RELEASE: New Polls in Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, and North Carolina Show Tight Senate Races, Strong Support for Progressive Issues Ahead of Midterms

Washington, D.C. — New polls commissioned for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and conducted by Public Policy Polling, or PPP, show tight races for U.S. Senate seats but strong support for progressive issues such as equal pay, a minimum-wage increase, women’s health and economic security, and common-sense gun laws. In Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, the polls show Senate races within the margin of error less than a week before Election Day. The polls were all conducted in the field on October 30 and 31.

The polls shows each race within the margin of error, with the Democrat ahead in Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, a tie in Georgia, and Republican Sen. Pat Roberts up 1 percentage point in Kansas. Beyond that, a review of the key issues facing Americans show strong support for candidates who believe in growing the economy by investing in workers and the middle class and equal pay for equal work. In Kansas, the survey shows Gov. Brownback is trailing by 4 percentage points, and the survey suggests a source of his troubles are policies that cut taxes on the rich at the expense of working Kansans. Fifty-four percent support raising the minimum wage to $10.10, and 60 percent believe the best way to grow the economy is by paying fair wages and investing in American workers.

“When politics meets the day-to-day kitchen table issues facing American families, voters move toward candidates who support policies that help grow the economy by investing in the middle class,” said Gov. Ted Strickland, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “While Republican candidates have tried to shift their focus to fear mongering and attacks on the president, these surveys suggest that when voters focus on issues, such as paying wages sufficient to support a family or equal pay for women, those issues favor more progressive candidates.”

On several issues the candidates have focused on this year, polls show how out of step certain Republican positions are with the mass of voters:

  • Equal pay: On the equal pay for equal work, voters say support for the Paycheck Fairness Act will move their votes. They are less likely to support candidates who oppose it. In Kansas, for example, voters are less likely to support Sen. Pat Roberts by a margin of 24 percentage points because of his vote against the bill.
  • Minimum wage: In Iowa, Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s overall support drops 5 percent when voters are informed of her opposition to a minimum-wage increase, which has been an issue in the campaign.
  • Paid family leave: On paid family leave for workers, a key economic issue that affects American families, Sen. Kay Hagan’s support makes North Carolina voters more likely to support her by a 40–28 margin. And in the same state, Thom Tillis’ $500 million in education cuts makes voters less likely to back him by a 24-percent-point margin.
  • Outsourcing: In Georgia, where Senate candidate David Perdue has spent most of his career outsourcing American jobs, 49 percent of voters are less like to support him as a result.
  • Gun background checks: The percentage of North Carolina and New Hampshire voters who say they are more likely to support Sens. Kay Hagan and Jeanne Shaheen for their vote on the Manchin-Toomey background check law outpaces the percentage who are less likely by 25 and 21 percentage points, respectively. And even in red-leaning Kansas, voters are less likely to vote for incumbent Republican Pat Roberts by a net of 17 points for his vote against comprehensive gun background check amendment.

The polls released today show that these races are remarkably close: Anyone could win. But no matter who wins, the polls make clear that the public strongly supports an economic agenda that invests in the middle class and aligns with every worker’s aspiration to support their family.

The Georgia poll surveyed 533 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent. The Iowa poll surveyed 617 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent. The Kansas poll surveyed 752 likely voters with a margin of error +/- 3.6 percent. The New Hampshire poll surveyed 679 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent. The North Carolina poll surveyed 738 voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent.

View each poll at the following links:

Georgia: http://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/GAPoll_toplines.pdf
Iowa: http://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IAPoll_toplines.pdf
Kansas: http://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/KSPoll_toplines.pdf
North Carolina: http://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NCPoll_toplines.pdf
New Hampshire: http://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NHPoll_toplines.pdf 

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Benton Strong at 202.481.8142 or bstrong1@americanprogressaction.org.

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