Category Archives: Election Analysis

Today’s Primaries: Latest Numbers for
Missouri, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 2, 2022

Senate

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt (R)

Missouri: AG Eric Schmitt in Driver’s Seat — The new Survey USA poll conducted for eight Missouri television news outlets (July 24-27; 1,981 registered Missouri voters; 787 likely Republican primary voters; 547 likely Democratic primary voters; online) sees Attorney General Eric Schmitt establishing himself as the clear leader heading into the Republican primary vote today to determine a successor to retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

The S-USA numbers find Schmitt holding a 28-20-13-8 percent advantage over scandal-tainted resigned Gov. Eric Greitens, and US Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) and Billy Long (R-Springfield). These results suggest an improvement for Greitens and a severe dip in support for Rep. Hartzler.

The Remington Research Group, however, while projecting AG Schmitt with a strong lead, doesn’t detect the Hartzler fall. The RRG poll (July 28; 818 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) sees Schmitt holding a 34-22-18 percent advantage over Rep. Hartzler and Greitens.

For the Democrats, despite hard attacks coming against her, philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, a member of the Anheuser Busch beer family, leads Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce by a whopping 40-14 percent margin. Kunce has raised substantial money for this race — more than $4.7 million, according to his pre-primary July 13 financial disclosure report — but most of that money has been recently spent on attack ads against Valentine. The fact that he is going hard negative at the end suggests his internal polling is producing similar figures to those of Survey USA.

More Missouri: Republicans Up in New Gen Election Poll — Survey USA tested the Show Me State electorate (July 24-27; 787 likely Missouri voters; online) and sees the Republican candidates holding an early general election edge. If AG Schmitt wins the Republican nomination tonight, he would lead Democratic polling leader Trudy Busch Valentine, a philanthropist and member of the Anheuser Busch beer family, 36-30 percent with Independent John Wood drawing nine percent support. Additionally, AG Schmitt would top Kunce (D) and Wood, 37-27-10 percent.

Should US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) become the party nominee, she would begin with a general election advantage of just 32-31-9 percent over Valentine and Wood, but a much larger 34-24-12 percent if Kunce and Wood were her November opponents. Though apparently unlikely, if the resigned scandal-tainted former Gov. Greitens scores an upset win tonight, he too would have a lead over Kunce, 31-26 percent with Wood recording 12 percent support. Opposite Valentine, she and Greitens would begin on even footing, a 31-31 percent tie, with Wood increasing his base to 13 percent.

Arizona: Masters Now Well Ahead in Last Polls — The final two polls for the Arizona Senate primary have been released in preparation for today’s primary. Both surveys, from Rasmussen Reports and OH Predictive Insights, find Trump-endorsed venture capitalist Blake Masters developing a lead beyond the polling margin of error in the battle for the Republican nomination.

Rasmussen Reports (July 27-28; 710 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & online) projects Masters to a 31-19-16-10 percent advantage over businessman Jim Lamon, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and retired Arizona Adjutant General Mick McGuire. OH Predictive Insights (July 27; 502 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & peer-to-peer text) sees a similar result. According to the OH data, Masters’ holds an even more substantial lead over Lamon and Brnovich, 36-21-12 percent, with Gen. McGuire dropping below the 10 percent threshold.

Arizona Again: Sen. Kelly Breaking with General Election Advantage — Beacon Research, polling for the Environmental Voter Project (July 5-20; 504 likely Arizona general election voters from a series of polls covering four states) tested the general election potential pairings and sees Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holding a 51-39 percent lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters, who leads the closing Republican primary polls in a nominating election that will be decided tonight. Faring just slightly better, businessman Jim Lamon would trail the senator, 40-50 percent. If Attorney General Mark Brnovich were to score an upset in tonight’s Republican primary, he, too, would land in the same realm as the others, trailing Sen. Kelly, 40-51 percent.

Governor

Arizona: Kari Lake Poised for Victory — The Rasmussen Reports and OH Predictive Insights survey research firms also released numbers for the open Republican gubernatorial primary (see Arizona Senate above). The two pollsters find former news anchor Kari Lake, who long ago was endorsed by former President Trump, ahead well beyond the polling margin of error — 43-34 percent (Rasmussen) and 51-33 percent (OH Predictive Insights).

Lake’s opponent is Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson, who both former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey publicly support. For the Democrats, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs looks like a sure bet to win the party nomination tonight.

Michigan: Tudor Dixon Running Strong — The Trafalgar Group released their final Republican primary poll in Michigan before today’s primary, and while they find a change in order from second through fifth positions, online radio talk show host Tudor Dixon appears poised to capture the Republican gubernatorial nomination. According to the Trafalgar survey (July 26-28; 1,098 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; mixed sample-gathering tactics), Dixon holds a 28-19-17-14 percent advantage over chiropractor Garrett Soldano, and businessmen Kevin Rinke and Ryan Kelley. Today’s winner advances to face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

States

Kansas: Abortion Measure on Ballot — Kansas voters go to the polls today to choose nominees for the fall election, and while there isn’t much serious candidate competition within the parties for the key posts, the electorate will voice its opinion on the first abortion-related ballot proposition since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Polling suggests the pro-life side has a slight lead on the measure, which would clarify that the Kansas constitution does not recognize abortion access as a right. This vote, regardless of the outcome, will generate much political discussion in the coming days.

Flip-Flopping Polls in Arizona; Fetterman Builds Lead in PA;
A Changing Race in FL-13

By Jim Ellis — August 1, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) — up … and down in Arizona

Arizona: More Flip-Flopping Polls — The Arizona Republican primary culminates on Tuesday, and we see another pair of closing polls projecting different leaders. The Trafalgar Group and Battleground Connect were in the field simultaneously but they see different outcomes. Trafalgar (July 25-27; 1,071 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) finds venture capitalist Blake Masters leading businessman Jim Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, 35-27-15 percent, with the remaining candidates polling at less than 10 percent support.

BC (July 26-27; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview), however, forecasts Lamon as forging a small lead, 30-28-16 percent, over Masters and Brnovich. While it appears the race is becoming a two-way affair between Masters and Lamon, the final result will almost certainly come down to the two men being separated by just a handful of votes.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Continues to Increase Lead — Fox News was polling the Pennsylvania races (July 22-26; 908 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview), and in the Senate race confirms what other pollsters are seeing. That is, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), despite being absent from the campaign trail as he recovers from a stroke, continues to build a lead over Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee. The Fox numbers post Fetterman to a 47-36 percent margin, his largest advantage of any polling result to date.

Dr. Oz’s biggest problem continues to be his personal image. This Pennsylvania polling sample rated him as 35:55 percent favorable to unfavorable. This compares to Fetterman’s 49:34 percent positive image.

House

FL-13: A Changing Race — A new Florida Republican congressional poll suggests a contender is poised to usurp the race leader as we move within a month of the Florida primary. American Viewpoint, polling for the Kevin Hayslett campaign (July 24-27; 400 likely FL-13 primary voters; live interview) sees their client, who is a Pinellas County attorney, pulling to within two percentage points of race leader Anna Paulina Luna, 36-34 percent, with attorney and 2020 candidate Amanda Makki (R) dropping back to nine percent.

Since the AV last surveyed the district in late June, Hayslett has improved from trailing in a 42-19 percent margin to his current two-point deficit. It appears that Hayslett is the one having the upward momentum as the candidates enter the home stretch prior to the Aug. 23 primary election.

MI-3: Democratic Ploy Backfiring — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been attempting to influence Republican primaries by attacking certain contenders as being too conservative, knowing that such a message would help move Republican primary base voters to the candidate Democrats believe as being the weakest.

Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-Grand Rapids) campaign, however, responded in-kind. Launching his own message and highlighting the DCCC ad indicating that former Housing & Urban Development official John Gibbs is too conservative, Rep. Mejier’s ad attacks Gibbs as “Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked candidate.” The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The winner will face Democrat Hillary Scholten who is unopposed for her party’s nomination.

Sen. Warnock Still Up, Slightly, in GA; Lasry Drops out of Wisconsin Race; Maloney Trails in NY-17

By Jim Ellis — July 29, 2022

Senate

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

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Still Up — The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (July 14-22; 902 likely Georgia general election voters; live interview), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) clinging to a small lead in the US Senate race — the third consecutive published poll to project Warnock’s edge margins between three and nine points. The UGA/AJC ballot test sees Sen. Warnock holding a 46-43 percent edge over retired NFL football star Herschel Walker (R). Another poll, from Survey USA (July 21-24; 604 likely Georgia general election voters), posts the senator to a 48-39 percent advantage.

Warnock holds the lead despite the Republicans having a 46-41 percent lead on the UGA’s generic ballot question, with the right track/wrong track ratio at 10:78 percent, and President Biden reaching a 60 percent disapproval rating.

Wisconsin: Lasry Follows Suit — On Monday Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, formally ended his statewide effort. Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive and former Obama Administration official Alex Lasry then followed suit and also departed the race on Wednesday. The latter move was the more surprising since Lasry had loaned his campaign over $12 million and all polling found him placing second in the field.

In their concession statements, both Nelson and Lasry endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, which could pave the way for him clinching the party nomination and advancing to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.

House

NY-17: DCCC Chair Maloney Trailing in New Poll — Veteran Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is having trouble securing the new seat according to a new publicly released research survey.

The congressman created post-redistricting controversy when he decided to challenge Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) in the 17th CD rather than staying in his own 18th District, thus forcing the freshman incumbent to seek re-election in a New York City CD.

McLaughlin & Associates, polling for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (July 19-21; 400 likely NY-17 general election voters; live interview), finds Rep. Maloney trailing his Republican opponent, 46-44 percent. The McLaughlin data also shows state Assemblyman Lawler claiming a lead over state Sen. Allessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) if she were to upend Rep. Maloney in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary. Under this scenario, Lawler would post a 47-41 percent advantage in such a subsequent general election pairing. The 17th is one of three Upstate NY congressional districts that will be hotly contested in the November campaign.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Maintains Edge — The aforementioned University of Georgia – Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey also tested the Peach State governor’s contest. Here, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) by a 48-43 percent count. The accompanying Survey USA poll shows a much closer 45-44 percent Kemp edge.

This is the 15th poll conducted of this race since the beginning of 2022, and Kemp has led in all but one. In that stand-alone survey, the two were tied. The governor’s job approval rating is 54:42 percent favorable to unfavorable. The UGA/AJC and S-USA studies are the second and third consecutive polls that place Gov. Kemp ahead in the governor’s race while fellow Republican Herschel Walker (R) trails in the Senate contest.

New Polls Lean to GOP Leaders in Missouri; Fetterman Expands Lead in Pennsylvania; Getting Close in NJ-1

By Jim Ellis — July 28, 2022

Senate

Scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens (R) trending downward in Missouri.

Missouri: New Polls Pleasing GOP Leaders — The hard-fought Missouri Republican primary is a week away, and three new late July polls are bringing sighs of relief to GOP leaders. It has long been believed that the Missouri race comes off the table if either Attorney General Eric Schmitt or US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) wins the party nomination, but danger looms for the GOP if resigned, scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens were to forge through a crowded field with plurality support.

Three polls were conducted from July 21 through 24, and the results are consistent. The Remington Research Group (July 23-24; 802 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the Trafalgar Group (July 22-24; 1,059 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) and Emerson College, polling for The Hill newspaper (July 21-23; 1,000 likely Missouri Republican and Democratic primary voters, but the number of each is unspecified; multiple sample-gathering tactics), all arrived at similar conclusions. That is, Attorney General Schmitt seems to be developing a secure lead.

RRG sees Schmitt leading Rep. Hartzler and Greitens, 32-25-18 percent. Trafalgar finds the candidates placing in the same order, but a bit closer, 27-24-20 percent. Emerson’s numbers are better for Schmitt, at 33-21-16 percent. For the Democrats, Emerson projects philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, despite being under heavy political attack, as leading Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce 39-35 percent with a 22 percent undecided factor.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Expands Lead — The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling released a new PA statewide poll (July 19-21; 712 likely Pennsylvania voters; live interview) and found Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), still recovering from a serious stroke he suffered just before the primary election, expanding his lead to 49-40 percent over Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). The most recent Senate survey prior to Blueprint’s, from Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) for AARP (June 12-19; 1,382 likely Pennsylvania voters), projected a 50-44 percent Fetterman edge. In the governor’s race, Blueprint found Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) topping state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Fayetteville), 51-39 percent, which is also a significant improvement for him over the previous statewide poll.

House

MN-1: Republicans Have Special Trouble — State Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake), who lost the special primary election to succeed the late US Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) by just 427 votes, confirms he is running to win the regular primary election. This means that former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R), who won the special primary, must continue conducting two separate campaigns through the Aug. 9 election.

In slightly different district configurations, Finstad must separately win the special general election against former Hormel Corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D), and the nomination for the regular term since the special general is being run concurrently with the regular statewide primary. With Munson competing in the regular election, the confusing scenario of having two different District 1 Republican winners could occur. With the only public post-special primary poll suggesting a dead heat between Finstad and Ettinger, so many mixed messages could yield a Democratic special election upset.

NJ-1: Surprisingly Close — According to a new Grassroots Targeting survey (July 13-19; 625 likely NJ-1 general election voters), New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden City) lies barely beyond the polling margin of error in yet another potential warning sign for Democrats.

The GT results find Rep. Norcross topping Republican nominee Claire Gustafson, 49-44 percent, despite the fact that 83 percent of the respondents said they have not heard of the GOP nominee. To underscore matters, Rep. Norcross’ favorability index has dropped to 42:41 percent favorable to unfavorable. This contrasts with his 2020 re-election margin of 62-38 percent, similar to what President Biden recorded in the district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NJ-1 as D+20, so seeing a close poll featuring an unknown Republican with little money from this district is surprising to say the least.

Another Lead Change in Arizona; Competitive Race Brewing in Illinois Senate? Trending House News

By Jim Ellis — July 27, 2022

Senate

Arizona businessman Jim Lamon (R)

Arizona: Another Lead Change — The Battleground Connect organization tested the Arizona GOP Senate field (July 17-18; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) and found businessman Jim Lamon bouncing back into the lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The spread is 33-28-16 percent, which is the second time Lamon has placed first in five publicly released July polls.

The lead is seesawing between Lamon and Masters with AG Brnovich generally registering a distant third. Since April, both Lamon and Masters have each topped the field in seven published surveys. The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and the volatility in the surveys suggest we will see a close finish. The GOP winner then challenges Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in November.

Illinois: A Competitive Race Brewing? — The Victory Research organization polled the Illinois Senate contest between incumbent Tammy Duckworth (D) and attorney and conservative activist Kathy Salvi, wife of former state representative and two-time statewide Republican nominee Al Salvi. The survey (July 17-19; 1,208 likely Illinois general election voters) arrived at a much closer result than one would have expected.

According to the VR data, Sen. Duckworth’s lead over Salvi is 43-34 percent. The result is surprising not so much in the margin between the two candidates, but that the senator is so far below the 50 percent mark. It is still likely that Sen. Duckworth wins re-election in the fall, but seeing such a poll after a June 28 primary that yielded a higher turnout for the Republican Senate primary than the Democratic side suggests the Salvi campaign might receive at least a slight boost.

The same polling sample showed Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) with only a 49-39 percent spread against new GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, a Louisville area state senator.

Wisconsin: County Exec Out, Endorses Lt. Gov. Barnes — Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, has formally withdrawn his candidacy. In his exit statement, Nelson endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is in a tight race with state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive Alex Lasry for the Democratic nomination. The winner of the Aug. 9 Democratic primary will face Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.

House

MI-13: Big Self-Funder Has Lead –– State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) has spent more than $8 million of his own money to attempt to win the open Detroit-anchored 13th Congressional District race. It appears his expenditures are working. A Target Insyght survey (July 19-22; 500 likely MI-13 Democratic primary voters) finds Rep. Thanedar leading Michigan Civil Right Commission member Portia Roberson and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), among six other contenders, including John Conyers, III, son of the late veteran congressman. Thanedar’s polling margin is 22-17-16-7 percent respectively over Roberson, Sen. Hollier, and Conyers.

Thanedar’s personal spending edge is 8:1 over his next closest financial rival, Sen. Hollier, but that does not count a seven-figure expenditure from the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee intended to promote the latter man.

The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The 13th District is open because Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) is retiring and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chose to seek re-election in the new 12th District, thus departing from the new CD-13.

NY-10: A Free-For-All — A new Change Research poll for candidate Elizabeth Holtzman finds the Democratic primary for this open seat turning into a race that any one of six candidates could win. This is the first poll conducted and released since former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) exited the contest because of poor performance.

The CR poll (July 19-23; 437 likely NY-10 Democratic primary voters; online) finds former Trump impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman taking first position with 14 percent preference. Holtzman, who was last on a ballot in 1993, a losing re-election effort for NYC comptroller, places second at 12 percent support.

Tied with 10 percent are NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who led the last two published surveys, state Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), and US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County). The new 10th, an open seat created when Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler were paired in a new 12th CD, encompasses Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary winner on Aug. 23 will claim the seat in the general election.