Friday, August 5, 2016

The Pollcast: Fear and loathing in Newfoundland and Labrador

From hero to zero — that might be the story of Dwight Ball, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. How did one of the country's most popular provincial leaders become its most despised?

Last November, Ball's Liberals were swept into office in a landslide, winning 57 per cent of the vote and 31 of the 40 seats on offer. The Progressive Conservatives, in power since 2003, were booted back into the opposition benches.

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Polling at the beginning of the year showed that Ball had maintained that level of popularity, with two-thirds of voters saying they would cast a ballot for his Liberal Party and 60 per cent saying they approved of his performance as premier.

That ranked him only behind Saskatchewan's Brad Wall as Canada's most popular premier.

But then the Liberals introduced a harsh budget in the spring, and their polling numbers plummeted. In May, the Angus Reid Institute found that just 17 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians approved of Dwight Ball. 

Last week, a survey from MQO Research pegged Liberal support at just 30 per cent. That put them in third place, behind the PCs and the New Democrats. The poll also showed 71 per cent of respondents thinking the general outlook of the province is getting worse.

Rarely has a plunge in the polls been so deep and so quick. 

To tell the story of how this happened, I'm joined by the CBC's David Cochrane on this week's episode of the Pollcast.

You can listen to this podcast here and subscribe to the podcast here.

Hillary Clinton gets convention bump and a little help from Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton is coming out of last week's Democratic National Convention with soaring poll numbers just as Donald Trump's campaign is hobbled by one self-inflicted wound after another.

In less than a week, Trump has managed to claim that the upcoming election will be "rigged", attack the father of a slain Muslim American soldier, and claim that Russia is not involved in Ukraine. And these are just a few examples of what has made the last few days a tough one for the Republican nominee.

There is no doubt that Trump made some gains in the wake of the Republican National Convention and the naming of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential running mate. But if his convention bump was typical, it is beginning to look small compared to Clinton's convention boost.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Kellie Leitch out with early lead in Conservative leadership fundraising

The first look at fundraising data for the Conservative leadership race shows Ontario MP Kellie Leitch off to an early lead over her rivals.

Elections Canada reports that in the second quarter of this year Leitch raised $234,785.59 from 334 donors, putting her well ahead of Maxime Bernier and Michael Chong, the two other leadership contestants who had entered the race before the end of the quarter.

You can read the rest of this article, along with a breakdown of the parties' overall fundraising for the second quarter, here.

Democrats would beat Donald Trump in a landslide — if only Canada joined the Union

After closing the gap on Hillary Clinton in the polls, Donald Trump is closer to taking the White House today than he has ever been before. But there is one way the Democrats could virtually ensure their party's hold on the presidency — making Canada the 51st state.

That's obviously not going to happen. But Canadians would be among the most reliable Democrats if, well, they were Americans instead. 

Polls have long showed Canadians expressing greater support for Democrats than Republicans. One recent survey gave President Barack Obama an approval rating of 80 per cent among Canadians, a score he has not managed south of the border since the first months of his presidency in 2008.

This affinity with the Democratic Party has continued throughout the current election campaign. Two polls conducted in recent months by Abacus Data and Mainstreet Research have shown that 73 to 80 per cent of Canadians would vote for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, if they had the chance.

Just 15 to 20 per cent would cast their ballot for Trump.

You can read the rest of this article here.