Category Archives: 2024 Election

Biden Still in Driver’s Seat, But Down in New York; Maloy Still Struggles in Utah; Filing Closes in Delaware

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 12, 2024

President

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

President Biden: Still in the Driver’s Seat — While pressure continues to mount on President Joe Biden to withdraw from his re-election candidacy, some still believe there is a way to change the rules at the Democratic National Convention to allow a free vote of the delegates. Doing so will be highly unlikely, however, because Biden’s total delegate vote includes 1,581 individuals not bound by party rules but rather state law. Therefore, those delegates will not be free.

To win the party nomination, a candidate must have 1,968 votes. This means from the remaining delegates, the president would need only keep 387 of the “freed” 2,368 delegates who are already pledged to vote for him. This factors into just 16.3 percent of the non-state law bound delegates.

The party would also have the option of changing the convention rules to allow the Super Delegates to vote on the first ballot, something they cannot currently do. The Super Delegates are officially called PLEO (Party Leader Elected Official) votes. There are 747 of these individuals. To add them, however, the non-PLEO delegates would have to vote to dilute their own power. It is unlikely a majority of the non-PLEO delegates will vote in such a manner even if this unlikely choice is presented.

House

New York: Biden’s Poll Deficit — The political situation continues to deteriorate for President Biden. As reported on X from journalist Jacqueline Sweet, Democratic polls that won’t be published apparently report that the president is trailing in two potential Democratic conversion districts by double-digit margins, seats that he carried in 2020.

The two are NY-17 and NY-19 that freshmen Reps. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) and Marc Molinaro (R-Red Hook) currently represent and won with close margins. As a point of reference, Biden carried the 17th with a 54-44 percent margin in 2020, and a 51-47 percent split in NY-19.

UT-2: Canvass Period Begins; Recount to Follow — Utah US Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) is not out of the woods yet from her close Republican primary race against businessman Colby Jenkins, conducted on June 25. The Utah election officials finally finished the end count, and what was a 309-vote margin for Maloy has dropped to 214 votes.

The process is not yet finished. The election staff must conduct a canvass to certify a final vote. Since the current margin is now within the range where a recount can be requested, Jenkins says he will do so after the canvass. This means the counting and recounting process could drag on until the end of July.

States

Delaware: Candidate Filing Closes — Candidate filing has now closed for the late Delaware primary scheduled for Sept. 10. Though the state features an open Senate and at-large House seat, little in the way of competition will be seen either in the Democratic primary or general election.

US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) is a lock for the party nomination and the November election and will replace retiring Sen. Tom Carper (D) in the next Congress. State Sen. Sarah McBride (D-Wilmington) is the prohibitive favorite to win the party primary and the November election to replace Rep. Blunt Rochester. Upon election, she will become the first transgender individual elected to Congress.

The only competition appears to occur in the open governor’s race as incumbent John Carney (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, New Castle County Executive Matt Mayer, and National Wildlife Federation CEO Collin O’Mara are all competing for the Democratic nomination. The eventual primary winner will then punch his or her ticket to the governor’s mansion.

Surprising Swing State Polling

SWING STATES: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Polling

Bloomberg News, partnering with the Morning Consult public affairs organization, released post-debate polling data in the seven key swing states during the July 4th holiday break. The survey results raised eyebrows in several ways.

Morning Consult conducted the studies in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. They surveyed voters from July 1-4 in Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. In Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the sampling period was extended to a fifth day, expanding the interview time to July 1-5.

The sampling universe in each state spanned from a low of 452 registered voters (Nevada) to a high of 794 registered voters (Pennsylvania). In each case, the respondent universe was selected through a stratified sampling process and the individuals answered the survey questions online.

In each state, the pollsters tested President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump with Independents Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and usually a combination of the other independent or minor party candidates, Jill Stein (Green Party), Dr. Cornel West (Independent), and Chase Oliver (Libertarian Party). The pollsters also asked a follow-up question that isolated Biden and Trump in a one-on-one pairing.

The Bloomberg/Morning Consult analysis indicated that the debate, contrary to the opinion of many television news pundits and several Democratic officials who are calling for President Biden to withdraw from the race, has changed little in terms of the political horse race among the states that will largely determine the November outcome.

This may or may not be the case, and further research is needed to better determine where the national election stands. Though President Biden was detected as leading in two states, Michigan and Wisconsin, over 55 percent from the aggregate seven-state sample stated their belief that he should withdraw from the campaign. This number includes 58 percent responding in such a manner from the Independent segment and 29 percent who self-identify as Democratic participants.

Conversely, former President Trump hit an all-time high in a Pennsylvania survey, as Bloomberg/Morning Consult detected a seven-point advantage when the two presumptive nominees were tested in a head-to-head question. Staying with the Pennsylvania head-to-head, the Trump support number reached 51 percent, which is the only such result for either candidate within the whole seven-state survey series. In two other states, Arizona and Nevada, Trump reached the 48 percent plateau on the head-to-head question. President Biden reached as high as 48 percent in only one state, Michigan, again in response to the head-to-head question.

In Arizona, Trump led Biden by seven percentage points when the independent and minor party candidates were included. His lead dropped to three points in the head-to-head question. The seven points represented an improvement here for Trump, though he has led in all 20 Arizona polls conducted since Jan. 1.

The Georgia numbers still favored Trump but appeared to be down a bit from other recent surveys. As in Arizona, Trump has led in every poll conducted here (17) since the first of this year.

Michigan has been back and forth all year, usually by a point or two. This Bloomberg/ Morning Consult poll, however, stakes Biden to one of his better showings, leading Trump by six points within the multiple candidate field and five in the head-to-head pairing.

Nevada is the third state where Trump has led or been tied in all 2024 surveys (17). In the Bloomberg/MC poll, his numbers are still strong. Within the multiple candidate field, Trump holds a six-point lead as compared to a plus-3 margin in the head-to-head.

North Carolina is another state where Trump continues to poll well. In the Bloomberg/MC study, he leads the multiple candidate field by two points, and three over Biden in the head-to-head. This from a state where he led in only 25 percent of the 2020 polls yet carried the final total by just over a percentage point.

As previously mentioned, Trump scores his best head-to-head number of the cycle (plus-7) in the Bloomberg/MC Pennsylvania poll. From the multiple candidate field, his lead is three percentage points.

Wisconsin is the other state where Biden forges a current lead according to the Bloomberg/MC data. Here, the president has a two-point edge within the multiple candidate field and three over Trump in the head-to-head.

As we have seen, several of the data segments produced unusual patterns, meaning more information is needed to obtain a better post-debate picture of how the electorate is responding. Even though this polling series generally shows Biden rebounding from the debate, it appears that former President Trump would convert four states (Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania) and keep North Carolina, which would allow him to exceed the 270 electoral vote threshold (287 EVs) and claim the presidency.

More States in Play

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 3, 2024

President

MORE SWING STATES IN PLAY: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin (and possibly Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New Mexico)

Recent polling data suggests that several surprising states are becoming competitive. In addition to Minnesota and Virginia, the former of which has been close for weeks and the latter showing dead heat signs within the last 14 days, four more states are now returning tight polling numbers.

As has been the case since the beginning of the year, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have been reporting strong numbers for former President Donald Trump. In fact, the 19 polls conducted in Arizona since Jan. 1 finds Trump leading in each. The Georgia data projects a similar pattern. There, 16 surveys have been conducted in 2024, again with Trump leading in all. The Nevada numbers report the same pattern as Georgia.

It’s also been common political knowledge that the three key Great Lakes states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, have been in the toss-up category throughout the current year. Recently, the three have all leaned towards Trump, and likely will report an exaggerated trend at least for the short-term post-debate period.

If the Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada trends hold through the election, and Trump converts all three, he would only need one more state of any size to win the national election. Now, it appears several others are coming into the observance realm.

New polling finds the race coming into dead heat territory in Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New Mexico, all of which have been Democratic strongholds for years.

The last time Maine and New Jersey went for a Republican presidential candidate occurred in 1988, when the states’ electorates supported George H.W. Bush over Michael Dukakis. New Hampshire last voted Republican in 2000 for George W. Bush against Al Gore, while New Mexico supported the latter Bush in 2004 opposite John Kerry. The previously mentioned Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, while Virginia, like New Mexico, also favored then-President Bush over Kerry 20 years ago.

St. Anselm College on Monday released their latest New Hampshire poll (June 28-29; 1,700 registered New Hampshire voters; online) and sees Trump taking a 44-42-4 percent lead over President Joe Biden and Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The co/efficient firm tested the New Jersey electorate (June 26-27; 810 likely New Jersey voters; live interview & text) and these results also show Trump ahead in an unlikely state, 41-40-7 percent.

The New Mexico data still finds President Biden leading, but barely. The 1892 polling organization (June 19-24; 600 likely New Mexico voters) posts Biden to only a one-point lead, 43-42-8 percent over Trump and Kennedy.

In Minnesota, a place where the two presidential candidates have consistently battled in polls to within three-point margins for most of the year, Emerson College (June 13-18; 1,000 registered Minnesota voters; multiple sampling techniques) recently projected Trump to a one-point edge.

The Critical Insights firm tested the Maine electorate (June 12; 609 registered Maine voters; live interview and online) and found Trump recording a one-point advantage in this state as well, 41-40 percent, with 19 percent going to other candidates. Maine features a Ranked Choice Voting system, so even if Trump manages to secure plurality support in the regular election, he would likely lose in the Ranked Choice rounds.

Fox News conducted the most recent Virginia poll (June 1-3; 1,107 registered Virginia voters; live interview) and this solidly Democratic state, too, turned in a ballot test within dead-heat range. According to the Fox results, Biden would hold a very slim 42-41-9 percent edge.

Typically, a Democratic presidential nominee would not have to exert much effort to hold these aforementioned states in the party column. The fact that they are currently in toss-up range, and all the studies but the New Hampshire poll were conducted before Thursday’s CNN presidential debate, suggests that the electoral map is legitimately becoming more expansive.

At least for the short term, it appears evident that the campaign will expand beyond the traditional seven swing states that have been the deciding factors in the last two elections.