Check out these political snippets on the midterm elections including congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.
The final Senate polls featured interesting poll results from one firm that was detecting very different ballot test results from likely voters when compared with the larger registered voter universe. The Targoz Market Research group tested Senate races in Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In each case, they found the Republican candidate leading among likely voters and the Democratic contender having the advantage with registered voters. Comparing the Targoz information with the mostly final results tells us that the turnout was likely broader than just among the likely participants.
All of the polls were conducted over the November 2-6 period. In Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) held a 46-41% lead among registered voters, but Herschel Walker (R) enjoyed a 49-47% edge among the most likely voters.
The same type of pattern was evident in Ohio. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) led 44-43% among registered voters, while Republican author J.D. Vance* held a 52-45% advantage among likely voters.
In Pennsylvania, the ballot tests favored Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), 47-41%, while Dr. Mehmet Oz* (R) scored a similar 51-46% spread among PA likely voters.
There is no question that the 2022 midterm early voting totals have eclipsed that of the 2018 midterm. This is not particularly surprising since more states are offering early voting systems. In 2022, only Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Rhode Island did not offer a form of early voting in addition to their excused absence voting procedure.
The early vote totals already exceed the 2018 total of 36.1 million and are approaching 50% of the 2020 total. This translates into over 48 million people casting their ballot in the current election before the official election day.
Using the Target Smart figures, since they publish partisan projections for the cast votes, the 2022 midterm total reaches 48.1% of the 2020 presidential election early votes, with Democratic vote share running 2.3 percentage points ahead of their previous mark, and Republicans lagging behind: down 2.1 percent under their 2020 presidential election early vote share. This gives us a clear indication that overall Democratic turnout was better than Republican, and the enthusiasm factor landed with the former party.
Though Nevada Republican Adam Laxalt* clung to a small lead for most of the counting period, the post-election trends that culminated this weekend certainly favored Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D), thus yielding her projected victory. With such an outcome, the Democrats reached the 50-mark regardless of what happens in Georgia, thus guaranteeing them the majority in the next Congress.
The Georgia race unofficially finds incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) holding 49.4% of the vote versus Republican Herschel Walker’s 48.5%. Libertarian Chris Victor taking 2.1%, or just over 48,000 votes, denied both major party candidates the opportunity of reaching the 50% plateau. Therefore, the two finalists advance to a new election.
The Alaska Senate race is also undecided, but the state’s new electoral system that sends four candidates to the general election won’t be final for another two weeks.
In the key Senate races, Democrat John Fetterman was able to convert the open Pennsylvania seat, while Republicans held the competitive opens in North Carolina (Sen-Elect Ted Budd*) and Ohio (Sen-Elect J.D. Vance*). Incumbents Marco Rubio* (R-FL) and Chuck Grassley* (R-IA) held their seats against highly competitive challengers. Sen. Mike Lee* (R-UT) overcame an Independent/Democratic coalition to win a third term.
U.S. House of Representatives
At this point, the overall House count now stands at 218R – 210D, with seven elections remaining to be called. In these seven, both parties lead in three races, with the CA-13 contest headed to a potential seesaw ending where both candidates, state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) and agribusinessman John Duarte (R), both have legitimate chances to win.
Rep. Mike Garcia* (R-Santa Clarita) was projected the winner of his 27th District congressional race, which was enough to officially clinch the US House majority for the Republicans. The Garcia victory became the 218th GOP seat and with this result four consecutive years of Democratic control comes to an end.
Rep. Garcia had led consistently throughout the 2022 race, and the size of his lead was somewhat surprising. Running for his second full term after winning a special election in early 2020 and being re-elected by a razor-thin margin in the regular election later that same year, Rep. Garcia was viewed as a highly vulnerable incumbent in heavily Democratic California.
In this current election, however, Mr. Garcia was projected the winner when holding a 54.2% preference factor with 78% of the vote tabulated. Obviously, his margin of 13,846 votes was enough to sustain even a late influx of Democratic votes.
Rep. Garcia, for the third time, defeated former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D). He was an upset winner in the 2020 special election with a substantial 55-45% margin. In the regular election, however, he barely held the seat, winning with only a 333-vote edge.
Originally, in this current election cycle, Ms. Smith had announced that she would again run for the state Assembly, attempting to re-capture the seat she relinquished when running for Congress. When the redistricting plan was released, however, and the 25th District in which she and Rep. Garcia had so fiercely competed was re-numbered 27 and made three percentage points more Democratic, Ms. Smith changed plans and decided to make a third run for the US House.
In this new 27th District, which is fully contained within northern Los Angeles County and rated as D+8 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, Rep. Garcia may have earned his most satisfying victory in not only capturing the most Democratic seat in which he and Ms. Smith had competed, but simultaneously carrying the Republicans to the majority.
Elsewhere, three more seats were called for the Democrats, another in California, and one each in Maine and Oregon.
Southern California Rep. Mike Levin* (D-San Juan Capistrano) last night was declared re-elected in his 49th District that includes parts of San Diego and Orange Counties. He defeated San Juan Capistrano Councilman and former Mayor Brian Maryott* (R), who was making his third run for the congressional seat.
Frankly, it is surprising it took this long to make a call for Rep. Levin. It appeared clear from early in the count that he would be re-elected since he was running strongly in San Diego County, which is two-thirds of the district.
Simple mathematics suggested there were not enough votes available in Mr. Maryott’s strongest areas of Orange County to overcome the Congressman’s advantage in the San Diego portion of the 49th District. In the end, as Rep. Levin recorded 52.6% of the vote with now 95% reporting, his analyzed margin advantage proved large enough for him to clinch a third term.
From Maine’s 2nd District, in a race that featured a re-match of the 2018 campaign where Democrat Jared Golden unseated then-Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) through the Ranked Choice Voting system, the two-term House incumbent was projected as an outright winner yesterday evening. The totals find Rep. Golden holding a 53.1 – 46.9% margin over Mr. Poliquin with 99% of the vote tabulated. Capturing a majority vote avoided advancing into the Ranked Choice rounds.
Though Maine’s 2nd District twice gave its electoral vote to Donald Trump, the electorate has voted Democratic in the congressional races on a more consistent basis. Maine is one of two states, Nebraska being the other, that splits its presidential electoral votes. Therefore, each of Maine’s two congressional districts award their own electoral vote regardless of how the state votes.
Though we did not see a “red wave” materialize nationally, we surprisingly saw one on Long Island. In fact, the Island’s two Democratic open seats flipped, the third remained in the Republican column, and Rep. Andrew Garbarino* (R-Sayville) was re-elected to a second term.
With Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) not seeking re-election in order to campaign for Governor, Republican Nick LaLota was declared the winner of his open 1st District, the east Long Island open seat. In the 3rd District, also open because the incumbent, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), unsuccessfully ran for Governor and lost the Democratic primary to incumbent Kathy Hochul, Republican George Santos was declared the winner.
Finally, in what proved to be the Island’s biggest upset, former Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito will succeed retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who chose not to seek a fifth term. Mr. D’Esposito was declared the victor over former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen (D), who was considered a big favorite in the D+10 rated district.
Added to the four-seat Republican gain in Florida, the entire Republican gain may come from just the Sunshine State and Long Island.
The other Democratic victory came in Oregon’s new seat. The Beaver State was one of six domains to gain a seat, or two in Texas’ case, from national reapportionment. The new 6th District was drawn southwest of Portland and includes the capital city of Salem. The new OR-6 was drawn as a D+7 seat, which was enough to produce a Democratic victory despite a Republican over-performance. Yesterday, state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) officially defeated businessman Mike Erickson (R) to claim the seat for the Democrats.
Ms. Salinas’ preliminary victory margin is 50.0 – 47.7% with 96% of the votes tabulated according to the CNN Election site, a much closer spread than what was originally predicted in this most liberal of states.
Aggregate Governor Results
Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 Governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has defeated former television news anchor Kari Lake, the Trump supported GOP candidate. Despite trailing in polling as the race headed into election day, Ms. Hobbs was able to secure a tight 50.4 – 49.6% win in converting the Arizona Governorship to the Democratic column. Nationally, the Democrats gained a net two gubernatorial chairs, winning in Arizona, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and losing in Nevada.
Otherwise, incumbents had a very good night in the Governors’ races despite the high level of competition seen throughout the country.
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