Monthly Archives: August 2022

Big Primary Results

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 3, 2022

Primary Results

Venture capitalist Blake Masters

Arizona — Venture capitalist Blake Masters, armed with an endorsement from former President Trump who remains a strong force in Republican primaries, defeated businessman Jim Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich with a 39-29-18 percent vote margin with about 80 percent of the expected vote tabulated. Masters now advances to the general election to face a tough political opponent in Sen. Mark Kelly (D).

In the open governor’s race, Trump-endorsed former news anchor Kari Lake has a very slight lead of approximately 9,000 votes over Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson, who both former Vice President Mike Pence and term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey supported. The outstanding 21 percent of the vote, however, including that from the most populous Maricopa County where about 62 percent of the state’s residents live, makes it unclear as to who will prevail when all of the ballots are counted. The eventual winner will face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who scored a landslide 73 percent victory in the Democratic primary.

In House races, Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) looks to have won re-nomination in the new Scottsdale-anchored 1st District, but in unimpressive form. With 82 percent of the expected vote counted at this writing, Rep. Schweikert only has 43 percent of the Republican vote.

In the very different 2nd District that now will favor a Republican candidate as opposed to Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona), retired Navy SEAL Eli Crane, another Trump-endorsed candidate, has defeated state Rep. Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) to win the GOP nomination. At this writing, 80 percent of the expected vote has been counted and Crane has a nine-percentage point lead, which should be more than enough to clinch the win. A O’Halleran-Crane general election now becomes one of the top GOP conversion target races in the nation.

The new competitive 4th District where Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) sees his partisan index drop to just D+1 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, saw a surprise winner in the Republican primary. Though former Phoenix Suns executive Tanya Wheeless was attracting the most media attention, the district’s GOP electorate has instead chosen local businessman Kelly Cooper as the party nominee. With approximately 80 percent of the vote counted, Cooper has a five-percentage point lead. He looks to be a strong general election candidate, and this will be a real race in the fall.

In the Tucson-anchored open 6th District, from which Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson) is retiring, former gubernatorial aide and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive Juan Ciscomani, as expected, easily captured the Republican nomination. He will now face former state Sen. Kirsten Engel who was a strong winner on the Democratic side. The general election will yield a tight political district, but the area and national political prognosticators promote Ciscomani as the favorite to win the general election and convert this southeastern Arizona seat for the GOP.

Michigan — The big story in the Michigan primary and perhaps the overall national primary result among the five states voting was the defeat of freshman Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) in the GOP nomination campaign. He fell 52-48 percent to former Housing & Urban Development Department official John Gibbs who had former President Trump’s endorsement. The new 3rd District leans Democratic, Gibbs faces a tough challenge against 2020 party nominee Hillary Scholten (D) in the coming general election.

The other Michigan congressional defeat came in the Democratic pairing from the state’s suburban Detroit 11th District. There, Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) scored a 60-40 percent win over fellow Democratic Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Township), as late polling predicted would occur.

Missouri — Another of the key Aug. 2 primary races ended as projected. Late in what had been a tightly fought campaign, Attorney General Eric Schmitt looked to have broken away from the candidate pack and scored a 46-22-19-5 percent open Republican primary victory over US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville), ex-Gov. Eric Greitens, and US Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield), respectively.

Schmitt now becomes a strong favorite in the general election to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R). In November, he will face philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, a member of the Anheuser Busch beer family. She defeated Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce, 43-38 percent, to capture the Democratic nomination, overcoming a heavy negative attack campaign.

The two US House members, Reps. Hartzler and Long, left open a pair of solidly Republican congressional districts that featured crowded Republican primaries. Former news anchorman and conservative commentator Mark Alford and state Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Battlefield/Springfield) were strong winners in the 4th and 7th District congressional nomination contests. Both men have effectively punched their tickets to Washington, as each should easily win the general election.

Washington — Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), despite earlier polling suggesting a competitive re-election race, easily placed first in the state’s jungle primary. Though only about half of the vote is tabulated under Washington’s all-mail election system that allows ballots to be received and counted after the election, it is clear that Sen. Murray placed first in the multi-candidate field with 54 percent of the vote.

In second place, as expected, and also advancing into the general election is veterans’ activist and former nurse Tiffany Smiley (R) who garnered 32 percent of the votes tabulated at this writing. It appears that Sen. Murray is now a heavy favorite for re-election to a sixth term.

The more watched races occurred in congressional districts 3 and 4. It appears that both Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) and Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside) will advance into the general election, but with low vote percentages. Each voted to impeach former President Trump.

From the Vancouver area anchored 3rd CD, Democratic businesswoman Marie Perez, taking advantage of the badly split Republican vote, looks to have secured first position from the jungle primary and will advance into the general election. Rep. Herrera Beutler, with just 24.5 percent of the tabulated vote, which is from 57 percent of the expected total, looks to have enough of a cushion over retired Army officer and Trump-endorsed contender Joe Kent (R) despite her low percentage. The total Republican vote, however, spread among four GOP candidates is approximately 63 percent, which portends well for Rep. Herrera Beutler in the general election.

In Washington’s middle-state 4th CD, incumbent Newhouse is holding first place, but with only 27 percent of the jungle primary vote. It appears that he and Democratic businessman Doug White will advance into the general election in what is the Evergreen State’s most Republican district. Trump-endorsed candidate Loren Culp (R), the former town police chief who was a finalist in the 2020 gubernatorial election, placed third and will be eliminated. The cumulative Republican vote here is 74 percent, so Rep. Newhouse, facing a Democratic opponent in the general election, should be safe for re-election.

Today’s Primaries: Latest Numbers for
Missouri, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 2, 2022

Senate

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt (R)

Missouri: AG Eric Schmitt in Driver’s Seat — The new Survey USA poll conducted for eight Missouri television news outlets (July 24-27; 1,981 registered Missouri voters; 787 likely Republican primary voters; 547 likely Democratic primary voters; online) sees Attorney General Eric Schmitt establishing himself as the clear leader heading into the Republican primary vote today to determine a successor to retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

The S-USA numbers find Schmitt holding a 28-20-13-8 percent advantage over scandal-tainted resigned Gov. Eric Greitens, and US Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) and Billy Long (R-Springfield). These results suggest an improvement for Greitens and a severe dip in support for Rep. Hartzler.

The Remington Research Group, however, while projecting AG Schmitt with a strong lead, doesn’t detect the Hartzler fall. The RRG poll (July 28; 818 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) sees Schmitt holding a 34-22-18 percent advantage over Rep. Hartzler and Greitens.

For the Democrats, despite hard attacks coming against her, philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, a member of the Anheuser Busch beer family, leads Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce by a whopping 40-14 percent margin. Kunce has raised substantial money for this race — more than $4.7 million, according to his pre-primary July 13 financial disclosure report — but most of that money has been recently spent on attack ads against Valentine. The fact that he is going hard negative at the end suggests his internal polling is producing similar figures to those of Survey USA.

More Missouri: Republicans Up in New Gen Election Poll — Survey USA tested the Show Me State electorate (July 24-27; 787 likely Missouri voters; online) and sees the Republican candidates holding an early general election edge. If AG Schmitt wins the Republican nomination tonight, he would lead Democratic polling leader Trudy Busch Valentine, a philanthropist and member of the Anheuser Busch beer family, 36-30 percent with Independent John Wood drawing nine percent support. Additionally, AG Schmitt would top Kunce (D) and Wood, 37-27-10 percent.

Should US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) become the party nominee, she would begin with a general election advantage of just 32-31-9 percent over Valentine and Wood, but a much larger 34-24-12 percent if Kunce and Wood were her November opponents. Though apparently unlikely, if the resigned scandal-tainted former Gov. Greitens scores an upset win tonight, he too would have a lead over Kunce, 31-26 percent with Wood recording 12 percent support. Opposite Valentine, she and Greitens would begin on even footing, a 31-31 percent tie, with Wood increasing his base to 13 percent.

Arizona: Masters Now Well Ahead in Last Polls — The final two polls for the Arizona Senate primary have been released in preparation for today’s primary. Both surveys, from Rasmussen Reports and OH Predictive Insights, find Trump-endorsed venture capitalist Blake Masters developing a lead beyond the polling margin of error in the battle for the Republican nomination.

Rasmussen Reports (July 27-28; 710 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & online) projects Masters to a 31-19-16-10 percent advantage over businessman Jim Lamon, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and retired Arizona Adjutant General Mick McGuire. OH Predictive Insights (July 27; 502 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & peer-to-peer text) sees a similar result. According to the OH data, Masters’ holds an even more substantial lead over Lamon and Brnovich, 36-21-12 percent, with Gen. McGuire dropping below the 10 percent threshold.

Arizona Again: Sen. Kelly Breaking with General Election Advantage — Beacon Research, polling for the Environmental Voter Project (July 5-20; 504 likely Arizona general election voters from a series of polls covering four states) tested the general election potential pairings and sees Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holding a 51-39 percent lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters, who leads the closing Republican primary polls in a nominating election that will be decided tonight. Faring just slightly better, businessman Jim Lamon would trail the senator, 40-50 percent. If Attorney General Mark Brnovich were to score an upset in tonight’s Republican primary, he, too, would land in the same realm as the others, trailing Sen. Kelly, 40-51 percent.

Governor

Arizona: Kari Lake Poised for Victory — The Rasmussen Reports and OH Predictive Insights survey research firms also released numbers for the open Republican gubernatorial primary (see Arizona Senate above). The two pollsters find former news anchor Kari Lake, who long ago was endorsed by former President Trump, ahead well beyond the polling margin of error — 43-34 percent (Rasmussen) and 51-33 percent (OH Predictive Insights).

Lake’s opponent is Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson, who both former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey publicly support. For the Democrats, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs looks like a sure bet to win the party nomination tonight.

Michigan: Tudor Dixon Running Strong — The Trafalgar Group released their final Republican primary poll in Michigan before today’s primary, and while they find a change in order from second through fifth positions, online radio talk show host Tudor Dixon appears poised to capture the Republican gubernatorial nomination. According to the Trafalgar survey (July 26-28; 1,098 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; mixed sample-gathering tactics), Dixon holds a 28-19-17-14 percent advantage over chiropractor Garrett Soldano, and businessmen Kevin Rinke and Ryan Kelley. Today’s winner advances to face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

States

Kansas: Abortion Measure on Ballot — Kansas voters go to the polls today to choose nominees for the fall election, and while there isn’t much serious candidate competition within the parties for the key posts, the electorate will voice its opinion on the first abortion-related ballot proposition since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Polling suggests the pro-life side has a slight lead on the measure, which would clarify that the Kansas constitution does not recognize abortion access as a right. This vote, regardless of the outcome, will generate much political discussion in the coming days.

Flip-Flopping Polls in Arizona; Fetterman Builds Lead in PA;
A Changing Race in FL-13

By Jim Ellis — August 1, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) — up … and down in Arizona

Arizona: More Flip-Flopping Polls — The Arizona Republican primary culminates on Tuesday, and we see another pair of closing polls projecting different leaders. The Trafalgar Group and Battleground Connect were in the field simultaneously but they see different outcomes. Trafalgar (July 25-27; 1,071 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) finds venture capitalist Blake Masters leading businessman Jim Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, 35-27-15 percent, with the remaining candidates polling at less than 10 percent support.

BC (July 26-27; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview), however, forecasts Lamon as forging a small lead, 30-28-16 percent, over Masters and Brnovich. While it appears the race is becoming a two-way affair between Masters and Lamon, the final result will almost certainly come down to the two men being separated by just a handful of votes.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Continues to Increase Lead — Fox News was polling the Pennsylvania races (July 22-26; 908 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview), and in the Senate race confirms what other pollsters are seeing. That is, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), despite being absent from the campaign trail as he recovers from a stroke, continues to build a lead over Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee. The Fox numbers post Fetterman to a 47-36 percent margin, his largest advantage of any polling result to date.

Dr. Oz’s biggest problem continues to be his personal image. This Pennsylvania polling sample rated him as 35:55 percent favorable to unfavorable. This compares to Fetterman’s 49:34 percent positive image.

House

FL-13: A Changing Race — A new Florida Republican congressional poll suggests a contender is poised to usurp the race leader as we move within a month of the Florida primary. American Viewpoint, polling for the Kevin Hayslett campaign (July 24-27; 400 likely FL-13 primary voters; live interview) sees their client, who is a Pinellas County attorney, pulling to within two percentage points of race leader Anna Paulina Luna, 36-34 percent, with attorney and 2020 candidate Amanda Makki (R) dropping back to nine percent.

Since the AV last surveyed the district in late June, Hayslett has improved from trailing in a 42-19 percent margin to his current two-point deficit. It appears that Hayslett is the one having the upward momentum as the candidates enter the home stretch prior to the Aug. 23 primary election.

MI-3: Democratic Ploy Backfiring — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been attempting to influence Republican primaries by attacking certain contenders as being too conservative, knowing that such a message would help move Republican primary base voters to the candidate Democrats believe as being the weakest.

Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-Grand Rapids) campaign, however, responded in-kind. Launching his own message and highlighting the DCCC ad indicating that former Housing & Urban Development official John Gibbs is too conservative, Rep. Mejier’s ad attacks Gibbs as “Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked candidate.” The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The winner will face Democrat Hillary Scholten who is unopposed for her party’s nomination.