive opinion of socialism, compared with 57% who have a negative opinion. Pew Research’s most recent survey showed 55% with a negative opinion of socialism, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed a 19% positive/53% negative split. A Monmouth poll found that 57% of Americans believe socialism is not compatible with American values.
  • These net-negative views of socialism seem to be quite stable. Gallup asked Americans to evaluate the term five times between 2010 and 2019; positive responses remained within a narrow range of 35% to 39% across the nine-year span.
  • As we would expect given this net-negative reaction to the term “socialism,” a slight majority of Americans (51%) say they would not vote for an otherwise well-qualified person for president who is a socialist, while 47% say they would.
  • These attitudes have not changed over the past five years. While the 47% who would vote for a socialist is certainly not a low percentage on an absolute basis, it is notably the lowest “would vote for” of any of the 12 characteristics tested in our recent research––well below the percentage of Americans who would vote for an atheist (60%) or a Muslim (66%) for president.
  • Along these same lines, a recent Suffolk University poll showed that 67% of Americans say they would not be satisfied with a presidential candidate who thinks the U.S. should move in a more socialist direction.
  • These results suggest that Republicans are in a somewhat better position than Democrats vis-a-vis any pending fight over socialism.
  • To read article, go here.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
MICHIGAN: Mitchell Research, Feb. 8; Target-Insyght, Feb. 8; Detroit Free Press, Feb. 4-6
WASHINGTON: Data For Progress (D), March 4-5; KING-TV/SurveyUSA, March 4-5
MISSOURI: Data for Progress (D), Feb. 4-7; Missouri Scout, Feb. 4-5
MISSISSIPPI: Data for Progress (D), Feb. 4-7
IOWA: Des Moines Register/Mediacom/Selzer, March 2-5

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.