Category Archives: Governor

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.

Not So Close in Maryland; Sen. Murray Pulling Away in Washington; de Blasio Out in New York

By Jim Ellis — July 21, 2022

Primary Results

Maryland: Not So Close — Though polling was suggesting that several close races would be present on the Maryland primary ballot, it appears none materialized Tuesday night. Approximately 40 percent of the Democratic ballots and 20 percent of the GOP’s tallies still remain to be counted, and it will be several days until we see final totals, but the margins from the various races are such that they are unlikely to reverse any finishing order.

It appears that author and anti-poverty activist Wes Moore will win the Democratic gubernatorial primary. At this writing, he has almost a full 10-percentage point lead over his closest rival, former labor secretary and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, with state Comptroller Peter Franchot now a distant third.

Claiming the Democratic nomination makes him a prohibitive general election favorite against Donald Trump-backed state Delegate Dan Cox (R-Frederick) who clinched the Republican primary over former state Commerce Department Secretary Kelly Schulz. Assuming a November win, Moore will become Maryland’s 63rd governor and first African American to hold the post. He would replace term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is ineligible to run again because of the state’s term-limited law.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen was a landslide Democratic primary winner as expected. He will face Republican activist and home-building contractor Chris Chaffee in what should be an easy re-election run for the incumbent.

US Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Bowie) also was easily nominated as the Democratic candidate for attorney general in another race polling projected as trending close. Rep. Brown has so far claimed approximately 60 percent of the vote against retired district judge Katie Curran O’Malley (D), wife of former governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.

Tuesday night’s competitive US House races saw the open 4th District going to ex-Prince Georges State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, who surprisingly easily defeated former US Rep. Donna Edwards (D). The ex-House member, who served nine years after winning a special election in 2008, was attempting a political comeback after losing the 2016 US Senate Democratic primary to Van Hollen.

In the 6th District, State Delegate and 2020 Republican nominee Neil Parrott easily defeated journalist Matthew Foldi who attracted support from Gov. Hogan and other key GOP leaders. Parrott will again challenge Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac), but now in a district that is more favorable to a Republican candidate.

Senate

Washington: Sen. Murray Pulling Away — For the second time in a matter of days, a poll finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) re-establishing a strong lead in her 2022 re-election effort after earlier surveys were projecting a tight race. Elway Research (July 7-11; 400 registered Washington voters; live interview & text) projects Sen. Murray to be holding a 51-33 percent lead over veterans advocate and former nurse Tiffany Smiley (R). The result is almost identical to the Survey USA poll that was conducted during the same period. The S-USA data found a 53-33 percent Murray advantage. The confirming Elway result suggests the two pollsters are detecting a positive response to the recent Murray ad blitz.

House

NY-10: de Blasio Out — After two released polls from progressive left survey research firms found him stuck in low single digits for his US House run, former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has ended his congressional effort. In a video message thanking people for their help and support, de Blasio indicated that since it is clear the people of the new 10th District prefer a different direction, it is time that he found a different way to serve. Therefore, de Blasio says he will exit elective politics.

Though the former city chief executive won two terms as New York’s mayor, he met a similar fate in short-lived bids for president and governor. With 100 percent name identification according to both Data for Progress and Justice Research, de Blasio managed a preference factor of only five and three percent in the two polls.

Redistricting

Ohio: State Supreme Court Strikes Again — Continuing the fight between the Ohio Supreme Court and the Buckeye State legislature, the high court again struck down the enacted congressional map as a partisan gerrymander, once more on a 4-3 ruling, and mandated that the plan be re-drawn for the 2024 election. It is likely that the US Supreme Court will issue a ruling on partisan gerrymandering at some point next year, which may make the Ohio decision moot. This ruling does not affect the 2022 election cycle, which will be run under the plan that the court just struck down.

States

Missouri: No Top Four — The grassroots organization attempting to convert the Missouri primary system into a Top-Four jungle primary format a la Alaska, has failed to qualify for the November initiative ballot. Though the group recruited more than 300,000 signatures, they failed to reach the mandated number of verified petition signatures in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. The organizers vowed to mount a similar effort for the 2024 election.

The Top-Four system, used only in Alaska and for the first time in the 2022 election cycle, features a jungle primary that includes all candidates on the same ballot. The top four candidates then advance to the general election regardless of party preference and vote percentage attained. Once the four general election finalists are determined, the system converts to Ranked Choice Voting System, where voters prioritize their candidate choices from 1-4. Contenders are eliminated once one reaches the 50 percent mark.

A Virtual Tie in Nevada Senate, Gubernatorial Races; Murray Expands Lead in Wash. Senate Race

By Jim Ellis — July 18, 2022

Senate

Incumbent Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

Nevada: A Virtual Tie — Nevada has been the site of many close elections since the 2012 political cycle, and the new Emerson College poll looks to be confirming that trend. Their new Nevada study (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system, online, & text) finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) holding a tepid 44-41 percent lead over Republican former Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The danger point from this survey is that Sen. Cortez Masto is only in the lower 40s, suggesting clear vulnerability because she is quite far from obtaining majority support. The Nevada race will be one of the keys to determining the next Senate majority. It is becoming a must-win for Republicans if they are to have any hope of claiming chamber control in the next Congress.

Washington: Murray Expands Lead — For the better part of this year, Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley has been raising big money and running closer than expected to Sen. Patty Murray (D) in polling. A new Survey USA poll for KING-TV in Seattle sheds a different light on the race, which is closer to how the Washington electorate typically performs. The poll (July 6-10; 596 likely Washington state general election voters) finds Sen. Murray posting a 51-33 percent lead, clearly her best showing this year.

The Washington jungle primary is set for Aug. 2, but it is clear that both Sen. Murry and Smiley will advance to the general election. The primary result will tell us much more than polls do, since live voters will cast real votes on a ballot that emulates what they will see in the general election.

House

NY-10: Rep. Jones’, de Blasio Bringing Up the Rear — Last Friday, we reported that US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) were registering strong fundraising totals. Now, a new Data for Progress poll (July 7-10; 533 likely NY-10 Democratic primary voters; online) shows their resource allocation will have to increase even further.

According to the DfP survey, de Blasio ranks last among the tested candidates at five percent, while Rep. Jones is only slightly ahead of him with seven percent support. The race leader, according to this data, is NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, however even she only garners 17 percent. Close behind is state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan). Though time remains before the Aug. 23 New York congressional primary, both Jones and de Blasio look to have quite uphill climb to make it to a point where he can seriously compete for the Democratic nomination. The new district is heavily Democratic, so whomever wins the primary on Aug. 23 will claim the seat in the November election.

Governor

Arizona: Democrat Captures Polling Lead — A Target Smart survey (June 28-30; 704 likely Arizona general election voters) of the Arizona electorate finds Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs opening a lead beyond the polling margin of error against both Republican candidates who are vying for their party’s nomination.

Paired with Kari Lake, the former news anchor who former President Donald Trump supports and the candidate Democratic Party leaders are hoping to help engineer as Hobbs’ November opponent, the Sec of State leads 47-38 percent. If University of Arizona Regent Karrin Taylor Robson were to win the Republican primary, the general election draws tighter. In this scenario, Hobbs would take a 44-39 percent advantage. The race will begin to crystallize after the Aug. 2 state primary.

Nevada: Just as Tight as Senate Race — At the top of this report, we saw a new Emerson College survey that found Sen. Cortez Masto and former AG Laxalt to be falling into a statistical tie. The Emerson poll (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system, online, & text) gives Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak an almost identical 44-40 percent edge over Republican and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. As in the Senate race, this low number for incumbent Sisolak suggests we are again headed for a very tight general election, a typical state of affairs in Nevada, but this time featuring a campaign with two vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

Greitens Gets Help in Missouri; Jones Shows de Blasio the Money in NY;
MI Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling

By Jim Ellis — July 15, 2022

Senate

Former Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Gets Help — A Super PAC called Missouri First Action PAC, which the Daily Kos Elections site reports that Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus principally funds, is spending $820,000 on a closing media buy to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens against the recent attacks that have displaced him from the polling lead.

The text of the first ad claims the attackers are doing so because “he’ll work for us and see President Trump’s America first agenda through.” The principal attacker, however, is Greitens ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, who details the physical abuse her son endured from his father. The open Missouri primary is Aug. 2. Attorney General Eric Schmitt and US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) are Greitens’ top GOP opponents. The seat is open because Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is retiring.

House

NY-10: Rep. Jones’s, de Blasio Report Fundraising Hauls — US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who decided to seek re-election in a New York City seat about an hour’s drive from his Westchester County district after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) decided to run against him, is going to report a major resource advantage over former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). The two are disclosing similar quarterly fundraising totals, Jones’s $524,000 compared to de Blasio’s $510,000, but the congressman’s cash-on-hand total of $2.8 million at the end of June dwarfs de Blasio’s $361,000.

The pair are part of a 13-person Democratic primary field for the new south Manhattan district that the court-ordered redistricting plan created. The Aug. 23 Democratic primary winner will likely claim the seat in November, but there is a potential interesting general election scenario developing.

In addition to Jones and de Blasio, the field features state Assemblywomen Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-NYC), New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, and former US congresswoman and ex-NYC Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman. Four of the 13 candidates, including Jones, de Blasio, Niou, and Rivera, are also competing for the Working Families Party ballot line. This means we could see a competitive general election if different candidates win the Democratic and WF lines.

Governor

Michigan: Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling Scenarios — The Glengariff Group, a frequent Michigan political pollster, released their latest survey, which pairs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the leading GOP primary contenders. The poll, conducted for Detroit television station WDIV and the Detroit News (July 5-8; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) finds Gov. Whitmer comfortably ahead of the top three Republican candidates, but with margins indicating the November election could become competitive.

Against GOP polling leader Tudor Dixon, an online radio show host, Gov. Whitmer is staked to a 51-40 percent lead. Her advantage is similar against businessman Kevin Rinke and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, 52-40 percent over the former, and 50-41 percent against the latter. The Michigan GOP field was upended when early race leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, was disqualified when he failed to produce the required number of valid petition signatures. With Whitmer in the low 50s in all scenarios, we can expect this race to close after the Aug. 2 primary when the GOP will choose a nominee.

Texas: More of the Same — The typical Texas polling pattern usually projects relatively close general election pairings, and the Republican candidate generally winning by a greater percentage than the data predicts. It’s likely we’re seeing the same progression emerge in the 2022 governor’s race. The latest YouGov/University of Houston poll (June 27-July 7; 1,169 registered Texas voters; 1,006 likely Texas general election voters; online) finds Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a third term, topping former US Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) by a 47-42 percent margin.

Since the Texas March 1 primary, nine gubernatorial polls have been released, with Abbott leading in each. His range roams from 42 to 56 percent, with O’Rourke placing between 37-44 percent. Expect Gov. Abbott to record a comfortable victory in November.

Lipinski Can’t Run in Illinois; Cori Bush Struggling in Missouri; Arizona Race Tightening

By Jim Ellis — July 14, 2022

House

Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D)

IL-6: Lipinski Can’t Run — Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D) who was looking to potentially enter the 6th District general election as a “Centrist Independent” is unable to do so. Because Lipinski voted in the June 28 Democratic primary, he is ineligible to run as an Independent in the associated general election. The former congressman indicated that he would instead turn his attention toward helping form a centrist organization to promote independent candidates.

The development certainly helps Democratic Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) who just defeated Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the district’s intra-party paired incumbents’ contest. Having Lipinski on the ballot could have resulted in enough Democratic votes straying to Lipinski, the former area incumbent who Newman defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary, to throw the general election to Republican Keith Pekau in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only a D+6.

MO-1: Some Weakness Detected — The Remington Research Group, surveying for the Missouri Scout political blog (July 6-7; 460 MO-1 likely Democratic primary voters; interactive response system), released their new polling results that post freshman Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) to a tepid 40-20 percent lead over state Sen. Steve Roberts (D-St. Louis) with a whopping 32 percent undecided just weeks before the Aug. 2 primary election. In 2020, Bush, commonly referred to as a “Squad Member” in the House, defeated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary. This is a primary contest to watch in the election’s closing days.

Governor

Arizona: GOP Race Continues to Close — As the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary continues to evolve into a two-way race, the margin between the pair of candidates is growing slimmer. A new High Ground Public Affairs survey (July 2-7; 400 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) sees former news anchor Kari Lake leading Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson by just a 39-35 percent margin.

Former President Trump, who supports Lake, has now scheduled an Arizona rally to build support for his candidate just prior to the Aug. 2 state primary. Last week, term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced his endorsement of Robson, which helped begin the latter candidate’s late momentum charge. The eventual GOP nominee will likely face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who is well ahead in polling on the Democratic side.

Michigan: Republicans’ New Leader — After the petition signature debacle that caused Republicans to see their early gubernatorial campaign leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, disqualified, a new Mitchell Research poll finds the GOP electorate coalescing around a new candidate. After flirting with businessman Kevin Rinke right after Craig’s exit, online radio host Tudor Dixon, who many believe would be the strongest contender from this present GOP field, has taken the primary lead as we approach the Aug. 2 election day.

The Mitchell poll (July 7-8; 683 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) finds Dixon posting 26 percent support, followed by real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley (15 percent), with Rinke and chiropractor Garrett Soldano close behind (13 percent). The eventual Republican nominee then challenges Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election. What was thought to be a competitive November contest, may yet become such.