Check out these political snippets on congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.
Last week, we reported on a Public Policy Polling survey (6/28; 595 AZ likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) that projected venture capitalist Blake Masters, who former President Donald Trump endorses, to a 29-15-10% advantage over Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon. Earlier, the Trafalgar Group (6/7-9; 1,077 AZ likely Republican primary voters) found the Masters’ lead at a more modest 29-24-17% over AG Brnovich and Mr. Lamon.
Change Research just released their new general election poll (6/24-27; 705 AZ likely general election voters; online) and projects Sen. Mark Kelly (D) to be holding a substantial 48-39% lead over Mr. Masters. Businessman Jim Lamon (R) performs better. He would trail Sen. Kelly, 47-41%. Surprisingly, it does not appear that CR tested Mr. Brnovich against the incumbent.
Just when the polling data began to trend Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) way, a new Democratic poll finds Republican Herschel Walker rebounding to take back the advantage. The progressive left firm Data for Progress went into the Georgia field (7/1-6; 1,131 GA likely general election voters; text & online) and posts Mr. Walker to a 49-47% slight advantage. This wholly contrasts with Quinnipiac University’s late June survey that yielded a 54-44% lead for the incumbent. Two other June polls, from Moore Information and East Carolina University and conducted prior to the Q-Poll, both project the two candidates tied.
The Tarrance Group just released a statewide Missouri Senate poll that shows former Gov. Eric Greitens (R) is finally absorbing some political damage from his opponents’ attacks, his own controversial ads about hunting “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only), and domestic and child abuse claims from his ex-wife. A new ad featuring Ms. Greitens should prove devastating to her ex-husband’s US Senate chances.
To counter, a Super PAC called Missouri First Action PAC, which the Daily Kos Elections site reports that Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus principally funds, is spending $820,000 on a closing media buy to defend Mr. Greitens against the recent attacks that have displaced him from the polling lead. The Tarrance survey (7/5-7; 600 MO likely Republican primary voters) now forecasts Attorney General Eric Schmitt with the primary lead at 28%. US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) close behind at 24%. Mr. Greitens drops back to just 16% support with an upside down favorability index within the Republican sampling universe at 39:49%.
Change Research also tested the Nevada Senate race as part of their multi-state series. The Silver State survey (6/24-27; 701 NV likely general election voters; online) again finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) running neck and neck. The CR Nevada ballot test finds the Senator holding a 46-43% lead, which is consistent with five other polls that have been conducted from March to the present time. Nevadans are no strangers to close elections. In their last ten statewide contests, only four winners have topped the 50% mark with the strongest victor receiving only 50.6%.
Continuing with the series of late June Change Research online polls, the New Hampshire race was also tested. At this point, the only released data is of an unlikely general election pairing between Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) and retired Army General Don Bolduc (R). This poll (6/24-27; 704 NH likely general election voters; online) gives the Senator a 49-40% lead.
Gen. Bolduc, however, is an underdog to win the Republican primary as state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem), Londonderry former Town Manager Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton all look to be stronger candidates in the September 13th Republican primary race. This poll should be considered the base Republican position against Sen. Hassan.
The Trafalgar Group recently tested the North Carolina Senate race (6/29-7/1; 1,068 NC likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and, like all but one pollster since the May 17th primary, finds US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) leading former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) by a slim margin, 48-45%, in this case. This is the fifth released post-primary survey, and all show both candidates in the 40s. Rep. Budd leads in four of the five published polls, with an average edge of 4.5 percentage points. Ms. Beasley’s only advantage, 44-40%, came in the June 8-12 Survey USA poll.
A late June Impact Research firm (formerly ALG Research) poll for Rep. Tim Ryan’s US Senate campaign (6/27-30; 816 OH likely voters) posts the Democratic Congressman to a slight 48-46% edge over Republican author J.D. Vance. The result is typical of what we see in Ohio polls. The two major party candidates often poll close until the campaign’s ending two weeks when one of the contenders, usually the Republican in races since 2010, pulls away. It would not be surprising to see a similar pattern develop in this contest.
U.S. House of Representatives
Embattled US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) just saw his Republican primary challenge become tougher. One of his GOP opponents, Air Force veteran Bryan Jones, announced that he is withdrawing from the campaign in order to give former FedEx executive and Marine Corps veteran Mark Lombardo a stronger chance of unseating Gaetz.
Mr. Lombardo has ingested $1 million of his own money into the race and just released a new television ad emphasizing the sex trafficking investigation that involves the Congressman. Now with only test pilot Greg Merk on the ballot to deflect anti-Gaetz votes, Mr. Lombardo has positioned himself as a challenger with the potential ability to snatch the nomination away from the Congressman. The Florida primary is August 23rd, and this race will become very interesting between now and then.
Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D), who was looking to potentially enter the 6th District general election as a “Centrist Independent” is unable to do so. Because Mr. Lipinski voted in the June 28th Democratic primary, he is ineligible to run as an Independent in the associated general election. The former Congressman indicated that he would instead turn his attention toward helping form a centrist organization to promote independent candidates.
The development certainly helps Democratic Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) who just defeated Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the district’s intra-party paired incumbents’ contest. Having Lipinski on the ballot could have resulted in enough Democratic votes straying to Lipinski, the former area incumbent who Newman defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary, to throw the general election to Republican Keith Pekau in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only a D+6.
It is now official that conservative educator Regan Deering has won the close Republican primary campaign in new District 13. Ms. Deering defeated former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising by a tight 34.7 - 33.1% margin. She now advances to the general election to face former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D).
The 13th is a newly created open seat that stretches in the form of a snake from the Champaign/Urbana area through Decatur and Springfield before ending in East St. Louis. The FiveThirty Eight data organization rates the seat D+7. The Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean as 53.5 - 41.8% in favor of the Democrats, so it is obvious that Ms. Budzinski begins the general election campaign as the favorite for November. The new 13th is the by-product of Reps. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) and Rodney Davis* (R-Taylorville) being paired in the 15th CD.
The Remington Research Group, surveying for the Missouri Scout political blog (7/6-7; 460 MO-1 likely Democratic primary voters; interactive response system), released their new data results that post freshman Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) to a tepid 40-20% lead over state Sen. Steve Roberts (D-St. Louis) with a whopping 32% undecided just weeks before the August 2nd primary election. In 2020, Ms. Bush, commonly referred to as a “Squad Member” in the House, defeated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary. This is a primary contest to watch in the election’s closing days.
According to a new GBAO internal survey for the Tony Vargas for Congress campaign (6/27-30; 500 NE-2 likely general election voters), the Democratic state Senator holds a 48-47% edge over US Rep. Don Bacon* (R-Papillion/Omaha). While the internal poll is good news for Sen. Vargas, his standing has actually weakened since Change Research released a pre-primary poll in May that posted him to a 42-39% lead over the three-term incumbent. The NE-2 battle will be a race to watch in the Autumn as Rep. Bacon may be one of the few Republican House incumbents forced into a strongly competitive race.
Both New Hampshire Democratic incumbents Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) and Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton) will face competitive general election opponents after the September 13th primary. Each has a politically marginal district in a state where the Right Track/Wrong Track polling responses appear to put the Democrats in serious political jeopardy.
In advance of the July 15th reporting deadline, both House members have pre-released substantial fundraising and cash-on-hand totals. Rep. Kuster reports $611,000 raised for the 2nd quarter and holds $2.6 million in her campaign account. Rep. Pappas, who likely faces the more difficult re-election challenge, will post $670,000 raised after April 1st, and $2.2 million in his campaign account. The Republican candidates have not yet announced their fundraising totals.
Special election Democratic candidate Pat Ryan, the Ulster County Executive, countered an earlier Triton Research poll that posted Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro* (R) to a substantial 52-38% lead. The Ryan internal Public Policy Polling survey (6/29-30; 581 NY-19 general election voters) finds Mr. Molinaro holding a 43-40% edge.
The PPP poll is confusing in that it tests NY-19's general election voters. The Ryan-Molinaro election, however, is a special election in the current 19th CD to fill the balance of Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado’s (D) final months of the US House term to which he was elected in 2020.
For the general election, regardless of whether he wins or loses the special election, Mr. Ryan is running in the new 18th CD. There, he will face Republican state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor). The NY-19 special election is scheduled for August 23rd, concurrent with the regular election primary. Thus, Mr. Ryan will be running for two different House seats on the same day.
As the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary continues to evolve into a two-way race, the margin between the pair of candidates is growing slimmer. A new High Ground Public Affairs survey (7/2-7; 400 AZ likely Republican primary voters; live interview) sees former news anchor Kari Lake leading Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson by just a 39-35% margin.
Former President Donald Trump, who supports Lake, has now scheduled an Arizona rally to build support for his candidate just prior to the August 2nd state primary. Last week, term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced his endorsement of Ms. Robson, which further began the latter candidate’s late momentum charge. The eventual GOP nominee will likely face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who is well ahead in polling on the Democratic side.
The aforementioned Data for Progress poll (see Georgia Senate above) also surveyed the Georgia Governor’s race. The ballot test projects Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to a surprisingly large 53-44% advantage over former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). The comparative late June Quinnipiac poll found the two candidates tied at 48% apiece.
The Daily Kos Elections site is reporting that Ms. Abrams’ campaign has raised a huge $9.8 million in the past two months and an allied political action committee pulled in an additional $12.3 million. The combined cash-on-hand figure of $18.5 million for the Abrams’ team is almost $8 million more than Gov. Kemp and his allies have readily available.
A Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now survey (conducted by MRG Research; 6/28-30; 1,120 HI registered voters; 782 HI likely Democratic primary voters) projects physician and Lt. Governor Josh Green to be holding a huge 48-16-15% lead over US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo), and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano. Mr. Green has enjoyed big leads since the campaign’s beginning. He is clearly the favorite for the party nomination on August 13th, and to succeed term-limited Gov. David Ige (D) in the general election.
The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, polling for the Wes Moore gubernatorial campaign (6/22-27; 601 MD likely Democratic primary voters; live interview), finds the Maryland Democratic primary headed for a razor-thin finish in the upcoming July 19th delayed nomination election.
According to the GHY results, state Comptroller Peter Franchot slips by author Wes Moore by just a 21-20% margin, with former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez closely trailing at 16%. A third of the voters still claim to be undecided within two weeks of the primary election. The nomination vote was delayed from its original June 28th date when a court overturned the state’s new congressional lines.
After the petition signature debacle that caused Republicans to see their early gubernatorial campaign leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, disqualified, a new Mitchell Research poll finds the GOP electorate coalescing around a new candidate. After flirting with businessman Kevin Rinke right after Craig’s exit, online radio host Tudor Dixon, who many believe would be the strongest contender from this GOP field, has taken the primary lead as we approach the August 2nd election day.
The Mitchell poll (7/7-8; 683 MI likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) finds Ms. Dixon posting 26% support, followed by real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley (15%), with Mr. Rinke and chiropractor Garrett Soldano close behind (13%). The eventual Republican nominee then challenges Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.
The Glengariff Group, a frequent Michigan political pollster, released their latest general election survey that pairs Gov. Whitmer with the leading GOP primary contenders. The poll, conducted for Detroit television station WDIV and the Detroit News (7/5-8; 600 MI likely general election voters; live interview) finds Ms. Whitmer comfortably ahead of the top three Republican candidates, but with margins indicating the November election could become competitive.
Against GOP polling leader Tudor Dixon, an online radio show host, Gov. Whitmer is staked to a 51-40% lead. Her advantage is similar against businessman Kevin Rinke and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, 52-40% over the former, and 50-41% against the latter. With Whitmer in the low 50s in all scenarios, we can expect this race to close after the August 2nd primary when the GOP will choose a nominee.
State Sen. Tom Sherman (D-Seacoast Region), who is unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, released his campaign’s internal Public Policy Polling survey (7/1-6; 601 NH registered voters) that finds the physician/legislator trailing three-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) by a 43-33% margin, the closest result we have seen to date. Abortion push questions were used in the survey and Manchester Union Leader newspaper reports this total is the result after such questions were asked.
The latest non-partisan survey was released in April from the University of New Hampshire. Their findings projected the Governor to a 55-29% advantage over Dr. Sherman. While it is likely Sherman has cut that particular margin, the ten-point deficit found in the new PPP survey is likely unrealistic.
Two internal Oregon gubernatorial campaign polls have been released in the past few days, and the emerging story line suggests that the client polls are favoring their own candidate’s positioning as the individual most likely to upend former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). The missed point, however, is that Ms. Kotek, as the Democratic nominee in this bluest of states, does not even break 33% support in any of the surveys.
Republican nominee Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, released her Cygnal survey (6/28-30; 600 OR likely general election voters; online & text) that posts her to a one-point, 32-31% lead over Ms. Kotek, with ex-state Senator Betsy Johnson (I) trailing at 24% support. The result counters an earlier Johnson campaign poll (GS Strategy Group; 6/23-29; 600 OR likely general election voters; live interview) that found Kotek leading Johnson and Drazan, 33-30-23%.
Analyses are pointing out the difference in standing between Ms. Drazan and Johnson, but both surveys agree that Ms. Kotek is woefully under-performing. While Ms. Johnson is now running as an Independent, she previously served in the legislature as a Democrat.
The typical Texas polling pattern usually projects relatively close general election pairings, and the Republican candidate generally winning by a greater percentage than the data predicts. It’s likely we’re seeing the same progression emerge in the 2022 Governor’s race.
The latest YouGov/University of Houston poll (6/27-7/7; 1,169 TX registered voters; 1,006 TX likely general election voters; online) finds Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a third term, topping former US Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) by a 47-42% margin. Since the Texas March 1st primary, nine gubernatorial polls have been released, with Abbott leading in each. His range roams from 42 to 56%, with O’Rourke placing between 37-44%.
Businessman Kevin Nicholson was a late entry into the Republican gubernatorial campaign and now he is an early exit. Yesterday, Mr. Nicholson, a former US Senate candidate, said he is discontinuing his gubernatorial campaign conceding that he has little chance to win the party nomination. This leaves the race as an ostensibly two-way affair between former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and construction company owner Tim Michels. Gov. Tony Evers is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The general election is rated as a toss-up.
* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle.
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