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O’Donnell Cuts Coons’ Edge

Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

Senate margin now 10 points; little change in House race


In the past two weeks, Republican Christine O’Donnell has narrowed Democrat Chris Coons’ lead in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race from 19 points to 10 points.  The latest Monmouth University Poll  finds Coons has the support of 51% of likely voters to 41% for O’Donnell.  Two weeks ago, this race stood at 57% to 38%.

O’Donnell has actually pulled into a 49% to 43% lead in the southern part of the state (i.e. Kent and Sussex counties).  Two weeks ago, this region of the state was divided at 47% for O’Donnell and 46% for Coons.  The Democrat continues to hold a sizable advantage in New Castle County, but the current 56% to 36% margin is down from the 63% to 33% edge he held earlier this month.

O’Donnell has also made gains among independent voters, now leading Coons 47% to 42% among this voting bloc.  Two weeks ago, she trailed in the independent vote by 51% to 41%.

“While Coons still has the advantage, it has to be uncomfortable knowing that O’Donnell was able to shave 9 points off his lead in just two weeks.  The interesting thing is that while her vote total has risen, the majority of Delaware voters still say she is unqualified for the post,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll found that just 35% of likely voters in Delaware feel that Christine O’Donnell is qualified to be a U.S. Senator, while 56% say she is unqualified.  That contrasts with their opinion of Chris Coons, who 65% say is qualified for the U.S. Senate to 25% unqualified.  These qualification results for O’Donnell and Coons are basically identical to the Monmouth University Poll results from two weeks ago.

However, O’Donnell has seen some improvement in voters’ opinion of her personally, while Coons’ rating has dropped.  O’Donnell is now viewed favorably by 34% of the electorate and unfavorably by 51%.  Two weeks ago, this stood at 31% favorable to 58% unfavorable.  Coons has a 45% favorable to 39% unfavorable rating, compared to a 50% favorable to 33% unfavorable rating two weeks ago.

While the Senate election has experienced some movement, there has been little change in the race for Delaware’s at-large House seat.  The poll finds Democrat John Carney holding a 51% to 44% lead over Republican Glen Urquhart in the race to fill the vacant House seat.  That marks a slight narrowing of the gap from Carney’s 53% to 44% margin two weeks ago.

Delaware voters’ personal ratings for the two major party House candidates have remained fairly stable.  Carney has a 46% favorable to 28% unfavorable rating, with 26% offering no opinion.  Urquhart has a 38% favorable to 27% unfavorable rating, with 35% offering no opinion.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone with 1171 likely voters from October 25 to 27, 2010.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  2.9 percent.

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

  1. If the election for United States Senator from Delaware were today, would you vote for Christine O’Donnell the Republican, Chris Coons the Democrat, or some other candidate? [At this moment, do you lean toward Christine O’Donnell or lean toward Chris Coons?]  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TOTAL

PARTY ID GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Christine O’Donnell 41% 10% 47% 71% 48% 34% 35% 43% 42%
Chris Coons 51% 85% 42% 19% 43% 57% 52% 50% 51%
Other 4% 2% 6% 5% 5% 4% 8% 4% 2%
Undecided 4% 3% 5% 5% 4% 5% 5% 2% 6%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. If the election for United States House of Representatives from Delaware were today, would you vote for Glen Urquhart the Republican, John Carney the Democrat, or some other candidate? [At this moment, do you lean toward Glen Urquhart or John Carney?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Glen Urquhart 44% 9% 47% 82% 51% 37% 45% 42% 44%
John Carney 51% 88% 46% 12% 45% 57% 47% 54% 51%
Other 2% 1% 3% 2% 2% 2% 5% 1% 2%
Undecided 3% 2% 4% 4% 2% 4% 3% 3% 4%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

[QUESTIONS 3 AND 4 WERE ROTATED]

  1. Is your general opinion of Christine O’Donnell favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Christine O’Donnell?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Favorable 34% 10% 34% 63% 40% 28% 31% 36% 34%
Unfavorable 51% 76% 49% 24% 45% 57% 51% 51% 51%
No opinion 15% 14% 17% 14% 15% 15% 18% 13% 15%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. Is your general opinion of Chris Coons favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Chris Coons?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Favorable 45% 76% 37% 18% 40% 50% 39% 47% 46%
Unfavorable 39% 12% 45% 65% 46% 32% 35% 40% 39%
No opinion 16% 13% 19% 17% 14% 18% 26% 13% 15%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

[QUESTIONS 5 AND 6 WERE ROTATED]

  1. Is your general opinion of Glen Urquhart favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Glen Urquhart?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Favorable 38% 11% 41% 70% 46% 31% 34% 39% 41%
Unfavorable 27% 46% 22% 9% 23% 30% 22% 30% 26%
No opinion 35% 43% 38% 21% 31% 38% 45% 32% 33%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. Is your general opinion of John Carney favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of John Carney?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Favorable 46% 74% 41% 17% 42% 50% 34% 51% 46%
Unfavorable 28% 8% 31% 48% 35% 21% 29% 26% 29%
No opinion 26% 18% 28% 35% 23% 29% 37% 23% 25%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. Is your general opinion of Mike Castle favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Mike Castle?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Favorable 57% 65% 57% 47% 54% 59% 55% 58% 56%
Unfavorable 29% 15% 29% 45% 35% 23% 26% 30% 29%
No opinion 15% 20% 14% 8% 11% 18% 18% 12% 15%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

[QUESTIONS 8 AND 9 WERE ROTATED]

  1. Is Christine O’Donnell qualified or unqualified to be a United States Senator?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Qualified 35% 11% 37% 60% 41% 28% 35% 34% 35%
Unqualified 56% 84% 51% 29% 50% 63% 55% 56% 57%
Not sure 9% 5% 11% 11% 9% 9% 10% 9% 8%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1.       Is Chris Coons qualified or unqualified to be a United States Senator?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Qualified 65% 85% 64% 44% 63% 68% 69% 67% 63%
Unqualified 25% 8% 25% 45% 29% 21% 22% 24% 27%
Not sure 10% 6% 11% 12% 8% 11% 9% 9% 10%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Approve 43% 79% 36% 9% 37% 50% 40% 46% 43%
Disapprove 49% 14% 56% 85% 56% 42% 52% 47% 50%
Not sure 7% 7% 9% 6% 7% 8% 8% 7% 7%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

  1. Who would you rather see in control of Congress next year – the Democrats, the Republicans, or does it make no difference?
 

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

Dem

Ind Rep Male Female 18-44 45-59

60+

Democrats 38% 77% 26% 5% 31% 45% 33% 42% 36%
Republicans 40% 7% 40% 82% 49% 32% 40% 39% 42%
No difference 22% 16% 34% 13% 20% 24% 26% 19% 21%
Unwtd N

1171

436 389 342 672 499 201 344

621

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.  The poll was conducted on October 25-27, 2010 with a random sample of 1,171 likely voters in Delaware.  The sample was drawn from a list of households with voters who cast ballots in at least two of the last four general elections and further screened for those who say they are either “certain” or “likely” to vote in this November’s election.  Interviews were conducted using both automated voice interviewing services provided by Survey USA (n=769) and live interviews provided by Braun Research, Inc. (n=402).  The voter list was obtained from Aristotle, Inc.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS
Likely Voter Sample (weighted)

Party
Registration

Self-Reported
Party ID
Gender Age

Race

43% Democrat 36% Democrat 49% Male 20% 18-44

87% White, non-Hispanic

37% Republican 30% Republican 51% Female 38% 45-59

13% Other

20% Other 34% Independent   42% 60+  

Note:  self-reported identification may differ from party of registration

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables