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Political Snippets from Around the Country

Check out these political snippets on primary results, congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.

Primary Results

Maryland

Though polling was suggesting that several close races would be present on the Maryland primary ballot, it appears none materialized. Approximately one-third of the Democratic ballots and 20% of the GOP’s tallies still remain to be counted, and it will be several days until we see final totals. The margins from the various races, however, are such that they are unlikely to reverse any finishing order.

It appears that author and anti-poverty activist Wes Moore will win the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He has almost a full ten-percentage point lead over his closest rival, former Labor Secretary and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, with state Comptroller Peter Franchot now a distant third.

Claiming the Democratic nomination makes him a prohibitive general election favorite against Donald Trump backed state Delegate Dan Cox (R-Frederick) who clinched the Republican primary over former state Commerce Department Secretary Kelly Schulz. Assuming a November win, Mr. Moore will become Maryland’s 63rd Governor and first African American to hold the post. He would replace Governor Larry Hogan (R), who is ineligible to run again because of the state’s term-limit law.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen was a landslide Democratic primary winner as expected. He will face Republican activist and homebuilding contractor Chris Chaffee in what should be an easy re-election run for the incumbent. US Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Bowie) also was easily nominated as the Democratic candidate for Attorney General in another race polling projected as trending close. Rep. Brown has so far claimed approximately 60% of the vote against retired district judge Katie Curran O’Malley (D), wife of former Governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.

Tuesday’s competitive US House races saw the open 4th District going to ex-Prince Georges State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, who surprisingly easily defeated former US Rep. Donna Edwards (D). The ex-House member, who served nine years after winning a special election in 2008, was attempting a political comeback after losing the 2016 US Senate Democratic primary.

In the 6th District, State Delegate and 2020 Republican nominee Neil Parrott defeated journalist Matthew Foldi who attracted support from Gov. Hogan and other key GOP leaders. Mr. Parrott will again challenge Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac), but now in a district that is more favorable to a Republican candidate.

U.S. Senate

Arizona

The Battleground Connect organization tested the Arizona GOP Senate field (7/17-18; 800 AZ likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and found businessman Jim Lamon bouncing back into the lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The spread is 33-28-16%, which is the second time Mr. Lamon has placed first in five publicly released July polls.

The lead is seesawing between Messrs. Lamon and Masters with AG Brnovich generally registering a distant third. Since April, both Lamon and Masters have each topped the field in seven published surveys. The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and the volatility in the surveys suggest we will see a close finish. The GOP winner then challenges Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in November.

Georgia

The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (7/14-22; 902 GA likely general election voters; live interview), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) clinging to a small lead in the US Senate race, the third consecutive published poll to project Warnock’s edge margins between 3 and 9 points. The UGA/AJC ballot test sees Sen. Warnock holding a 46-43% edge over retired NFL football star Herschel Walker (R).

Another poll, from Survey USA (7/21-24; 604 GA likely general election voters), posts the Senator to a 48-39% advantage. Mr. Warnock holds the lead despite the Republicans having a 46-41% lead on the UGA’s generic ballot question, with the right track/wrong track ratio at 10:78%, and President Biden reaching a 60% disapproval rating.

Illinois

The Victory Research organization polled the Illinois Senate contest between incumbent Tammy Duckworth (D) and attorney and conservative activist Kathy Salvi (R). The survey (7/17-19; 1,208 IL likely general election voters) arrived at a much closer result than one would have expected. According to the VR data, Sen. Duckworth’s lead over Ms. Salvi is 43-34%. The result is surprising not so much in the margin between the two candidates, but that the Senator is so far below the 50% mark. It is still highly likely, however, that Ms. Duckworth wins re-election in the Autumn.

Iowa

Selzer & Company, which scores an A+ rating from the FiveThirtyEight poll ranking apparatus and is widely viewed as Iowa’s most accurate and consistent pollster, went into the field over the July 8-11 period. They interviewed 811 adults, 597 who identified themselves as likely voters. The Senate ballot test broke only 47-39% in Sen. Chuck Grassley*’s favor over retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken, the Democratic nominee.

Though Sen. Grassley has the advantage beyond the polling margin of error, the race has signs of becoming competitive. The Senator will be 89 years of age at the time of the election, which may be one reason he is trailing 40-30% with voters 35 years of age and younger. He continues perform strongly with men, 56-33%, but falls behind Admiral Franken with women, 44-38%.

Iowa is a Senate race to watch during the rest of the campaign. Contrasting the Grassley numbers, GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a strong 48-31% advantage over Democratic nominee Deirdre DeJear.

Missouri

The hard-fought Missouri Republican primary is just days away, and three new late July polls are bringing sighs of relief to GOP leaders. It has long been believed that the Missouri race comes off the table if either Attorney General Eric Schmitt or US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) wins the party nomination, but danger looms for the GOP if resigned, scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens were to forge through a crowded field with plurality support.

Three polls were conducted from July 21 through 24, and the results are consistent. The Remington Research Group (7/23-24; 802 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the Trafalgar Group (7/22-24; 1,059 MO likely Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) and Emerson College, polling for The Hill newspaper (7/21-23; 1,000 MO likely Republican and Democratic primary voters, but the number of each is unspecified; multiple sample-gathering tactics), all arrived at similar conclusions. That is, Attorney General Schmitt seems to be developing a secure lead.

Ohio

The progressive left Innovation Ohio organization is quoting a GrowProgress platform survey (7/5-10; 2,000 OH registered voters; online) that projects US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) to be leading GOP author J. D. Vance, 46-41% in Ohio’s open Senate race. The latest Impact Research firm survey (6/27-30; 816 OH likely voters) also found Rep. Ryan with the edge, but in only a 48-46% split. Impact Research, a Democratic pollster, formerly operated under the name ALG Research.

Pennsylvania

The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling released a new PA statewide poll (7/19-21; 712 PA likely voters; live interview) and found Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), still recovering from a serious stroke he suffered just before the primary election, expanding his lead to 49-40% over Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). Fox News (7/22-26; 908 PA likely general election voters; live interview) sees an even larger lead for Mr. Fetterman, 47-36% with Dr. Oz holding a poor 35:55% favorability rating.

Utah

Dan Jones & Associates, polling for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah (7/11-13; 801 UT registered voters), projects Sen. Mike Lee (R) with only a 41-36% lead over Independent Evan McMullin. This is the closest general election poll reported in the current election cycle. The Democrats coalesced behind Mr. McMullin instead of fielding a candidate of their own.

The move looks to be working since Sen. Lee would be faring better in a three-way race with a Democratic candidate peeling away from Mr. McMullin the most partisan party voters. Sen. Lee is likely in better position that this one poll indicates, but the Utah race is certainly beginning to attract some national attention.

Washington

For the second time in a matter of days, a poll finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) re-establishing a strong lead in her 2022 re-election effort after earlier surveys were projecting a tight race. Elway Research (7/7-11; 400 WA registered voters; live interview & text) projects Sen. Murray to be holding a 51-33% lead over veterans advocate and former nurse Tiffany Smiley (R).

The result is almost identical to the Survey USA poll that was conducted during the same period. The S-USA data found a 53-33% Murray advantage. The confirming Elway result suggests the two pollsters are detecting a positive response to the recent Murray ad blitz.

Wisconsin

On Monday Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, formally ended his statewide effort. On Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive and former Obama Administration official Alex Lasry then followed suit and also departed the race. The latter move was the more surprising since Mr. Lasry had loaned his campaign over $12 million and all polling found him placing second in the field.

In their concession statements, both Messrs. Nelson and Lasry endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, which could pave the way for him clinching the party nomination and advancing to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson* (R) in the general election.

U.S. House of Representatives

CT-5

A just released Public Opinion Strategies survey for the George Logan (R) congressional campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (6/29-30; 400 CT-5 likely general election voters; live interview) suggests that the 5th District congressional race might become competitive. The survey finds US Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) holding only a 46-41% edge over former state Senator Logan. This may become a race to watch. According to the Federal Election Commission second quarter financial disclosure report, Rep. Hayes has a huge $1.69 million to $205,000 cash-on-hand advantage. To even the financial score, however, the Daily Kos Elections Blog reports that the Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund has already reserved $1.75 million of media time for the western Connecticut market.

Florida

The Republican Party of Florida contracted with the Tyson Group research firm to conduct a series of GOP primary polls in the state’s new open congressional districts.

In the Jacksonville area’s new 4th CD, state Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean leads college professor Erick Aguilar, 24-14%. Just to the south in the new Volusia County 7th District, businessman and Iraq War veteran Cory Mills and state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Howey-in the-Hills) are in a virtual tie with the former leading the latter, 23-21%.

Turning to the St. Petersburg seat of Rep. Charlie Crist (D), who is running for Governor, 2020 nominee Anna Paulina Luna leads attorney Kevin Hayslett and lobbyist and 2020 candidate Amanda Makki, 37-17-10%. The new Hillsborough County 15th CD features a virtual three-way tie among state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) who has 13% support, with Secretary of State Laurel Lee and state Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) each trailing with 10% apiece.

Iowa

Iowa Districts 1, 2 & 3 were cast as toss-up seats in the 2021 redistricting plan, and the most recent polling suggests that each electorate is performing as projected. In the southeastern Iowa 1st District, freshman Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks* (R-Ottumwa), no stranger to close elections after winning her 2020 race by just six votes, is in another predictable tight contest. According to the early July Change Research survey (6/30-7/4; 375 IA-1 likely general election voters part of a 1,488 person statewide sample; online) Rep. Miller-Meeks edges state Representative Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City), only by a 39-38% factor.

A more recent Public Policy Polling survey (7/19-20; 594 IA-2 voters) finds freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson* (R-Marion) and state Rep. Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha) tied at 44% apiece in the Cedar Rapids anchored 2nd CD. In Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) 3rd CD, she and state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) are deadlocked at 43% in a Moore Information Group study (7/9-11; 400 IA-3 likely voters; live interview).

MI-13

State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) has spent over $8 million of his own money to attempt to win the open Detroit anchored 13th Congressional District race. It appears his expenditures are working. A Target Insyght survey (7/19-22; 500 MI-13 likely Democratic primary voters) finds Rep. Thanedar leading Michigan Civil Right Commission member Portia Roberson and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), among six other contenders, including John Conyers, III, son of the late veteran Congressman. Mr. Thanedar’s polling margin is 22-17-16-7% over Ms. Roberson, Sen. Hollier, and Mr. Conyers.

Mr. Thanedar’s personal spending edge is 8:1 over his next closest financial rival, Sen. Hollier, but that does not count a seven-figure expenditure from the American-Israel Publica Affairs Committee intended to promote the latter man. The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The 13th District is open because Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) is retiring and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chose to seek re-election in the new 12th District.

MN-1

State Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake), who lost the special primary election to succeed the late US Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) by just 427 votes, confirms he is running to win the regular primary election. This means that former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R), who won the special primary, must continue conducting two separate campaigns through the August 9th election.

In slightly different district configurations, Mr. Finstad must separately win the special general election against former Hormel Corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D), and the nomination for the regular term since the special general is being run concurrently with the regular statewide primary. With Mr. Munson competing in the regular election, the confusing scenario of having two different District 1 Republican winners could occur. With the only public post-special primary poll suggesting a dead heat between Messrs. Finstad and Ettinger, so many mixed messages could yield a Democratic special election upset.

Nevada

Emerson College ran a series of polls testing 500 registered voters in each of the three Democratic-held Las Vegas congressional districts over the July 7-10 period. While the Dem incumbents lead in all three, none even break the 42% plateau in support.

In the 1st District, Rep. Dina Titus’ (D) advantage over Republican Mark Robertson is only 41-37%. Third District incumbent Susie Lee holds just a 42-40% slight margin over Republican attorney April Becker*. In the 4th CD that stretches from North Las Vegas to the state’s middle section, Rep. Steven Horsford*’s (D) spread over insurance agency owner Sam Peters (R) is a similar 42-39%. The three seats were drawn as Lean Democratic seats, but it appears all could be in position to swing toward the Republicans in November.

NY-10

A new Change Research poll for candidate Elizabeth Holtzman finds the Democratic primary for this open seat turning into a race that any one of six candidates could win. This is the first poll conducted and released since former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) exited the contest because of poor performance. The CR poll (7/19-23; 437 NY-10 likely Democratic primary voters; online) finds former Trump impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman taking first position with 14% preference. Ms. Holtzman, who was last on a ballot in 1993, a losing re-election effort for NYC Comptroller, places second at 12% support.

Tied with 10% are NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who led the last two published surveys, state Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), and US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County). The new 10th, an open seat created when Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler were paired in a new 12th CD, encompasses Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary winner on August 23rd will claim the seat in the general election.

NY-17

Veteran Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is having trouble securing his new district according to a recent publicly released research survey. The Congressman created post-redistricting controversy when he decided to challenge Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) in the 17th CD rather than staying in his own 18th District, thus forcing the freshman incumbent to seek re-election in a New York City CD.

McLaughlin & Associates, polling for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (7/19-21; 400 NY-17 likely general election voters; live interview), finds Rep. Maloney trailing his Republican opponent, 46-44%. The McLaughlin data also shows state Assemblyman Lawler claiming a lead over state Sen. Allessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) if she were to upend Rep. Maloney in the August 23rd Democratic primary. Under this scenario, Mr. Lawler would post a 47-41% advantage in such a subsequent general election pairing. The 17th is one of three Upstate NY congressional districts that will be hotly contested in the November campaign.

NY-23

While the Republican Party establishment is clearly behind NY GOP state chairman Nick Langworthy to replace resigned Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) in the new 23rd CD, a new poll suggests the likely Republican primary voters feel otherwise. The WPA Intelligence survey (7/9-11; 604 NY-23 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) sees former Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Padalino posting a whopping 54-24% lead over Mr. Langworthy.

This poll tested voters for the regular election. Neither Messrs. Padalino or Langworthy are competing in the special election to fill the balance of the term, also to be held on primary day, August 23rd. The Republican nominee in that race is political caretaker candidate Joe Sempolinski, the Steuben County Republican Party chairman.

WY-AL

The Caspar Star Tribune newspaper sponsored a Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy study (7/7-11; 1,100 WY registered voters) that finds GOP attorney and congressional challenger Harriet Hageman, who former President Donald Trump endorses, posting a 52-30% lead over controversial incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney* (R-Wilson) in anticipation of the August 16th Republican primary, now less than a month away.

This is the third consecutive released survey projecting Ms. Hageman holding a lead well into double digits. While Ms. Cheney has a huge lead in campaign resources and is making overt requests of Democratic voters to participate in the Republican primary, it is doubtful there is enough she can do to ultimately prevail.

Redistricting

Ohio

Continuing the fight between the Ohio Supreme Court and the Buckeye State legislature, the high court again struck down the enacted congressional map as a partisan gerrymander, once more on a 4-3 ruling, and mandated that the plan be re-drawn for the 2024 election. It is likely that the US Supreme Court will issue a ruling on partisan gerrymandering at some point next year, which may make the Ohio decision moot. This ruling does not affect the 2022 election cycle, which will be run under the plan that the court just struck down.

Governor

Georgia

The aforementioned University of Georgia/Atlanta Journal-Constitution (see Georgia Senate above) survey also tested the Peach State Governor’s contest. Here, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) by a 48-43% count. The accompanying Survey USA poll shows a much closer 45-44% Kemp edge.

This is the 15th poll conducted of this race since the beginning of 2022, and Mr. Kemp has led in all but one. In that stand-alone survey, the two were tied. The Governor’s job approval rating is 54:42% favorable to unfavorable. The UGA/AJC and S-USA studies are the second and third consecutive polls that place Gov. Kemp ahead in the Governor’s race while fellow Republican Herschel Walker (R) trails in the Senate contest.

Michigan

Despite being outspent by millions of dollars, a new Mitchell Research survey (7/17-18; 501 MI likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) continues to show that online talk show host Tudor Dixon is maintaining her lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The latest ballot test finds her claiming a 28-20-15-10% advantage over businessman and self-funder Kevin Rinke, real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley, and chiropractor Garrett Soldano as the candidates close in on the August 2nd Michigan primary.

Republicans are scrambling in this race since early leader James Craig, the retired Detroit Police Chief, was forced out of the race for failing to file the legally required number of petition signatures. The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

Nevada

The Nevada Governor’s race is expected to be another close contest on election night, and two recently released surveys conducted during the same time period confirm the early prognostications. The Tarrance Group, polling for the Joe Lombardo for Governor campaign (7/5-10; 600 NV likely general election voters; live interview) and Emerson College (7/7-10; 2,000 NV registered voters, 500 from each of the four congressional districts; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see the Governor’s race already falling within the polling margin of error. Tarrance finds Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) topping Clark County Sheriff Lombardo (R), 46-44%, while the Emerson College result is 44-40%, also with Gov. Sisolak leading.

States

Missouri

The grassroots organization attempting to convert the Missouri primary system into a Top-Four jungle primary format a la Alaska, has failed to qualify for the November initiative ballot. Though the group recruited more than 300,000 signatures, they did not reach the mandated number of verified petition signatures in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. The organizers vowed to mount a similar effort for the 2024 election.

The Top-Four system, used only in Alaska and for the first time in the 2022 election cycle, features a jungle primary that includes all candidates on the same ballot. The top four contenders then advance to the general election regardless of party preference and vote percentage attained. Once the four general election finalists are determined, the system converts to Ranked Choice Voting System, where voters prioritize their candidate choices from 1-4. Contenders are eliminated once one reaches the 50% mark.

* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle. 


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