Monthly Archives: October 2022

Nevada Electorate Trending to Laxalt, GOP in General; Budd Edging Beasley in NC; CO-8 Race Tight; Oregon’s Gubernatorial Race Leaning Towards Drazan

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 24, 2022

Senate

Former Nevada Attorney General and current Senate candidate, Adam Laxalt (R)

Nevada: Trending Laxalt — The latest CBS News/YouGov poll (Oct. 14-19; 1,057 likely Nevada general election voters; online panels) finds former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) regaining a one point lead, 49-48 percent, over Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in the race now featured as the most likely Democratic seat that potentially flips to the GOP. The CBS/YouGov poll marks the eighth of the most recent nine polls projecting Laxalt to a small lead. Considering there is likely a Republican undercount, chances are good that Laxalt’s edge is slightly larger.

The YouGov pollsters also tested the state’s tight governor’s race. There, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) are tied at 48 percent. Nevada becomes a critical state in determining the Senate majority along with deciding a key governor’s race. The state also features three lean Democratic seats in Las Vegas, all of which are competitive and each has some chance of flipping to the GOP, as well.

North Carolina: Budd’s Breathing Room — The new Trafalgar Group poll is following the East Carolina University survey that projected breathing room for US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) in his open-seat Senate race against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D). The Trafalgar data (Oct. 16-19; 1,081 likely North Carolina general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) gives Budd a 48-44 percent lead over Beasley. A few days earlier, the ECU data projected a 50-44 percent Budd margin.

Until these pollsters detected a swing toward Budd, the two candidates had been tied or separated by one percentage point in the last six consecutive polls from six unique pollsters. Though the race is still rated a toss-up, a break toward Budd could be forming.

House

CO-8: As Tight as Predicted — Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District that stretches from the Denver suburbs north to the city of Greeley was drawn to be a hotly contested CD. A new Global Strategy Group survey for the Yadira Caraveo (D) campaign (Oct. 11-16; 600 likely CO-8 general election voters; live interview) finds Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County) claiming a two-point, 46-44 percent, edge over Caraveo a Democratic state representative from Adams County.

The race margin hasn’t changed since Global Strategy Group’s released August poll that also found Kirkmeyer holding a two point advantage. Expect this contest to go down to the wire.

Governor

Oregon: Drazan Still Holding Top Spot — The three-way Oregon gubernatorial campaign, featuring strong Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, who served as a Democrat in the state legislature for 20 years, is one of the nation’s most interesting campaigns. More race data is now available as a Hoffman Research Group survey (Oct. 17-18; 684 likely Oregon general election voters; live interview) produces a result that continues to post Republican Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, to a two-point, 37-35 percent lead over ex-state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) with Independent Johnson dropping to 17 percent support.

The negative campaign ads have taken their toll on all of the candidates. Drazan fares best of the three contenders with a favorability index of just 35:32 percent favorable to unfavorable. Kotek is upside-down at 31:43 percent, while Johnson posts a 23:32 percent ratio. If successful in the three-way race that features no runoff election, Drazan would become the state’s first Republican governor since Victor Atiyeh left office in January of 1987.

Lake Leads in Arizona Poll, Masters Closes In; Illinois Gov. Pritzker’s Lead Shrinks; Identical Poll Results Show Dixon Closing on Gov. Whitmer

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Senate

Former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D).

Arizona: More GOP Movement — The Trafalgar Group is reporting on their latest Arizona survey (Oct. 16-17; 1,078 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) that finds venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) pulling to within one point of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 47-46 percent. This race is closing and the Trafalgar poll is not an outlier. Since Oct. 10, four research studies have shown chronological deficits for Masters of only 3, 4, 2, and now 1 percentage point.

Additionally, Trafalgar finds former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In this poll, Lake carries a 49-46 percent edge, again consistent with recent trends that other pollsters also detect.

House

OH-1: Rep. Chabot Drops Behind — Despite state legislative Republicans drawing the congressional map, veteran GOP Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), due to political changes within the Queen City, saw his new district become more Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the new OH-1 as D+3, which is the exact margin a new Impact Research internal poll revealed.

The IR survey, conducted for the Greg Landsman (D) campaign (Oct. 13-16; 504 likely OH-1 general election voters; live interview & text), posts the Cincinnati City councilman to a 49-46 percent lead over Rep. Chabot. While the turnout model may provide a different result than what this poll finds, we can count on a close result coming here in November.

Governor

Illinois: Likely an Outlier — An Osage Research survey (Oct. 13-15; 600 likely Illinois general election voters; live interview) reports a ballot test that posts Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to only a 44-42 percent lead over state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) with a right and wrong track result trending 35:56 percent in the downward direction. The ballot test is likely an outlier because the previous six polls, taken during the months of September and October, give Gov. Pritzker an average lead of 13 percentage points. This, however, is yet another piece of survey research showing a resurgence around the country for GOP candidates.

Michigan: Exact Polling — It’s rare to see two pollsters in the field at the same time producing a duplicate result. That’s what we have seen in the Michigan governor’s race, however. Emerson College and the Cygnal research firm surveyed the Wolverine State electorate over the same Oct. 12-14 period, and both found Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leading Republican nominee Tudor Dixon by a 49-44 percent count. This represents one of the closest results we’ve seen for this race and is more credible since two independent pollsters each detected the identical result.

Oz Closing the Gap in PA; MN-2 a Bellweather for House Majority; Split Georgia Vote May Be Developing; Zeldin Closes in on Hochul in NY

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

Senate

Pennsylvania Senate Republican candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television doctor

Pennsylvania: Oz Closing the Gap — The AARP polling series that Republican pollster Fabrizio Ward and the Democratic data firm Impact Research jointly conduct again tested the Pennsylvania electorate. Their new poll (Oct. 4-12; 1,400 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview & text) projects Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) as having only a 48-46 percent lead over Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television doctor. Previously, the AARP poll June poll found Fetterman holding a larger six-point advantage.

Within the same period, The Trafalgar Group also ran a Pennsylvania survey (Oct. 8-11; 1,078 PA likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and arrived at a virtually identical 47-45 percent split. It is becoming clear, with early voting already underway, that this critical Senate race is going down to the wire, just as we saw back in May when the state Republican primary ended in a razor-thin result. In fact, from the last 10 polls released of this race, seven of the 10 found Fetterman leading by four percentage points or less.

House

MN-2: Close Again — In a surprise 2020 finish, Republican challenger Tyler Kistner, a military veteran who hadn’t gotten much national attention, lost only a battle to Rep. Angie Craig (D-Eagan) by only two points — 48-46 percent. It appears the two are headed for another razor-thin finish this year in their re-match campaign. A just-released Survey USA poll (Oct. 15-16; 586 likely MN-2 general election voters; automated telephone & online) projects Craig to be holding a slim 46-45 percent lead over Kistner in a polling result wholly consistent with this electorate’s voting history.

Both Minnesota’s southern sector districts — the 1st and 2nd — are important toward determining the new House majority. The GOP would conceivably be on a majority track by winning one of the state’s two southern swing seats. Should their candidates win both, a big Republican night could be in the making. If the Democrats win both, such a performance would suggest that the party would have a legitimate chance of holding their slim majority.

Governor

Georgia: Disconnect with Senate Race — Two more polls were released that find Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D), and running substantially ahead of Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker. The juxtaposition makes these races interesting to watch.

Insider Advantage (Oct. 16; 550 likely Georgia general election voters) gives Gov. Kemp a 50-43 percent lead over Abrams, but also sees Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock posting a 46-43 percent edge over Walker. Similarly, while Landmark Communications (Oct. 15-17; 500 likely Georgia general election voters) projects Gov. Kemp’s lead at 51-45 percent, the firm derives a 46-46 percent tie between Warnock and Walker. Therefore, we continually see a relatively substantial single-digit swing in Sen. Warnock’s favor when comparing the gubernatorial results from consistent polling samples. This suggests we could see a split decision from these major Georgia statewide races.

New York: More Data Finding Tightening Race — Quinnipiac University has joined the group of pollsters projecting the New York governor’s race between Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), on the ballot for the first time in her own right after ascending to the position when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, and US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) as a close race. The Q-Poll (Oct. 12-16; 1,617 likely New York general election voters; live interview) sees the spread between Gov. Hochul and Rep. Zeldin dropping to 50-46 percent.

Four of the past seven polls see the contest falling between two and six percentage points, which represents a notable improvement for Rep. Zeldin. With New York early voting not beginning until Oct. 29, this race’s patterns still have a significant period in which to firm.

Movement in NC; Oklahoma Senate Races Headed Toward GOP, But Republican Gov. Stitt Trailing; Grassley Trouble in the Polls Deepens

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Senate

Former North Carolina state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (left) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance)

North Carolina: Finally, Some Movement — The open North Carolina Senate race has been languishing as a dead heat — a virtual tie between US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) for months. On Monday, East Carolina University released a survey (Oct. 10-13; 902 likely North Carolina voters; text & online) that finds Rep. Budd pulling away to a 50-44 percent advantage.

According to the poll analysis, the change is coming from the female sector. In the university’s September poll, Beasley led among women with a substantial 52-41 percent margin. The current respondent sample sees her lead among the female respondents dropping to 48-46 percent. Among men, Budd leads 54-39 percent.

Oklahoma: Both Senate Races Headed Toward GOP — While two polls find the Democratic candidate trending ahead in the Oklahoma gubernatorial race, the same polls, Amber Integrated study (Oct. 13-15; 500 likely Oklahoma general election voters) and Ascend Action, polling for Fox News Oklahoma TV stations (Oct. 10-12; 638 likely Oklahoma general election voters; live interview), projects the Republican candidates in both the regular and special US Senate elections to be in strong position.

Amber Integrated’s regular election poll shows Sen. James Lankford (R) holding a 52-36 percent margin over Democrat Madison Horn. In the special, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) leads former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D) by a similar 52-39 percent count. Ascend Action sees Sen. Lankford leading 51-37 percent, and Rep. Mullin posting a 50-39 percent spread.

House

GA-2: Rep. Bishop Up Only Four — A recent Trafalgar Group survey of the southwest Georgia electorate (Oct. 14-16; 515 likely GA-2 Democratic primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) holding only a 50-46 percent advantage over GOP attorney Chris West, suggesting yet another close congressional race.

This one, unlike several others we’ve covered in the past two weeks, is not a particular surprise. Post-redistricting, the FiveThirtyEight data organization rated the new GA-2 seat as a D+4. Therefore, the Trafalgar poll is indicating the district is performing exactly as the voting history yields. Before the 2021 redistricting map was passed, the district was rated D+6. While Rep. Bishop remains the favorite for re-election, this is another pending Nov. 8 electoral contest that merits watching.

Governor

Oklahoma: Gov. Stitt Trailing in Two Surveys — We are now continuing to see data suggesting that Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is in serious trouble against Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D). Two surveys find Hofmeister claiming a polling lead against the governor. The Amber Integrated research study (Oct. 13-15; 500 likely Oklahoma general election voters) gives Hofmeister a slight 46-45 percent edge.

Ascend Action, polling for Fox News Oklahoma TV stations (Oct. 10-12; 638 likely Oklahoma general election voters; live interview), sees a much larger Hofmeister lead. The latter poll projects a ballot test of 49-42 percent. Last week, the small-sample Sooner Poll (Oct. 3-6; 301 likely Oklahoma voters) was the first to detect a Hofmeister lead. The news organization found a 47-43 percent spread. A Democratic upset here would be surprising, but the data is suggesting that such an outcome is a clear possibility.

Iowa: Selzer & Company’s Different Result — Yesterday, we reported on a Selzer & Company poll for the Des Moines Register newspaper that sounded warning bells for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R). According to the Senate ballot test, the veteran incumbent led retired US Navy Admiral Mike Franken (D) by a scant 46-43 percent margin.

Now, Selzer is releasing its gubernatorial results culled from the same data (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa general election voters), and it should give the Grassley campaign even more cause for concern. The polling sample gives Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a 52-35 percent margin against Democratic marketing consultant Diedre DeJear, a strong margin for a Republican candidate in what is typically a swing state.

Iowa Race Tightens; Blumenthal Lead Drops; DCCC Chairman Trails in Race; Conflicting Gov. Whitmer Results; Rep. Zeldin Closing on NY Gov. Hochul

By Jim Ellis — Oct. 18 2022

Senate

Iowa’s seven-term US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)

Iowa: Race Tightens — The Des Moines Register Poll that Selzer & Company conducts (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa general election voters) has routinely been viewed as the most consistently accurate survey of the Iowa electorate. Therefore, the numbers just released over the weekend posting Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) to only a three-point, 46-43 percent, lead over retired Navy Admiral Michael Franken (D) is being taken seriously. Perhaps the most troubling sign for Sen. Grassley is that Franken leads 46-35 percent among self-described independent respondents.

The Iowa electorate can swing wildly, but in the most recent elections it has been going the Republicans’ way. Since most of the comparable data found Sen. Grassley holding low double-digit leads, the Selzer poll is a surprise. More attention will be paid to this race if confirming data soon surfaces.

Connecticut: Blumenthal Lead Drops to Five Points — A just-released Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey (Oct. 10-13; 1,200 likely Connecticut general election voters; live interview & text) finds Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) leading his Republican opponent, former Trump appointee Leora Levy (R), by only a 49-44 percent margin. Though this race has been on the edge of competitiveness for a considerable period, it is highly unlikely that the end result will yield a Republican upset. While Sen. Blumenthal’s victory margin might be less than in years past, he will still comfortably win re-election next month.

House

NY-17: DCCC Chairman Trails in Own Race — McLaughlin & Associates released a new internal study for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (Oct. 2-14; 400 likely NY-17 general election voters; live interview & text) that again shows the Republican state assemblyman leading veteran New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring).

This survey posts Lawler to a 52-46 percent advantage. McLaughlin polls from July and September also saw Lawler holding a significant lead. No Democratic poll was released to counter the numbers, but the Maloney campaign spokeswoman responded to the New York Post story about the survey release, saying that the Lawler polling figures are “skewed.”

Governor

Michigan: Major Polling Conflict — We see a pair of polls presenting opposite looks to the Michigan Governor’s race. The Epic-MRA organization, an entity that frequently surveys the Michigan electorate (Oct. 6-12; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) posts Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to an 11-point, 49-38 percent edge, including leaners, over online talk show personality Tudor Dixon (R). But, Insider Advantage (Oct. 12; 550 likely Michigan general election voters) sees a completely different result, placing Dixon and the governor into a flat 44-44 percent tie. Most other polling has produced similar numbers to Epic-MRA, so this is another situation that bears watching if confirming data to the Insider Advantage results soon surface.

New York: Four Polls Showing Increased Competition — Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has been running consistently ahead of US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island), but now we see four consecutive polls finding the Republican deficit falling between two and eight percentage points.

In chronological order, Schoen Cooperman Research (Oct. 8-12; 824 likely New York general election voters) sees only a 50-44 percent split between Gov. Hochul, who ascended to her position when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned, and Congressman Zeldin. Marist College (Oct. 3-6; 900 likely voters) posts a similar 52-44 percent split. The Trafalgar Group (Sept. 30-Oct. 3; 1,087 likely voters) sees the closest spread, 45-43 percent. Finally, McLaughlin & Associates (Sept. 21-25; 800 likely voters) recorded a 51-45 percent result in late September.

This is another race on the edge of competitiveness that will likely soon draw more attention. Early voting in New York does not begin until Oct. 29, so more time exists for this potentially fluid electorate to gel.