Poll: Gun control vote boosts Hagan, Landrieu

Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) may have improved their 2014 electoral prospects with their decision to support legislation expanding background checks, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that more than 70 percent of voters in both states support closing the gun show and Internet loopholes, and pluralities are more likely to vote for Hagan and Landrieu because of their vote.

In Louisiana, 45 percent of voters in the state say they are more likely to support Landrieu after the gun vote, while just 25 percent say they're less likely. Landrieu's approval rating has risen six points from February, and 72 percent of voters in the state say they favor background checks.


Poll: Democrats have early lead in 2014 midterms

Americans by a slim margin say they are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, according to a new national poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday.

In a generic ballot survey, 41 percent of those polled say they would back a Democratic candidate while 37 percent say they would vote Republican. Voters also appear wary of continuing to push forward with divided government, preferring one party to control both houses of Congress and the White House by a 48-43 percent margin.

That said, the margin might not be significant enough for Democrats to feel comfortable heading into 2014. The party that controls the White House traditionally loses seats in midterm elections; moreover, redistricting in the House and retirements in the Senate have left Democrats vulnerable headed into the upcoming elections.


Poll: Clinton, Biden both favored over top Republican 2016 candidates

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden would both be favored over top Republican presidential candidates in a hypothetical 2016 match-up, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released Wednesday.

The Democrats handily beat Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Fla.), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in head-to-head contests. Only one Republican — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — was competitive with the Democrats, narrowly edging Biden and narrowly trailing Clinton.

Clinton was favored by 12 percentage points over Rubio, 11 points over Paul, 16 points over Bush and 3 points over Christie. Biden trailed the New Jersey governor 46 percent to 43 percent but held a 14-point edge over Rubio, a 9-point advantage on Paul and an 8-point lead over Bush.


Poll: Obama more popular than Jindal in Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, long considered a strong contender for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, has seen his home state approval ratings dip below those of even President Obama, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by Southern Media Opinion & Research, placed Jindal's approval rating at 38 percent — a 13-point dip from last October. By contrast, 43 percent of those surveyed approved of President Obama's handling of his job.

The survey indicated that some of the major initiatives championed by Jindal — including cuts to the state's higher education and healthcare budgets, along with plans to privatize the state's charity hospitals — have begun to wear on his popularity. Jindal's tax reform plan, which would eliminate corporate and income taxes and replace them with a state sales tax, proved particularly unpopular, with just 27 percent of respondents supporting it.


Poll: Clinton tops Rubio, Jeb Bush in Florida

A new poll looking ahead to the 2016 presidential race finds former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with double-digit leads over Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) in the high-profile Republicans’ home state of Florida.

In hypothetical match-ups, Clinton leads Bush 51 to 40 percent and tops Rubio by 52-41 in the crucial state, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.


Rasmussen: Paul Ryan's favorability bottoms out after election

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) favorability rating has dropped 15 percentage points in the months since Mitt Romney selected him as a running mate, and the majority of Americans now hold an unfavorable opinion of the Wisconsin lawmaker.

Just 35 percent of respondents in a poll published this week by Rasmussen said they have a favorable impression of Ryan, while 54 percent say they have an unfavorable view. Nearly a quarter — 23 percent — say they have a very unfavorable view, while 12 percent of voters are undecided.

That represents a significant decrease from Ryan's 50 percent favorability rating in August, just after Ryan was added to the Republican ticket.


Pair of Pennsylvania polls see Hillary Clinton as early favorite

A pair of new polls released this week predict that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be the odds-on favorite in Pennsylvania's 2016 presidential contest. Republicans have said they hope to make the state more competitive in future presidential contests after losing its 20 electoral votes in 2012.

Both Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, and Quinnipiac University polled the state over the past week, asking voters their preferences in hypothetical presidential match-ups. In both instances, Clinton led any Republican contender she was put up against.

In the Qunnipiac survey, Clinton led New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 47 percent to 42 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) 55 percent to 38 percent, and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) 54 percent to 36 percent. In the PPP survey, Clinton led Ryan 52 percent to 40 percent, Rubio 52 percent to 37 percent, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) 55 percent to 38 percent.

But there are signs of optimism for Republicans if Clinton opts against running. In the Quinnipiac survey, Christie led Vice President Biden 51 percent to 38 percent and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 53 percent to 32 percent. The vice president and New York governor both defeated Ryan and Rubio in hypothetical match-ups.

The state appears to have a strong affinity for Christie, who maintains the nation's highest popularity rating in neighboring New Jersey. In the PPP poll, Christie was the top choice of Pennsylvania Republicans with 20 percent; Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) each earned 17 percent of potential primary voters, while Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush each received 10 percent. No other Republican candidate cracked double digits.

"Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is keeping her future plans to herself, but if those plans include another run for the White House, she starts in a good position in Pennsylvania," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.

"And if Ms. Clinton doesn't go for it, Pennsylvania voters can look across the Delaware River at another contender, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie. Another neighbor, Vice President Joseph Biden, a native of Scranton and former Delaware senator, doesn't do nearly as well as Clinton or Christie."