Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Nikki Haley Gets 8-Point Bump in Iowa; Ricketts May Avoid Challenge in Nebraska; IN-1 New GOP Candidate; NY-18 Candidate Stepping Up

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023

President

Nikki Haley gained eight points in Iowa poll. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Iowa Poll: Margin Tightening — Public Opinion Strategies tested the Iowa electorate just after the Republican presidential debate (POS for Citizen Awareness Project; Aug. 24; 400 likely Iowa Republican Caucus attenders; live interview) and their flash poll numbers show some movement within the Hawkeye State voting pool. The ballot test projects former President Donald Trump to hold a 41-21-11-7-7 percent lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

The numbers represent a seven-point gain for Gov. DeSantis, who most believe delivered the strongest debate performance. Haley also gained eight points while Sen. Scott and Ramaswamy lost one and three points, respectively, when compared with the pre-debate POS survey.

Senate

Nebraska: Ricketts May Avoid Challenge — Rancher and former gubernatorial candidate Chuck Herbster (R), who lost the 2022 open Republican nomination for governor despite receiving former President Trump’s endorsement, indicates he is still “considering” challenging appointed senator and former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) next year, but clearly doesn’t have running on his front burner. He said, while still thinking about the race, his top objective is working to see that Trump returns to the White House.

The response suggests that Herbster is unlikely to challenge Sen. Ricketts. If not, it is probable that the new senator will have an easy run for the Republican nomination and in the general election. Sen. Ricketts, appointed when former Sen. Ben Sasse (R) resigned to become the University of Florida’s president, must stand for election in 2024 to fill the balance of the unexpired term. Assuming he wins next year, he will then seek a full six-year term in 2026.

House

IN-1: New GOP Candidate Emerging Against Rep. Mrvan — In 2022, then-freshman Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Highland/Gary) fought back a tough challenge from Republican Jennifer-Ruth Green and recorded a 53-47 percent victory in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7 and Dave’s Redistricting App sees the partisan lean dividing 56.5D – 41.0R. Though Rep. Mrvan, an upset winner in the 2020 Democratic primary after veteran Rep. Peter Visclosky (D) retired, was re-elected his victory percentage should be viewed as an under-performance. Thus, he is somewhat vulnerable in 2024.

While Green may still be thinking about launching a re-match campaign, Lake County councilman, business owner, and local Republican Party chairman Randy Niemeyer is making plans to enter the race. Though the district is definitively Democratic, and the African American population reaches just under 20 percent to form a solid base for any Democratic standard bearer, the seat appears to becoming more competitive. Whether the eventual Republican nominee is Green or Niemeyer, the IN-1 race is 2024 will merit political attention.

NY-18: Former Lieutenant Governor Nominee Readies Congressional Campaign — Lieutenant governor nominee from 2022, Alison Esposito (R), is reportedly stepping up her efforts to soon declare her congressional candidacy hoping clinch the GOP nomination in order to challenge freshman Rep. Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner). Ryan won the regular 2022 general election, defeating then-Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R) by a tight 49.6 – 48.3 percent margin. Rep. Ryan was first elected to the House in a special election a few months earlier in the neighboring 19th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-18 as D+3, meaning this seat Orange County-anchored CD will again become a political battleground in 2024.

Florida Poll: Trump Cruising

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 28, 2023

President

This booking photo provided by Fulton County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office of former President Donald Trump was taken Thursday, Aug. 24 as he was booked at the county jail. He surrendered to face charges of trying to steal the 2020 election in Georgia.

Florida Poll: Trump Cruising — The Victory Polling organization surveyed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ home state of Florida’s electorate (Aug. 21-23; 590 likely Florida Republican primary voters) and delivered bad news for the host politician. The Victory results find former President Donald Trump holding a commanding Sunshine State lead of 59-23 percent over Gov. DeSantis with no other candidate even reaching five percent support. The former president now lives in Florida, having filed a “declaration of domicile” that declared his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach as his permanent residence in 2019. It will be curious to see if Gov. DeSantis’ strong debate performance begins to change some voters’ allegiance.

Pennsylvania Poll: Getting Closer — Franklin & Marshall College, a Lancaster, PA institution that regularly polls the Keystone State, released their new small-sample Republican statewide survey (Aug. 9-20; 723 PA registered voters; 297 Republican primary voters; live interview) and the results show a tightening presidential field when compared with most other states. While former President Trump still leads the group, his margin is becoming somewhat smaller. The F&M numbers find him commanding 39 percent support as compared to Gov. DeSantis’ 21 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is third with nine percent, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) pulls six percent, and no other candidate exceeds the five percent threshold.

House

RI-1: Lead Change in New Poll — Apparently, the controversy over Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’ petition signatures has taken a toll on her approval rating. The previous polling leader has slipped to an upside-down favorability index of 29:44 percent positive to negative. A new Blueprint Polling survey (Aug. 15-17; 451 definite and probable RI-1 special election voters), the source of the Matos approval rating data, finds former state representative and 2018 lieutenant governor candidate Aaron Regunberg now leading the large field of 12 candidates vying for the all-important Democratic primary in this district.

Regunberg tops former Obama and Biden White House aide Gabe Amo, 28-19 percent. Lt. Gov. Matos drops to a virtual tie for third place with state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket) with 11 percent apiece. The special primary is scheduled for Sept. 5. Former Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) resigned in June. Winning the Democratic primary here is tantamount to clinching the Nov. 7 special general.

Governor

Louisiana: Landry, Wilson Look to Advance — Louisiana voters will choose a new governor later this year, and a new Faucheux Associates poll conducted for the Advocate online publication, the Urban League of Louisiana, the Public Affairs Research Council of Baton Rouge, and three Louisiana television stations (Aug. 14-19; 800 likely Louisiana voters; live interview) finds Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and former LA Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) developing strong leads to capture the two runoff positions from the upcoming Oct. 14 jungle primary.

Landry attracts 36 percent support as compared to Wilson’s 26 percent. The two are far ahead of the other five candidates, none of whom even reach eight percent support. Should no candidate receive majority support in the Oct. 14 primary, the top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

North Carolina: Retiring Judge May Enter Gov Race — North Carolina state Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan (D) announced that he will resign his seat 16 months prior to his term expiring. Justice Morgan had already said he would not seek another eight-year term on the high court largely because the state imposed age limit on judges would only allow him to serve only half of the next term. No North Carolina judge may serve past the age of 72.

It is now likely that the early resignation means Justice Morgan will enter the Democratic primary for governor and oppose Attorney General Josh Stein, who so far is unchallenged for the party nomination. A Morgan candidacy would create a seriously contested Democratic primary. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is purportedly the leading GOP candidate. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term in the 2024 election.

Good News / Bad News for DeSantis; Pastor Withdraws in Arizona;
A Challenger in GA-13

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Aug. 25, 2023

President

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Photo by Gage Skidmore

Iowa: Selzer & Company Releases Survey — The Hawkeye State’s proven most accurate pollster, Selzer & Company, released a pre-debate poll in partnership with NBC News and the Des Moines Register newspaper. This research study provides some needed good news for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his 66 percent positive rating is the best of any presidential candidate, although only one percentage point better than former President Donald Trump.

Trump still leads the first choice ballot test, however, with 42-19-9-6-6 percent split over Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, respectively. He tops Gov. DeSantis by only two points when first, second, and “considering” categories are added and assigned an aggregate point value. The Iowa Republican Caucus is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024.

New Hampshire: DeSantis Drops to Fourth — The Granite State Echelon Insights data (8/15-17; 800 NH likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) sees former President Donald Trump leading the pack of candidates with a rather low support factor of 34 percent. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was second with 14 percent, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy follows in third position at 11 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis posts a disappointing nine percent.

It is likely the New Hampshire primary will be scheduled for Jan. 23, eight days after the Iowa Caucus and 11 days before the South Carolina Democratic primary. The South Carolina Republicans will vote on Feb. 24, followed by the Michigan primary three days later. Super Tuesday is scheduled for March 5, 2024.

Senate

Nevada: Brown Leads in First Primary Poll — Public Opinion Strategies, polling for the Duty First Super PAC, an organization supporting candidate Sam Brown (R), released the result of their first Nevada Senate Republican primary survey (Public Opinion Strategies; Aug. 15-17; 500 likely Nevada Republican primary voters; live interview). The results find Brown, an Afghan War veteran, leading former state assemblyman and frequent candidate Jim Marchant, 33-15 percent, with five other announced candidates failing to reach even the three percent support plateau.

Brown, the 2022 US Senate candidate who raised over $4 million for his unsuccessful primary effort against former Attorney General Adam Laxalt and now has National Senate Republican Committee chairman Steve Daines’ endorsement, also leads in all segmentation divisions. Most importantly, of the respondents who are familiar with both Brown and Marchant, the former leads the latter by a strong 59-21 percent cut. The Nevada primary is scheduled for June 11, 2024. The eventual Republican nominee will challenge first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in what promises to be a hotly contested general election campaign.

House

AZ-3: Laura Pastor (D) Withdraws — Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor (D), whose late father, Ed Pastor (D), represented Phoenix in the US House for 12 terms, announced that she is withdrawing from the open seat race to replace present incumbent Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix). Ms. Pastor says her withdrawal is due to a non-life threatening health issue, but one serious enough to force her from the campaign trail.

With Congressman Gallego running for Senate, the Democratic primary will determine the 3rd District’s next Representative. At this point, four Democrats have announced for the seat including Phoenix City Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari and former state Senate Minority Leader Raquel Teran. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AZ-3, which is wholly contained within Maricopa County, as D+44. The Arizona primary is late, scheduled for August 6, 2024, so much can happen to change the race between now and the April 8, 2024, candidate filing deadline.

GA-13: Rep. David Scott Draws Dem Primary Challenger — Veteran Georgia US Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) surprised many by recently announcing he would run for a 12th term. Now, he has drawn a Democratic primary challenger. East Point Utility Board chairman Mark Herring did not attack Rep. Scott in his announcement address, only saying he is running to make a “positive difference.” Others are expected to join, thus creating a multi-candidate Democratic primary.

GA-13 is another district where winning the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+52. Rep. Scott faced three Democrats in the 2022 congressional primary, winning with 66 percent of the vote. In 2020, however, the outcome was much tighter as he avoided a runoff with just 52.9 percent, again opposite three opponents.

Republicans Debate but Biden Leads

The Fox News Republican debate stage in Milwaukee. / Fox News Photo

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023

President

Republicans Debate: But What About Biden? — While last night’s Republican presidential debate featured a livelier discussion than many expected, a new national poll continues to find that President Joe Biden leads his Republican opposition despite a majority believing he is unfit for the job.

The GOP candidates sans Donald Trump gathered in Milwaukee, debating in the very arena that will host the 2024 Republican National Convention. Post-debate analysis seemed to indicate that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy performed best.

Perhaps the evening’s biggest surprise was who the other candidates attacked and who stood above the fray. Ramaswamy, moving up in the polls to the point where most Republican ballot tests see him in third place if not second, was the participant the others routinely targeted. The harshest attacks came from former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley about his inexperience in the political arena and lack of foreign affairs knowledge, respectively.

While pre-debate predictions suggested that Gov. DeSantis would be under heavy attack, no one launched any verbal assault in his direction.

Yesterday, a new YouGov survey for the Economist publication was released. The international online pollster regularly polls for the Economist, featuring long and largely issue-based questionnaires.

This particular survey (Aug. 19-22; 1,500 US adults; 1,309 registered voters; online) again produces a familiar response pattern. President Biden scores poorly, but still leads the tested Republicans in general election ballot tests.

Overall, the Biden job approval ratio is 41:54 percent favorable to unfavorable. Pertaining to isolated issues, the president fails to score in positive territory on any tested question.

He records a 40:51 percent positive to negative ratios on jobs and the economy; 31:58 percent on immigration; 38:49 percent for his handling of foreign policy; 41:47 percent concerning national security; 40:45 percent in relation to education; 33:52 percent on crime; 32:49 percent about criminal justice reform; and 33:59 percent regarding inflation.

Yet, turning to a straight ballot test question when individually paired with former President Trump and Gov. DeSantis, the respondents still favor Biden for re-election.

In a YouGov national survey conducted just before the one analyzed above (Aug. 17-21; 1,665 US adults; 1,115 registered voters; online) the president scores a 47-41 percent split opposite Trump and posts a 45-40 percent lead over Gov. DeSantis.

This is consistent with the aforementioned survey that finds 44 percent of those respondents saying they would vote for the Democratic candidate and 40 percent for the eventual Republican nominee. On the generic congressional vote, the results are similar with 45 percent choosing the Democratic congressional candidate while 42 percent would support the Republican.

The presidential ballot test numbers are somewhat astonishing in that just 50 percent of questioned Democrats and Independents say they want to see President Biden renominated and only 26 percent of the entire polling sample believes Biden is “fit to serve another term as president.”

Furthermore, of those who feel the president is unfit for another four year term, 34.4 percent say he is “incompetent,” 27.6 percent believe he is “too old,” and 20.7 percent label him as “corrupt.”

Yet, with these negative impressions, a strong majority of Democrats and Independents (69 percent) would vote to renominate him in the party primary, and he records an average 5.5 percentage point edge over the two leading Republican nomination candidates.

These numbers, which are consistent when perusing various polls, suggest that the Republicans must develop a more compelling message if they hope to overcome the president’s current re-election advantage. This, despite majorities from the representative samples expressing negative opinions of the current incumbent’s performance.

Debate Prep; Poll Movement

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023

President

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Tonight: GOP Debate — The first GOP presidential forum will be held tonight in Milwaukee, and it appears the Republican National Committee’s debate requirement criteria failed to meet its principal intended goal.

The chief reasons for instituting the debate qualification menu:

  • Reaching at least one percent support in a minimum of three post-July 1st polls with 800 or more respondents
  • Having 40,000 financial donors
  • Signing a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee …

… among other party related items, became easier to obtain than initially anticipated. The purpose of having requirements was to keep most minor candidates out, thus limiting the participants to a small number of major candidates.

At this time, it appears at least eight candidates will be on stage Wednesday night. The national leader, former President Donald Trump, is saying he won’t attend and refuses to sign the loyalty pledge that irrespectively should eliminate him. Without Trump among the participants, however, the debate will lose much of its luster, not to mention ratings for host Fox News.

The eight who apparently have earned a podium spot are:

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
  • Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
  • Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence
  • Ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  • Ex-Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Businessman Perry Johnson has also reportedly eclipsed the financial requirement but failed on the polling qualification.

Meeting the financial requirement became easier when Gov. Burgum, and then several others, ran an end-run around the requirement by concocting the idea of paying for $1 contributions and receiving a $20 gift card in exchange. The move was able to qualify several candidates who initially appeared incapable of pulling together such a donor portfolio within a limited time frame.

We are now seeing definitive movement in polling responses. While Trump continues to lead in all polls by substantial margins, the last five national polls have all found Ramaswamy finishing in either third or even second place in national Republican presidential polling. Simultaneously, Gov. DeSantis has lost considerable polling support.

The Fox News Poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,002 registered US voters; live interview), Quinnipiac University’s national survey (Aug. 11-14; 1,632 self-identified US registered voters; 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters; 666 Democratic and Democratic leaning primary voters; live interview), and Insider Advantage (Aug. 19-20; 750 likely US Republican primary voters; live interview) each project Ramaswamy as placing third behind Trump (Fox, 53 percent; Q-Poll, 57 percent; Insider, 51 percent) and Gov. DeSantis (Fox, 16 percent; Q-Poll, 18 percent; Insider, 10 percent).

The RMG Research and Emerson College surveys find Ramaswamy doing even better. In RMG’s latest poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,000 US registered voters; 229 likely Republican primary voters), though with a very small national GOP sample, Ramaswamy moves into second place with 13 percent compared to Gov. DeSantis’ eight percent. Trump tops the RMG poll with a whopping 60 percent support figure.

The Emerson College Poll (Aug. 16-17; 1,000 registered US voters; multiple sampling techniques), again found the self-identified Republicans favoring Trump who posted 56 percent support in this poll, while DeSantis and Ramaswamy each post 10 percent support figures. When compared to Emerson’s June national poll, Gov. DeSantis has dropped 11 percentage points and Ramaswamy has gained eight.

The polling bump that Ramaswamy demonstrates suggest that he may leave the first debate attracting even more support since he will have a more prominent podium position and, without Trump in the mix, has the opportunity to establish himself as the most talked-about candidate in the post-debate analysis. Conversely, with his stronger recent polling performance, the pressure to become a star participant tonight is significant.

Ramaswamy Rises in Polling; Rep. Slotkin Struggles for Recognition; Rep. Ilhan Omar Draws Opponent; Republican Withdraws in Ohio Race

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023

President

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy gets a polling boost. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Ramaswamy: Fourth Poll Sees Presidential Candidate Moving to Top Tier — Late last week we reported on three separate Republican primary surveys that placed businessman Vivek Ramaswamy in either third or even second place in national Republican presidential polling and crossing the double digit threshold in each. Now, Emerson College arrives at a similar conclusion to those of Fox News, CBS News, and RMG Research.

Their poll (Aug. 16-17; 1,000 registered US voters; multiple sampling techniques), surveying the self-identified Republicans, shows former President Donald Trump again topping the field with 56 percent, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Ramaswamy each post 10 percent support figures. When compared to Emerson’s June national poll, Gov. DeSantis has dropped 11 percentage points and Ramaswamy has gained eight.

Senate

Michigan: New Poll; Similar Close Result: Regular Michigan media pollster EPIC-MRA went into the field to test a potential open Michigan Senate general election between US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) and former seven-term US Congressman Mike Rogers (R). The poll (Aug. 6-11; 600 likely Michigan voters; live interview) sees Rep. Slotkin leading Rogers, 42-37 percent, which is similar to Emerson College’s Michigan poll (Aug. 1-2; 1,121 registered Michigan voters; multiple sampling techniques) that found a 44-38 percent ballot test between the pair.

Both candidates are relatively unfamiliar to the statewide respondent sample. A total of 54 percent of poll respondents said they did not recognize Rep. Slotkin, and 72 percent responded in the same way when asked about Rogers. Rogers left office at the beginning of 2015. Slotkin was first elected to the House in 2018.

House

MN-5: Rep. Omar Draws Dem Primary Challenge — Attorney and non-profit organization founder Sarah Gad (D), who overcame opioid addiction to attend law school and pass the bar, becomes the first individual to enter the 2024 Minnesota Democratic primary against controversial three-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis).

In 2022, Rep. Omar found herself in a very tight primary campaign, outlasting former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels by just a 50.3 – 48.2 percent margin, a difference of 2,466 votes of 114,567 ballots cast. It’s likely that others, possibly including Samuels, will enter what should be another competitive Democratic primary race.

OH-13: Republican Gilbert Withdraws — Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R), who lost the open Akron anchored 13th Congressional District race to now-freshman Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) last November, announced that she will end her abbreviated 2024 rematch campaign and will instead serve as a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

The 13th District, which the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+2, is competitive and we can expect Republicans to again put forth a strong challenge effort. Currently in the GOP race are Greg Wheeler, who finished second in the 2022 GOP congressional primary and Hudson City Councilman Chris Banweg. Former Ohio Republican Party chair and 2022 US Senate candidate Jane Timken indicates she is considering entering this contest.

Ramaswamy Advances in Polling; Romney Support Dips in Utah;
Rep. Boebert’s Colorado Challenge; Significant Candidate Lead in NH

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 21, 2023

President

Vivek Ramaswamy (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Vivek Ramaswamy: Major Move in National Polls — Three new national Republican primary surveys find businessman Vivek Ramaswamy moving into the top tier within the large field of presidential candidates. The Fox News Poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,002 registered US voters; live interview) and the Quinnipiac University national surveys (Aug. 11-14; 1,632 self-identified US registered voters; 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters; 666 Democratic and Democratic leaning primary voters; live interview) project Ramaswamy as placing third behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The RMG Research survey finds Ramaswamy doing even better. In their latest poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,000 registered US voters; 229 likely Republican primary voters), though with a very small national GOP sample, Ramaswamy moves into second place with 13 percent compared to Gov. DeSantis’ 8 percent. Former President Trump tops the RMG poll with a whopping 60 percent support figure.

Senate

Utah: Sen. Romney at 30 percent in New GOP Poll — A Noble Predictive Insights survey conducted a month ago but just released just late last week (July 7-18; 598 registered Utah voters; 301 likely Republican primary voters; online) finds Utah Sen. Mitt Romney drawing only 30 percent support among a respondent sample of his own Republican primary voters.

Despite the low preference number, Sen. Romney leads a group of potential GOP opponents. Closest to him is Attorney General Sean Reyes, an unannounced Senate candidate, who posted 13 percent support. The two official candidates, state House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs posted five and three percent, respectively. When asked of the entire sample whether they believe Sen. Romney should run for re-election, 39 percent answered yes, while 44 percent replied with a negative response.

House

CO-3: Rep. Boebert’s Republican Challenge — Saying he’s “… not interested in becoming a social media celebrity … I’m interested in helping families and helping businesses and helping communities,” attorney Jeff Hurd entered Colorado’s 3rd District Republican primary hoping to deny two-term incumbent Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) renomination. In 2022, then-state Sen. Don Coram challenged her in the party primary but received only 34 percent of the Republican vote.

Should Rep. Boebert win renomination, she will again face a difficult general election against Democrat Adam Frisch who came within 546 votes of unseating her in the 2022 general election. This, despite the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating CO-3 as R+15.

Governor

New Hampshire: Significant Open Primary Polling Leads — Earlier in the week, we covered an Emerson College survey (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online) that posted former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) to substantial leads over two strong Democratic contenders. Now, we see the primary numbers from this same poll.

According to Emerson, Ayotte would not only lead in the general election, but she opens a definitive edge over who will likely be her chief Republican opponent, former state Senate President Chuck Morse. The initial ballot test finds Ayotte leading Morse, 45-9 percent. On the Democratic side, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is staked to a strong 52-15 percent advantage over Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is retiring after serving what will be four consecutive terms when his tenure expires at the beginning of 2025.