Tag Archives: President Trump

Julia Letlow Wins LA-5; LA-2 to Runoff

Julia Letlow (R), widow of Rep-Elect Luke Letlow (R) who passed away at the end of last year, easily won Loiusiana’s 5th District special election Saturday.

By Jim Ellis

March 23, 2021 — The two Louisiana special elections turned out as expected on Saturday night but with a slight surprise.

Julia Letlow (R), the widow of Rep-Elect Luke Letlow (R), who passed away at the end of last year, easily won the 5th District special election. Her 65 percent outright win over a field of 11 opponents will allow her to assume the office that her husband won in early December but who died from the effects of COVID and heart disease before the new Congress convened.

In the New Orleans-Baton Rouge 2nd District, vacated when Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) resigned from the House to accept a position in the Biden Administration, two Democrats will advance to an April 24 runoff election. Both outcomes were expected, but the margin for second place in the 2nd District was much closer than anticipated.

Letlow had the support of the entire Republican hierarchy while running in a GOP district, from former President Trump and former Vice President Pence, to Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), and the Louisiana Republican Party. She also had a huge campaign resource advantage and was expected to exceed the 50 percent mark to win outright. The second-place finisher, Democrat Candy Christophe, fell way back to 27 percent of the vote. No other candidate even exceeded the five percent mark.

Turnout was relatively strong, with 103,609 people voting in the Saturday special election and during early voting. In the pre-election day balloting, Letlow captured 59 percent support, meaning she performed much better in Election Day voting. The total exceeded the Dec. 5 runoff vote that elected Letlow. In that election, 79,306 people voted.

In parish voting, Letlow won 23 of the district’s 24 local parishes, called counties in every other state. The only one she lost, and by just one percentage point, was East Feliciana Parish, but the total vote cast was only from 1,517 individuals. She carried 18 of the 24 parishes with majority support and reached or exceeded the 70 percent threshold in eight localities.

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Special Elections Update: LA Votes

Karen Carter Peterson promotional video.


By Jim Ellis

March 22, 2021 — Five special congressional elections are now on the political calendar, and we see current action in all.

Beginning with the two Louisiana seats, voters went to the polls Saturday in the first round of elections in the state’s 2nd and 5th Congressional Districts.

The 2nd, anchored in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is a Democratic seat left vacant when former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) was appointed to a White House position in the Biden Administration. The northeastern Louisiana Republican 5th CD became vacant when Rep-Elect Luke Letlow (R), three weeks after winning the seat in a post-general runoff election, passed away from a heart attack and COVID.

The 2nd District sees 15 Democrats, Republicans, minor party, and Independent candidates all on a jungle primary ballot. The political odds favor two Democratic New Orleans state senators, Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson, advancing to a general election runoff on April 24. The tone of this week’s candidates’ ads, with Sen. Peterson already being attacked, suggest that the special general between Carter and Peterson is already underway.

Prospects were promising that we would see a winner in Saturday’s 5th District race. Though 12 candidates are on the ballot, just one has strong campaign resources and public backing. Julia Letlow (R), wife of the deceased congressman-elect, looks well positioned to exceed the majority support threshold tomorrow night meaning she would claim the seat outright.

Armed with a 9:1 fundraising lead over her closest competitor at the end of February and holding endorsements from former President Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), the Louisiana Republican Party, and the Louisiana Sheriffs of the 5th Congressional District committee, among others, Ms. Letlow appears poised to score a convincing win over a crowded field.

The first poll for the Texas special election was just released. In this 6th District race, vacated because of Rep. Ron Wright’s (R-Arlington) death from cancer and COVID, a whopping 23 candidates are vying to replace the late incumbent. The first election is May 1. If no one receives majority support, which is likely, a runoff will be scheduled after the primary voters officially determine the final results.

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Georgia: New Poll, Same Story

By Jim Ellis

Sen. Raphael Warnock will face an interesting challenge depending upon who emerges from the Republican primary.

March 18, 2021 — The Trafalgar Group and the Insider Advantage entity, both Atlanta-based firms, partnered to test the politically beleaguered Georgia electorate about freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) standing as he looks to run for a full six-year term in 2022.

Being one of the top battleground states in the 2020 presidential contest and hosting two US Senate campaigns last year, 56 public polls were conducted of this electorate from July of last year through the Jan. 5 runoff election. Almost all of them repeatedly showed results within the margin of error on the presidential and both US Senate races; and, with the final total showing President Biden and former President Trump separated by just 11,779 votes while the Senate races came down to one and two-point finishes, the polling proved correct.

Now we see Trafalgar and IA beginning the 2022 Georgia election cycle polling. The new survey (March 7-9; 1,093 likely Georgia voters, interactive response system and online) again finds very tight hypothetical Senate race results. Because Sen. Warnock won the special election in January, he must stand for election to a full six-year term in 2022.

Trafalgar and IA tested three Republicans against Sen. Warnock: former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, ex-US Rep. Doug Collins, and the past University of Georgia and NFL football star Herschel Walker. None of the three have announced their candidacies but all confirm they are considering the race.

According to the results, Sen. Warnock fares best against the woman he defeated in January, ex-Sen. Loeffler. In this ballot test, he leads 46-41 percent. Both Collins and Walker perform better, especially the latter. The Warnock edge narrows to one point against Collins, 46-45 percent, and the new incumbent actually drops behind Walker, 46-48 percent. Notice that Sen. Warnock records 46 percent against all three potential opponents suggesting that he is vulnerable heading into what promises to be another hard-fought Peach State US Senate battle.

While the pollsters tested the job approval ratings for both President Biden and Gov. Brian Kemp (R), they surprisingly did not include such a question regarding Sen. Warnock.

The approval ratios were poor for both the president and governor. Biden scored a 41:55 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval rating, with 32 percent strongly approving and a large 46 percent strongly disapproving.

Gov. Kemp continues to show weakness as he heads into what will be a difficult run against his former opponent, ex-state House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams. The governor is again in upside-down territory, recording a 33:53 percent negative approval rating. Only nine percent responded that they strongly approve of the governor’s performance while 26 percent strongly disapproved.

At this point, the pollsters asked Republican primary questions to those most likely to vote in the 2022 GOP nomination election.

If Loeffler, Collins and Walker were all to oppose each other in the Senate primary, we see the latter two men virtually tied at 32 percent apiece. Loeffler trails with 24 percent support.

A Collins-Loeffler match would favor the former, as the ex-north Georgia congressman would record a strong 52-32 percent lead. Walker would lead Collins 50-36 percent in a one-on-one match-up, and the former football player would hold a commanding 62-26 percent advantage over Loeffler.

The Georgia Republican respondent cell is strongly pro-Donald Trump with 70 percent saying they would “absolutely” vote for the former president if he were to run again. Only 14 percent of this sample cell said they would vote for anyone other than Trump. Another eight percent said they would consider voting for the ex-president.

We can expect another very active Georgia election cycle, with the Senate and governor’s race assuredly being covered as if they are national campaigns.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt to Retire

By Jim Ellis

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R)

March 10, 2021 — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) announced via video yesterday that he is not seeking a third term next year. He will conclude an era of elected public service that spanned 14 years in the House in addition to completing a dozen years in the Senate. Prior to his federal career, he served as Missouri’s secretary of state, was the Greene County clerk, ran for governor, and saw his son elected governor.

The Blunt exit brings the number of Republican open Senate seats to five and could soon go to seven if Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) follow suit. Sen. Grassley will turn 89 years of age before the next election, and Sen. Johnson originally made a two-term promise when he first ran in 2010. The other announced GOP retirees are Sens. Richard Burr (NC), Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), and Richard Shelby (AL).

Without Sen. Blunt in the 2022 race, we can expect a contested Republican primary. Potential candidates include Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the son of former senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft, and US Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin/St. Louis County), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth/Jefferson City), Sam Graves (R-Tarkio/St. Joseph), Billy Long (R-Springfield), and Jason Smith (R-Salem/Southeast MO) among others.

Resigned Gov. Eric Greitens, who was forced from office due to a sex scandal, was beginning to talk about launching a primary against Sen. Blunt, so in an open-seat situation he will be another person whose name will regularly surface.

We’re seeing almost the opposite response among Democrats. The initial public comments from two of the most well-known Missouri Dems, former Sen. Claire McCaskill and 2016 nominee Jason Kander, who held Sen. Blunt to a tight 49-46 percent win in 2016, both immediately indicated that they will not run in 2022. Thus, a previously announced Senate candidate, former state Sen. Scott Sifton, apparently becomes the early leader for the party nomination.

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New York Voting Patterns

New York’s Congressional Districts

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 11, 2021 — The Daily Kos Elections researchers are converting the 2020 presidential returns into congressional district totals, as they have successfully done in past election years. This allows us to compare the 2020 voting patterns with those from four years ago. Doing so reveals some interesting conclusions.

As you can see from the chart below of all 27 New York congressional seats, the patterns are striking, and while former President Trump met and exceeded his projected vote goals within his worst performing districts in New York City, he underperformed by similar ratios in the regions that should have been his strongest.

The NY congressional delegation is split 19-8 in the Democrats’ favor. When comparing the districts that President Joe Biden and former President Trump each won, we see that they match almost identically to the partisan choices those electorates made for the House of Representatives.

There is one exception, however, in addition to a pair of districts that Trump carried in 2016 but switched to President Biden in 2020. The Syracuse-anchored congressional seat that Republican John Katko (R) represents is the only New York district that split its presidential and congressional vote.

While Biden was carrying the CD with a nine-point margin, a net 3.6 percent Democratic improvement from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 result in this 24th District, Rep. Katko was re-elected to a fourth term with a 52-42 percent margin over college professor Dana Balter (D), his 2018 opponent who returned for a re-match. The result was a net four-point improvement for the GOP incumbent from 2018 his victory.

The two seats Trump won in 2016 that switched to President Biden in 2020 are the 18th and 19th Districts, those of Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/Peekskill) and Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) — CDs that bridge the city districts with those in the upstate region.

As the chart below shows, the striking point is that the net gains or losses in almost every 2020 district when compared to 2016 is almost opposite of what an analyst would have predicted. Former President Trump underperformed on Long Island as well as upstate, areas where he should have shown greater strength; and he over-performed in all of the New York City districts.

Trump lost the NYC seats by substantial margins, a heavily minority region, but his improvement ranged from a net 0.5 percent in Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-Manhattan) Silk Stocking district to 15.5 percent in the Bronx CD of freshman Rep. Ritchie Torres (D). Four years ago, the latter NY-15 CD was the former president’s worst-performing district in the entire country.

These particular results show that despite the media image of Trump being America’s most racist president, the numbers generally depict clear improvement among people of color in New York State.

The explanation for his lesser performance on Long Island and upstate traces back to a familiar Trump 2020 problem: performing worse among women, those aged 65 years and older, in addition to right-of-center unaffiliated and minor party voters. It was his failure to equal his 2016 performance with these voting segments that cost him his re-election victory.

As we look at other numbers from across the country, we will see the patterns uncovered in New York also becoming prevalent in most other regions.


New York

INCUMBENT BIDEN ’20 CLINTON ’16 TRUMP ’20 TRUMP ’16 NET
1 – ZELDIN 47.3 42.2 51.5 54.5 8.1
2 – GARBARINO 47.4 43.9 53.0 51.6 2.1
3 – SUOZZI 54.7 51.6 44.3 45.5 4.6
4 – RICE 55.6 53.4 43.4 43.8 2.6
5 – MEEKS 83.3 85.7 16.2 12.7 5.9
6 – MENG 61.8 65.1 37.4 32.1 8.6
7 – VAZQUEZ 81.8 84.6 16.5 13.5 4.4
8 – JEFFRIES 82.9 86.9 17.3 10.4 12.0
9 – CLARKE 81.4 83.5 17.8 14.4 5.5
10 – NADLER 76.1 78.3 22.9 18.8 6.3
11 – MALLIOTAKIS 44.3 43.8 54.8 53.6 0.7
12 – MALONEY, C. 84.1 83.3 14.8 13.5 0.5
13 – ESPAILLAT 88.1 92.3 11.2 5.4 10.0
14 – OCCASIO-CORTEZ 73.3 77.7 25.9 19.8 10.5
15 – TORRES 86.5 93.8 13.1 4.9 15.5
16 – BOWMAN 75.3 75.1 23.8 22.5 1.1
17 – JONES 59.6 58.6 39.4 38.4 0.0
18 – JONES 51.8 47.1 46.8 49.0 6.9
19 – DELGADO 49.8 44.0 48.3 50.8 8.3
20 – TONKO 59.3 54.0 38.7 40.5 7.1
21 – STEFANIK 43.8 40.0 54.2 53.9 3.5
22 – TENNEY 43.3 39.3 54.7 54.8 3.9
23 – REED 43.3 39.7 54.6 54.5 3.5
24 – KATKO 53.4 48.9 44.4 45.3 3.6
25 – MORRELLE 60.1 55.5 37.8 39.1 5.9
26 – HIGGINS 62.6 57.6 35.6 38.0 7.4
27 – JACOBS 41.1 35.2 56.8 59.7 8.8