Check out these political snippets on congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.
As we know, the May 17th North Carolina primary featured Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) scoring a major 59-25% win over former Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2022 Republican US Senate primary. Immediately after, East Carolina University released the first post primary poll (5/19-20; 635 NC registered voters) that projected the Congressman leading Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, the former state Supreme Court Chief Justice, by a 47-39% margin. This is well beyond the polling margin of error.
The Cygnal research group then conducted a subsequent study for the Civitas Institute (5/21-22; 600 NC likely voters; live interview, text, & email). They also find Mr. Budd holding the advantage, but in only a small 44-42% spread. This result is a bit surprising when seeing that the same Cygnal poll records President Joe Biden with a heavily upside down 33:61% favorable to unfavorable job approval rating, the Republicans ahead on the congressional generic question, 50-43%, and the right track/wrong track question breaking 22:73%.
The Ohio primary was May 3rd, and now we see the first public general election poll testing US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and Republican best-selling author J.D. Vance. Suffolk University surveyed the Ohio electorate (5/22-24; 500 OH likely general election voters; live interview) and finds Mr. Vance jumping out to a slight three-point lead, 42-39%. The poll’s tightness is not unusual for a competitive Ohio race, which typically are rated as toss-ups until the final two weeks.
In other questions, 42.6% of the respondents answered that either the economy or inflation was their most important issue, with abortion registering third at 11.6%. Even though he was leading the race, Mr. Vance’s favorability index was surprisingly upside down at 35:38% positive to negative. Rep. Ryan held a 40:23% positive ratio. President Biden fell to 39:56%. A total of 49% said they want to change the direction in which President Biden is leading the nation, while 24% said they want to support the President’s leadership.
The latest signals coming from the Pennsylvania Republican Senate recount suggest that former hedge fund CEO David McCormick’s campaign representatives know their collective backs are against the proverbial wall. The McCormick contingent is now asking for hand recounts from certain precincts in certain counties where they suspect “data abnormalities.”
Since Dr. Mehmet Oz’s small lead did not lapse in post-election ballot counting opposite to what the McCormick campaign had originally predicted, it appears the chances are growing strong that the former man will be certified as the primary winner on June 8th. The eventual nominee, presumably Dr. Oz, will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman who easily won his party’s nomination on May 17th.
Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive and former Obama White House aide Alex Lasry has released another of his internal polls testing the Democratic US Senate primary. The Normington Petts survey (5/18-22; 700 WI likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) finds Mr. Lasry moving closer to race leader Mandela Barnes, the state’s Lt. Governor. The new numbers project the Dem contest within three percentage points, with Mr. Barnes leading 34-31%, while state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski trails with an 18% preference factor.
In February, Mr. Barnes margin was 35-27-9% over Mr. Lasry and Ms. Godlewski. In actuality, this poll reveals that Ms. Godlewski is the candidate with the most timely dynamic momentum, in effect doubling her level of support from the last quarter. The Democratic primary winner on August 9th will then face Sen. Ron Johnson* (R) in the general election.
U.S. House of Representatives
Michigan freshman Rep. Peter Meijer* (R-Grand Rapids) fared poorly in redistricting, seeing his Grand Rapids anchored district move from a R+9 rating, according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, to a D+3 with 50% new territory.
A new Public Policy Polling survey (5/25-26; 676 MI-3 registered voters; interactive voice response system) shows Rep. Meijer falling behind Democrat Hillary Scholten (D), his 2020 general election opponent, by a 39-37% clip. The change in district lines and the new partisan complexion certainly makes this result believable. The 2022 MI-3 race will be rated a toss-up with no clear favorite.
Democratic nominee Jasmine Beach-Ferrara released an internal small sample poll from the Survey 160 firm (5/18-20; 308 NC-11 likely voters; text) that projects new Republican nominee Chuck Edwards, a Hendersonville area state Senator, to a 46-40% general election lead. Sen. Edwards defeated US Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville) by a percentage point on May 17th to claim the GOP nomination.
Soon after a tough primary, it’s not particularly surprising to see Mr. Edwards saddled with an upside down favorability index of 36:40%. Rated as a R+14 district, it is likely the voting patterns will move back toward Edwards in greater numbers as we move further away from a divisive primary and closer to the general election.
Another of the political overtime races officially ended over the Memorial Day break. With the Clackamas County vote counting bar code problem finally being corrected, it became clear that seven-term US Rep. Kurt Schrader* (D-Canby) would not overcome his Democratic primary opponent’s early lead, and conceded the nomination to former local city manager Jamie McLeod-Skinner. The Oregon Secretary of State reports the McLeod-Skinner lead at 55.1 - 44.3% with 80,423 votes counted.
Ms. McLeod-Skinner will now face the new Republican nominee, former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, in what will be the most competitive congressional seat in Oregon. The Democratic voting trends in the area favor Ms. McLeod-Skinner, but with a D+3 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, this seat becomes a 2022 Republican target. Mr. Schrader is the fourth incumbent to be denied re-nomination, joining Reps. David McKinley* (R-WV), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA).
A new Trafalgar Group survey (5/26-29; 556 SC-1 likely Republican primary voters; multiple data collection sources) sees former state Representative and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington’s Republican primary challenge coming within potential upset range of freshman Rep. Nancy Mace* (R-Charleston).
The Trafalgar organization reports the race closing to 46-41%, which is much different than a Basswood Research poll taken around the same period (5/21-22; 400 SC-1 likely Republican primary voters). The latter poll found Rep. Mace with a commanding 44-24% lead. The South Carolina primary is scheduled for June 14th.
The Florida state Supreme Court, responding to a petition asking the high panel to review the new congressional map, said it does not have jurisdiction at this point in the process. The high court indicated that the District Court of Appeals is the body that must first hear the case. With the June 17th candidate filing deadline coming nearer, further delays likely point to the enacted map being in place for the 2022 elections. The Florida primary is August 23rd.
Home state pollster Quinnipiac University tested the Connecticut Governor’s contest (5/19-23; 1,660 CT registered voters; live interview) and sees incumbent Ned Lamont (D) holding a 51-43% lead over his 2018 GOP opponent, businessman Bob Stefanowski. Gov. Lamont’s almost unanimous support among self-identified Democrats (92-6%) largely accounts for his positive margin in this heavily Democratic political domain.
The Governor holds a 52:38% favorable job approval rating, which compares very favorably to President Joe Biden’s upside down 40:54% ratio. Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal post 45:37 and 45:43% respective scores. Sen. Blumenthal is on the ballot this year, and his approval score suggests a race against him could be one that potentially turns more competitive than expected.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), who has seen her approval ratings drop from previously strong heights, still tops former Gov. Paul LePage (R) in a combined new statewide survey from Fabrizio Lee & Associates (R) and Impact Research (D) for AARP (5/10-13; 1,050 ME likely voters with a representative sample of 500 likely voters; live interview & text), but the respondents have a sour outlook regarding the future. While Gov. Mills holds a 51-46% edge on the ballot test opposite ex-Gov. LePage, her lead drops to just one point, 44-43%, among those who say they are definitely committed to one of the candidates.
By a whopping margin of 18:82%, however, the respondents believe the country is on the wrong track. The state of Maine is also viewed negatively in a 43:56% ratio. President Biden’s job approval is upside down at 45:54%. Gov. Mills’ job approval ratio barely remains in positive territory at 49:47% favorable to unfavorable.
A new Target Insyght poll (5/26-27; 600 MI registered voters) finds Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) holding huge leads against the remaining GOP candidates after former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson were disqualified from the race because they failed to produce the required number of valid petition signatures.
Against all of the largely unknown Republican candidates, Gov. Whitmer scores either 57 or 58% opposite 24% for the top current GOP contender, businessman Kevin Rinke. With the candidate filing deadline long since passed, the Republicans now find themselves buried in a major political hole from which it will be difficult to recover.
Continuing with the Suffolk University survey mentioned above (see Ohio Senate section), the organization subsequently made their gubernatorial numbers public. The Suffolk poll (5/22-24; 500 OH likely general election voters; live interview) finds Gov. Mike DeWine (R) leading Dayton Mayor Nan Whatley (D), 45-30%, with Independent Neil Petersen attracting 11% support.
Gov. DeWine won re-nomination in May, but did so with only plurality support within his own party. While his general election lead is comfortable, being well under 50% continues to show a significant degree of political weakness.
Republican pollster Nelson Research (5/25-27; 516 OR likely general election voters; live interview) finds new Oregon GOP gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, taking a surprising 30-28% lead over former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). Additionally, Republicans are only one point behind (39-40%) on the generic ballot question.
These results are particularly eye-opening when seeing the Democrats outperform the Republicans in the recent May 17th primary turnout. Examining the polling methodology, the sampling universe skews high for both major parties. The survey respondents divide 40.1% Democratic, 33.5% Republican, and 26.4% non-affiliated. Actual Oregon partisan registration for May of 2022 is listed as Democratic 34.3%; Republican 24.6%; and Unaffiliated 34.3%. Therefore, the sample skew could largely account for the unexpected ballot test result.
* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle.
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