In West Virginia's 3rd District, which President Trump won by 49.3 points in the 2016 election, Democratic candidate Richard Ojeda holds a sliver of a lead over Republican Carol Miller, the latest Monmouth University poll, released Wednesday, found. Forty-three percent of voters said they were with Ojeda, while Miller held onto 41 percent.
Curiously, Trump is still popular in the district: He has a 66 percent approval rating, with 49 percent of voters strongly approving of him. "Unlike other hotly contested House races in the country where dislike of the president is giving Democrats a boost, this West Virginia district seems to be competitive because the Democratic candidate has his own populist persona," observed the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray. Despite running as a Democrat, Ojeda has said he voted for Trump in 2016.
David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report responded to the poll by tweeting that he will be moving the district from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican." The poll reached 428 voters in West Virginia's 3rd District between June 14 and 19, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent for the full sample. Read the full results here, Jeva Lange
President Trump's historically dismal approval rating is no longer looking quite so historic. A Gallup poll released Monday shows that 513 days into his presidency, Trump has tied his highest approval rating at 45 percent. As Business Insider's Allan Smith observed, by comparison to past presidencies that isn't too shabby — it is even a blip higher than former President Bill Clinton's rating was on his 524th day in office:
Trump is at 45% on day 513 of his presidency
Obama was at 45% on day 523 of his presidency
Clinton was at 44% on day 524 of his presidency https://t.co/NZX88n1K5U
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) June 18, 2018
Trump's rating was up 3 points since June 10, matching his rating on Jan. 29, 2017, The Hill reports. The weekly poll reached 1,500 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.
A separate Gallup poll released Monday also found that 38 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., which Bloomberg News' Sahil Kapur notes is "the highest rating in nearly 12 years." That poll reached 1,520 people between June 1 and 13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points; see the full findings here. Jeva Lange
Over half of Republicans support the Trump administration's family separation policy, Quinnipiac poll finds
President Trump's administration has faced widespread bipartisan outcry over its new "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which involves separating children from their families at the border. But even as many Republican leaders have called for an immediate end to the policy, a whole 55 percent of Republican voters support the practice, a Quinnipiac poll released Monday found, while 35 percent of GOP voters oppose it.
Overall, most Americans oppose the family separation policy: Just 27 percent of Americans support it, and an overwhelming 66 percent oppose it. "When does public opinion become a demand that politicians just can't ignore?" asked the poll director, Tim Malloy. "Two-thirds of American voters oppose the family separation policy at our borders."
A whole 91 percent of Democrats oppose the policy, with a mere 7 percent supporting it. Young voters between the ages of 18 and 35 also strongly oppose the policy, 80 percent to 16 percent.
The poll reached 905 voters across the country between June 14 and 17 and has a margin of error of 3.9 points. See the full results here, and read the results of a separate Daily Beast poll that found a plurality of Republicans agreed with the policy separating undocumented immigrant parents from their children here. Jeva Lange
The tide appears to be turning against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose unfavorable ratings have reached new highs with Republicans, Democrats, and independents, a Politico/Morning Consult poll has found. Now an entire 53 percent of Republican voters view Mueller negatively, up 26 points since last July. Additionally, GOP members of Congress are growing increasingly restless with his ongoing probe, which has now entered its second year.
Among Democrats, a record 24 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Mueller, and among independents that number is even higher, 33 percent. Across all voters, 36 percent hold a poor opinion of Mueller, up from 23 percent just under a year ago.
Part of the reason for the shift appears to be that voters think the investigation is being handled unfairly — 40 percent of voters say so, up from 34 percent in February. But while President Trump has often made hay of Mueller's alleged bias, 48 percent of voters say the president tried to obstruct the Russia investigation, up 4 points from February. A vast majority of voters, 59 percent, say Trump should not self-pardon if charges are brought against him.
Trump's approval rating matches Obama's and Reagan's at this point. That's pretty ominous for Republicans.
President Trump's job approval rating has risen to 44 percent in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll — a 4-point rise from April and the same rating as former Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan at this point in their presidencies — but Obama and Reagan went on to see heavy losses for their parties in the 2010 and 1982 midterm elections, respectively. And while voters are bullish on the economy and more likely to give Trump credit for it, they want the next Congress to act as a check on Trump by a 25-point margin, the poll found.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 7, 2018
More than half of registered voters in competitive states and districts, and 48 percent of all registered voters, say they would support a congressional candidate who would act as a check on Trump; 23 percent say they would be less likely to support such a candidate. And 53 percent of voters said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who supports Trump on most issues, while 31 percent were more likely to vote for such a candidate. Democrats are more interested in the midterms — 63 percent said their interest was a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale versus 47 percent of Republicans — and 50 percent of voters said they want Democrats to control Congress versus 40 percent who want Republicans to keep control.
"The polling data points to a repudiation of Donald Trump and to the benefit of Democrats," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with GOP pollster Bill McInturff. McInturff said the numbers have been "bouncing around" so much it's hard to know where voters will land. The poll surveyed 900 registered voters by phone June 1-4, and it has an overall margin of error of ±3.3 percentage points. Peter Weber
President Trump has said he will announce Tuesday afternoon whether he is unilaterally pulling the U.S. out of a deal with Iran, China, Russia, and European allies that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons at least through 2030, and Trump is widely expected to scrap the deal. A CNN poll out Tuesday shows that to be an unpopular choice, with 63 percent of Americans preferring to stay in the deal and only 29 percent saying the U.S. should pull out.
There is a partisan divide, with 51 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of conservatives, and 46 percent of people who think Trump is doing a good job as president favoring scrapping the deal, while Democrats and independents strongly favor staying with the deal. Interestingly, a 62 percent majority of respondents said they don't think Iran is living up to the terms of the deal — despite the International Atomic Energy Agency and even the Trump administration saying Iran has been in compliance. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they approve Trump's handling of Iran, while 46 percent disapprove and 17 percent have no opinion.
The CNN poll was conducted over the phone by SSRS from May 2-5 among 1,015 randomly sampled adults nationwide, and it has a margin of sampling error of ±3.6 percentage points. If you want to learn more about the Iran deal and Trump's options, The Associated Press has a good explainer, or you can watch David Sanger run through the pros and cons on CNN's New Day. Peter Weber
"Don't create an emergency where there isn't one" — Is that good advice for President Trump heading into the announcement of whether the United States is staying in the Iran nuclear deal? @SangerNYT breaks it down. https://t.co/KOONbbKHbY pic.twitter.com/9Ly8iUen8Z
— New Day (@NewDay) May 8, 2018
New poll shows Democrats have a good shot at flipping GOP Senate seats in Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee
Democrats have a real shot to pick off three Republican Senate seats in November, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll that shows the Democrat beating all three Republicans vying for an open seat in Arizona, ousting Sen. Dean Heller (R) in Nevada by 6 percentage points, and leading the GOP candidate in Tennessee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), by a statistically insignificant 1 point. "The poll provides new evidence that Republicans' hold on the Senate may not be as solid as it once looked," Axios notes, though "the overall Senate map in this election still favors the GOP."
Democrats need to pick up two seats to gain control of the Senate in November, and a previous Axios/SurveyMonkey poll showed five Democrats at risk of losing their seats to Republican challengers. At the same time, Axios warns, "Democrats have been clearly outperforming in the special elections since Trump became president." On the issues, Republicans may be buoyed by the economy, but half of all voters in the three states surveyed want to fix the Affordable Care Act while only about 30 percent want to repeal it, and 64 percent of voters support protecting DREAMers and 71 percent favor a path to citizenship for immigrants rather than deportation.
The poll was conducted online April 2-23 with 1,667 registered voters in Arizona, 1,332 in Nevada, and 1,639 in Tennessee. The modeled error estimate is 4 percentage points for Arizona and Tennessee and 5 points for Nevada. Peter Weber
Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), has made stunning gains in the polls in recent weeks, with the race now officially "too close to call," Quinnipiac University reported Wednesday. Cruz has a slight lead of 47 percent to O'Rourke's 44 percent, with a margin of error of 3.6 points.
Importantly, Quinnipiac University's poll surveyed 1,029 registered Texans. Other recent polls, such as Gallup's, have similarly found Cruz in a spot of trouble, but "the group of people Gallup is polling is the entire adult population, rather than registered or likely voters," FiveThirtyEight explains. "And in Texas, there's a big partisan gap between the adult population and the electorate. Nationally, voters, as a group, typically lean a bit more Republican than the adult population.But Texas is a special case: The electorate tends to be way more GOP-leaning than adults overall are."
While Texas is a deep red state — the last time a Democrat was elected to the Senate was 1988 — O'Rourke has additionally out-fundraised Cruz in three of the last four reporting periods, raking in a stunning $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2018.
"Democrats have had a target on Sen. Ted Cruz's back, and they may be hitting the mark," said the assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, Peter A. Brown. "Once expected to 'cruise' to re-election, the incumbent is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke." Read the full results via Quinnipiac here, and read why The Week's Ryan Cooper thinks Democrats should go after Cruz despite the uphill battle here. Jeva Lange