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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Minnesota Sleeper? – Barrett Confirmation Favored – New Swing State Polls

Your Daily Polling Update for Thursday, October 22


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 42% (Economist) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would be 44%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (+1 from yesterday)…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend…. NOTE: When Barack Obama won re-election in 2012, his job approval average in Lunchtime Politics was 50%, which was close to the percentage of the popular vote he would receive in the election (51%).


Among general election voters

Nationwide Popular Vote

(NYT) Biden +9 (50-41)
(Reuters) Biden +9 (51-42)
(JTN/RMG) Biden +8 (51-43)
(IBD/TIPP) Biden +5 (50-45-3-1)
Average of today’s polls: Biden +7.8

RON’S COMMENT: Biden is at or above 50% in all four of today’s polls.

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016

PENNSYLVANIA (Quinnipiac): Biden +8
PENNSYLVANIA (Fox News): Biden +5

WISCONSIN (Fox News): Biden +5
WISCONSIN (Surquehanna): Even

FLORIDA (CNN): Biden +4
FLORIDA (Reuters): Biden +4

IOWA (NYT): Biden +3
IOWA (Monmouth): Biden +3
IOWA (Emerson): Trump +2

ARIZONA (Reuters): Biden +3
ARIZONA (Rasmussen): Biden +1

MICHIGAN (Fox News): Biden +12
OHIO (Fox News): Trump +3
TEXAS (Quinnipiac): Even

RON’S COMMENT: Michigan and Pennsylvania look good for Biden today, although only one of two polls from Wisconsin are good for Biden. The FloridaArizona and Iowa polls are largely good for Biden, although these states remain in play. Trump leads Ohio, which is good for him in this “must win” state, but Texas is even in the Quinnipiac poll.


Among voters in each state

Sen. Tina Smith (D) over Jason Lewis (R): +1 (43-42)

RON’S COMMENT: Could this be the sleeper Senate race that costs Democrats a seat they didn’t expect to lose?

  • A month ago, incumbent Smith had an 11-point lead and early in October she had a 7-point lead. Now it’s nearly tied.
  • This poll finds that “Smith’s lead among women and suburban voters has largely evaporated.”
  • Despite a shrinking margin, Smith has been outraising Lewis. By the end of September, she had raised $14 million and Lewis had raised about $5 million.
  • Smith was appointed to the Senate seat in January 2018 after Al Franken’s resignation (she was lieutenant governor at the time) and won it in a 2018 special election.
  • Lewis is a former member of the U.S. House (he lost re-election in 2018) and radio talk show host.

OKLAHOMA (Sooner Poll)
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) over Abby Broyles (D): +19 (56-37)

RON’S COMMENT: Inhofe was first elected to the Senate in 1994, beating Dave McCurdy. He’s a former member of the U.S. House and mayor of Tulsa. Broyles is a lawyer and a former TV journalist.


Among voters nationwide

Morning Consult poll findings:

  • 51% of voters say the Senate should vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court––that’s up from the prior week. It appears the Senate hearings helped her. Only 28% of voters oppose her nomination.
  • Currently, 32% of Democrats support her confirmation, that’s up from 27% a week before. Also, 44% of independents (up 6 points) and 79% of Republican (up 2 points) favor her confirmation.
  • Based on this poll, it appears that Democrats have mostly failed to turn Barrett’s nomination into a negative for Republican candidates this year.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
NATIONAL PRESIDENTIAL: NYT/Siena, Oct. 15-18; JTN/RMG, Oct. 15-17; Reuters, Oct. 16-20; IBD/TIPP, Oct. 17-21
STATE POLLS: Pollsters indicated along with results; most interviewing done within the last week, or otherwise noted.
BARRETT CONFIRMATION: Morning Consult, Oct. 16-18

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.