Author Archives: Jim Ellis

DeSantis Comfortably Ahead in Fla; Conflicting Results in Ga. Senate; McMullin Lead Reversed in Utah

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 23, 2022

Governor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

Florida: DeSantis Comfortably Ahead — We haven’t seen a Florida governor’s poll in weeks that showed enough change to report upon, but yesterday we two were almost simultaneously released. Both largely confirmed that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a lead beyond the polling margin of error.

Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Elections site (Sept. 17-20; 617 likely Florida general election voters; online), posts the governor to a 52-45 percent advantage over former governor and recently resigned Congressman Charlie Crist (D). Suffolk University (Sept. 15-18; 500 likely Florida general election voters; live interview) derived similar results. They project the governor’s lead to be 48-41 percent over Crist.

Senate

Georgia: Conflicting Results — Continuing the seesaw political affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), we reported yesterday that the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) finds Walker leading Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), 46-44 percent.

Later in the day, YouGov, polling for CBS News (Sept. 14-19; 1,148 registered Georgia voters; online) released their Georgia survey that pushed voters to make a Senate race choice, and found the same two-point margin but in Sen. Warnock’s favor, 51-49 percent. The exhaustive poll asked 72 questions, and while Sen. Warnock is clearly more favorably viewed than Walker, the vote continues to remain virtually even. The University of Georgia and YouGov/CBS News surveys are even more evidence that the Georgia Senate campaign will be decided in a turnout battle.

Utah: McMullin Lead Reversed — It took awhile to rebuff the Impact Research group’s early September poll that posted Independent Evan McMullin to a 48-47 percent lead over two-term Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), but we now see conflicting looks as to what may be happening in this largely under-the-radar Senate challenge. OnMessage (Sept. 13-15; 700 likely Utah voters; live interview), polling for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), reports Sen. Lee to be holding a 51-34 percent advantage, a major difference from the Impact Research survey of two weeks earlier.

Following OnMessage, Lighthouse Research (Aug. 30-Sept. 13; 509 likely Utah voters), polling for the Utah Debate Commission, sees the senator holding a similar 48-37 percent margin over McMullin. Utah’s strongly Republican voting history suggests that these two latter polls finding Sen. Lee holding a substantial edge are likely more reflective of what will happen on Election Day.

House

WA-3: GOP Rebound — In late August, Expedition Strategies released a survey (Sept. 19-20; 400 likely WA-3 general election voters) that was cause for concern among local southwest Washington GOP activists and supporters. After Republican Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez denied Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) advancement into the general election from the Aug. 2 jungle primary, ES released their survey that gave the Democrat a 47-45 percent lead in the general election.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute, (Sept. 19-20; 834 WA-3 voters; live interview & text) now projects Kent to have overtaken Perez with a slight 47-44 percent margin. The WA-3 race is a must-win for the GOP if they are to reclaim the House majority, so this race merits further national attention.

Walker Back Up in Georgia, Kemp Expands Lead; Nevada Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials; Oregon Minor Candidate’s Withdrawal Could Have Significant Impact

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Senate

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker

Georgia: Walker Back Up — In what is proving a seesaw affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) again detects a change in leadership. The last three polls posted Sen. Warnock to leads between four and six points, and now the AJC/UGA data finds Walker re-assuming the lead, 46-44 percent.

The bottom line is that this race is close and either candidate has a strong chance to win. Turnout will be the key factor. In the primary, Republican turnout was up an astonishing 110 percent when compared to the 2018 midterm election. Democratic participation was also up, but with a much smaller 29 percent increase.

House

Nevada: The Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a new interesting media message approach for the three Nevada congressional districts, each of which are covered through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The tactic is to attack all three Republican candidates, businessman Mark Robertson, attorney April Becker, and insurance agency owner Sam Peters, with one message. Since the party is running a single-issue strategy about abortion, the ad hits all three candidates simultaneously for their pro-life stance.

The move is obviously an efficient use of their advertising dollars, but combining all three candidates in one message might be too convoluted for the voters to fully comprehend. The idea behind the spot is simply to associate all Republican congressional candidates with the pro-life position, thus making the message clearer.

Robertson is challenging Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) in the 1st District; Becker opposes Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in District 3; and Peters faces Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in the more expansive 4th CD that begins in North Las Vegas and stretches to the center of the state. All three are highly competitive in the general election.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Expands Lead — The aforementioned Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ University of Georgia poll (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s hot governor’s race. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been performing strongly in the polls since his landside 74-22 percent victory over former US Sen. David Perdue in the May Republican primary. The AJC/UGA numbers give the governor a 50-42 percent advantage beyond the polling margin of error over former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D).

Oregon: Minor Party Candidate Withdraws — One of the more interesting gubernatorial campaigns is found in the Beaver State of Oregon. The fact that Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, has a legitimate chance to win the race is what makes this campaign unique in the 2022 election cycle. Johnson has done better in fundraising than either Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, the former state House Speaker, and Republican former state House Minority Leader Catherine Drazan. She is also competitive with the two major party nominees in the various statewide polls that have been conducted.

Thus, with Green Party nominee Nathalie Paravicini dropping out of the race and endorsing Ms. Kotek, as she did Tuesday, Paravicini’s action actually becomes significant. The race has the potential of splitting close to evenly among the three candidates, meaning each has a legitimate chance to win. Green Party candidate Paravicini’s endorsement, even with only a percentage point or two of support, could prove significant in the final count on election night by encouraging her supporters to instead use their votes to back Kotek.

Boozman Looks to be in Strong Shape in Arkansas; Two Pollsters, Same Tight Result in Arizona; Minnesota Gov. Walz Has Comfortable Lead

By Jim Ellis — Sept. 21, 2022

Senate

Arkansas Sen. John Boozman (R)

Arkansas: Rare Data — It has been assumed that Sen. John Boozman (R) secured a third term in office when he won his contested Republican primary back in March. A Hendrix College/Talk Business Net survey, from the organizations that regularly sponsor Arkansas political polls, finds Boozman in predictably strong shape for the November election. The survey (Sept. 12; 835 likely Arkansas general election voters) gives the senator a 44-31 percent advantage over civil rights activist and realtor Natalie James (D).

Arizona: Two Pollsters, Same Tight Result — The Trafalgar Group’s new Arizona survey (Sept. 14-17; 1,080 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D) previously large lead dwindling to 47-45 percent over Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters.

Earlier in September, Emerson College (Sept. 6-7; 627 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) arrived at exactly the same conclusion: Sen. Kelly leading 47-45 percent. Remembering that the 2020 Senate race closed quickly against Kelly, limiting him to a 51-49 percent victory over appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) after leading by an average margin of 6.6 percent through 21 October polls according to the Real Clear Politics polling archives, the 2022 race looks to be headed toward a very interesting conclusion.

House

IA-3: An Unsurprising Dead Heat — In one of America’s tightest congressional districts, Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) campaign just made an interesting move. The congresswoman’s political leadership yesterday released Rep. Axne’s new internal Impact Research survey (Sept. 7-11; 500 likely IA-3 voters; live interview & text) that reports she and her Republican challenger, state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant), are tied at 47 percent apiece.

The point of releasing the poll, however, is to show emphasis on the abortion issue among the respondents, which the campaign strategists believe will swing voters to the Democratic incumbent. Even when knowing Sen. Nunn’s abortion position, however, the best Rep. Axne can do is tie, suggesting that despite deep disagreements over the issue in the central Iowa region it does not appear to be bringing any more voters into Axne’s camp. Her 47 percent support figure quoted in this poll is consistent with her two 49 percent victory percentages in 2020 and 2018.

Governor

Minnesota: Gov. Walz With Comfortable Lead — In a race where the polling has been inconsistent during the past few months, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy has released a new ballot test result from their research study conducted for the Minneapolis Star Review and Minnesota Public Radio (Sept. 12-14; 800 likely Minnesota general election voters; live interview). The M-D conclusion finds Gov. Tim Walz (D) leading former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R), 48-41 percent.

The governor’s job approval score is 52:42 percent favorable to unfavorable. President Biden remains upside-down in Minnesota on his favorability index, but the number is improving. In this M-D poll, 46 percent approve of the job the president is doing and 49 percent disapprove.

Ohio: Conflicting Surveys — We are seeing places around the country where pollsters are producing very diverse ballot test results even when testing an electorate within the same time realm. The Ohio governor’s race is another such example. A Civiqs organization poll, surveying for the Daily Kos Elections site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Ohio general election voters; online) projects a close race developing between Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D). The Civiqs ballot test projects Gov. DeWine to hold only a 44-41 percent edge.

Emerson College, however, sees a much different margin when polling within exactly the same time frame. Their poll (Sept. 10-13; 1,000 likely Ohio general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) yields the governor a wide 50-33 percent spread over Mayor Whaley. The latter poll result is more consistent with other publicly released surveys for this campaign.

Conflicting Trends in Ohio; Johnson Opening Advantage in Wisconsin; Dead Heat in Pennsylvania

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

Senate

Ohio 2022 Senate candidates Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and author J.D. Vance (R)

Ohio: Conflicting Trends — In the mid-August through early September period, three pollsters found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) snatching the polling lead away from GOP author J.D. Vance. The research entities Impact Research, Suffolk University, and Fallon Research, in studies conducted during the Aug. 17 through Sept. 11 time realm, found Rep. Ryan trending ahead with margins between one and six points.

Two news polls, however, see the race flipping back to Vance. Emerson College (Sept. 10-13; 1,000 likely Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the Civiqs survey research entity, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Ohio general election voters), and in the field during the same period, see Vance now holding close leads of 44-40 and 48-45 percent, respectively.

Wisconsin: Trend Favors Sen. Johnson — Since the Aug. 9 Wisconsin primary, we’ve seen several polls conducted of the Wisconsin Senate campaign. Immediately after the nomination vote, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) opened the general election cycle with a polling lead. Marquette University Law School, a regular Wisconsin pollster, found Barnes holding a 52-45 percent advantage over Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in their Aug. 10-15 poll of 713 likely Wisconsin general election voters.

Late last week, Marquette released a new survey (Sept. 6-11; 801 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) and the law school research organization now posts Sen. Johnson to a slight 48-47 percent advantage. Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Wisconsin general election voters), confirms the Marquette result. They find Sen. Johnson up 49-48 percent. Though the lead is small, the Johnson trend line is positive.

House

OR-5: Getting Closer — The Democratic survey research firm Global Strategy Group, polling for the 314 Action super PAC (Sept. 1-8; 400 likely OR-5 general election voters) finds Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) in the May primary election, leading businesswoman and former local mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), by a tight 41-38 percent margin.

GSG finds the district statistics even closer, however. They see a Democratic partisan edge of just one percentage point, even though the party has a five-point voter registration advantage. In terms of the generic congressional vote, the Republicans have a one-point lead. Under various turnout models according to the GSG research, the race changes. If the turnout model is closer to what was found in the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races (2021), a Biden+5 model, the congressional race becomes a dead heat at 40-40 percent. Under both a 2014 and 2020 turnout model (Biden+10), McLeod-Skinner would establish a 42-38 percent spread. The trouble for McLeod-Skinner, in a district that slightly leans Democratic, is that she doesn’t reach beyond the low 40s under any turnout model. This suggests that Chavez-DeRemer has serious upset potential.

PA-8: Dead Heat Developing — In what is appearing to be a classic example of a Democratic incumbent claiming independence but seeing Republican forces producing stats showing total compliance with the Biden agenda, the people of Pennsylvania’s northeast 8th Congressional District are dividing evenly.

The Republican polling entity, Cygnal, surveying for the Jim Bognet campaign (Sept. 6-8; 440 likely PA-8 general election voters), finds the two candidates, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Bognet, tied at 48-48 percent. At an R+8 partisan rating according to the FiveThirtyEight polling organization, PA-8 is the second-most Republican district in the country that elects a Democrat to the House.

Sen. Warnock Back Ahead in Georgia; Utah: Response Results; Sen. Johnson Rebounds in Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 19, 2022

Senate

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Back Ahead — After several polls were released showing Republican Herschel Walker topping Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), Quinnipiac University publicized their most recent Georgia poll (Sept. 8-12; 1,278 likely Georgia voters) that projects a different conclusion. Not only does the Q-Poll place Sen. Warnock back into the lead, but the margin, 52-46 percent, is larger than any regular poll released since July. More will have to be seen in order to determine if a new trend is forming or if the Q-Poll is an anomaly.

Utah: Response Poll — Last week’s surprise Impact Research poll that showed Independent challenger Evan McMullin leading Sen. Mike Lee (R) by a slight 47-46 percent margin has now been countered, at least to a degree. The Center Street PAC released the results of their new Utah survey (Sept. 6-9; 563 likely Utah general election voters) that posts Sen. Lee to only a 43-39 percent edge. The Utah Democratic Party did not field a candidate in order to coalesce behind McMullin. The move allowed McMullin a head-to-head match-up with the two-term incumbent, and it appears, at least in the short term, that the strategy to make this a competitive race has worked.

Wisconsin: Sen. Johnson Rebounds — After seeing a series of three post-primary surveys where Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) held a lead over Sen. Ron Johnson (R), the regular Marquette Law School Wisconsin poll (Sept. 6-11; 801 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) finds the incumbent forging a one-point edge, 49-48 percent. Lagging in the polls is nothing new for Sen. Johnson. In 2016, 30 polls were conducted of the Wisconsin Senate race according to the Real Clear Politics polling archive, and Sen. Johnson trailed in 29; yet, on election night, he claimed a three-point victory.

Though he was behind in most of the polling this year, the margins are much closer than in 2016, and Sen. Johnson has now already captured a lead. Compared to his last race against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D), the two-term incumbent appears to be in much better political shape in this election campaign.

Governor

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers in Toss-Up Campaign — The Marquette Law School Wisconsin poll (see Wisconsin Senate race above) also finds a tight governor’s race. The MU survey posts Gov. Tony Evers (D) to a 47-44 percent lead over GOP nominee and businessman Tim Michels. If the undercount of Republican voters that has been present in recent Wisconsin races is again in evidence, Michels could already effectively be in a dead even race.