This past week has seen new polling regarding several strong Republican gubernatorial candidates endorsed by Mitt Romney. Himself a former Governor of Massachusetts, Romney understands the sort of executive capability it takes to make a strong governor. Therefore, it is no surprise that the following polls generally show good news for these Republicans.
First, in California, where the early trend favoring Jerry Brown has faded according to two polls released this month showing Meg Whitman moving into the lead. Survey USA, polling early in the month, was the first to show Whitman moving ahead, though only narrowly, taking a 44-43 lead over Brown in a poll of 602 likely voters.
This past week, Rasmussen has followed up on this with a poll of 750 likely voters showing Whitman ahead by a more significant eight point margin. In this poll Whitman leads 48-40, and breaks the 50% barrier when “leaners” are included, leading 51-43. The toplines of the poll also show an advantage for Whitman in favorability ratings. 30% hold a very favorable opinion of Whitman, to 25% very unfavorable. Brown meanwhile is underwater at 25/38. Good news for Meg Whitman all around.
For South Carolina, Rasmussen Reports has released a poll just today that shows Nikki Haley leading Democrat Vincent Sheheen by a solid sixteen point margin, 52-36. This is consistent with the July poll in the state, although this month shows Haley up over the crucial 50% mark. The poll also shows Haley with stronger favorability ratings than Sheheen, and stronger name recognition.
On top of these, today has brought another gubernatorial endorsement from Mitt Romney, as he has turned his attention toward the state of Oklahoma. Mary Fallin headlines the Republican ticket for Sooners, in her quest to become the state’s next governor. Fallin is a former Lt. Governor in Oklahoma and currently represents the 5th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. In July, she defeated Randy Brogdon and two other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor. She proudly runs on her strong conservative voting record as a member of the House Republican minority during these past four years, reminding voters in Tom Coburn’s state that when faced with a leftist agenda, there is nothing wrong with the word “No.” Her gubernatorial campaign centers around making Oklahoma a strong state for doing business. With low taxes and reduced spending , Fallin intends to keep Oklahoma away from the economic stagnation that is facing New York, and the high unemployment of Granholm’s Michigan.
As for the polling, Rasmussen Reports today shows Fallin leading by a solid 52-37 margin over her rival Jari Askins. This is consistent with previous surveys and shows a race maintaining steadily as a solid Republican gain in the conservative state. Democrat incumbent Brad Henry is unable to run due to term limits. Despite his fairly strong job approval rating in the state, the Republican trend, Fallin’s strong economic message, and Oklahoma’s penchant for conservatives is making this a difficult state for Democrats to hold.
Fallin is not the only Oklahoma candidate to receive an endorsement from Romney today. Five others, including Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and four Congressional candidates will be receiving support from Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC this year. Previews on these five will come in the next post.
At least, this is what is being reported by Fox News. Its buried in the story a bit, but Romney’s ongoing tour of the nation appears to include stops on the behalf of Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who is challenging Barbara Boxer in California. As a conservative, I have mixed feelings about Fiorina. During the primaries I thought Chuck DeVore might have been the more conservative candidate. Of course, the primaries are behind us now and it is time to rally around Fiorina. To her credit she is running a solid, conservative campaign, and is unafraid of arguing her pro-life position in a state that is conventionally considered to have a largely pro-abortion electorate. Such a move shows courage, a dedication to principle, and a willingness to differentiate herself from Boxer and the current Democrat majority of the Senate. A strong candidate such as that is deserving of all of the help Governor Romney, and all conservatives can give.
Anyway, Romney is not the only one scheduled to drum up some support and money on her behalf. Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are also on the list. Sarah Palin has also endorsed Fiorina, and will likely join in. This is all very important, because Boxer is vulnerable but has a pretty significant war chest backing her up. Carly can win this, but she needs the money to finance the campaign, beyond digging into her own personal wealth.
Recent polling varies from Boxer up by 7 points (Rasmussen), to Fiorina up by two (Survey USA). No poll in recent months shows Barbara Boxer meeting the fifty percent threshold considered for an incumbent candidate to be considered remotely safe. Most indexes currently show this race somewhere between Lean D and pure Toss Up. The feeling is that Fiorina needs just a little bit more to take this one, and hopefully the support of Mitt Romney and his fellow big name conservatives can help her take that step in getting it done. Democrats may think that they have a stranglehold on California. Hopefully this is the year that citizens of the Golden State remember their conservative side. They did, after all, give us Ronald Reagan.