Monthly Archives: November 2022

Katie Hobbs Bests Kari Lake in Ariz. Gov Race; Three More House Races Called (2 in AZ; 1 in NY)

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

Governor

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Arizona — In the governor’s race, it has now become official that Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has defeated former television news anchor Kari Lake, the Trump-supported GOP candidate.

Despite trailing in polling as the race headed into election day, Hobbs was able to secure a tight 50.4 – 49.6 percent win in converting the Arizona governorship to the Democratic column. Nationally, the Democrats gained a net two gubernatorial chairs, winning in Arizona, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and losing in Nevada.

House

Balance of Power — According to the CNN Elections site, 215 seats have now been called for the Republicans as compared to 204 for the Democrats. Fox News has the Republicans at 217 — one seat away from the majority — with a tally of 205 for Democrats. Republicans are now very close to claiming the House majority.

Ten of the still outstanding districts lie in California, and it could be weeks rather than days as to when we will see conclusive results. California election officials have 33 days after the election to receive and count the ballots before certifying a winner. Considering that all mailed ballots, which is how the overwhelming number of people vote in the Golden State, are verified, the count requires an inordinate amount of time to complete.

If the Republican leads hold in the races where their candidate currently has the advantage, the party division will yield a 221R-214D majority. This split would, of course, give the GOP their majority but with a far smaller margin than they had anticipated. With some prognosticators and television commentators having previously believed that the GOP majority could reach well into the 240s, the smaller majority will be viewed as a setback for the party despite them achieving the ultimate goal of wresting control away from the Democrats.

Five of the Republicans’ leads are incumbent races. California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Granite Bay/Sacramento) is the lone non-incumbent GOP leader and favored to hold his edge in his R+8 rated 3rd District.

Arizona — A trio of House races came off the board last night beginning with Arizona Republican GOP Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) who was projected as a close victor over businessman Jevin Hodge (D) in a Maricopa County district that is much more Democratic than the congressman’s previous seat.

Turning to the Grand Canyon State’s southeast corner, former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive and ex-gubernatorial aide Juan Ciscomani (R) has been declared the winner of the open 6th District, thus flipping the seat from which Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson) is retiring. Ciscomani defeated former Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel.

Along with Republican Eli Crane previously defeating Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona) in the new northern Arizona 2nd District, the GOP gains a net two seats in the Grand Canyon State delegation and will hold a 6R-3D advantage in the federal delegation.

New York — Turning to the Syracuse, NY area, first-time candidate Brandon Williams (R), a tech company executive and former Navy veteran, defeated former US Intelligence analyst and previous congressional candidate Francis Conole (D) in the seat that Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse) has represented for four terms. Katko decided not to seek re-election this year.

Senate Majority Now Decided;
House Majority Continues
To Remain in Limbo

Click on map or here to see CNN’s interactive 2022 elections results House map: CNN

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

Now, just about a week beyond the 2022 election, each major party still has a chance of controlling the US House, while the Democrats, with late victories in Arizona and Nevada, have secured at least a 50-50 ostensible Senate majority when counting the vice president’s tie-breaking vote.

Senate

Senate: Majority Decided — Just one of the 35 Senate elections still remains undecided: the Georgia race that will head to a post-election runoff on Dec.6. Once the tight Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin races were called for incumbents Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) the majority was decided in favor of the Democrats.

The Georgia race unofficially finds incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) holding 49.4 percent of the vote versus Republican Herschel Walker’s 48.5 percent. Libertarian Chris Victor taking 2.1 percent, or just over 48,000 votes, denied both major party candidates the opportunity of reaching the 50 percent plateau. Therefore, the two finalists advance to a new election.

A Warnock win would put the Senate balance of power at 51-49 with the Democrats in control and not needing the vice president to make a tie-breaking vote. A Walker win would leave the Senate without a true majority at 50-50, thus requiring Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding call on straight party line votes.

The Alaska Senate race is also undecided, but the state’s new electoral system that sends four candidates to the general election won’t be final for another two weeks.

It is obvious that contest will winnow down to a battle between two Republicans, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka. While Tshibaka leads the aggregate vote count, it has become clear that she and Sen. Murkowski will eventually advance into the Ranked Choice runoff.

Though Tshibaka is, and may remain, the vote leader, the RCV runoff system looks to favor Sen. Murkowski. Regardless of which woman is declared the victor when the lengthy process ends, the GOP will retain the Alaska Senate seat.

House

House: Majority Count Remains in Limbo — The House races are still very much undecided with 19 races uncalled. Considering that 10 of those races are in California and one in New York where it will likely take weeks to arrive at final totals, it could be quite some time until we know the ultimate outcome.

According to the CNN election site count, of the 19 uncalled races the Democrats lead in nine, Republicans eight, and two are pure toss-ups, both of which the GOP candidate has a slight count edge. Republicans, however, sitting at 212 called races in their favor versus 204 for the Democrats, need only six of the 19 to fall their way, while Democrats require 14 to claim a bare majority.

It appears the final margin may come down to just one or two seats. The GOP lead seems relatively secure in five of their eight advantage seats, which would give them 217, while the Democrats appear to have solid advantages in another seven of their nine, which puts them at 211.

Therefore, the Republican projection appears to lie in the 217-221 range, while the Democrats’ best-case scenario looks to be scoring a 218-217 slight majority. These predictions, however, are based upon rudimentary projections that could easily change once the actual votes are finally tabulated in all 19 outstanding campaigns.

Governor

Aggregate Governor: Incumbents Dominate — Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.

The 36 governors’ races are also almost complete, with only Alaska and Arizona uncalled.

In returns that defied polling and thus favor the Democrats, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leads former news anchorwoman Kari Lake (R) in the governor’s race, and her advantage may be enough to clinch the office once the state works through its counting delays.

At this point, Hobbs holds a 50.5 – 49.5 percent lead with an estimated 93 percent of the vote counted. This translates into approximately 180,000 votes remaining to be tallied. To win, Lake would have to receive more than 56 percent of the outstanding vote to make up her 26,000-plus vote deficit, which is difficult.

In the only competitive election resulting in a partisan conversion, Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) unseated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). In races that were largely decided in the states’ respective Democratic primaries, Wes Moore and Maura Healey successfully converted Republican governorships in Maryland and Massachusetts, respectively.

Oregon, the site of perhaps the most interesting governor’s race because it featured a three-way battle, saw former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) prevail over ex-House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I). Polling correctly suggested that Johnson had dropped well off the pace but also largely projected incorrectly that Drazan was positioned for a close upset win. In the end, the election broke 47-44-9 percent in Kotek’s favor with an estimated 93 percent of the all-mail vote counted.

Alaska Republican incumbent Mike Dunleavy looks to be in position to potentially clinch re-election outright, thus exceeding the 50 percent mark within the aggregate vote and avoiding a Ranked Choice Voting instant runoff. With ballots being allowed two weeks to report from the wilderness, it will be just before Thanksgiving when all of the Last Frontier races finally conclude.

Senate Control Coming Down to Nevada & Georgia; House Majority Remains in Limbo

Click the map above to go to interactive version by AP.

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 11, 2022

Senate

Senate: Coming Down to Nevada & Georgia — With Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holding a lead of greater than 115,000 votes, he will soon be projected the Arizona race winner. This means the Senate majority will be determined in the tight Nevada contest and what appears to be a runoff contest in Georgia that will be scheduled for December 6th.

Currently, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leads Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by just a percentage point, or just over 9,000 votes with approximately 88 percent of the vote recorded. CNN reports that over 91 percent of the vote is already counted in Clark County, where approximately 73 percent of the state’s residents live.

In the Peach State race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker CNN projects that 99 percent of the votes tabulated, and Sen. Warnock’s edge over Walker is 49.6 to 48.3 percent, a margin of just under 49,000 votes. It is now highly unlikely that enough votes remain to push Sen. Warnock over the 50 percent mark. Therefore, the secondary election will be required. If the Laxalt lead holds, the Georgia race will determine the next Senate majority.

House

House: Majority Count Remains in Limbo — Several more congressional race projection calls were issued yesterday, and Republicans now have 211 declared seats as compared to the Democrats’ 198 according to the CNN race results count. Of the 26 uncalled, 11 are clearly headed to one party or the other. The 15 uncalled campaigns that are purely undecided will put the final touches on the House majority.

At this point, it appears the Republicans will claim a very small chamber edge, likely ending between 219 and 222. Several races flipping back to the Democrats, particularly those from California with large numbers of outstanding votes, could still result in the Dems hanging onto their majority by a single vote, 218-217.

Governor

Aggregate Governor: Incumbents Dominate — Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 Governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.

At this point, Democrats are leading in the three-way Oregon race, while Republican Joe Lombardo has a discernible lead over incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak in the Nevada race. At least 12 percent of the ballots remain to be counted in the Silver State, but Sheriff Lombardo looks to be in good position to win the election. If he does, this could be the only Republican conversion election in the country.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is leading the governor’s race in her state. Her margin over former news anchorwoman Kari Lake is small, but consistent. Should Hobbs hold, she too would be in position to convert a Republican governorship to the Democrats, joining what happened in Maryland and Massachusetts. Voting machine problems have delayed the Arizona election returns, so it may be awhile before we know the final outcome.

Otherwise, incumbents had a very good night in the governors’ races despite the high level of competition seen throughout the country.

Nevada & Georgia Will Decide Senate Majority; House Majority Still in Limbo & Colorado Holds the Key

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Senate

Can former Nevada Attorney General and 2022 Senate candidate, Adam Laxalt (R) pull out a win in the Silver State?

Senate: Nevada & Georgia to Decide Majority — With Sen. Ron Johnson (R) being projected the winner of the Wisconsin Senate race, it means that deciding the Senate majority will likely come down to either the Democrats coming from behind to prevail in Nevada or having to wait to see who wins the Dec. 6 runoff in the Georgia Senate race.

With Sen. Mark Kelly (D) poised to win his yet-to-be-called race in Arizona, whether or not the trends change in Nevada will be the next happening to observe. Currently, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leads Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by just under two percentage points, or 15,812 votes with approximately 84 percent of the vote recorded.

CNN has projected that the Georgia race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker will advance to a secondary runoff election because neither man will reach the 50 percent plateau. Currently, with 99 percent of the votes tabulated, Sen. Warnock’s edge over Walker is 49.2 to 48.7 percent, a margin of 17,500 votes.

House

House: Majority Count in Limbo — Several congressional race projection calls were issued yesterday, and Republicans now have 209 declared seats as compared to the Democrats’ 191. Of the 35 uncalled, 17 are clearly headed to one party or the other. The 18 uncalled campaigns that are purely undecided will put the final touches on the House majority. At this point, the Republicans reasonably look to have clinched 212 seats and the Democrats’ 204 before the final 19 seats are finally declared.

Colorado: Key to Majority — With the House majority definitely on the line, and the winning party ending close to the 218 minimum control mark, two races in the Centennial State of Colorado could be key to determining the final outcome.

In the state’s western slope 3rd District, controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), who has been trailing her Democratic opponent, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, since the beginning of the count has now pulled to within just 64 votes with still many votes outstanding. According to the CNN count, five percent of the vote remains.

Colorado received a new district in national reapportionment and the new 8th District is acting just as it was intended, as a toss-up seat. The latest count finds Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Eastlake) leading state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County) by 899 votes. This race, too, has tightened and CNN reports that only 78 percent of the vote is counted.

New York: Red Wave on Long Island — Though we did not see a “red wave” materialize nationally, we surprisingly saw one on Long Island. In fact, the Island’s two Democratic open seats flipped, the third remained in the Republican column, and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) was re-elected to a second term.

With Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) not seeking re-election in order to campaign for governor, Republican Nick LaLota was declared the winner of his open 1st District, the east Long Island open seat. In the 3rd District, also open because the incumbent, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), unsuccessfully ran for governor and lost the Democratic primary to incumbent Kathy Hochul, Republican George Santos was declared the winner.

Finally, in what proved to be the Island’s biggest upset, former Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito will succeed retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who chose not to seek a fifth term. D’Esposito was declared the victor over former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Guillen (D), who was considered a big favorite in the D+10-rated district.

It’s Still Not Over

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Elections

We saw perhaps the biggest surprise election result in the modern political era last night, and on the morning after we still don’t know which party will control either house of Congress.

SENATE RESULTS AT PUBLISH TIME

The polling was incorrect, and it was not only from Republican pollsters. Democratic and institutional firms by and large all had the same basic numbers and certainly, trends.

This morning, four of the 35 Senate elections remain undecided, meaning neither party has what they need to claim control of the chamber for the new Congress. At this writing, the races still not finalized are in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin, and its individual candidates are not able to claim victory. It appears we could have winners determined possibly as early as today in all but Georgia, but the two hard-fought Peach State contenders being forced into a post-election runoff means that we most likely won’t have majority leadership until the Dec. 6 secondary contest.

Georgia election law requires its candidates garner an absolute majority in the general election, hence for the second cycle in a row we will be forced to wait weeks before a determination is made. Remember, in 2020, two months were necessary to forge the current Democratic majority, as the candidates in both the special and regular elections were forced into a Jan. 5, 2021 election that produced victories for now-Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) in the full-term cycle, and Raphael Warnock (D) who claimed the special election victory over appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R).

Now, in the regular cycle for his seat, Sen. Warnock is falling short of the 50 percent mark with 49.4 percent of the vote versus his opponent Herschel Walker’s (R) 48.5 percent. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver captured just two percent of the vote, but it was enough to deny either Sen. Warnock or Walker the ability of reaching the 50 percent plateau.

Turnout for the Georgia race will approach 4 million votes, naturally under the 2020 presidential election of 4.4 million, and almost identical with the 3.9 million votes recorded in the 2018 midterm. Turnout analysis will dominate the post-election period and will be conducted when states begin reporting at least preliminary final numbers.

The Arizona totals clearly favor Sen. Mark Kelly (D) over Republican Blake Masters. Though the race has eclipsed a large portion of Sen. Kelly’s advantage coming from the early ballots, it is likely his lead of more than 105,000 votes will probably hold up, though the tallies suggest that 38 percent of the vote remains to be counted. There were vote machine problems in Maricopa County that delayed the full report for a considerable amount of time.

In Nevada, what began as a large lead for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) has turned around and challenger Adam Laxalt, the state’s former Republican Attorney General and grandson of the late Nevada senator and governor Paul Laxalt (R), has advanced into the lead and may not be headed. A sizable number of votes remain to be counted, but the Laxalt trend looks favorable.

The tight Wisconsin race between two-term Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and the state’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), is also not complete. With less than two percent of the vote remaining, Sen. Johnson’s slim 32,000-vote lead may hold.

The Alaska race is also undecided, but the state’s new electoral system that sends four candidates to the general election won’t be decided for another two weeks. The contest will winnow to a battle between two Republicans, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka. While Tshibaka leads the aggregate vote count, it is clear that she and Sen. Murkowski will advance into the Ranked Choice Voting runoff. Though Tshibaka is, and may remain, the vote leader, the RCV runoff system looks to favor Sen. Murkowski. Regardless of which woman is declared the victor when the lengthy process ends, the GOP will retain the Alaska Senate seat.

In the other races, all of the incumbent party candidates won re-election or the open seat contest with the exception of Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) defeated television Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) to convert the seat for his party.

If Laxalt holds in Nevada and Sens. Kelly and Johnson in Arizona and Wisconsin do the same, the Georgia runoff would decide the majority. If the counting falls as projected here, Republicans would head into the Georgia runoff with a 50-49 advantage, meaning a Democratic victory on Dec. 6 would return the Senate to the 50-50 tie. A Herschel Walker victory would then give Republicans a 51-49 majority.

House

The House races are still very much undecided with 39 races still uncalled. Considering that 14 of those races are in either California or New York, where it will likely take weeks to arrive at final totals, it could be quite some time until we know the final outcome.

According to the Politico count, 219 races are either called or feature a Republican leading the race. If all of these contests hold, we could see the closest House majority in history.

Therefore, determining the House majority will come down to just a handful of votes from a sizable number of outstanding campaigns, and the complete result won’t be known for several weeks.

Governor

The 36 governors’ races are also almost complete, with Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and Oregon uncalled.

Alaska Republican incumbent Mike Dunleavy looks to be in position to potentially clinch re-election outright, thus exceeding the 50Tshibaka mark within the aggregate vote and avoiding a Ranked Choice Voting instant runoff.

In returns that defied polling and favor the Democrats almost across the board, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leads former news anchorwoman Kari Lake (R), and her advantage may be enough to clinch the office.

Again, taking advantage of a badly split Republican Party, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has a two-percentage point lead with an unknown number of mailed ballots still to count.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), with a reported 72 percent of the vote counted, holds a five-point lead over incumbent Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).

Oregon, the site of an interesting three-way race, sees the two major party candidates, former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) and ex-House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) separated by only a percentage point with still over one-third of the votes remaining to be counted.