August 6, 2020 - Kentucky, South Carolina, And Maine Senate Races Are All Close, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 2020 Presidential Race: Trump Up In KY, SC, Trails In ME Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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In three high-profile Senate races in the states of Kentucky, South Carolina, and Maine, three longtime Republican incumbents are facing competitive races, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in each of those states released today.

"Big political names. Huge political stakes. High anxiety for the GOP. Three GOP Senators who easily won their last reelection bids are looking over their shoulders less than three months from Election Day," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

KENTUCKY SENATE RACE

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a slight lead over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, 49 - 44 percent, with 5 percent undecided. Republicans go for McConnell 92 - 6 percent, while Democrats go to McGrath 86 - 11 percent. Independents are divided with 46 percent backing McGrath and 40 percent backing McConnell.

Eighty-nine percent of voters who name a candidate say their minds are made up, while 11 percent say they might change their minds.

"Can a former Marine fighter pilot with 89 combat missions win a dogfight with a seasoned political powerhouse who has gone to war D.C. style for decades? She's giving him a run for his money," said Malloy.

Voters give Senator McConnell a slightly negative 43 - 48 percent favorability rating, and they give Amy McGrath a negative 32 - 42 percent favorability rating. Twenty-five percent say they haven't heard enough about McGrath to have an opinion.

As the incumbent Republican, 41 percent of voters say Senator McConnell has the right attitude towards President Trump, 37 percent say he is too supportive of the president, and 13 percent say he isn't supportive enough of him.

SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE RACE

The U.S. Senate race in South Carolina is a tie, with 44 percent of voters backing Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and 44 percent backing Democrat Jaime Harrison. Nine percent say they are undecided. Democrats back Harrison 94 - 3 percent, independents back Harrison 47 - 37 percent, and Republicans back Graham 89 - 5 percent.

Eighty-five percent of voters in South Carolina who name a candidate say their minds are made up, while 13 percent say they might change their minds.

"He has been a firebrand advocate for national defense and a leader of his party for 17 years - but has Lindsey Graham's allegiance to the president put him in jeopardy? The numbers suggest his tenure on the Hill is in trouble," added Malloy.

Voters have a mixed opinion of Senator Graham, with 41 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him, while 45 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of Graham. For Jaime Harrison, 38 percent have a favorable opinion, while 24 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Thirty-seven percent say they haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion.

As the incumbent Republican, 40 percent of voters say Senator Graham is too supportive of President Trump, 39 percent say he has the right attitude towards the president, and 10 percent say he is not supportive enough of him.

MAINE SENATE RACE

The U.S. Senate race in Maine is too close to call with Democrat Sara Gideon getting 47 percent of the vote and Senator Susan Collins getting 43 percent. Six percent are undecided. Democrats back Gideon 88 - 7 percent, Republicans back Collins 85 - 8 percent, and independents are divided with 46 percent for Gideon and 42 percent for Collins.

Eighty-eight percent of voters who name a candidate say their minds are made up, while 11 percent say they might change their minds.

"She has both defied President Trump and backed him to the hilt. An embattled Republican in a northeastern state, Senator Collins faces the political challenge of her life," said Malloy.

Voters give Senator Collins a negative 42 - 49 percent favorability rating. Voters give Sara Gideon a slightly positive 40 - 35 percent favorability rating, while 23 percent say they don't know enough about her to form an opinion.

As the incumbent Republican, 48 percent of voters say Senator Collins is too supportive of President Trump, 33 percent say she has the right attitude towards the president, and 12 percent say she is not supportive enough of him.

KENTUCKY JOB APPROVAL RATINGS

Job approval ratings for the two U.S. Senators from Kentucky:
  • Voters are split on the way Mitch McConnell is handling his job, with 46 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving;
  • Voters slightly approve of the way Rand Paul is handling his job 43 - 38 percent, with 19 percent saying they don't know.
For Governor Andy Beshear:
  • Voters approve 63 - 34 percent of the way the governor is handling his job;
  • Voters also approve 66 - 30 percent of the way Beshear is handling the response to the coronavirus.
For President Donald Trump:
  • Voters are split on the way President Trump is handling his job, with 49 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving;
  • Voters are also divided on his handling of the coronavirus, with 50 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving.
SOUTH CAROLINA JOB APPROVAL RATINGS

Job approval ratings for the two U.S. Senators from South Carolina:
  • Voters are split on Lindsey Graham, with 47 percent disapproving and 43 percent approving of the way he is handling his job;
  • Voters approve of Tim Scott's job performance 55 - 22 percent, with 22 percent saying they don't know.
For Governor Henry McMaster:
  • Voters slightly approve 45 - 40 percent of the way the governor is handling his job, with 15 percent saying they don't know;
  • Voters are evenly split on the way McMaster is handling the response to the coronavirus, with 46 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving.
For President Donald Trump:
  • Voters are split on the way President Trump is handling his job, with 49 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving;
  • Voters slightly disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus, with 46 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving.
MAINE JOB APPROVAL RATINGS

Job approval ratings for the two U.S. Senators from Maine:
  • Voters disapprove 52 - 43 percent of the way Susan Collins is handling her job;
  • Voters approve 60 - 25 percent of the way Angus King is handling his job.
For Governor Janet Mills:
  • Voters approve 55 - 38 percent of the way the governor is handling her job;
  • Voters also approve 64 - 32 percent of the way Mills is handling the response to the coronavirus.
For President Donald Trump:
  • Voters disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job 60 - 37 percent;
  • Voters also disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus 60 - 37 percent.
KENTUCKY: 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

With three months to go before the November election, President Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden in Kentucky 50 - 41 percent. Ninety-one percent of voters who name a candidate say their minds are made up, while 7 percent say they may change their mind.

Who voters think would do a better job:
  • Handling the economy: Trump 60 percent, Biden 35 percent;
  • Handling a crisis: Trump 51 percent, Biden 42 percent;
  • Handling health care: Trump 50 percent, Biden 44 percent;
  • Handling the response to the coronavirus: Trump 48 percent, Biden 44 percent;
  • Addressing racial inequality: Biden 47 percent, Trump 44 percent.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

In the race for the White House in South Carolina, President Trump holds a slight lead over Joe Biden, 47 - 42 percent. Ninety-four percent of voters who name a candidate say their mind is made up, while 4 percent say they might change their mind.

Who voters think would do a better job:
  • Handling the economy: Trump 56 percent, Biden 39 percent;
  • Handling a crisis: Trump 50 percent, Biden 46 percent;
  • Handling health care: Trump 49 percent, Biden 45 percent;
  • Handling the response to the coronavirus: Trump 48 percent, Biden 47 percent;
  • Addressing racial inequality: Biden 49 percent, Trump 42 percent.
MAINE: 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

In the race for the White House in Maine, Joe Biden leads President Trump 52 - 37 percent. Ninety-four percent of voters who name a candidate say their minds are made up, while 5 percent say they may change their minds.

Who voters think would do a better job:
  • Addressing racial inequality: Biden 60 percent, Trump 35 percent;
  • Handling health care: Biden 56 percent, Trump 37 percent;
  • Handling a crisis: Biden 54 percent, Trump 39 percent;
  • Handling the response to the coronavirus: Biden 55 percent, Trump 38 percent;
  • Handling the economy: Biden 50 percent, Trump 46 percent.
RACIAL INEQUALITY

Voters in all three states agree that racial inequality is a serious problem. In Kentucky, voters say 67 - 31 percent that it's a serious problem. In South Carolina, voters say 70 - 25 percent it's a serious problem. And in Maine, voters say 73 - 24 percent that racial inequality is a serious problem.

From July 30th - August 3rd:
  • 909 self-identified registered voters in Kentucky were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points;
  • 914 self-identified registered voters in South Carolina were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points;
  • 807 self-identified registered voters in Maine were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Email poll@qu.edu, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.


1. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for president; a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
A lot                61%    63%    59%
Some                 23     25     22
Only a little        10      9     13
None at all           5      3      6
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
 
2. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were Joe Biden the Democrat and Donald Trump the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Biden                41%    52%    42%
Trump                50     37     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      3      2
DK/NA                 5      4      7
 
 
2a. (If candidate chosen q2) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q2
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Mind made up         91%    94%    94%
Might change          7      5      4
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
2b. (If vote Biden q2) What is the main reason behind your vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in November: mainly because you like Joe Biden, mainly because Joe Biden is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Donald Trump?
                     VOTE BIDEN Q2...
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Biden           13%    16%    22%
Is party nominee     12      4      9
Oppose Trump         72     79     65
DK/NA                 3      2      4
 
 
2c. (If vote Trump q2) What is the main reason behind your vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in November: mainly because you like Donald Trump, mainly because Donald Trump is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Joe Biden?
                     VOTE TRUMP Q2...
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Trump           47%    52%    48%
Is party nominee      4      5      7
Oppose Biden         41     34     35
DK/NA                 7      9     10
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Joe Biden favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Favorable            35%    47%    36%
Unfavorable          54     43     51
Hvn't hrd enough     10      9      8
REFUSED               1      1      4
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Donald Trump favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Favorable            48%    36%    46%
Unfavorable          46     61     47
Hvn't hrd enough      3      2      3
REFUSED               3      1      3
 
 
5. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for United States Senator; a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
A lot                55%    56%    41%
Some                 24     27     25
Only a little        14     12     20
None at all           7      5     14
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
 
6_KYonly. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Amy McGrath the Democrat and Mitch McConnell the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
McGrath              44%     -      - 
McConnell            49      -      - 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      - 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      - 
DK/NA                 5      -      - 
 
 
6a_KYonly. (If candidate chosen q6) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Mind made up         89%     -      - 
Might change         11      -      - 
DK/NA                 -      -      - 
 
 
6b_KYonly. (If vote McGrath q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Amy McGrath over Mitch McConnell in November: mainly because you like Amy McGrath, mainly because Amy McGrath is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Mitch McConnell?
                     VOTE MCGRATH Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like McGrath         17%     -      - 
Is party nominee     10      -      - 
Oppose McConnell     72      -      - 
DK/NA                 2      -      - 
 
 
6c_KYonly. (If vote McConnell q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Mitch McConnell over Amy McGrath in November: mainly because you like Mitch McConnell, mainly because Mitch McConnell is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Amy McGrath?
                     VOTE MCCONNELL Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like McConnell       28%     -      - 
Is party nominee     20      -      - 
Oppose McGrath       46      -      - 
DK/NA                 5      -      - 
 
 
6_MEonly. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Sara Gideon the Democrat and Susan Collins the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Gideon                -     47%     - 
Collins               -     43      - 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      2      - 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      - 
DK/NA                 -      6      - 
 
 
6a_MEonly. (If candidate chosen q6) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Mind made up          -     88%     - 
Might change          -     11      - 
DK/NA                 -      -      - 
 
 
6b_MEonly. (If vote Gideon q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Sara Gideon over Susan Collins in November: mainly because you like Sara Gideon, mainly because Sara Gideon is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Susan Collins?
                     VOTE GIDEON Q6..
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Gideon           -     19%     - 
Is party nominee      -     10      - 
Oppose Collins        -     69      - 
DK/NA                 -      2      - 
 
 
6c_MEonly. (If vote Collins q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Susan Collins over Sara Gideon in November: mainly because you like Susan Collins, mainly because Susan Collins is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Sara Gideon?
                     VOTE COLLINS Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Collins          -     51%     - 
Is party nominee      -     18      - 
Oppose Gideon         -     27      - 
DK/NA                 -      4      - 
 
 
6_SConly. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Jaime Harrison the Democrat and Lindsey Graham the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Harrison              -      -     44%
Graham                -      -     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      1
DK/NA                 -      -      9
 
 
6a_SConly. (If candidate chosen q6) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Mind made up          -      -     85%
Might change          -      -     13
DK/NA                 -      -      2
 
 
6b_SConly. (If vote Harrison q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Jaime Harrison over Lindsey Graham in November: mainly because you like Jaime Harrison, mainly because Jaime Harrison is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Lindsey Graham?
                     VOTE HARRISON Q6
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Harrison         -      -     25%
Is party nominee      -      -     13
Oppose Graham         -      -     57
DK/NA                 -      -      5
 
 
6c_SConly. (If vote Graham q6) What is the main reason behind your vote for Lindsey Graham over Jaime Harrison in November: mainly because you like Lindsey Graham, mainly because Lindsey Graham is the party's nominee, or mainly because you oppose Jaime Harrison?
                     VOTE GRAHAM Q6..
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Like Graham           -      -     44%
Is party nominee      -      -     29
Oppose Harrison       -      -     20
DK/NA                 -      -      6
 
 
7-8. Is your opinion of - (KY) Amy McGrath, Mitch McConnell / (ME) Sara Gideon, Susan Collins / (SC) Jaime Harrison, Lindsey Graham - favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about [him/her]?
                     KY................   ME.............      SC..............
                     McGrath  McConnell   Gideon  Collins      Harrison  Graham
  
Favorable            32%      43%         40%     42%          38%       41%
Unfavorable          42       48          35      49           24        45 
Hvn't hrd enough     25        7          23       8           37        12 
REFUSED               1        2           1       1            1         2 
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (KY) Andy Beshear / (ME) Janet Mills / (SC) Henry McMaster - is handling [his/her] job as governor?
                     KY            ME            SC
                     Beshear       Mills         McMaster
 
Approve              63%           55%           45%
Disapprove           34            38            40
DK/NA                 3             7            15
 
 
10-11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (KY) Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell / (ME) Angus King, Susan Collins / (SC) Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham - is handling [his/her] job as United States Senator?
                     KY..............     ME............       SC...........
                     Paul   McConnell     King   Collins       Scott  Graham
 
Approve              43%    46%           60%    43%           55%    43%
Disapprove           38     48            25     52            22     47 
DK/NA                19      6            14      6            22     10 
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Approve              49%    37%    49%
Disapprove           47     60     47
DK/NA                 4      3      4
 
 
13. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job - handling the economy: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Trump                60%    46%    56%
Biden                35     50     39
DK/NA                 5      5      5
 
 
14. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job - handling health care: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Trump                50%    37%    49%
Biden                44     56     45
DK/NA                 6      7      6
 
 
15. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job - handling a crisis: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Trump                51%    39%    50%
Biden                42     54     46
DK/NA                 7      6      4
 
 
16. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job - addressing racial inequality: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Trump                44%    35%    42%
Biden                47     60     49
DK/NA                 9      6      9
 
 
17. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job - handling the response to the coronavirus: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Trump                48%    38%    48%
Biden                44     55     47
DK/NA                 8      7      5
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - Donald Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Approve              50%    37%    46%
Disapprove           47     60     51
DK/NA                 3      3      3
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (KY) Andy Beshear / (ME) Janet Mills / (SC) Henry McMaster - is handling the response to the coronavirus?
                     KY            ME            SC
                     Beshear       Mills         McMaster
 
Approve              66%           64%           46%
Disapprove           30            32            46
DK/NA                 4             4             8
 
 
20. In general, do you think that - (KY) Mitch McConnell / (ME) Susan Collins / (SC) Lindsey Graham - is too supportive of President Trump, not supportive enough, or do you think [he/she] mainly has the right attitude towards President Trump?
                     KY            ME            SC
                     McConnell     Collins       Graham
 
Too supportive       37%           48%           40%
Not enough           13            12            10
Right attitude       41            33            39
DK/NA                 9             8            11
 
 
21. Who do you trust more to handle the economic impact of the coronavirus on everyday Americans: Republicans in Congress or Democrats in Congress?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Republicans          51%    41%    50%
Democrats            39     48     40
DK/NA                10     11     11
 
 
22. Do you think that racial inequality in the United States today is a serious problem, or don't you think so?
                     KY     ME     SC
 
Yes/Serious problem  67%    73%    70%
No                   31     24     25
DK/NA                 3      3      5
 
 
Additional info by state:
Kentucky: State Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Maine: State Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
South Carolina: State Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail