Category Archives: Governor

Iowa Sen. Grassley in Close Race; Kaptur Ahead in OH-9 Poll; Kahele Funding App Rejected in Hawaii

By Jim Ellis — July 11, 2022

Senate

Iowa’s seven-term US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)

Iowa: Sen. Grassley Close in Opponent’s Poll — A Change Research online poll for Democratic US Senate nominee Michael Franken, a retired Navy admiral (June 30-July 1; 488 likely Iowa general election voters; text & online), finds Sen. Chuck Grassley holding only a 49-44 percent edge. CR’s first released post-primary Iowa poll found the Grassley advantage to be an even smaller 45-42 percent. These are the only two released surveys of the Iowa race since the state’s June 7 primary election. Sen. Grassley, 88, already is the longest-serving Iowa US senator, originally elected on the same night when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980. He has been an elected official since winning his first term in the state House of Representatives back in 1958. Should he win the coming election and complete his next term, he will have served 70 consecutive years as a public official, counting his time in the state legislature, US House and Senate. We are sure to see more data on this race in short order.

House

OH-9: Rep. Kaptur Leads in Republican Poll — A new GOP poll from Info Strategy Northeast (partnering with the Knight Takes Rook consulting firm; June 28-29; 1,254 likely OH-9 general election voters; interactive voice response system) finds veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) leading Republican nominee J.R. Majewski, 47-42 percent, in a new district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+6 with a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean of 48.8D and 48.6R.

Majewski is an Afghan War veteran and Trump campaign activist who defeated both a state representative and senator in the primary election. Rep. Kaptur, elected in 1982, is the most senior House Democrat. Though the voter history of this newly configured 9th District should yield a competitive race, the internal dynamics already suggest that Rep. Kaptur is a clear favorite.

Governor

Arizona: Gov. Ducey Endorses — Term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) publicly endorsed a candidate late last week to succeed him. Ducey supports Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson over the candidate backed by former President Trump, former news anchor Kari Lake. Since ex-US representative and 2000 gubernatorial nominee Matt Salmon dropped out of the race and endorsed Robson, polling suggests this Republican primary race is headed to toss-up status before the Aug. 2 primary election. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is likely to easily win the Democratic nomination.

Hawaii: Rep. Kahele’s Funding Application Rejected — The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission late last week formally rejected US Rep. Kai Kahele’s (D-Hilo) bid to obtain public financing for his gubernatorial campaign. The commission spokesperson indicated that Kahele did not file the affidavit that would commit his campaign to the program’s proscribed spending limits. Kahele was the only one of the gubernatorial candidates to apply for the available $200,000.

Rep. Kahele was elected to the House in 2020, but is leaving after one term to pursue the statewide office, but his effort has not gone well. As we reported Friday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green holds a substantial 48-16 percent lead over Kahele in the Democratic primary. The Democratic nominee will then become the prohibitive favorite to succeed term-limited Gov. David Ige (D).

Oregon: New Poll Projects Three-Way Race — The GS Strategy Group, polling for Independent gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator (June 23-29; 600 likely Oregon general election voters) finds former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) leading Johnson and ex-state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) by a tight 33-30-23 percent margin.

A competitive three-way contest could take the race in many directions. The pollster asked if the voters would favor a “socially progressive Democrat,” a “qualified common sense independent,” or a “devout Trump Republican.” The results were 41-32-24 percent in favor of the independent choice, which isn’t particularly good considering the language was slanted to produce a result favoring such a choice. Still, the ballot test suggests that this open race could become interesting.

Gaetz’s FL-1 Primary Becoming Tougher; Conflicting Polls in AZ; Hawaii’s Kahele Looks to Sweep

By Jim Ellis — July 8, 2022

House

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)

FL-1: Gaetz’s Primary Becoming Serious — Embattled US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) just saw his Republican primary challenge become tougher. One of his GOP opponents, Air Force veteran Bryan Jones, announced that he is withdrawing from the campaign in order to support and give former FedEx executive and Marine Corps veteran Mark Lombardo a stronger chance of unseating the incumbent.

Lombardo has ingested $1 million of his own money into the race and just released a new television ad emphasizing the sex trafficking investigation that involves the congressman. Now with only test pilot Greg Merk on the ballot to deflect anti-Gaetz votes, Lombardo has positioned himself as a challenger with the potential ability to snatch the nomination away from the congressman. The Florida primary is Aug. 23, and this race will become very interesting between now and then.

Governor

Arizona: Conflicting Polls — Data Orbital and Moore Information are out with polls that tell a different story in what has become a GOP gubernatorial race between former news anchor Kari Lake and Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson. Last week, ex-US representative and 2000 gubernatorial nominee Matt Salmon dropped out of the race and endorsed Robson.

The Moore Information survey was conducted for the Salmon campaign (June 22-23; 1,000 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) and produced a ballot test that posted Robson, for the first time, to a 38-37 percent edge over Lake in a two-way race.

Data Orbital’s poll released Wednesday (June 30-July 2; 515 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & text), indicated that without Salmon in the race, the previous Lake 39-31 percent advantage drops to 40-35 percent. The Arizona primary is Aug. 2. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is the likely Democratic nominee. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Hawaii: Lt. Gov. Green Swamping Rep. Kahele — A Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now survey (conducted by MRG Research; June 28-30; 1,120 registered Hawaii voters; 782 likely Hawaii Democratic primary voters) projects physician and Lt. Gov. Josh Green to be holding a huge 48-16-15 percent lead over US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo), and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano. Green has enjoyed big leads since the campaign’s beginning. He is clearly the favorite for the party nomination on Aug. 13, and to succeed term-limited Gov. David Ige (D) in the general election.

Maryland: Too Close to Call — The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, polling for the Wes Moore gubernatorial campaign (June 22-27; 601 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview), finds the Maryland Democratic primary headed for a razor-thin finish in the upcoming July 19 delayed nomination election.

According to the GHY results, state Comptroller Peter Franchot slips by author Moore by just a 21-20 percent margin, with former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez closely trailing with 16 percent. A third of the voters still claim to be undecided within two weeks of the primary election. The nomination vote was delayed from its original June 28th date when a court overturned the state’s new congressional lines.

Wisconsin: One Less Republican — Businessman Kevin Nicholson was a late entry into the Republican gubernatorial campaign and now he is an early exit. Nicholson, a former US Senate candidate, Wednesday said he is discontinuing his gubernatorial campaign conceding that he has little chance to win the party nomination. This leaves the race as an ostensibly two-way affair between former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and construction company owner Tim Michels. Gov. Tony Evers is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The general election is expected to be rated as a toss-up.

Kelly Beyond Margin of Error in AZ Polling; Tightening Race for GA Senate; Dead Heat in MO

By Jim Ellis — July 6, 2022

Senate Polling

Sen. Mark Kelly (D) strong in new polling

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Beyond Margin of Error — Last week, we reported on a Public Policy Polling survey (June 28; 595 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) that projected venture capitalist Blake Masters, who former President Donald Trump endorses, to a 29-15-10 percent advantage over Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) and businessman Jim Lamon (R). Earlier, the Trafalgar Group (June 7-9; 1,077 likely Arizona Republican primary voters) found the Masters’ lead at a more modest 29-24-17 percent over Brnovich and Lamon.

Change Research just released their new general election poll (June 24-27; 705 likely Arizona general election voters; online) and projects Sen. Kelly to be holding a substantial 48-39 percent lead over Masters. Lamon performs better. He would trail Sen. Kelly, 47-41 percent. Surprisingly, it does not appear that CR tested Brnovich against the incumbent.

Georgia: Closer Than Quinnipiac — Last week, we also covered the Quinnipiac University survey (June 23-27; 1,497 registered Georgia voters; live interview) that forecast Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leading Republican Herschel Walker, 54-44 percent. The more recent Change Research poll (June 24-27; 704 likely Georgia general election voters; online) projects a closer contest, however. The CR results find Sen. Warnock’s lead to be 48-44 percent, which is more consistent with other publicly released data for this campaign.

Missouri: Trafalgar’s Dead Heat — The Trafalgar Group tested the open Missouri Republican US Senate primary (June 28-30; 1,072 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; multiple sources) and found a virtual three-way tie for the GOP open seat nomination. Their latest ballot test finds US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) and former Gov. Eric Greitens tied at 24 percent, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt right behind at 23 percent. US Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) and state Senate President Dave Schatz (R) are way back at six and two percent support.

Greitens was forced to resign from the governor’s office in 2018 because of an extra-marital affair and charges brought against him in St. Louis County. The indictment was later dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct. The former governor and ex-Navy SEAL recently released an ad showing him holding an automatic weapon, attacking a vacant house, and claiming he is chasing down “Republican RINO’s” (Republicans in Name Only). Despite the negative feedback, Greitens continues to promote the theme.

The Democratic race features Afghan War veteran Lance Kunce and philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, a member of the August Busch Budweiser beer family. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) is retiring.

Nevada: Another Toss-Up Result — Change Research also tested the Nevada Senate race as part of their multi-state series. The Silver State survey (June 24-27; 701 likely Nevada general election voters; online) again finds Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) running neck and neck. The CR Nevada ballot test finds the Senator holding a 46-43 percent lead, which is consistent with five other polls that have been conducted from March to the present time. Nevadans are no strangers to close elections. In their past 10 statewide contests, only four winners have topped the 50 percent mark with the strongest victor receiving only 50.6 percent.

New Hampshire: Sen. Hassan Expands Lead, But Against Weakest Opponent — Continuing with the series of late June Change Research online polls, the New Hampshire race was also tested. At this point, the only released data is of an unlikely general election pairing between Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) and retired Army General Don Bolduc (R). This poll (June 24-27; 704 likely New Hampshire general election voters; online) gives the senator a 49-40 percent lead.

Gen. Bolduc, however, is an underdog to win the Republican primary as state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem), Londonderry former town manager, Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton all look to be stronger candidates in the Sept. 13 Republican primary race. This poll should be considered the base Republican position against Sen. Hassan.

Governor

Texas: Gov. Abbott Maintains Advantage — International online pollster YouGov, for CBS News, tested the Texas general election electorate and again finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leading in his quest for a third term. The poll (June 22-27; 548 likely Texas general election voters; online) sees the governor topping former US congressman and 2020 presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke (D), 49-41 percent. Considering that Texas Republican candidates tend to under-poll based upon the eventual final election result, it is conceivable that Abbott is in an even stronger position than this survey indicates.

Republicans Trying to Bring Down Greitens in MO; Likely OK Runoff; Tight GOP Contest Forecast in MI

By Jim Ellis — June 30, 2022

Senate

Ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Republicans Trying to Bring Down Greitens — The Politico publication is reporting that a group of Republicans are funding a major new “Show Me Values” super PAC in order to run negative ads against resigned Gov. Eric Greitens (R) before the Aug. 2 US Senate primary. The former governor was forced out of office less than two years after he was elected based upon a sex scandal and legal charges that were later dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Attempting a return in the 2022 Senate race, Greitens ex-wife is accusing him of domestic abuse in their child custody hearings. Despite all of the negativity surrounding Greitens, the other Republican candidates have been unable to break through, and the former governor continues to maintain small leads in most polls. Fearing that Greitens will lose the general election, the Show Me Values organization is attempting to help another candidate, whether it be Attorney General Eric Schmitt or Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) and Billy Long (R-Springfield), to victory in the upcoming GOP primary.

Oklahoma Special: Runoff Likely — According to a new Sooner Poll, a combined effort from the news departments from Oklahoma City and Tulsa Channels 9 and 6, respectively (June 13-21; 350 likely Oklahoma Republican primary voters), finds US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) and former state House Speaker T. W. Shannon headed for a Republican runoff after Tuesday’s primary voting. The poll results are consistent with others that have been periodically released since March.

In this Sooner Poll survey, Rep. Mullin commands 39 percent support and Shannon 13 percent. State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) is well back with eight percent, and former Sen. Jim Inhofe chief of staff Luke Holland trails with a five percent preference factor. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two finishers will advance to an Aug. 23 runoff election. The eventual Republican nominee is a lock in the general election and will serve the remaining four years on resigning Sen. Inhofe’s current term.

House

MI-7: Rep. Slotkin in Toss-Up Race — State Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Lansing) released an internal Cygnal campaign poll (June 14-16; 400 MI-7 registered voters; peer-to-peer text) that gives the candidate a 46-44 percent ballot test lead over two-term US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly). Michigan’s primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2. In what appears to be worse news for the Democratic incumbent, the generic question yields 50.3 percent of the respondents saying they will vote for a Republican congressional candidate versus just 39.3 percent who plan to support a Democratic contender in the US House campaign. The Biden job approval index is an upside-down 36:62 percent positive to negative. The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the new 7th CD as R+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan factor at 49.3 D – 47.9 R.

In 2020, Rep. Slotkin was re-elected to the 8th CD with a 51-47 percent margin. The new 7th District contains just over 38 percent new constituents for the congresswoman. The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission drew several toss-up congressional districts, similar to the statistics we see from the new 7th CD.

Governor

Michigan: Tight GOP Contest Forecast — Michigan pollster Mitchell Research, conducting a political poll for the Michigan Information & Research Service (June 21-22; 588 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) finds the Republican primary falling into a dead heat still several weeks away from the Aug. 2 primary election. The field drastically changed when leading candidate James Craig, the former Detroit Police Chief, businessman Perry Johnson, and several others failed to qualify for the ballot because they lacked the required number of legal petition signatures.

Such being the case, the new Mitchell poll finds talk show host Tudor Dixon and businessman Kevin Rinke tied with 15 percent support. Closely following is real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley at 13 percent, while chiropractor Garrett Soldano posts eight percent preference. Michigan uses a plurality system to determine their party nominees, meaning the person with the most votes wins the single nomination election regardless of percentage attained. The eventual nominee will then challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

Final Pre-Primary Poll, Two Pairings Decided Today in Illinois

By Jim Ellis — June 28, 2022

Senate

Kathy Salvi

Illinois: Final Pre-Primary Poll — The Illinois primary is today, and the Ogden & Fry research firm tested the GOP field (June 24; 518 likely Illinois Republican primary voters). The results find Kathy Salvi, whose husband, Al Salvi, was the 1996 US Senate nominee, and who at the time was a conservative radio talk show host. She leads the field of seven candidates but with only 20 percent preference. Tonight’s winner will face Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D) in the Autumn, and begins this race as one of the bigger Senate underdogs in the country.

House

IL-6 and 15: Two Pairings Decided Today — The Illinois primary also features two sets of incumbent House members battling for two seats. In the Chicago suburbs, Democratic Reps. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) and Marie Newman (D-La Grange) square off for the state’s new 6th District. Downstate, Republican members Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and Mary Miller (R-Oakland) are vying for the new safely Republican 15th CD. The 6th is the more competitive of the two seats for the general election. Both primaries are viewed as tight contests.

NE-1: Special Election Today — Two state senators are competing for the seat, and regardless of what happens tonight both will advance to the regular general election for the succeeding term in November. Both Sens. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) and Patty Pansing Brooks (D-Lincoln) were nominated by the party leaders for the special election and the voters for the fall campaign.

The seat is rated R+17 and is 89 percent intact when overlaid with the current district. Former President Trump carried the seat 56-41 percent in 2020. Therefore, the stats make Sen. Flood the favorite to win tonight and in November. The competition from Sen. Brooks, however, will likely make this race closer than in the recent past.

RI-2: Surprising Poll Results — Though Rhode Island’s open 2nd District is rated as heavily Democratic — D+17 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization — a new Suffolk University poll (June 19-22; 423 likely Rhode Island general election voters; live interview) finds former Cranston mayor and 2014 and 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Allen Fung (R) taking a 45-38 percent lead over state Treasurer Seth Magaziner who is the Democratic primary polling leader. If this trend continues, we will see a surprisingly competitive race come forth in the New England region.

Governor

Illinois: Governor’s Race Could Be More Competitive — The Ogden & Fry firm also tested the Republican governor’s field (see Illinois Senate above). The GOP contest looks to be a competitive battle among state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan and ex-Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) is the clear favorite for the November election, but this race appears to be a bit more competitive than the companion US Senate contest.

Rhode Island: Gov. McKee Wins Party Endorsement — Gov. Dan McKee won a solid 56 percent endorsement vote at the Rhode Island Democratic convention, and he will be the official party supported candidate for the Sept. 13 primary. The Ocean State’s Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea, however, leads in a new Democratic poll (Suffolk University; 353 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters; live interview), 24-20 percent.