Category Archives: Abortion

Sheehy Up in Montana; New Mexico Senate Race Tightens; Fong’s Opponent Drops Out; Nevada Abortion Initiative on Ballot

By Jim Ellis — Monday, July 8, 2024

Senate

Retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy

Montana: Sheehy Up Beyond Margin of Error — After not finding much polling data for this critically important Senate race during the early part of the election cycle, we are now seeing plentiful surveying activity. The latest poll comes from Torchlight Strategies for the Common Sense for America conservative political action committee. The study (June 22-26; 649 registered Montana voters) sees retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) leading three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D), 47-41 percent. Two recent surveys from Public Opinion Strategies and Fabrizio Lee & Associates both cast the Senate race as a dead heat.

Consistent with the two other most recent polls, former President Donald Trump is staked to a large lead in the Torchlight survey. The result finds Trump topping President Joe Biden, 51-35 percent. With such a strong Republican lead at the top of the ticket, thus setting the turnout model, it will be difficult for Sen. Tester to overcome what will likely be late Republican election momentum in this state.

New Mexico: Senate Race Tightens — As the presidential race grows tighter and expands into several unlikely states, a new 1892 polling organization survey (June 19-24; 600 likely New Mexico voters) posts President Biden to only a one-point New Mexico lead over Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I), 43-42-8 percent, in a state that last went for a Republican presidential nominee in 2004.

In the Senate contest, 1892 projects Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), on the ballot seeking a third term, to only a 46-42 percent advantage over former hedge fund CEO Nella Domenici, the daughter of the late six-term New Mexico US Sen. Pete Domenici (R). This is a long-shot Republican conversion opportunity that is beginning to draw more political interest.

House

CA-20: Rep. Fong’s Opponent Suspends — Through various elections and court challenges, newly elected California US Rep. Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) has already secured his seat for a full term in the next Congress. Last week, Fong’s lone general election opponent, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux (R), who finished behind Fong in the regular and special primary elections before losing 61-39 percent in the May 21 special general election, announced that he is suspending his regular general election campaign and endorses the new incumbent for re-election.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-20, the seat of former US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R), as R+31 making it the safest Republican seat in California. The fact that Fong had placed ahead of Sheriff Boudreaux three times suggested that him winning re-election in November was becoming a virtual certainty.

States

Nevada: Abortion Initiative Qualifies –– Silver State election officials yesterday announced that the initiative to codify the state’s abortion law into the Nevada Constitution will be on the general election ballot. The Secretary of State confirmed that the movement proponents had gathered the necessary valid petition signatures to put the measure before the voters.

Under Nevada election law, initiatives must qualify in consecutive elections. Therefore, even if this abortion related measure passes in 2024, it will return for a second vote in 2026. National Democratic strategists want abortion propositions on the ballot because they will likely spur turnout among some lower propensity left-of-center voters. The Nevada Democratic strategists will highlight their candidates’ support for this particular ballot measure, in order to increase support for President Biden, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and the party’s congressional nominees.

YouGov/CBS News Abortion Poll Results; A Suspected Outlier in Pennsylvania Senate Race; Montana House Race Closer Than it Should Be

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

Issues

YouGov/CBS News: Abortion Poll Results — The international polling firm YouGov, surveying for CBS News, released a new issue-oriented poll (Sept. 21-23; 2,253 US registered voters; 1,192 female voters; online), and its purpose was to largely test the abortion issue along with some other subject areas more likely to attract Democratic voters.

Though the abortion issue was highlighted as the central theme of the current poll, and the reported partisan segmentations only included Democrats and Republicans, thus omitting Independents; abortion as a voter turnout driver was still not at the top of the list.

The seven tested issues in common from these two isolated polls were (alphabetically)

  1. Abortion
  2. Climate change
  3. Crime
  4. Economy
  5. Gun policy
  6. Immigration
  7. Inflation

Unexpectedly dropped from The Economist poll list are the issue areas of civil liberties, civil rights, criminal justice reform, education, foreign policy, health care, national security, and taxes/government spending. The most surprising omissions were education and health care, which are included in virtually every issue matrix poll within the entire polling universe.

Though the abortion issue was highlighted as the central theme of the current poll, and the reported partisan segmentations only included Democrats and Republicans thus omitting Independents, abortion as a voter turnout driver was still not at the top of the list.

According to this latest YouGov finding, 59 percent of the respondents rated abortion as “very important” (the other two choices given the respondents were “somewhat important” or “not too/not important”), but this ranked seventh on the list of one dozen tested topics. Again, topping the grouping with an 82 percent “very important” rating was the economy. Here are the results, listed in descending order of importance:

  1. Economy — 82%
  2. Inflation — 76%
  3. Crime — 67%
  4. Voting & election issues — 64%
  5. Immigration — 62%
  6. Gun policy — 61%
  7. Abortion — 59%

While there were many differences between the female and male segments, both rated inflation as “very important” with the same 76 percent rating. The biggest chasm between the two genders was abortion. By an 18-point margin, more women (67 percent) than men (49 percent) rated the issue as “very important.” The other major differences were:

  • Climate change (women: 51% “very important”; men: 37%)
  • January 6th events & investigation (women: 47%; men: 36%)
  • Race (women: 41%; men: 30%)

The best news for Republicans on this poll: the enthusiasm gap still looks to favor them, which is also a key factor in winning lower turnout midterm elections. According to the YouGov/CBS data, Republicans have a five-point lead over Democrats among those saying they will “definitely” vote in the upcoming midterm election, 79-74 percent.

Senate

Pennsylvania: A Suspected Outlier — Several polls have been released regarding the Pennsylvania Senate race during September, and all but one has shown Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) closing on Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D).

The new Marist College poll (Sept. 19-22; 1,242 registered Pennsylvania voters; 1,043 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview & online) sees Fetterman holding a 51-44 percent advantage, but the result appears to be an outlier. Five other pollsters, surveying during the Sept. 6-24 period find the Fetterman advantage to only be slightly more than three percentage points. On the other hand, 23 Pennsylvania Senate surveys have been released since the May primary and Fetterman has been posted to a lead in all.

Washington: Another Outlier — The Trafalgar Group (Sept. 21/-24; 1,091 likely Washington general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) just released data that no other pollster has even remotely found. According to this most recent Trafalgar result data, Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead over Republican Tiffany Smiley has dropped to just two percentage points, 49-47 percent. Though Trafalgar has proven itself very accurate in the elections since 2016, this poll appears to be an outlier.

In the most recent surveys conducted during the Sept. 6-15 period from Public Policy Polling and Elway Research, Sen. Murray holds an average lead of 11 percentage points. Still, Smiley’s effort is the strongest we’ve seen from a Washington statewide Republican candidate this century.

House

MT-1: Closer Than it Should Be — While Montana’s new western 1st District seat was drawn as a Republican CD — the FiveThirtyEight data organization projects a R+10 partisan lean — former US representative and ex-US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (R) leads Democratic Monica Tranel by just a 43-41 percent count according to the latter’s internal Impact Research poll (Sept. 14-19; 400 likely MT-1 general election voters; live interview & text).

The result is not particularly surprising considering that Zinke had a close call in the Republican primary, edging former state Sen. Al Olszewski by just a 42-40 percent split. Zinke’s image is his problem, according to the Impact Research survey. His favorability index stands at a poor 39:54 percent positive to negative. Perhaps more troubling, 55 percent of the poll respondents agree that Zinke is “out for himself,” and 50 percent characterize him as “corrupt.” The new MT-1 is a must-win for the Republicans if they are to capture the House majority.

Greitens Feeling Political Damage in MO; NE-2 Race Narrows; Democratic NH Gubernatorial Candidate Trails by 10 Points in Recent Poll

By Jim Ellis — July 13, 2022

Senate

Ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Takes Hit in New Poll — The Tarrance Group just released a statewide Missouri Senate poll that shows former Gov. Eric Greitens (R) is finally absorbing some political damage from his opponents attacks, his own controversial ads about hunting “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only), and domestic and child abuse claims from his ex-wife.

The Tarrance survey (July 5-7; 600 likely Missouri Republican primary voters) now forecasts Attorney General Eric Schmitt with the primary lead at 28 percent, with US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) close behind at 24 percent. Greitens drops back to just 16 percent support with an upside-down favorability index within the Republican sampling universe at 39:49 percent favorable to unfavorable.

Former President Donald Trump announced that he has ruled out endorsing Rep. Hartzler, and is considering backing either Schmitt or Greitens, though the latest developments suggest endorsing Greitens is becoming unlikely.

House

NE-2: Vargas’ Edge Narrows — According to a new GBAO internal survey for the Tony Vargas for Congress campaign (June 27-30; 500 NE-2 likely general election voters), Democratic state Sen. Vargas holds a 48-47 percent edge over US Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha). While the internal poll is good news for Vargas, his standing has actually weakened since Change Research released a pre-primary poll in May that posted him to a slight 42-39 percent lead over the three-term incumbent.

The NE-2 battle will be a race to watch in the fall as Rep. Bacon may be one of the few Republican House incumbents forced into a strongly competitive race.

Governor

New Hampshire: Dem Internal Poll Cuts Sununu’s Margin — State Sen. Tom Sherman (D-Seacoast Region), who is unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, released his campaign’s internal Public Policy Polling survey (July 1-6; 601 registered New Hampshire voters) that finds the physician/legislator trailing three-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) by a 43-33 percent margin, the closest result we have seen to date. Abortion push questions were used in the survey and Manchester Union Leader newspaper reports this total is the result after such questions were asked.

The latest non-partisan survey was released in April from the University of New Hampshire. Their findings projected the governor to a 55-29 percent advantage over Dr. Sherman. While it is likely Sherman has cut that particular margin, the 10-point deficit found in the new PPP survey is likely unrealistic.

Oregon: Another Danger Sign for Kotek — Two internal Oregon gubernatorial campaign polls have been released in the past few days, and the emerging story line suggests that the client polls are favoring their own candidate’s positioning as the individual most likely to upend former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). The missed point, however, is that Kotek, as the Democratic nominee in this bluest of states, does not even break 33 percent support.

Republican nominee Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, released her Cygnal survey (June 28-30; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; online & text) that posts her to a one-point, 32-31 percent lead over Kotek, with ex-state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I) trailing at 24 percent support. The result counters an earlier Johnson campaign poll (GS Strategy Group; June 23-29; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; live interview) that found Kotek leading Johnson and Drazan, 33-30-23 percent.

Analyses are pointing out the difference in standing between Drazan and Johnson, but both surveys agree that Kotek is woefully under-performing. While Johnson is now running as an Independent, she previously served in the legislature as a Democrat.