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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Who Leads in the Veepstakes?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sanders is top draw for undecideds; Palin a turnoff

West Long Branch, NJ  - With the presidential nominations in place, speculation about potential running-mates has ramped up considerably.  The Monmouth University Poll  tested 12 possible vice presidential picks - six from each party - and found that most would have no appreciable impact on voter support.  Two names do stand out, however: Bernie Sanders, who could attract undecided voters to the Democratic column, and Sarah Palin, who could potentially hurt the GOP ticket.

Scores of names have been mentioned as possible running mates for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  The Monmouth University Poll  decided to test 12 of them - six Democrats and six Republicans - for their ability to attract voters to the parties' respective tickets.  On the Democratic side, only Sanders, Clinton's primary opponent, registers any notable impact.  Overall, 39% of voters nationwide say they would be more likely to vote for the Democratic ticket with the Vermont Senator as Clinton's running mate compared to 20% who would be less likely to support this pairing.  Among those voters who are currently undecided or are leaning toward supporting a third party candidate, fully 50% say they would be more likely to support Clinton if Sanders is her vice presidential nominee and just 16% say they would be less likely to vote for this ticket.

Only one name stands out on the Republican side too, but not in a good way.  If Trump chooses former Alaska Governor and 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin as his running mate, just 13% of registered voters nationwide say they would be more likely to vote for the Republican ticket, but 42% say they would actually be less likely.  Among voters who are currently undecided or are leaning toward supporting a third party ticket, just 7% say they would be more likely to support Trump if Palin is his vice presidential nominee while a majority of 54% say they would be less likely to vote for this ticket.

"These findings are based in large part on name recognition, but the results do underscore one key truth about vice presidential nominees.  They usually do not have a significant impact on the national electorate.  At best, they can help with a specific constituency or in a key state.  At worst, they can demonstrate poor decision-making on the part of a person who aspires to be leader of the free world," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Among other possible Democratic running mate choices for Clinton, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren would have a slight net positive effect (24% more likely and 21% less likely among all voters and 25% more likely and 22% less likely among uncommitted voters).  Four other possibilities tested would have a negligible to slightly negative impact; including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (13%-13% all voters and 14%-15% uncommitted); Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (9%-13% all voters and 10%-12% uncommitted); Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (10%-17% all voters and 14%-16% uncommitted); and Minnesota Senator Al Franken (12%-21% all voters and 15%-21% uncommitted).

Among other possible Republican contenders tested in the poll, only former Trump challenger Florida Senator Marco Rubio registered a net positive impact for the ticket, with 27% of voters saying they would be more likely to vote for the GOP ticket with Rubio as VP and 20% saying they would be less likely.  Among voters who are currently uncommitted to either of the two major party slates, Rubio would make 26% more likely and 21% less likely to vote Republican.

"You have to wonder what may have happened if Rubio had not changed his mind about running for re-election to his senate seat.  While there is no love lost between the two, perhaps these poll numbers would have led Trump to take a second look at 'Little Marco'. But probably not," said Murray.

Two other senators would have minimal impact on support for Trump if they were chosen as his VP - Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (9% more likely and 17% less likely among all voters and 10% more likely and 13% less likely among uncommitted voters) and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst (7%-15% all voters and 8%-14% uncommitted).  Two other possibilities would have a net negative impact among uncommitted voters if chosen: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (24%-26% all voters and 19%-29% uncommitted) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (20%-28% all voters and 15%-36% uncommitted).

Obama / Congress ratings

President Barack Obama currently earns a 49% approve and 46% disapprove job rating from voters nationwide.  Nearly 9-in-10 Democrats (88%) approve and about the same number of Republicans (89%) disapprove.  Independents are split - 46% approve and 47% disapprove.  The results are similar to Monmouth's March poll when Obama received a 48% approve to 45% disapprove voter rating.

Ratings of Congress stand at 17% approve and 76% disapprove, which is largely unchanged from results over the past two years.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from June 15 to 19, 2016 with 803 registered voters in the United States.  The results in this release have a margin of error of ±  3.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

DATA TABLES

 

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:                                 

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

 

[Q1-14 previously released.]

 

  1. I’m going to read you the names of some people who have been mentioned as possible Vice Presidential candidates for the Republican Party. For each one I read please tell me if you would be more likely or less likely to support the Republican ticket if Donald Trump picked this person as his running mate, or if this pick would have no impact on your vote either way?  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

 

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 24% 46% 23% 6% 41% 20% 7% 6% 47% 19%
Less likely 26% 18% 26% 33% 21% 30% 26% 34% 14% 29%
No impact 47% 33% 49% 57% 37% 47% 65% 57% 37% 46%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 3% 3% 4% 2% 3% 3% 2% 2% 6%

 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 20% 39% 15% 9% 31% 18% 8% 7% 37% 15%
Less likely 28% 20% 33% 30% 24% 31% 29% 32% 18% 36%
No impact 49% 38% 48% 58% 42% 49% 60% 59% 42% 42%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 3% 4% 3% 4% 3% 3% 2% 4% 6%

 

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 9% 17% 9% 3% 15% 9% 3% 1% 19% 10%
Less likely 17% 13% 13% 25% 16% 18% 19% 24% 11% 13%
No impact 63% 59% 65% 64% 57% 64% 71% 68% 58% 61%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 11% 12% 8% 12% 10% 7% 6% 12% 16%

 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 27% 48% 24% 14% 39% 28% 11% 14% 43% 26%
Less likely 20% 12% 22% 24% 16% 22% 20% 23% 15% 21%
No impact 50% 37% 51% 58% 43% 48% 64% 60% 40% 46%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 3% 3% 4% 2% 3% 5% 3% 2% 7%

 

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 7% 11% 7% 3% 9% 7% 4% 3% 10% 8%
Less likely 15% 11% 12% 21% 15% 13% 18% 20% 9% 14%
No impact 66% 63% 69% 65% 61% 68% 70% 69% 65% 62%
(VOL) Don’t know 13% 15% 12% 12% 14% 12% 9% 8% 16% 16%

 

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 13% 26% 10% 5% 24% 8% 4% 3% 28% 7%
Less likely 42% 34% 48% 43% 33% 49% 43% 46% 31% 54%
No impact 43% 40% 40% 49% 41% 41% 51% 50% 40% 35%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 1% 2% 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 4%

 

  1. I’m going to read you the names of some people who have been mentioned as possible Vice Presidential candidates for the Democratic Party. For each one I read please tell me if you would be more likely or less likely to support the Democratic ticket if Hillary Clinton picked this person as her running mate, or if this pick would have no impact on your vote either way?  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

 

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 10% 1% 12% 16% 4% 10% 21% 17% 0% 14%
Less likely 17% 28% 15% 9% 24% 16% 7% 9% 26% 16%
No impact 63% 63% 62% 64% 64% 64% 59% 64% 65% 57%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 9% 11% 11% 8% 11% 13% 11% 9% 13%

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

 

Registered

Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 24% 6% 25% 38% 7% 25% 48% 39% 5% 25%
Less likely 21% 31% 22% 11% 30% 19% 10% 11% 31% 22%
No impact 51% 58% 49% 45% 59% 51% 37% 45% 60% 45%
(VOL) Don’t know 5% 5% 4% 6% 4% 5% 5% 5% 4% 7%

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 39% 16% 44% 53% 17% 43% 64% 54% 14% 50%
Less likely 20% 32% 19% 11% 30% 19% 7% 12% 31% 16%
No impact 39% 49% 36% 34% 51% 35% 28% 32% 52% 29%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 3% 1% 2% 2% 2% 1% 2% 2% 4%

 

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 13% 4% 14% 20% 6% 13% 23% 19% 4% 14%
Less likely 13% 20% 12% 7% 20% 10% 7% 7% 19% 15%
No impact 64% 67% 65% 61% 68% 65% 58% 63% 69% 60%
(VOL) Don’t know 10% 8% 9% 11% 6% 11% 12% 11% 8% 11%

 

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 9% 4% 9% 14% 5% 10% 13% 14% 2% 10%
Less likely 13% 20% 12% 8% 18% 11% 9% 9% 19% 12%
No impact 68% 67% 70% 67% 70% 68% 66% 67% 69% 66%
(VOL) Don’t know 10% 9% 9% 11% 7% 11% 11% 10% 9% 11%

 

Minnesota Senator Al Franken

 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

More likely 12% 3% 16% 16% 5% 12% 24% 18% 3% 15%
Less likely 21% 32% 20% 15% 30% 20% 11% 15% 29% 21%
No impact 60% 58% 60% 61% 61% 60% 59% 59% 64% 55%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 7% 4% 8% 5% 8% 6% 7% 4% 9%

 

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

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

Approve 49% 8% 46% 88% 15% 56% 84% 90% 5% 43%
Disapprove 46% 89% 47% 9% 80% 38% 14% 6% 90% 50%
(VOL) No opinion 5% 3% 7% 3% 5% 6% 2% 4% 4% 7%

 

TREND
 Registered voters
June
2016
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve 49% 48% 45% 40% 44% 45% 43% 47% 44% 43% 43% 42% 41%
Disapprove 46% 45% 48% 54% 48% 51% 53% 49% 48% 50% 49% 50% 54%
(VOL) No opinion 5% 6% 7% 5% 8% 5% 4% 4% 8% 7% 8% 8% 5%
Unwtd N 803 848 872 856 836 847 1,033 840 829 825 863 887 850

 

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?
 

Registered
Voter

PARTY ID POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

VOTE CHOICE

Rep

Ind Dem Conservative Moderate Liberal Clinton Trump

Other/
Undecided

Approve 17% 12% 11% 26% 13% 18% 18% 23% 8% 18%
Disapprove 76% 79% 81% 70% 78% 77% 77% 71% 84% 74%
(VOL) No opinion 7% 8% 7% 5% 9% 5% 5% 6% 8% 8%

 

TREND:
Registered voters
June
2016
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve 17% 19% 15% 16% 13% 17% 16% 18% 15% 21% 16% 15% 14%
Disapprove 76% 72% 78% 77% 77% 74% 77% 73% 77% 70% 74% 75% 78%
(VOL) No opinion 7% 9% 7% 8% 10% 9% 7% 9% 8% 9% 9% 9% 8%
Unwtd N 803 848 872 856 836 847 1,033 840 829 825 863 887 850

 

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 15 to 19, 2016 with a national random sample of 803 registered voters, drawn from both a list of registered voters and through random digit dialing.  The interview was conducted by a live caller in English, including 401 contacted on a landline telephone and 402 contacted on a cell phone.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on national voter list information and U.S. Census data.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), SSI (RDD sample) and Aristotle (voter list sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  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 (weighted)
Rep 28%  Male 47% 18-34 25% White 71%
 Ind 38%  Female 53%  35-49 26%

Black 13%

 Dem 34%

   50-64 28%

Hispanic 10%

    65+ 21%

   Asian/Other   5%

 

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

 

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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