Category Archives: Polling

Sinema Being Cut Off; VA-4 Counting Underway & Continuing; Surprising National Gallup Poll Results

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 23, 2022

Senate

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I)

Arizona: Sinema Being Cut Off — With Sen. Kyrsten Sinema leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent, reverberations already are being felt pertaining to her 2024 re-election campaign. Two of her consulting firms have left her, understanding that they would be eliminated from consideration for contracts within the Democratic Party establishment for servicing a candidate who is not a member of the party. According to a report from the Huffington Post, the data firm that controls the national Democratic Party voter file will now deny the Sinema campaign access to their services after Jan. 31.

These developments are not surprising since she will no longer be a Democrat, but further underscores that she will not caucus with the Democratic conference, a move that the Senate’s other two Independents, Bernie Sanders (VT) and Angus King (ME) continue to make. Therefore, the latter two are treated as Democratic incumbents in relation to consultant contracts and party resources.

Forfeiting these types of resources will leave Sen. Sinema on her own as she mounts a re-election effort. Obviously, she knew this would happen when making the decision to become an Independent, and these latest developments further suggest that we will see a true three-way 2024 race among Sinema and eventual Democratic and Republican nominees.

House

VA-4: Counting Begins, No Tabulations Released — Despite monumental societal technology improvements that we ubiquitously experience, vote counting continues to return to a bygone era. Election officials announced that counting more than 26,400 ballots cast in the VA-4 Democratic firehouse primary for the special election to replace the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) will take some days.

The local party reported that just five volunteers are handling the counting, and as of this writing, had completed processing about 4,000 ballots. No results were released, however. Some numbers may trickle out today or over the weekend.

The two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination, state Sens. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Joseph Morrissey (D-Richmond), are expected to battle for the nomination victory among the four candidates on the ballot. The Democratic nominee will have the inside track toward winning the Feb. 21 special election. The Republican nominee is the party’s previous congressional candidate and local pastor Leon Benjamin. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 4th District as D+30.

National Parties

Gallup Survey: Republicans Better Viewed — The well-known Gallup research organization continually polls the country, testing and monitoring the electorate’s responses to issues of the day along with analyzing voting trends.

In a surprising post-election survey series result, considering the Republicans generally under-performed expectations in the November election, Gallup finds that a plurality of their latest national poll respondents (post-election poll; Nov. 9-12; 1,000 US adult respondents, part of the ongoing Gallup Poll Social Series project originally began in 2001) find the GOP in a slightly more favorable position than the Democratic Party.

According to this latest data, the Republican Party records a 42 percent favorable view within the sampling universe as compared to 39 percent who have a similar view of the Democratic Party. The number is the opposite of Gallup’s average since this question was first tested in 2011. During the overall time period between 2011 and the present, the Democrats hold a 44-40 percent average advantage on the favorability question.

Lightfoot Drops to Third in New Poll; Dolan Prepares for Ohio Senate Bid; Mississippi, NC Governor Races

By Jim Ellis, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022

Cities

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D)

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Drops to Third in New Poll — An M3 Strategies poll for News Channel Fox32 in Chicago (Dec. 11-13; 440 Chicago likely municipal election voters; SMS web to text) finds Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) dropping to third place in anticipation of the Feb. 28 non-partisan jungle primary election. In this system, only the top two finishers would advance to an April 4 runoff election from the field of nine contenders if no individual receives a majority from the initial vote.

The M3 ballot test result sees US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) leading the field at 28 percent support with former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in second place with 19 percent preference. Mayor Lightfoot is in third position posting only 14 percent backing for a second term. The mayor points out that she was at one percent in polling this time four years ago.

Senate

Ohio: Former Senate Candidate Preparing Another Run — State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) who placed third in the 2022 Republican US Senate primary, finishing nine percentage points from the lead, is reportedly building another campaign operation to this time challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the next election. Dolan, a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians baseball club and chairman of the state Senate’s Finance Committee, spent more than $11 million on his 2022 campaign, almost $8 million of which came from his personal finances. He began the race as a minor candidate but finished strong, making himself a viable contender as the primary campaign drew to a close.

Dolan is likely to be a stronger GOP nomination contender in 2024 in what is likely to be a crowded primary, but would have a tough run in the general election against Sen. Brown, who will be running for his fourth term after originally being elected to the statewide post in 2006. Prior to his tenure in the Senate, Sen. Brown served seven terms in the US House and eight years as Ohio’s Secretary of State.

Governor

Mississippi: Potential GOP Primary Challenge Brewing — The Politics1.com site is reporting that GOP Secretary of State Michael Watson is polling the state to test his chances against Gov. Tate Reeves (R) in the upcoming 2023 Republican gubernatorial primary. In 2019, Reeves, then the state’s lieutenant governor, defeated former state Supreme Court Associate Justice Bill Waller Jr., 49-33 ;ercent. Waller was a 22-year veteran of the high court, half of which he spent as Chief Justice.

Reeves would go on to win the general election against four-term Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood by a tighter 52-47 percent count. In a state where the GOP is the dominant party, the Republican primary is likely to be Gov. Reeves’ toughest re-election test next year.

North Carolina: Lt. Gov. Robinson Way Up in Early GOP Polling — The Differentiators Data firm conducted an early 2024 North Carolina Republican gubernatorial poll (Dec. 8-11; 500 North Carolina Republican primary voters; live interview & text) and found Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in very strong position as speculation begins regarding who will run for what will be an open Tar Heel State governor’s position in 2024. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is ineligible to seek a third term.

Against former governor and 2022 US Senate candidate Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Robinson would lead 60-21 percent. If ex-vongressman and 2022 US Senate candidate Mark Walker (R) were his opponent, Lt. Gov. Robinson would lead by a whopping 58-8 percent. Finally, if state Treasurer Dale Folwell were Robinson’s Republican primary opponent, the lieutenant governor would lead by an even larger 60-6 percent margin.

Differentiators did not test the candidates in a multi-candidate format. None of the individuals paired with Robinson have indicated that they would run for governor. In fact, after this year’s Senate primary, McCrory indicated that he would not again pursue public office. The polling firm also did not test a potential Democratic field.

Opposition Candidates Announce to Run Against VA Sen. Kaine; Quick “Firehouse” Primary Set; Retiring Congressman Plans Mayoral Run

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 16, 2022

Senate

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D)

Virginia: Many Announce Against Sen. Kaine — For a Senate race that appears safe in this early part of the 2024 election cycle, the Virginia contest is surprisingly already drawing a great deal of candidate interest. It’s unlikely that any of the five Republicans and one Democrat who have announced their candidacies can defeat Sen. Tim Kaine (D), but we are at least assured of seeing a multi-candidate Republican nomination battle.

Of the five announced candidates, only two, financial advisor and retired Army officer Eddie Garcia and attorney and Navy veteran Chuck Smith, seem credible enough to become potentially viable candidates.

House

VA-4: Republicans Schedule Quick Firehouse Primary — Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) call to the political parties to choose their nominees by Dec. 23 for the Feb. 21 special congressional election to replace the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) has given the party leaders precious little time, but now both entities have scheduled “firehouse primaries.” As reported yesterday, the Democrats will hold their primary next Tuesday, Dec. 20. Now the local Republicans are moving even quicker. They will hold their special primary tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 17.

The schedule is ridiculously short and does not give the candidates time to campaign nor the voters an adequate ability to know who is running and where to vote, since the polling places in a “firehouse” primary are very scarce. At this point, Democrats have five candidates and Republicans four.

Governor

Louisiana: Sen. Kennedy Releases Another Poll — While Sen. John Kennedy (R) says he will make a decision about running for governor after the first of the year, he continues to release polling data showing him holding a lead against a field of prospective open seat 2023 gubernatorial candidates.

His latest survey, again from Torchlight Strategies (Dec. 6-9; 861 likely Louisiana 2023 gubernatorial election voters; live interview and text), projects Sen. Kennedy to be holding a 42-22-14 percent lead over state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) and attorney general and former US Congressman Jeff Landry (R) in what will be an Oct. 14, 2023 jungle primary. In potential runoff pairings, which would be scheduled for Nov. 18 of next year, Sen. Kennedy would lead AG Landry 46-21 percent and Secretary Wilson by a much larger 58-27 percent.

These numbers, and the fact that Kennedy is releasing them, clearly suggests that the senator will affirmatively announce his gubernatorial campaign in January. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Cities

West New York: Retiring Congressman Plans Mayoral Run — Though New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) is retiring from the House of Representatives this year after serving eight terms, he is apparently not finished with elective politics. Reports suggest that Sires will soon announce his candidacy for mayor of West New York, a town in New Jersey — one of the elected positions he held before winning his seat in Congress.

Sires served as mayor from his original election in 1995 until he won the US House position in 2006. Beginning in 2001, he was also an elected member of the New Jersey state Assembly, where he became Speaker in 2002.

DeSantis’ Big Lead Suspect; Recount Confirms Rep. Boebert’s Victory;
A Rapid-Fire Special Primary; Lightfoot Looking Shaky in Chicago

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022

President

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

USA Today Poll: DeSantis’ Big Lead Suspect — Suffolk University, polling for USA Today (Dec. 7-11; 1,000 registered US voters; 374 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) finds Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) leading both President Biden and former President Donald Trump in their latest published survey.

The general election data that finds DeSantis leading President Biden, 47-43 percent, is the more legitimate number. The Republican primary result, which tested only 374 individuals nationally and shows DeSantis holding a huge 56-33 percent advantage over Trump, should be discarded because it is not statistically sound.

The Morning Consult organization also released a survey, this with a much greater sample size (Dec. 9-11; 4,215 self-identified Republican voters; online) and arrived at an opposite conclusion vis-à-vis the hypothetical Republican nomination battle. Including many candidates, Morning Consult finds Trump holding a 49-31 percent lead over Gov. DeSantis, with former Vice-President Mike Pence recording eight percent. All other candidates posted a preference factor of two percent or less.

House

CO-3: Recount Confirms Rep. Boebert’s Victory — The mandatory recount in Colorado’s 3rd District is complete, and the final tally confirms Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Silt) close victory over former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch (D). The recount changed only four votes to the original tally, thus making Rep. Boebert’s margin of victory 546 votes. Frisch had conceded the election weeks ago, but Colorado election law mandated the recount because the two candidates were separated by less than half a percentage point. The Democratic nominee says he is open to seeking a re-match in 2024.

VA-4: Dems Schedule Rapid-Fire Special Primary — Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) calling a Feb. 21 special congressional election to replace the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) has spurred the local 4th District Democratic committee to call a very quick “firehouse primary.” A Virginia “firehouse primary” is a term given to a primary election that has very few polling places. Gov. Youngkin’s order set Dec. 23 as the deadline for choosing party nominees.

The Democratic nomination battle, which will likely determine the next congressional member, is now scheduled for Dec. 20, giving the candidates only a week to campaign. The leading contenders are state Sens. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), Joseph Morrissey (D-Richmond), and Delegate Lamont Baxby (D-Richmond). Republicans have yet to determine their nomination process.

Cities

Chicago: Rep. Garcia Leads Mayor’s Race in Union Poll — Though the poll is just about a month old, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 just released their Impact Research study of the impending Chicago mayor’s race. The survey (Nov. 10-17; 700 likely Chicago local election voters; live interview and text) found US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) leading Mayor Lori Lightfoot 25-18 percent within a field of nine candidates. The data suggests the two would advance to an April 4 runoff election from the non-partisan Feb. 28 election.

In the hypothetical runoff, Rep. Garcia would lead Mayor Lightfoot by a whopping 55-25 percent margin. The controversial mayor posts very poor job approval ratings, with 68 percent disapproving of her performance in office. She received positive ratings only from the black community, and even there registered just a 50 percent favorable score. A total of 84 percent of white voters and 72 percent of Hispanics disapprove of how she has handled her mayoral duties.

Cruz Polling Up for Renomination, Down for President; Ariz. Dem Primary Looking Competitive; VA-4 Special Election Scheduled;
Sen. Braun Announces Candidacy

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022

President

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R)

Texas: Cruz Polling Up for Renomination, Down for President — According to a Texas-based Republican pollster, Sen. Ted Cruz is in strong shape among prospective GOP primary voters for renomination, but not for a presidential campaign. The CWS Research firm recently conducted a Texas poll (Nov. 8-29; 860 likely Texas 2024 Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system and online) and finds the senator posting a strong 81 percent renomination score, but only records three percent support for another presidential bid.

The CWS poll leader is former President Donald Trump at 37 percent preference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis following closely with 34 percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also finish slightly ahead of Sen. Cruz in his home state. Pence draws five percent backing and Haley four percent, as compared to Sen. Cruz’s three percent.

Senate

Arizona: Dem Primary Could Be Competitive — Apparently Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) is not the only Arizona Democratic congressman considering a run for the Senate. According to a report from the Daily Kos Elections site, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) — who served six years as mayor of Phoenix and nine years on the Phoenix City Council before being elected to the US House in 2018 — has conducted a statewide US Senate poll. If he were to run in what would now be an open US Senate Democratic primary since new Independent incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will advance directly into the general election, a tough battle would develop in an August 2024 primary between the two Phoenix-based congressional Democrats.

Rep. Stanton was re-elected in November with a 56-44 percent margin against a credible Republican, businessman Kelly Cooper. This, after his district was changed from a D+15 to a D+1 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization calculations, meaning he rather impressively exceeded expectations.

House

VA-4: Special Election Scheduled — Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has surprisingly scheduled the special congressional election to replace the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) for Feb. 21. With Democrats certain to hold this seat in the special election, it was thought Gov. Youngkin would delay a bit longer, possibly to early April, in order to give the Republicans a further one-seat edge in the House party division count.

With the Feb. 21 general election date that will fast approach, the political parties must quickly assemble and determine how their nominees will be chosen. At this point, their realistic options are to nominate in a special district convention or hold a “firehouse primary,” that is an election with very few polling places around the district.

The Democratic nomination will be the contest to watch, since the 4th District is rated as D+30. At this point, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond) have announced their intention to file as candidates. For the Republicans, two-time nominee Leon Benjamin and insurance agent and frequent candidate Ron Wallace have declared that they will run.

Governor

Indiana: Sen. Braun Announces — First-term Hoosier State Sen. Mike Braun (R) made his obvious intentions to run for governor official Monday with his formal announcement. He will be a strong favorite for the Republican nomination, which gives him the inside track in the general election.

There is a good possibility that his Democratic opponent will be former US senator and current Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly. The Holy See is the government of the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. Ironically, this would set a re-match between the two men of the 2018 Senate race, a campaign that Sen. Braun won with a 51-45 percent victory margin. The Braun announcement now sets into motion a competitive Senate campaign that will likely feature a crowded Republican primary.

Indiana Gov. Holcomb Leaves Door Open for Senate Bid, Sen. Braun Up in Released Gov Poll; CA-22 Re-Match Already Building; NC Redistricting Case Could be Moot

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022

Senate

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R)

Indiana: Gov. Holcomb Leaves Door Open — Early political reports coming from the Hoosier State suggest that Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) will not pursue a 2024 US Senate bid when his tenure as governor comes to an end. Gov. Holcomb is ineligible to seek a third term.

When asked about running for the Senate this week on wishtv.com, however, Gov. Holcomb replied, “there’ll be time for me to think about the future in the future. But it would be next to irresponsible for me to take my eye off the job that I’ve got.”

This response suggests the Senate race door is not fully closed and will certainly remain an option for Holcomb as time moves forward. With universal statewide name identification and the ability to quickly raise large amounts money, Gov. Holcomb has the luxury of waiting to make a decision until he sees how an open Senate field develops. First-term Sen. Mike Braun (R) is a clearly preparing a run for governor, thus leaving his Senate seat open.

House

CA-22: Re-Match Already Building — California Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) is tied for representing the most Democratic seat in the country that sends a Republican to the US House. Long Island Rep-Elect Anthony D’Esposito (R-Hempstead) holds the other. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates both Valadao’s CA-22 and Mr. D’Esposito’s NY-4 at D+10.

Despite the odds stacked against him, Rep. Valadao was able to post a 51.5 – 48.5 percent victory over state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) in November, who was arguably the most difficult opponent Valadao faced in his five winning electoral campaigns. Yesterday, Salas, who risked his Assembly seat to run for Congress, filed a committee to seek a re-match in 2024. If he ultimately follows through and runs two years from now, this race will again become a top national Democratic conversion target.

Governor

Indiana: Sen. Braun Releases Gov Poll — Sen. Mike Braun (R) is clearly moving toward making a quick gubernatorial announcement after filing a state gubernatorial campaign committee last week. Reports suggest that Sen. Braun may make his formal declaration as early as next week. In preparation for launching a gubernatorial bid, he just released the results of an internal poll.

The study, from the Mark It Red research group (Nov. 18-22; sample size not released), finds Sen. Braun opening with a large Republican primary advantage in what will be an open race for governor. According to the survey results, Sen. Braun would lead Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and venture capitalist Eric Doden, 47-10-5 percent, respectively.

States

North Carolina: Redistricting Case Could be Moot — The North Carolina partisan gerrymandering case that was heard before the US Supreme Court yesterday is a potential landmark case, but some North Carolina state political sources suggest the arguments may go by the proverbial wayside. The high court will rule before the end of June, but before that occurs, the new North Carolina legislature may draft new redistricting plans for the US House, state Senate, and state House of Representatives. Since a court map is only an interim plan, the legislature can replace it with a permanent draw at any time.

If this occurs as described, and new maps are enacted –- remember, in North Carolina, the governor has no veto power over redistricting legislation -– it is possible that the action could render the case before the Supreme Court as moot. If so, the issue of whether the Constitution views state legislatures as solely independent when handling redistricting could well go unanswered.

Democrats Move Biden Schedule Forward; Warnock Leads in GA Runoff Polling; Duarte Wins Last Outstanding House Race, GOP Majority at 222 Seats; Manchin Not Ruling Out Gov Run

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022

President

Primaries: Democrats Move Biden Schedule Forward — The DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee approved President Biden’s suggested alterations for the 2024 primary schedule. This means that South Carolina moves into the first primary position on Feb. 3, 2024. Following on Feb. 6 will be New Hampshire and Nevada. The newcomers to the early group are Georgia, slated for Feb. 13, and Michigan two weeks later on Feb. 27.

Republicans say they will maintain the traditional schedule kicking off with the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary with Nevada and South Carolina following. The New Hampshire Democrats are objecting to being moved from the first primary position and state law allows them to ignore a political party’s rule. Though this is the first definitive step to nomination rules changes, more details must be finalized before any schedule takes effect.

Senate

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Leading in Last Runoff Polling — The Georgia Senate runoff election is today, and the latest two surveys give incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) a slight lead. Emerson College (polling for The Hill newspaper; Nov. 28-30; 880 likely Georgia runoff election voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds Sen. Warnock clinging to a 51-49 percent edge over former professional football player Herschel Walker (R). Survey USA (polling for television station WXIA in Atlanta; Nov. 26-30; 1,214 Georgia runoff election likely voters; online) sees a similar 50-47 percent spread in the senator’s favor.

Early voting looks even more favorable than the polling. Democratic early voting is up 5.7 percentage points when compared with the 2020 Georgia runoff election. Conversely, Republicans are down 7.3 percent based upon the previous statewide post-election runoff. Heading into today’s vote, Sen. Warnock is the clear favorite.

House

CA-13: John Duarte (R) Wins Last Outstanding Race — The final unresolved House race was called over the weekend, and California Republican John Duarte, an agriculture-related businessman, was projected a 584-vote winner over Democratic state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced). The win gives the Republicans a 222-213 House majority and provides GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) a much-needed vote for House Speaker, this one from a neighboring district, part of which touches his own CA-20 CD.

The race is officially over even though final numbers have not yet been recorded. Gray conceded the race to Duarte and, since California has no automatic recount law, the outcome is final.

Governor

West Virginia: Sen. Manchin Not Ruling Out Gov Run — Sen. Joe Manchin (D) said over the weekend that he has not made up his mind whether to seek re-election, run for governor, or retire. Sen. Manchin said he will make a decision about the 2024 election after the first of next year.

The interesting part of his statement is acknowledging that another run for governor is an option on his political table. Before winning a special 2010 US Senate election, Manchin served as governor from January 2005 to November of 2010, having won two elections to the state’s top elected post. Early polling suggests he would not fare well in a Senate race against Gov. Jim Justice (R), who is ineligible to seek a third term, and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town). This makes West Virginia the top early 2024 election cycle Republican conversion opportunity.