Washington (CNN) - With crucial congressional primaries in Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania less than a week away, a new poll reveals trouble ahead for incumbents, and suggests that the Republican party may be well positioned to capitalize on intense voter distrust directed at Washington.
When likely voters were asked in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Thursday which party they'd prefer to control Congress, equal numbers – forty four percent – supported each party.
The move represents a significant shift from April 2008, when during the run-up to President Obama's election, 49 percent said they would prefer Democratic control, while Republicans garnered only 34 percent.
Republican gains may be buttressed by feelings of anti-incumbent voter anger that have swept the country this year.
(CNN) – Less than a week before Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary, a new poll shows Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak gaining ground in a hypothetical general election match-up against former Rep. Pat Toomey, the likely Republican nominee.
In a head-to-head race between Toomey and Sestak, forty-two percent of those surveyed said they would back Toomey while 40 percent said they would support Sestak, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
In a Quinnipiac poll released April 8, Toomey led Sestak by 8 percentage points – with Toomey's support at 42 percent and Sestak's was 34 percent.
"The money that Sestak has been spending introducing himself to Democratic primary voters with TV ads seems to be having an effect on general election voters as well," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. "The difference is largely among independent voters, who favor Toomey 52 – 31 percent over Specter, but only 46 – 30 percent over Sestak."
Washington (CNN) – Gov. Charlie Crist leads in a hypothetical three-way race for Senate in Florida, a week after he decided to leave the Republican primary and run as an independent.
Crist enjoys a six point advantage over Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in a new Mason-Dixon poll of 625 registered voters surveyed by telephone.
Crist captures 38 percent in the new poll, followed by Rubio with 32 percent and Meek with 19 percent.
Crist announced last week that he would run for Senate as an independent candidate, sidestepping a primary showdown with Rubio. The survey shows that Crist enjoys double-digit support from Democrats.
(CNN) - With two weeks to go until Pennsylvania's primary, a new poll indicates that Rep. Joe Sestak is narrowing the gap with Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate nomination battle.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, Specter leads Sestak 47 percent to 39 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, with 14 percent undecided. Thirty-five percent of people who say they have picked a candidate indicate they still may change their mind. Specter's eight-point edge is down from a 21-point advantage in a Quinnipiac poll released April 7.
Specter, a five-term senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat last spring. At the time of the party switch, he cited the difficulty in winning the Republican primary against Pat Toomey as a factor. Toomey, the Republican candidate in the race, is a former congressman and former head of the Club for Growth, a limited-government and anti-tax organization.
(CNN) - On the eve of Ohio's primary, a new poll indicates that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher holds a 20-point lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the race for their state's Democratic senate nomination.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday morning, 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters back Fisher, with 23 percent support Brunner. But nearly a third of the Democratic voters questioned in the poll say they remain undecided and 44 of those who said they are backing one candidate or another indicate they might change their mind by Tuesday's primary.
A Quinnipiac survey released last week indicated Fisher held a 17-point advantage over Brunner.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly four in ten Americans support Arizona's new immigration law while three in ten say they oppose it, according to a new national poll.
A Gallup survey released Thursday indicates that 39 percent of the public says from they know or have heard about the new law, they support it, with 30 percent opposed and 31 percent saying they have not heard of the new law or have no opinion.
The poll was conducted April 27-28. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation into law on April 23. The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. The measure also makes it a state crime to live in or travel through Arizona illegally. The laws has ignited protests in the state and across the country and some are urging economic boycotts of Arizona.
According to the survey, nearly eight out of ten Americans have heard about the law. Of those, 51 percent support the measure and 39 percent oppose the law.
Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans say they have confidence in President Obama to make the right decision when it comes to filling the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court, according to a new national poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning indicates that 53 percent of the public is very or somewhat confident that the president will make the right decision in nominating a justice to the high court, with 46 percent saying they are not too confident or not confident at all when it comes to Obama's decision.
Forty-six percent of people questioned say they trust the president rather than Senate Republicans to make the right choice, with 43 percent saying they trust Senate Republicans over Obama. But by a 48 to 41 percent margin, respondents say senators who don't agree with the president's eventual nominee on key issues should filibuster the choice.
According to the poll, nearly three in 10 say the Supreme Court is too liberal, with nearly one in five saying it's too conservative and four in 10 saying it's about right. The survey also indicates that nearly eight in 10 say that the justices allow political views to enter their decisions.
Washington (CNN) - Most Americans distrust the government these days, and the reasons have more to do with current economic and political conditions than personal ideology, according to polling by the Pew Research Center.
The results posted Sunday on the Pew Web site were similar to a CNN poll in February that found about one in four Americans trust the federal government to do what's right.
According to the Pew report based on polling conducted in March and April, the dissatisfaction is due to what it called a "perfect storm of
conditions associated with distrust of government - a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials."
Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests the Democrats have improved their position in this year's battle for Congress, but they still have quite a way to go before their majority status in the House of Representatives could be considered safe at the ballot box.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that if elections for Congress were held today, 50 percent of the public would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, with 46 percent supporting the Republican candidate. That's a switch from CNN's last poll, conducted in late March, when the GOP had a 4-point advantage. The margins are within the poll's sampling error.
The generic ballot question asks respondents if they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district, without naming any specific candidates. The Democrats currently hold a 253-177 advantage in the House, with four seats that the Democrats once held vacant and one seat that the GOP held vacant. Republicans need to win 40 seats to take back control of the chamber.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, hopes to keep her seat. But a fresh poll suggests she may have a steep hill to climb.
In the latest Field Poll released Thursday, a slight majority of Californians hold a negative view of her.
Fifty-one percent view the senator unfavorably, with just 38 percent having favorable views of her. That's a 12-point jump in Boxer's unfavorable rating in the poll in January.
Meanwhile, Boxer appears to be losing ground in hypothetical match-ups between her and three potential Republican challengers: Rep. Tom Campbell, R-California, former Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO, Carly Fiorina, and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.