Category Archives: Governor

Single Digit Difference in Washington Senate Race; Similarly Tight Races in Nevada House Races; NY Gov. Candidates in Close Battle, Too

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

Senate

Washington Senate race challenger Tiffany Smiley (R)

Washington: Tight Single Digits Confirmed — We now see two separate polling firms coming to the conclusion that the Washington Senate race, always on the periphery of competitiveness, is closing in challenger Tiffany Smiley’s (R) favor.

The Trafalgar Group poll (Oct. 25-28; 1,207 likely Washington general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) released their results finding Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead over Smiley dropping to a bare 49-48 percent. Insider Advantage, in their one-day flash poll on Oct. 31 (550 likely Washington general election voters) sees a very similar 48-46 percent split. The IA polling analysis suggests a post-televised debate surge of independent voters to Smiley accounts for the status change.

House

FL-4: Senate President Pro Tem Cruising in Congressional Race — The Republican-drawn congressional map created a new open seat in the Jacksonville area that is poised to elect a new Republican member. A just-released University of Northern Florida survey (Oct. 20-27; 413 likely FL-4 general election voters) suggests that the draw will remain true. The poll finds state Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) leading businesswoman LaShonda Holloway (D) by a double-digit margin, 50-38 percent. Bean was an easy winner in the Republican primary and should have little problem adding this seat to the GOP column next week.

Nevada: Underlying House Numbers Looking Good for GOP — We’ve seen a plethora of polling for the Nevada statewide races, and most numbers during the last month has shown the Republican candidates either tied or slightly ahead with the Democratic incumbents below 50 percent. But, we’ve seen very little data concerning the three competitive Las Vegas congressional districts.

Emerson College just released their polling results in the three districts from surveys taken during the Oct. 26-29 period, sampling between 480 to 530 likely voters. In the 1st District, Republican Mark Robertson (R) has a commanding 54-42 percent lead over incumbent Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) — a very surprising result. At the time of the legislature passing redistricting, however, Titus warned that the new 1st District draw would endanger her.

In the new 3rd, Republican April Becker has a smaller, but substantial, 52-47 percent lead over two-term Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas). In the slightly more Democratic 4th CD, incumbent Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) claims a slight 51-48 percent edge over Republican businessman Sam Peters.

New Hampshire: Two Latest Polls Flip Races — The latest two polls in New Hampshire’s pair of congressional districts see flipped results in both races. Last week, we reported on the co/efficient research organization’s surveys over the Oct. 25-26 period that saw Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) leading Republican Karoline Leavitt in the 1st District race, 48-44 percent, while they found GOP challenger Robert Burns edging Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton/Concord), 44-43 percent, in the 2nd District race.

St. Anselm College, a regular New Hampshire polling entity, released the results of their set of Oct. 28-29 surveys earlier this week, and they produce opposite results. In the 1st District, St. A’s sees Leavitt pulling ahead of Rep. Pappas in the district that has defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country since 2004, by a surprising 51-45 percent count. In District 2, St. Anselm posts Rep. Kuster to a 50-42 percent advantage over Burns. Once again, we see different pollsters arriving at differing results for the same races. Compiling the data suggests that both of these swing races are too close to call.

Governor

New York: Seriously Tight — US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) has now clearly made the governor’s race into a tight contest according to a pair of polling firms, although a third disagrees. Three more polls were released testing his candidacy against that of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), and two of the results find a virtual tie.

KA Consulting (Oct. 27-29; 501 likely New York voters; live interview) finds Gov. Hochul’s lead to be only 46-45 percent, while the Trafalgar Group (Oct. 27-31; 1,198 likely New York voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Rep. Zeldin actually pulling into a lead by just under one full percentage point. Conversely, Emerson College’s results (Oct. 28-31; 1,000 likely New York voters; multiple sampling techniques) claims that Gov. Hochul maintains a lead well beyond the polling margin of error at 52-44 percent. We will see which firms are closer to the end result in less than a week.

Poll Posts Walker to Small Lead; Grassley Maintains Double-Digit Lead; Tight Polls in FL-13, NM-2

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

Senate

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

Georgia: University of Georgia Posts Walker to Small Lead — The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, one of the more accurate of Peach State pollsters (Oct. 16-27; 1,022 likely Georgia general election voters; live interview), now becomes the sixth of the most recent seven survey research entities to project Republican Herschel Walker as having a slight lead over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). The result means the contest is a dead heat with Walker up only 46-45 percent.

With the early vote reports favoring an increased Democratic performance based upon the party’s 2020 performance and Republicans not doing as well at this point, suggests that, first, we will have a very close finish, and second, the chance of advancing into another post-election runoff election could well occur since it is possible that neither candidate reaches the 50 percent mark. Under Georgia election law, candidates must exceed 50 percent to claim victory. Therefore, we could see a runoff election between the two major party candidates occur on Dec. 6 with Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver eliminated.

Iowa: Sen. Grassley Maintaining Double-Digit Lead — In the closing days of this Iowa Senate race, 89-year-old incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) is looking much stronger after two separate polls suggested the race had closed to within three percentage points. The new Cygnal firm’s Hawkeye State poll (Oct. 26-27; likely Iowa general election voters) projects the senator to be holding a 54-43 percent advantage over retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken (D).

Grassley’s favorability index, however, is down to 49.9 – 43.5 percent favorable to unfavorable. The pollsters find the generic question breaks +14 for Republicans. Though this is down from their previous poll, such a rating is substantial and should prove favorable for the GOP up and down the ticket next Tuesday night.

House

FL-13: Tight Poll in GOP Must-Win — The vacant 13th Congressional District in Pinellas County has been viewed as a must-win for the GOP if they are to score big on election night. Until he resigned to concentrate on his statewide race, ex-representative and former governor, Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg), represented the district. After redistricting, this seat became much more Republican — R+12 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization.

A St. Pete Polls survey (Oct. 26-27; 509 likely FL-13 general election voters; interactive voice response system) sees Republican Anna Paulina Luna only slightly ahead of former Defense Department official Eric Lynn (D), however. This will be yet another race to closely monitor on election night.

NM-2: A Virtual Tie — The Democratic redistricting operation made New Mexico’s southern congressional district as favorable as possible for the party’s 2022 nominee, but polling continually shows this race will go down to the wire. While Las Cruces City Councilman Gabe Vasquez (D) leads in surveys, his margin is only two percentage points, 47-45 percent, over freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo) according to the latest Research & Polling company survey (Oct. 20-27; 410 likely NM-2 general election voters; live interview).

Since the poll has an error factor of 4.8 percent, this race can clearly go either way. This is the fourth poll released regarding this race since July. All show a margin for Vasquez of two points or less.

Governor

Georgia: Kemp Up Well Beyond Margin of Error — The aforementioned University of Georgia poll for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s competitive governor’s race. Here, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has led former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) in polling throughout the election cycle. The UGA poll is consistent with this common finding.

Again, running far ahead of Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, Gov. Kemp posts a 51-44 percent advantage, well beyond the polling margin of error for such a statewide poll. The question becomes whether Kemp’s strong partisan run will be enough to develop a turnout model that helps Walker across the finish line, as well.

First Early Vote Report; NY Judge Nixes Pre-Election Absentee Ballot Counting, Zeldin Gains Momentum; Grassley’s Lead More Comfortable

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022

Voting

Target Smart: First Early Vote Report — The Target Smart data organization has released their first major report highlighting the earliest of early voting figures (through Oct. 19). Though the pre-election ballot casting cycle still has multiple days remaining for the 45 states that employ some form of an early voting procedure, we already see turnout figures very similar to the 2020 partisan voting pattern.

In the Senate battleground states, Target Smart has recorded over 2.7 million ballots already cast. This is just under one-third the number of people who voted early in these states back in 2020 and already a half-million more than the total early votes cast in the 2018 midterm.

At this point, it appears that the partisan early vote complexion nationally and in the battleground states is similar to what we saw unfold in 2020. Therefore, if Republicans are headed for a significant bump in this midterm turnout, it is not yet evident from the preliminary early voting reports.

New York: Judge Strikes Down Absentee Ballot Pre-Election Counting — New York is already one of the slowest ballot counting states, and a judicial ruling rendered on Friday will likely lead to an even slower count. The legislature and governor had enacted a law that allowed election officials to count the received absentee ballots before the election with the caveat that no results were released. The judicial ruling struck down this new law, saying such a process is unconstitutional under New York law. Therefore, we can count on not receiving final returns until some six weeks post-election day.

Senate

Iowa: Sen. Grassley’s More Comfortable Lead — On the heels of the Des Moines Register/ Selzer & Company poll (Oct. 9-12; 620 likely Iowa voters) that found Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) holding only a three-point lead over retired Navy Adm. Michael Franken (D), The Tarrance Group followed with their own study. This poll (Oct. 15-19; 600 likely Iowa general election voters; live interview) restores the senator to a double-digit lead, 53-42 percent. Still, this is a competitive contest and a race to watch in this election cycle’s final days.

Washington: Big Conflict — Once again, we see two polling firms testing at exactly the same time in the same Senate race (Oct. 19-20) but arriving at radically different conclusions. Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (782 likely Washington voters; live interview & text) sees Sen. Patty Murray (D) topping Republican Tiffany Smiley, 52-42 percent, which is consistent with most other surveys and the Aug. 2 jungle primary vote (Murray 54-Smiley 32 percent). Conversely, the co/efficient firm (1,181 likely Washington voters; live interview & text) sees only a three-point margin between the two candidates, 48-45 percent, in the senator’s favor.

Survey USA was also in the field during the similar period (Oct. 14-19; 589 likely Washington voters; online) and they split the difference between PPP and co/efficient. S-USA returned a 49-41 percent Murray advantage. Though this race has several times touched upon competitiveness, the jungle primary and Washington voter history again suggests an impending victory for Sen. Murray.

Governor

New York: Rep. Zeldin Takes Lead — The last week has brought new data regarding the New York governor’s race. Several pollsters are suggesting that US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) is gaining momentum against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). The co/efficient firm (Oct. 18-19; 1,056 likely New York general election voters; live interview & text) reports their ballot test showing, for the first time, Rep. Zeldin taking a one-point, 46-45 percent, lead.

The five previously released October polls saw Rep. Zeldin trailing by 8 (Marist College), 6 (Schoen Cooperman Research), 11 (Siena College), 4 (Quinnipiac University), and 6 points (Survey USA). Now, co/efficient takes him to a one-point edge. It appears that the New York governor’s race is heading toward an interesting conclusion.

Nevada Electorate Trending to Laxalt, GOP in General; Budd Edging Beasley in NC; CO-8 Race Tight; Oregon’s Gubernatorial Race Leaning Towards Drazan

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 24, 2022

Senate

Former Nevada Attorney General and current Senate candidate, Adam Laxalt (R)

Nevada: Trending Laxalt — The latest CBS News/YouGov poll (Oct. 14-19; 1,057 likely Nevada general election voters; online panels) finds former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) regaining a one point lead, 49-48 percent, over Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in the race now featured as the most likely Democratic seat that potentially flips to the GOP. The CBS/YouGov poll marks the eighth of the most recent nine polls projecting Laxalt to a small lead. Considering there is likely a Republican undercount, chances are good that Laxalt’s edge is slightly larger.

The YouGov pollsters also tested the state’s tight governor’s race. There, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) are tied at 48 percent. Nevada becomes a critical state in determining the Senate majority along with deciding a key governor’s race. The state also features three lean Democratic seats in Las Vegas, all of which are competitive and each has some chance of flipping to the GOP, as well.

North Carolina: Budd’s Breathing Room — The new Trafalgar Group poll is following the East Carolina University survey that projected breathing room for US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) in his open-seat Senate race against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D). The Trafalgar data (Oct. 16-19; 1,081 likely North Carolina general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) gives Budd a 48-44 percent lead over Beasley. A few days earlier, the ECU data projected a 50-44 percent Budd margin.

Until these pollsters detected a swing toward Budd, the two candidates had been tied or separated by one percentage point in the last six consecutive polls from six unique pollsters. Though the race is still rated a toss-up, a break toward Budd could be forming.

House

CO-8: As Tight as Predicted — Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District that stretches from the Denver suburbs north to the city of Greeley was drawn to be a hotly contested CD. A new Global Strategy Group survey for the Yadira Caraveo (D) campaign (Oct. 11-16; 600 likely CO-8 general election voters; live interview) finds Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County) claiming a two-point, 46-44 percent, edge over Caraveo a Democratic state representative from Adams County.

The race margin hasn’t changed since Global Strategy Group’s released August poll that also found Kirkmeyer holding a two point advantage. Expect this contest to go down to the wire.

Governor

Oregon: Drazan Still Holding Top Spot — The three-way Oregon gubernatorial campaign, featuring strong Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, who served as a Democrat in the state legislature for 20 years, is one of the nation’s most interesting campaigns. More race data is now available as a Hoffman Research Group survey (Oct. 17-18; 684 likely Oregon general election voters; live interview) produces a result that continues to post Republican Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, to a two-point, 37-35 percent lead over ex-state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) with Independent Johnson dropping to 17 percent support.

The negative campaign ads have taken their toll on all of the candidates. Drazan fares best of the three contenders with a favorability index of just 35:32 percent favorable to unfavorable. Kotek is upside-down at 31:43 percent, while Johnson posts a 23:32 percent ratio. If successful in the three-way race that features no runoff election, Drazan would become the state’s first Republican governor since Victor Atiyeh left office in January of 1987.

Lake Leads in Arizona Poll, Masters Closes In; Illinois Gov. Pritzker’s Lead Shrinks; Identical Poll Results Show Dixon Closing on Gov. Whitmer

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Senate

Former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D).

Arizona: More GOP Movement — The Trafalgar Group is reporting on their latest Arizona survey (Oct. 16-17; 1,078 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) that finds venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) pulling to within one point of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 47-46 percent. This race is closing and the Trafalgar poll is not an outlier. Since Oct. 10, four research studies have shown chronological deficits for Masters of only 3, 4, 2, and now 1 percentage point.

Additionally, Trafalgar finds former newscaster Kari Lake (R) now running as the open gubernatorial race leader over Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In this poll, Lake carries a 49-46 percent edge, again consistent with recent trends that other pollsters also detect.

House

OH-1: Rep. Chabot Drops Behind — Despite state legislative Republicans drawing the congressional map, veteran GOP Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), due to political changes within the Queen City, saw his new district become more Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the new OH-1 as D+3, which is the exact margin a new Impact Research internal poll revealed.

The IR survey, conducted for the Greg Landsman (D) campaign (Oct. 13-16; 504 likely OH-1 general election voters; live interview & text), posts the Cincinnati City councilman to a 49-46 percent lead over Rep. Chabot. While the turnout model may provide a different result than what this poll finds, we can count on a close result coming here in November.

Governor

Illinois: Likely an Outlier — An Osage Research survey (Oct. 13-15; 600 likely Illinois general election voters; live interview) reports a ballot test that posts Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to only a 44-42 percent lead over state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) with a right and wrong track result trending 35:56 percent in the downward direction. The ballot test is likely an outlier because the previous six polls, taken during the months of September and October, give Gov. Pritzker an average lead of 13 percentage points. This, however, is yet another piece of survey research showing a resurgence around the country for GOP candidates.

Michigan: Exact Polling — It’s rare to see two pollsters in the field at the same time producing a duplicate result. That’s what we have seen in the Michigan governor’s race, however. Emerson College and the Cygnal research firm surveyed the Wolverine State electorate over the same Oct. 12-14 period, and both found Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leading Republican nominee Tudor Dixon by a 49-44 percent count. This represents one of the closest results we’ve seen for this race and is more credible since two independent pollsters each detected the identical result.