By Jim Ellis
Sept. 14, 2018 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as predicted, easily won the Democratic gubernatorial primary last night with a 65-35 percent victory over actress Cynthia Nixon. Late polling projected the governor to be breaking the 60 percent threshold with Nixon lagging way behind. He will now have little trouble winning a third term in the general election against the new Republican nominee, Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
US Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D-Cold Spring/West Point) quest to become the state’s attorney general ended last night. Despite a late poll suggesting he had forged into the lead, Maloney dropped to third position in the actual vote.
The Democratic primary winner was New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who said that she “ … can’t wait to wake up each and every day, go to the office, sue somebody and then go home,” in her victory speech and stated that she wants to target President Trump, the NRA, and state corruption, captured 38 percent of the Democratic primary vote.
In second, with 30 percent, was frequent Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout who challenged Gov. Cuomo back in the 2014 party primary. Rep. Maloney drew only 24 percent. He will now return to the congressional campaign trail since he was re-nominated back in the June federal primary.
THE FOX POLLS
Fox News just released a series of five polls in key US Senate states where they find very close races. Fox conducts its surveys jointly through two research entities, a Democratic polling company, Anderson Robbins Research, and the Republican firm of Shaw & Company Research.
All five studies were conducted during the Sept. 8-11 period. The organizations used the live interview method to conduct their data gathering through a combination of landline and cell phone calls. The polling universes begin with a registered voter pool from which likely voter segments are derived. Results are reported for both the larger and more refined polling cells. In all cases, the candidates’ individual approval ratings differed very little between registered voters and likely voters.
Arizona (801 registered Arizona voters; 710 likely voters)
• Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) has a 47-44 percent edge over Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson) among likely voters and 46-42 percent within the broader registered voters universe.
• President Trump’s Arizona job approval rating is 49:49 percent positive to negative. This contrasts with Rep. Sinema’s 52:35 percent index and McSally’s 47:43 percent.
Obviously, the ballot test shows that either candidate can win the race. Rep. McSally has a lesser favorability rating than Rep. Sinema largely because she was attacked in a multi-candidate primary, whereas the latter woman was a consensus Democratic candidate who breezed through the primary without being forced to absorb negative hits.
Indiana (804 registered Indiana voters; 677 likely voters)
• This poll depicts our only split between likely and registered voters. In this model, former state representative and international businessman Mike Braun holds a 45-43 percent edge among likely voters, but Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) is favored 42-41 percent within the registered voter universe. This suggests that the Indiana race is in pure toss-up mode and will emphasize voter turnout rather than persuasion.
• President Trump’s job approval is 54:44 percent positive to negative. Braun, again being attacked through the primary and early general election, sees his favorability index (47:38 percent) fall a bit below Sen. Donnelly’s (52:39 percent).
Missouri (808 registered Missouri voters; 675 likely voters)
• Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) holds a 44-41 percent lead over Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) among likely voters, and a tighter 41-39 percent edge within the registered voter universe. These numbers are consistent with many other previous survey releases. The polling confirms that this is a toss-up race.
• President Trump’s job approval is 49:48 percent favorable to unfavorable. Because both Senate candidates have been heavily attacked, each approval rating is down. Sen. McCaskill is slightly upside-down with a 48:49 percent mark, while Hawley is barely above water at 47:44 percent positive to negative.
North Dakota (804 potential North Dakota voters; 701 likely voters)
• Though the North Dakota Senate race has not been extensively polled, the few surveys released into the public domain feature at-large Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) posting a small lead over Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). The new Fox poll is no exception.
• President Trump fares well here, with a 54:42 percent job approval index. Rep. Cramer enjoys a 55:40 percent positive ratio, while Sen. Heitkamp trails somewhat at 51:45 percent.
According to the latest results, Cramer holds a 48-44 percent lead among likely voters, and 47-42 percent when the universe is expanded to all potential voters. North Dakota does not employ a voter registration system.
Tennessee (809 registered Tennessee voters; 686 likely voters)
• In a race that is bouncing back and forth between former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood), the new Fox data finds the Republican congresswoman returning to the lead. The results project Blackburn to a 47-44 percent edge over Bredesen among likely voters, and 45-43 percent within the registered voters universe.
• President Trump enjoys his strongest rating in Tennessee among the five state electorates that Fox tested. His Volunteer State favorability index is 58:38 percent positive to negative. Bredesen scores 54:36 percent, and Rep. Blackburn registers 51:39 percent.
By all accounts, the open Tennessee race remains in toss-up mode with the recent voting history heavily favoring Republicans. Bredesen served as governor from 2003-2011. He was mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999. Blackburn was elected to the House in 2002, after spending one four-year term in the Tennessee state Senate.