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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Saturday Special Edition – Senate Races in Maine, South Carolina, Kentucky

Your Daily Polling Update for Saturday, August 8


Same as Thursday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 40% (Politico, Reuters) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 43%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 55% today (+1 from Thursday), which is 12 points higher than his approval rating…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.


Among general election voters


States Trump carried in 2016: 
MICHIGAN: Biden +11
KENTUCKY: Trump +9
TEXAS: Trump +6
UTAH: Trump +19
MAINE 2CD: Trump +1

States Clinton carried in 2016: 
MAINE (Statewide): Biden +15
MAINE 1CD: Biden +31

RON’S COMMENT: Trump is underperforming his 2016 vote almost everywhere…. Biden holds a clear lead in Michigan, a state Trump won last time. The three previous polls had Biden’s margin averaging 6.3 points in Michigan…. Biden also wins Maine statewide, a state Hillary Clinton carried last time by 3 points. But––because Maine apportions two of its four electoral votes by congressional district, district polling matters. This survey shows Trump once again has a shot at winning one electoral vote from Maine’s 2nd CD. Last time, Trump won the 2nd CD by 10 points and Clinton won the 1st district by 15 points.

  • This Texas poll has Trump 6 points ahead in a state he won by 9 points in 2016. In fact, this is the biggest poll margin for Trump in Texas since early May. This survey was conducted by a GOP-related firm. The average of the last four polls, including this one, gives Trump a lead of a thin 2 points in the Lone Star state.
  • This Kentucky poll has Trump 9 points ahead in a state he won by 30 points against Hillary Clinton.
  • This South Carolina poll has Trump ahead by 5 points in a state he won by 14 points last time.
  • The Utah poll has Trump ahead by 19 points in a state he won by 18 points in a three-way race in the last election.


Among voters in each state

Sara Gideon (D) over Sen. Susan Collins (R): +4 (47-43)

COMMENT: This is the fourth poll in a row showing Democrat Gideon leading incumbent Collins by 4-5 points. Handicappers rate the race a tossup.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and Jaime Harrison (D): even (44-44)

COMMENT: This poll has incumbent Graham tied with his challenger. It should be mentioned that the poll was conducted by Quinnipiac, which often shows Democrats doing better than do other polls…. Despite recent polling that shows a close contest, handicappers still rate the race likely Republican; they’re surmising, and reasonably so, that the state’s conservative orientation will save Graham in the end. Nonetheless, this is one to watch. If Democrats upset Graham, it would mean a really big anti-Trump wave across the nation.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) over Amy McGrath (D): +5 (49-44)

RON’S COMMENT: McConnell leads all general election polling we’ve seen, but this Quinnipiac survey is the closest. As mentioned, Quinnipiac often shows Democrats doing better than other polls…. Handicappers rate the contest likely or safe Republican.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
KENTUCKY, MAINE, SOUTH CAROLINA: Quinnipiac, July 30-Aug. 3
UTAH: Deseret News/Hinckley, July 27-Aug. 1
TEXAS: Trafalgar Group (R)

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.