Category Archives: Polling

Masters Pulling Away in Arizona; Warnock-Walker Race in GA Tight; Ryan-Vance Neck-and-Neck in Ohio

By Jim Ellis — July 12, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R)

Arizona: Masters Pulling Away — Two new Arizona Republican Senate primary surveys find venture capitalist Blake Masters, whom former President Trump endorses, expanding his previous advantage for the Republican nomination. OH Predictive Insights (June 30-July 2; 515 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview & peer-to-peer text), whose April poll posted business executive Jim Lamon to a lead, now sees Masters pulling away. The OH ballot test forges a 25-18-14 percent advantage for Masters over Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling tested the Republican Senate field, too. Their poll (June 28; 595 likely Arizona Republican primary voters) also finds Masters holding the lead, but they see second and third place reversed. The PPP totals show Masters’ margin at 29-15-10 percent over Brnovich and Lamon. A total of 53 percent in the PPP survey say they are much more or somewhat more likely to support Masters because of ex-President Trump’s endorsement.

Georgia: Another Lead Change — Just when the polling data began to trend Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) way, a new Democratic poll finds Republican Herschel Walker rebounding to take back the advantage. The progressive left firm Data for Progress went into the Georgia field (July 1-6; 1,131 likely Georgia general election voters; text & online) and posts Walker to a 49-47 percent slight advantage. This wholly contrasts with Quinnipiac University’s late June survey that yielded a 54-44 percent lead for the incumbent. Two other June polls, from Moore Information (R) and East Carolina University and conducted prior to the Q-Poll, both project the two candidates tied.

Based upon the preponderance of recent data, it appears apparent that the Warnock-Walker race is tight. The Quinnipiac finding suggesting that a significant Warnock lead exists should be disregarded, at least in the short term.

Ohio: Ryan Slips Past Vance — A late June Impact Research firm (formerly ALG Research) poll for Rep. Tim Ryan’s US Senate campaign (June 27-30; 816 likely Ohio voters) posts the Democratic congressman to a slight 48-46 percent edge over Republican author J.D. Vance.

The result is typical of what we see in Ohio polls. The two major party candidates often poll close until the campaign’s final two weeks when one of the contenders — usually the Republican in races since 2010 — pulls away. It would not be surprising to see a similar pattern develop in this contest.

House

New Hampshire: House Dem Incumbents Raising Big Money — Both New Hampshire Democratic incumbents Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) and Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton) will face competitive general election opponents after the Sept. 13 primary. Each has a politically marginal district in a state where the Right Track/Wrong Track polling responses appear to put the Democrats in serious political jeopardy.

In advance of the July 15 reporting deadline, both House members have pre-released substantial fundraising and cash-on-hand totals. Rep. Kuster reports $611,000 raised for the 2nd quarter and holds $2.6 million in her campaign account. Rep. Pappas, who likely faces the more difficult re-election challenge, will post $670,000 raised after April 1, and $2.2 million in his campaign account. The Republican candidates have not yet announced their fundraising totals.

Governor

Georgia: Kemp Up in Poll; Abrams Leads in Funding — The aforementioned Data for Progress poll (see Georgia Senate above) also surveyed the Georgia governor’s race. The ballot test projects Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to a surprisingly large 53-44 percent advantage over former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). The comparative late June Quinnipiac poll found the two candidates tied at 48 percent apiece.

The Daily Kos Elections site is reporting that Abrams’ campaign has raised a huge $9.8 million in the past two months and an allied political action committee pulled in an additional $12.3 million. The combined cash-on-hand figure of $18.5 million for the Abrams’ team is almost $8 million more than Gov. Kemp and his allies have readily available.

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.

Rep. Budd Continues to Lead in NC; Winner Finally Declared in IL-13

By Jim Ellis — July 7, 2022

Senate

US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance)

North Carolina: Rep. Budd Continues to Lead — The Trafalgar Group recently tested the North Carolina Senate race (June 29-July 1; 1,068 likely North Carolina general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and, like all but one pollster since the May 17 primary, finds US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) leading former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) by a slim margin, 48-45 percent, in this case. This is the fifth released post-primary survey, and all show both candidates in the 40s. Rep. Budd leads in four of the five published polls, with an average edge of 4.5 percentage points. Beasley’s only advantage, 44-40 percent, came in the June 8-12 Survey USA poll.

House

IL-6: Ex-Rep. Lipinski Considers — Former Chicago area US Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) said yesterday he is considering entering the 6th District race as a “centrist Independent” either in this election or the next. Rep. Lipinski lost the 2020 Democratic primary to progressive left challenger Marie Newman who was then defeated in this year’s 6th District Democratic primary. Lipinksi would ostensibly challenge the victor from that nomination campaign, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove). To qualify as an Independent, Lipinski would have to submit valid petition signatures from 5,000 registered district voters by July 25.

His entry this year is unlikely. Running as an Independent wouldn’t give him much of a chance to win, but he could draw enough support to throw the seat to Republican Keith Pekau, the Orland Park mayor who won the 6th District GOP nomination. The latter outcome would be a real possibility since the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this district as a D+6, meaning it could potentially flip in a wave Republican year.

IL-13: Republican Winner Declared — It is now official that conservative educator Regan Deering has won the close Republican primary campaign in new District 13. She defeated former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising by a tight 35-33 percent margin. She now advances to the general election to face former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D).

The 13th is a newly created open seat that stretches in the form of a snake from the Champaign/Urbana area through Decatur and Springfield before ending in East St. Louis. FiveThirtyEight rates the seat D+7. The Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean as 53.5 – 41.8 percent in favor of the Democrats, so it is obvious that Budzinski begins the general election campaign as the favorite to win in November. The new 13th is the by-product of Reps. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) and Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) being paired in the new 15th CD.

NY-19: Democrat Still Trails, but Closer — Special election Democratic candidate Pat Ryan, the Ulster County Executive, just countered an earlier Triton Research poll, which posted Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) to a substantial 52-38 percent lead. The Ryan internal Public Policy Polling survey (June 29-30; 581 NY-19 general election voters) finds Molinaro holding a 43-40 percent edge.

The PPP poll is confusing in that it tests NY-19’s general election voters. The Ryan-Molinaro election, however, is a special election in the current 19th CD to fill the balance of Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado’s (D) final months of the US House term to which he was elected in 2020.

For the general election, regardless of whether he wins or loses the special election, Ryan is running in the new 18th CD. There, he will face Republican state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor). The NY-19 special election is scheduled for Aug. 23, concurrent with the regular election primary. Thus, Ryan will be running for two different House seats on the same day.

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.