Thursday, February 21, 2013

Approval ratings for the prospective Democratic candidates

If it's Thursday, February 20, that means it's time to take a look at the approval ratings of all the prospective, 2016 Democratic candidates.

Why's that helpful?

Because a candidate's ratings at home can reveal something fundamental about their political character that could bedevil or propel them in a presidential race.

Next week, we'll look at the GOP field, but for today, let's check out the approval ratings of the Dems, in no particular order.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar  (photo: public domain)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar:

Average approval: 61%
Average disapproval: 29%
NET approval: +32%
Average NET approval with women: +36%
Average NET approval with men: +21%
Average NET approval with Democrats: +81%
Average NET approval with Republican: -28%
Average NET approval with Independents: +34%

Considering Superman and Kate Middleton are options, it's rather surprising that if popularity had a middle name, it'd be "Klobuchar."

(In fact, "Klobuchar" sounds more like a small chair you'd buy at Ikea. To wit -- guest sits in your chair, smiles, says "This is a great chair", and you answer, "Well, technically  it's not a chair. It's a 'Klobuchar'.").

Regardless, Klobuchar has shown herself very popular in blue Minnesota.

In the past two years, she hasn't seen her approval rating dip below 55%, and she hasn't seen her disapproval rating reach anything close to 40% (it tops out at 36%).

Her strong popularity with Democrats isn't surprising, but her approval rating with indies (net +34%) is very impressive.

Republicans might not like her much, but they clearly don't loathe her, and she racks up a fairly mild -28% disapproval rating with the group.

Intensely polarizing figures tend to produce nearly inverse reactions, but Klobuchar's net approval with Dems is +81% with Dems and only -28% with Republicans.

In nearly all respects, Klobuchar probably benefits from being paired up as the good half of the Minnesota Senatorial delegation (the other part being bad half, Al Franken). Franken isn't a terribly popular fellow, and Klobuchar probably gains from his unpopularity.

Since becoming senator, Klobuchar has racked up a fairly liberal voting record, but she's also reached out to Minnesota business interests and, instead of treating them as the enemy, has tried to involve them in the political process.

As for her 2016 presidential prospects, the numbers are obviously good, but they're tempered a bit by the fact she scores them in blue Minnesota.

Then there's her mild but strong temparement -- Klobuchar would make a very good host for a party. Down-to-earth but comfortably in control. But at the presidential level, people don't really pick the capable host of the party, they pick the life of the party.

POLLS of Minnesotans:

a. Public Policy Polling (January 2013) = 65%/25% for +40%. Approval with women, 72%/18%; with men, 57%/33%, with Dems 90%/4%, with GOP 31%/53%, with indies 64%/26%.

b. Public Policy Polling (November 2012) = 60%/26% for +34%. Approval with women, 64%; approval with men, 56%/31%, with Dems 86%/5%, with GOP 27%/55%, with indies 62%/24%.

c. Public Policy Polling (October 2012) = 59%/27% for +33%. Approval with women, 60%/26%; approval with men, 59%/30%, with Dems 86%/6%, with GOP 22%/58%, with indies 61%/25%.

d. Public Policy Polling (September 2012) = 57%/31% for +26%. Approval with women, 60%/25%; approval with men, 55%/37%. Approval with Dems, 89%/6%, with GOP, 58%/25%, with indies, 55%/31%.

e. Public Policy Polling (June 2012) = 57%/29% for +28%. Approval with women, 59%/23%, with men, 56%/34%, with Dems, 83%/7%, with GOP, 22%/55%, with indies, 61%/26%.

f. Public Policy Polling (January 2012) = 61%/28% for +33%. Approval with women, 67%/21%, with men, 55%-36%, with Dems, 89%/6%, with GOP, 32%/53%, with indies, 59%/28%.

g. Public Policy Polling (June 2011) = 61%/28% for +33%.  Approval with women, 67%/20%, with men, 56%/35%, with Dems 88%/6%, with GOP 28%/54%, with indies 62%/27%.

h. MPR/Humphrey Institute (May 2010) = 64%/36% for +28%.

i. Public Policy Polling (December 2010) = 59%/29% for +30%. Approval with women, 66%/20%, with men, 50%/39%, with Dems 87%/9%, with GOP 26%/56%, with indies 62%/29%.

j. Rasmussen (March 2010) = 67%/30%.

Governor BiPartisan (photo: Pat Arnow)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Average approval: 65%
Average disapproval: 26%
NET approval rating: +29%

Average NET approval with women: +49%
Average NET approval with men: +45%
Average NET approval with Democrats: +56%
Average NET approval with Republicans: +35%
Average NET approval with independents: +45%

You can't start a conversation about Cuomo's approval rating without mentioning the fact it took a hit recently in the wake of his feverish gun control efforts.

And, indeed, it did absorb a blow

In Quinnipiac's poll, he fell from 74% to 59%.

But Siena College's poll shows no such significant bleed. Before his gun control push, he picked up a 60% approval rating. Post-push, he scored 58%. That's a negligible difference.

So, yeah, maybe Cuomo took a small hit, and maybe he'll continue to slip, but he's not exactly on life-support. If anything, he's at an urgent care center for a sore throat that will go away on its own.

That being said, look at his gaudy numbers with Republicans -- a net approval of +35%. Wow! The question is whether those come down -- not only because of his gun control push, but also thanks to his new abortion push, and the many liberal causes I'd expect him to start pursuing now that we're at the start of the 2016 cycle.

In fact, speaking of his ratings with Democrats, look at his fairly underwhelming +56% net approval rating with the group, and then look at Klobuchar's +81% net approval with Democrats in her state. Clearly, Klobuchar is quite a bit more popular with Minnesota Democrats than Cuomo is with New York Democrats.

Cuomo's approval rating with Republicans and Democrats tell the story of his tenure, which has been marked by centrism that's angered his base and pleased the right.

BUT... let's see what his next few years are like. You'd expect he'll focus much more intently on hot-button causes dear to liberals' hearts -- like gun control and abortion.

POLLS of New Yorkers:

a. Siena College poll (February 2013) = 58%/41% for +17%.

b. Quinnipiac University (January 2013) = 59%/28% for +31%. Approval with women, 64%-23%, with men 54%/33%, with Dems 74%/14%, with GOP 44%/43%, with indies, 54%/32%.

c. Siena College Poll (January 2013) = 60%/38% for +22%.

d. Quinnipiac University (December 2012) = 74%/13% for +61%. Approval with women, 73%-12%, with men 74%/14%, with GOP 68%/18%, with Dems 82%/9%, with indies 70%/12%.

e. Siena Research (December 2012) = 60%/38% for +22%.

f. Quinnipiac University (September 2012) = 70%/16% for +54%. Approval with women, 69%-14%, with men 71%/17%, with Dems 73%/12%, with GOP 66%/21%, with indies 71%/15%.

g. Quinnipiac University (July 2012) = 73%/16% for +57%. Approval with women, 73%/14%, with men 73%/17%, with Dems 80%/10%, with GOP 69%/19%, with indies 72%/17%.

h. Quinnipiac University (May 2012) = 71%/16% for +55%. Approval with women, 72%/15%, with men 71%/17%, with indies 69%/19%.

i. Quinnipiac University (April 2012) = 68%/19% for +49%. Approval with women, 65%/21%, with men 71%/18%, with Dems 67%/20%, with GOP 67%/24%, with indies 73%/14%.

j. Marist Poll (January 2012) = 58%/36% for +32%. Approval with women, 60%/32%, with men 54%/40%, with Dems 60%/32%, with GOP 59%/37%, with indies 53%/40%.

Brian Schweitzer is popular with independents

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer:

Average approval:  57%
Average disapproval: 32%
NET approval rating: +25%
Average NET approval with women: +23%
Average NET approval with men: +14%
Average NET approval with Dems: +78%
Average NET approval with GOP: -33%
Average NET Approval with Independents: +21%

Schweitzer is a darkhorse who should run for president, regardless of what the field looks like.

He'd instantly become one of the most colorful candidates in the field, would be responsible for about 80% of debate memes, and would immediately score an MSNBC or Fox News contract after dropping out (It has been foretold by Nostradamus,who, somewhat surprisingly, made 2016 power rankings at the end of one of his chapters on the apocalypse).

So Schweitzer should definitely run.

As for his approval ratings, he was just termed out after serving eight years as Montana's governor, and as you can see, he maintained his popularity even unto the end (to wit: he was at 70% in 2006, at 62% in 2009, and finished his time in office in the 55% range).

A few things that stand out.

1) His net approval with Democrats is extremely high, trailing only Hillary Clinton and Amy Klobuchar on this list.

2) His net approval with the opposing party (Republicans) is decent but not great. Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Mark Warner are all more popular with the GOP, but Schweitzer manages to be more popular with Republicans than liberal ideologues like Deval Patrick and Joe Biden.

3) His numbers with indies (+21%) are strong, but not as strong as Klobuchar's (+34%), although bear in mind that Montana independents are probably quite a bit more conservative than Minnesota independents.

POLLS of Montana residents:

a. Public Policy Polling (February 2013) = 56%/37% for +19%. Favorability with women, 60%-31%, with men 52%/43%, with Dems 93%/3%, with GOP 26%/65%, with indies, 57%/36%.

b. Public Policy Polling (October 2012) = 54%/36% for +18%. Approval with women, 63%-29%, with men 46%/43%, with Dems 88%/6%, with GOP 26%/61%, with indies 57%-33%.

c. Public Policy Polling (September 2012) = 55%/36% for +19%. Approval with women, 55%/34%, with men 56%/37%, with Dems 85%/9%, with GOP 26%/62%, with indies 56%/35%.

d. Public Policy Polling (May 2012) = 52%/36% for +16%. Approval with women, 51%/34%, with men 53%/38%, with Dems 82%/12%, with GOP 24%/60%, with indies 53%/34%.

e. Public Policy Polling (December 2011) = 55%/33% for +22%. Approval with women, 53%/32%, with men 57%/33%, with Dems 83%/9%, with GOP 30%/55%, with indies, 55%/30%.

f. Public Policy Polling (June 2011) = 52%/38% for +14%. Approval with women, 50%-37%, with men 53%/40%, with Dems 88%/9%, with GOP 26%/58%, with indies 47%/42%.

g. Public Policy Polling (November 2010) = 55%/33% for +22%. Approval with women, 57%/29%, with men 53%/36%, with Dems 86%/6%, with GOP 28%/55%, with indies 58%/29%.

h. Montana State Billings (November 2009) = 62%/20% for +42%.

i. Survey USA (October 2006) = 70%/23% for +47%.

Governor Meh

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:

Average approval rating: 52%
Average disapproval rating: 35%
NET approval rating: +17%. 
Average NET approval with women: +18%.
Average NET approval with men: +4%
Average NET approval with Democrats: +61%
Average NET approval with Republicans: -63%
Average NET approval with independents: -7%

You've heard "Massachusetts moderate" and you've heard "Massachusetts liberal", and now you're going to hear about the newest entry: "Massachusetts Meh"

That's Deval Patrick, a "Meh" in Massachusetts, even though he's accorded much more enthusiasm from national operatives and pundits.

First, let's get the obligatory praise out of the way.

Patrick's approval rating has risen from a low of 22% in 2010 to 52% today.

As such, you're prone to hearing tales of his "stunning and dramatic turnaround." But that's kind of misleading.

The really "stunning" thing is that his approval once stood at 22% in the sixth most Democratic state in the country! As for the turnaround, yes, he's risen, but his numbers are still underwhelming, considering he's a blue state governor in a blue state.

As he enters his final, few years in office, only 52% approve of the job he's doing, his net approval rating with men sits at a mediocre +4%, and his approval with independents is -7%.

Compare that number with Klobuchar's score with indies (+35%) and Cuomo's score with indies (45%), and you'll see that the "Massachusetts Meh" has limited appeal outside his own party.

If you're going to be a successful presidential candidate, you have to have some measure of strength at home with both independents and those outside your party. It speaks to your ability to connect.

But Patrick is, nearly be definition, polarizing (he's at +61% with Dems, and -63% with Republicans), and struggles with independents.

And, sure, he might have close ties to David Axelrod and Barack Obama, but these numbers (along with other things) suggest that Patrick is one of the most overrated candidates out there.

POLLS of Massachusetts residents.

a. Public Policy Polling (October 2012) = 48%/38% for +10%. Approval with women, 52%/36%, with men 44%/43%, with Dems 74%/15%, with GOP 18%/72%, with indies 34%/49%.

b. Suffolk University (October 2012) = 59%/28% for +31%.

c. Public Policy Polling (September 2012) = 51%/37% for +14%. Approval with women, 57%/28%, with men 45%/46%, with Dems 78%/11%, with GOP 13%/76%, with indies 41%/44%.

d. Public Policy Polling (August 2012) = 49%/40% for +9%. Approval with women, 49%/39%, with men 49%/42%, with Dems 74%/15%, with GOP 12%/82%, with indies 41%/47%.

e. Public Policy Polling (March 2012) = 48%/37% for +11%. Approval with women, 49%/33%, with men 47%/42%, with Dems 70%/15%, with GOP 13%/77%, with indies 40%/45%.

f. = University of New Hampshire poll (March 2012) = 57%/31% for +26%.

g. Public Policy Polling (June 2011) = 54%/36% for +18%. Approval with women, 58%/31%, with men 49%/43%, with Dems 77%/14%, with GOP 13%/75%, with indies 42%/47%.

Hillary (photo: State Department)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Average favorability rating: 61%
Average unfavorability rating: 30%
NET favorability rating: 31%

Unlike the other candidates, polls on Hillary reflect her national numbers; not the numbers in her home state.

Which is another way of saying: she's way ahead of everyone else in name ID  (example: If you told a Walgreens pharmacist in Nebraska that he looked like Mark Warner, he'd probably ignore you and hand you your Ambien. If you told him that he looked like Hillary Clinton, he'd hand you an anti-psychotic).

The world already knows that Hillary is popular with nearly every demographic, but look at Quinnipiac's most recent survey of her, where she sits at a meager -41% with Republicans.

In December, she only managed -40% with Republicans, as well. Don't Republicans love her? Didn't Romney and his allies include her in at least six commercials during the presidential campaign?

So what's going on?

Well, the Benghazi hearings have clearly taken a toll on Hillary's popularity with Republicans. Her net approval numbers with Republicans, post-election, are now lower than Cuomo, Gillibrand, Warner's net approval numbers with their respective, homestate Republicans.

Of course, she'd run in a Democratic primary, but Hillary is officially on the road toward becoming a polarizing figure again and strong pockets of Republican resistance toward her are once again forming.

That doesn't mean Democrats and  indies don't love her (they still do), but the GOP is starting to flee, and so is her bipartisan appeal..

So did I just intimate that Hillary's current popularity won't last and that she might not win 400 electoral votes in a general election?

Yes, I did. Shoot me, hang me, kill me off on Downtown Abbey -- I don't care. Hillary is more vulnerable in a 2016 general than people think.


a. Quinnipiac University (February 2013) = 61%/34% for +27%. Fav with women, 68%/27%, with men 53%/42%, with Dems 91%/5%, with GOP 27%/68%, with indies 59%/35%.

b. WSJ/NBC (January 2013) = 56%/25% for +31%.

c. Washington Post/ABC poll (January 2013) = 67%/26% for +41%. With women, 72%/21%, with men, 62%/31%, with Dems 91%/6%, with GOP 37%/57%, with indies 65%/26%.

d. CBS poll (December 2012) = 55%/23% for +32%. With Democrats, 77%/8%, with GOP 29%/48%, with indies, 51%/20%.

e. Pew Research (December 2012) = 65%/29% for +44%.

f. Politico/George Washington (December 2012) = 60%/35%.

g. Public Policy Polling (December 2012) = 57%/36% for +21%. Fav rating with women, 64%/29%, with men 50%/43%, with Democrats 81%/12%, with GOP 26%/66%, with indies, 52%/42%.

h. ABC/Washington Post (December 2012) = 66%/28% for +38%.

i. Rasmussen (November 2012) = 56%/40% for +14%.

j. Gallup (May 2012) = 66%/29% for +37%.

Joseph Biden (Credit: White House, David Lienemann)

Vice-President Joe Biden

Average favorability rating:  45%
Average unfavorable rating:  44%
NET favorability rating: +1%
Average NET favorability with women: +10%
Average NET favorability with men:  -6%
Average NET favorability with Democrats: +65%
Average NET favorability with Republicans: -63%
Average NET favorability with independents:  -5%

Yes, Biden is supposedly experiencing a renaissance of sorts.

Yes, he's supposedly a strong 2016 candidate.

No, he's still not popular. At all.

Look at his anemic favorable/unfavorable rating. Four years after becoming vice-president, he still can't even manage to crack an average of 50%.

In fact, he doesn't hit 50% in a single poll below!

If Biden were really going to become popular, he would have done it by now. But where the Beltway sees Uncle Biden Charm, the rest of the nation sees boorishness (remember that Veep debate?).

Further, the great Biden myth is that he somehow connects with working class, white men.

As I've written before, there aren't any empirics to prove that. In fact, in the 2012 election, Barack Obama's favorables were consistently higher than Biden's among working class, white men, and that's not a particularly solid demographic for Obama.

Right now, Dems are sending Biden to connect with rural folks on guns -- apparently having bought the myth that he's particularly well-suited to it.

Good luck with that, good luck to Biden, and while we're at it, good luck to Radio Shack and Blockbuster.


a. Quinnipiac University (February 2012) = 46%/41% for +5%. With women, 50%/37%, with men 40%/47%, with Dems 78%/11%, with the GOP 11%/79%, with independents 41%/41%.

b. ABC/Washington Post (January 2013) = 48%/37% for +11%. With women, 52%-33%, with men 44%-41%, with Dems 78%/13%, with the GOP 20%/71%, with indies, 42%/37%.

c. WSJ/NBC (January 2013) = 41%/37% for +4%.

d. Pew (January 2013) = 42%/42% for even. With Dems, 75%/14%, with the GOP 13%/77%, with indies 36%/42%.

e. Public Policy Polling (December 2012) = 46%/44% for +2%. Fav rating with women, 50%/40%, with men 43%-47%, with Dems 77%/14%, with the GOP 15%/76%, with indies 31%/56%.

f. Public Policy Polling (November 2012) = 48%/48% for even. Fav rating with women, 50%/44%, with men 46%/52%, with Dems 83%/13%, with the GOP 12%/82%, with indies 46%/50%.

g. Fox News poll (October 2012) = 47%-46% for +1%. Fav rating with women, 52%-41%, with men 41%/52%, with Dems 82%/11%, with the GOP 9/86%, with indies 45%/47%.

h. Youguv (October 2012) = 45%/48% for -3%.

i. Public Policy Polling (October 2012) = 45%/50% for -5%. Fav rating with women, 46%/47%, with men 43%/54%, with the GOP 10%/87%, with indies 43%/51%.

j. NPR (October 2012) = 46%/48% for -2%.

Kirsten (photo: senator's office)

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Average approval rating: 53%
Average disapproval rating: 26%
NET approval rating: +17%
Average NET approval rating with women: +45%.
Average NET approval rating with men: +23%.
Average NET approval rating with Democrats: +59%.
Average NET approval rating with Republicans:  -2.8%.
Average NET approval rating with Independents: +25%.

New Yorkers like Gillibrand, but they're still getting acquainted with her on a more intimate level, and as such, she hasn't produced quite the intensity of feeling that Andrew Cuomo has.

Thus, these numbers probably aren't as concrete, even though they're very good.

How good?

Well, her net approval rating with Republicans is essentially even. In fact, in the three most recent polls, she's in the black with the GOP.

Cuomo is also in the black with the GOP, but he's forged a centrist record. Gillibrand has been anything but centrist as a Senator (she was, though, fairly conservative as a congressional representative), so it's quite politically dexterous to score so well with Republicans even as she's pumping out liberal vote after liberal vote.

Her approval rating with independents is also very strong, and Democrats like her, as well.

But the real story here -- as it's been her entire career -- is her appeal to the party opposing her.

Gillibrand knocked off a veteran, Republican incumbent when she came to Congress and won a landslide reelection in that same Republican district. In doing so, she compiled a very moderate voting record.

Then, after being appointed and then elected Senator, she moved sharply to the Left, and yet she's done so without inflaming the Right.

So why's that important?

Because a strong presidential candidate has to convince the liberal base she's one of them; then -- in just a few months -- turn around and convince a centrist country she's one of them. That's a tough thing to do, but Gillibrand seems capable of pulling it off.

In other words: Gilliwow.

POLLS of New Yorkers:

a. Quinnipiac University (January 2013) = 57%/21% for +36%. Approval rating with women, 61%/16%, with men 53%/26%, with Dems 73%/6%, with the GOP 41%/38%, with indies 52%/27%.

b. Quinnipiac University (December 2012) = 61%/18% for +43%. Approval with women, 64%/12%, with men 58%/24%, with Dems 77%/5%, with the GOP 42%/35%, with indies 57%/20%.

c. Siena College (December 2012) = 61%/18% for +43%.

b. Marist Poll (October 2012 ) = 55%/36% for +19%. Approval rating with women, 58%/31%, with men 51%/40%, with Dems 63%/28%, with the GOP 47%/45%, with indies 48%/42%.

d. Siena College (August 2012) = 50%/37% for +13%.

d. Quinnipiac University (July 2012) = 44%/16% for +28%. Approval with women, 45%/11%, with men 43%/22%, with Dems 60%/3%, with the GOP 23%/37%, with indies 43%/18%.

e. Siena College (July 2012) = 43%/40% for +3%.

e. Quinnipiac University (May 2012) = 50%/18% for +32%. Approval with women, 54%/13%, with men 45%/24%, with Dems 68%/3%, with the GOP 28%/40%, with indies 44%/22%.

Everyone likes Mark Warner (if they've heard of him)

Virginia Senator Mark Warner:

Average approval rating: 54%
Average disapproval rating: 26%
NET approval rating: +28%
Average NET approval with women: +33%
Average NET approval with men: +23%
Average NET approval with Democrats: +63%
Average NET approval with GOP: -11%
Average NET approval with Independents: +30%.

If I were producing a reality TV singing show, I'd put up Quinnipiac University and Public Policy Polling in a sudden-death, poll-off.


Because those two firms are spitting out radically different results on Warner's numbers with Republicans.

To wit: in Quinnipiac's four polls of Warner this year, his average net approval rating is +5% with Republicans, which is really stellar.

But in Public Policy Polling's surveys, he's at -25% with Republicans.

It's too bad, because it's always interesting to see how a candidate is playing with their opposing party Unfortunately, Quinnipiac and PPP are telling us totally different things, and since they produce the lion's share of Virginia polls, it's hard to figure out which way to go.

Having said that, Warner has proven very popular with Democrats (+63%), as well as independents (+30%), and he is undoubtedly the most popular politician in the state (provided we're not including dead ones like Thomas Jefferson).

Now, here's the only slight negative for Warner -- his name ID isn't nearly as high as it should be.

Consider this -- he served as the commonwealth's very popular governor, and has been its U.S. Senator since 2008. In other words, with only a brief gap, he's been near the top of the Virginia political food chain since 2002.

And yet... an average of 20% of Virginians still can't make up their mind about him!

That speaks to a fundamental flaw dogging Warner's national hopes -- he just doesn't make much of an impression, and in a presidential race, you can't be Alcoa; you have to be Apple.

Nevertheless, these numbers show he can do pretty much anything he wants as senator (no, Robert Menendez, you cannot move there), and will be a senator in perpetuity.

a. Quinnipiac University (January 2013) = 59%/27% for +32%. Approval with women, 59%/24%, with men 59%/31%, with Dems 77%/9%, with the GOP 44%/40%, with indies 58%31%.

b. Public Policy Polling (January 2013) = 52%/31% for +21%. Approval with women, 53%-25%, with men 50%-38%, with Dems 75%/7%, with the GOP 23%/57%, with indies, 55%/31%.

c, Quinnipiac University (November 2012) = 58%/20% for +38%. Approval with women, 58%/16%, with men, 57%.24%, with Dems 79%-3%, with the GOP 32%/42%, with indies 59%/17%.

d. Public Policy Polling (November 2012) = 50%/27% for +23%. Approval with women, 51%-22%, with men, 50%-33%, with Dems 74%/7%, with the GOP 24%/50%, with indies 50%/27%.

e. Public Policy Polling (September 2012) = 49%/29% for +20%. Approval with women, 48%/23%, with men 49%/36%, with Dems 68%/10%, with the GOP 28%/49%, with indies 49%/28%.

f. Public Policy Polling (August 2012) = 50%/27% for +23%. Approval with women, 50%/23%, with men 51%/32%, with Dems 64%.11%, with the GOP 29%/45%, with indies 54%/29%.

g. Public Policy Polling (July 2012) = 50%/28% for +22%. Approval with women, 50%/23%, with men 51%/34%, with Dems 60%/16%, with the GOP 28%/47%, with indies 62%/23%.

h. Quinnipiac University (June 2012 ) = 60%/21 for +39%. Approval with women, 61%/18%, with men 59%/25%, with Dems 79%/7%, with the GOP 43%/34%, with indies 55%/26%.

i. Quinnipiac University (March 2012) = 62%/23% for +39%. Approval with women, 62%/19%, with men, 62%/26%, with Dems 75%/10%, with the GOP 48%/31%, with indies 63%/27%.

Martin O'Malley, doing his best Cory Booker (photo: governor's office)

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley

Average approval rating: 53%

Average disapproval rating: 39%
NET approval rating: 14%
Average NET approval with women: +29%.
Average NET approval with men: +2%
Average NET approval with Democrats: +57%.
Average NET approval with Republicans: -59%.
Average NET approval with Independents: +16%.

Polling is very limited on O'Malley, partially because the state is so Democratic and the races so noncompetitive that it doesn't make much sense.

And it's really a shame, because you get the sense O'Malley would really like to be polled.   

But he seems to be a very polarizing figure. His net approval rating with Democrats is just about the inverse of his net approval with Republicans, which you tend to find in polarizing candidates.

For example, on the list of Democratic contenders, you see intense polarization over O'Malley, Patrick, and Biden, while the rest of the candidates don't annoy Republicans quite so much.

O'Malley has been a liberal's liberal the past few years, and he's done a solid job appealing to independents, as well.

Keep in mind, though, that Maryland independents are probably a much different breed from Virginia independents.

Everything is more liberal in Maryland. If you're a fisherman, you catch fish by throwing government safety nets.

Anyway, the point is that O'Malley is scoring well with the demographic he's shooting for, but it's unclear how much crossover appeal he has.

Nevertheless, his numbers are just fine for jumping into a Democratic presidential primary

POLLS of Maryland residents:

a. Gonzales Research (January 2013) = 54%/41% for +13%. Approval with women, 61%/33%, with men 46%/51%, with Dems 73%/20%, with the GOP 17%/80%, with indies 52%/46%.

b. Washington Post (October 2012) = 49%/42%. for +7%

c. Gonzales Research (January 2012) = 53%/40% for +13%. Approval with women, 59%/33%, with men 47%/48%, with Dems 75%/17%, with the GOP 11%/85%, with indies 55%/35%.

d. Gonzales Research (September 2011) = 52%/40% for +12%. Approval with women, 60%/31%, with men 43%/50%, with Dems 71%/21%, with the GOP 16%/74%, with indies 55%/43%.

e. Gonzales Research (January 2011) = 58%/30% for +28%. Approval with women, 60%/27%, with men 55%/33%, with Dems 77%/12%, with the GOP 22%/63%, with indies 55%/31%.

NOTES: I didn't include Elizabeth Warren in this post, her only polling has come in the midst of a very competitive Senate race; thus, it's unfair to compare her with the other Democrats.

Also, check out Talking Points Memo's Poll Tracker, where I was able to find quite a few of these polls. It's an invaluable resource.