Category Archives: Polling

Scott Tops Haley in South Carolina;
A GOP Battle in Florida; Steny Hoyer Challenged; LDP Endorses Wilson

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 28, 2023

President

(R-SC)

South Carolina: Sen. Scott Again Tops Ex-Gov. Haley — The American Greatness political organization, loosely affiliated with former President Donald Trump, conducted a survey of the critically important South Carolina Republican primary (National Research, Inc.; June 19-21; 500 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters) and again finds Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who the recent NBC national poll now detects moving into third place on the Republican primary ballot test, topping former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Former President Donald Trump maintains a substantial lead with 41 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is second with 18 percent. Sen. Scott and ex-Gov. Haley follow with 10 and eight percent, respectively, before their home state electorate. No one else even reaches the four percent benchmark. The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for Feb. 24, the fourth state to vote on the GOP calendar.

House

FL-16: Rep. Buchanan to Face DeSantis Appointee — Private school superintendent Eddie Speir (R), who Gov. DeSantis appointed to a board that oversees New College, a public liberal arts college in Sarasota, Florida, announced that he will challenge veteran Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota) in next year’s GOP primary. After Rep. Buchanan lost his bid to become House Ways & Means Committee chairman, there were rumors floating that he would resign his seat. Therefore, Buchanan remains a retirement prospect. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates FL-16 as R+13, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 55.2R – 42.7D partisan lean.

MD-5: Democratic Challenger for Rep. Hoyer — On the heels of former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville) hinting he will seek re-election to a 23rd term in 2024, a credible Democratic primary challenger appears on the scene. Prince Georges County Environmental Director Andrea Crooms announced her candidacy Monday, becoming the candidate with the most potential of attracting support. It is highly doubtful, however, that she can unseat Hoyer, who has represented the southern Maryland region since winning a special congressional election in 1981.

It is clear the Democratic primary will be the significant election. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization score of D+28, and a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean calculation of 60.9D – 36.4R, the GOP has little chance of making a serious run here in the general election.

Governor

Louisiana: Democratic Party Officially Endorses — With the open Bayou State governor’s race beginning to attract attention, the Louisiana Democratic Party has already gone on record with endorsement support for the leading party contender long before candidate filing closes on Aug. 10, 2023. The LDP now officially endorses former Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson, joining outgoing Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) who also publicly supports Wilson as his successor. Gov. Edwards is ineligible to seek a third term under Louisiana election law.

The Louisiana system features an all-party jungle primary on Oct. 14 of this year. If no candidate receives majority support, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held on Nov. 18. The leading Republicans are attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry and state Treasurer John Schroder. With eight candidates already actively running, the chances of moving to a runoff are extremely high.

Poll Shows Biden Holding Strong; Hoyer Says Don’t Write My Obit;
Texas Rep. Carter Draws Opponent;
UT-2 Special Election Moves Forward

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2023

President

NBC News Poll: Trump Strong for Nomination; Trails Biden — Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) collaborated on a national survey for NBC News (June 16-20; 1,000 US registered voters; 500 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and found former President Donald Trump, despite his federal indictments, increasing his lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the others. According to this data, Trump secures 51 percent in the national poll, well ahead of Gov. DeSantis who records 22 percent support. Former Vice President Mike Pence receives seven percent, and no other candidate even reaches the five percent plateau.

In the general election, however, President Joe Biden would lead former President Trump by four percentage points in the national popular vote, while Gov. DeSantis draws even with the president. A whopping 74 percent believe the country is on the wrong track. President Biden’s job approval was recorded at 43:53 percent favorable to unfavorable.

House

Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville)

MD-5: No Retirement in Sight — Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville), who after winning a special congressional election in 1981 would spend 26 years in top House leadership positions, indicated to the audience of a local Democratic organization event to “not write any obituaries,” as reported on the Daily Kos Elections site. At 84 years old and out of leadership for the first time since 1989, Rep. Hoyer appeared to be a candidate for retirement. Instead, it looks like he will be on the ballot in 2024 seeking a 23rd term.

TX-31: Rep. Carter Faces Primary — Army veteran and former Bell County Republican Party chairman Mark Latimer, who claims 11-term Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) is “not ready for the fight ahead,” announced that he will enter the March 2024 Republican congressional primary. Carter, first elected in 2002, faced a primary from two Republicans in 2022 and was renominated with 71 percent of the vote. He was unopposed in the general election.

Over his 11 congressional elections, he’s had only one close call. In 2018, Army veteran Mary Jennings Hegar (D) held him to a 51-48 percent re-election victory. The 31st District contains two-thirds of Rep. Carter’s home county of Williamson, half of Bell County, and all of Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, and Hamilton Counties in central Texas. Prior to his service in Congress, Rep. Carter was a Williamson County district judge for 20 years.

UT-2: Republicans Hold Special District Convention — Utah’s 2nd District Special Republican endorsing convention met in the small, but centrally located town of Delta on Saturday to choose one candidate to advance into the special primary election scheduled for Sept. 5 to replace resigning Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington).

After five rounds of balloting, Rep. Stewart’s congressional legal counsel, Celeste Maloy, scored a 52-48 percent victory over former state House Speaker Greg Hughes. Others may still qualify for the primary ballot but must obtain 7,000 valid 2nd District Republican registered voter signatures by July 5. At least two of the candidates, former state Rep. Becky Edwards and ex-Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough, are pursuing the signature option.

If no other candidate qualifies for the ballot, Maloy will officially become the party nominee, and be rated as a heavy favorite to win the Nov. 21 special general election in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+23, and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 60.1R – 34.2D.

Blunt Rochester Announces in Delaware; Montana’s Rosendale Way Up; An NV-1 Rematch Shaping Up;
OR-5 Democratic Primary Forming

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 23, 2023

Senate

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington)

Delaware: Rep. Blunt Rochester Announces — As expected, Delaware at-large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) officially declared her US Senate candidacy. The move became obvious when Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced his retirement in May, and as part of his address encouraged the congresswoman, a former aide and appointee when Carper was governor, to run for the seat.

Rep. Blunt Rochester, first elected in 2016, is expected to have little opposition both in the Democratic primary and general election. The Senate seat will remain in the Democratic column. There could be developing competition brewing for Blunt Rochester’s open House seat, however.

Montana: Rep. Rosendale Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Public Policy Polling tested the Montana Republican Senate primary (June 19-20; 51 likely Montana Republican primary voters; live interview & text) and sees US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) as the big early leader. According to the ballot test, Rep. Rosendale posts ahead of retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, 64-10 percent. The congressman faced seven different Montana electorates in the past seven elections and won five times.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee leadership would prefer a different candidate since Rep. Rosendale is viewed as part of the far right flank of the Republican Conference and lost to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the 2018 campaign, but the statewide GOP polling sample propelled him to a huge lead for a potential 2024 Senate race. Thus, whether the national Republican leadership likes it or not, Rep. Rosendale, when he announces for the Senate, must be viewed as the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination. He would then advance into the general election for a re-match with Sen. Tester, the lone Democratic statewide office holder in Montana. This is one of top three Republican conversion opportunities in the nation.

House

NV-1: Re-Match Possibility — In November, financial planner Mark Robertson (R) held Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) to a 52-46 percent re-election victory in a district that had been drastically changed through redistricting. Many, however, viewed the result as a Republican under-performance in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+4.

Whether Robertson gets another chance to oppose Rep. Titus remains a question. He has Republican primary opposition from business consultant Ron Quince and restaurant chain owner Flemming Larsen.

All three Las Vegas Democratic seats have competitive potential. With such a slim House majority and the Alabama racial gerrymandering ruling from the Supreme Court favoring the Democratic position, the Republicans will pursue as many offensive opportunities as possible. Therefore, expect Nevada to become another hotbed of political activity in 2024.

OR-5: Democratic Primary Forming — Two weeks ago, Oregon Metro President Lynn Peterson (D) announced her entry into the Congressional District 5 Democratic primary; Wednesday, state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) filed a committee with the Federal Election Commission to join her as the perceived two top candidates. The winner will advance to challenge freshman Rep. Lori Chavez DeRemer (R-Happy Valley).

The 5th District race will be hotly contested. Chavez-DeRemer defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner by a 51-49 percent margin in November. McLeod-Skinner, a first-time candidate in Oregon but former local office holder in California, had already defeated incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary. She is also a potential 2024 candidate. The district carries a D+3 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and is categorized as a swing district. This will be a top Democratic conversion opportunity seat and will attract national political attention.

Cornel West Switches to Green Party; Wicker Challenged in Mississippi; Republican Leads in CA-47 Democratic Poll; Houston Mayoral Race Shakeup

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 22, 2023

President

Cornel West

Cornel West: Switches to Green Party — Author/Activist Cornel West, who had declared his presidential candidacy under the People’s Party label has switched to the Green Party.

Assuming his new party nominates West, the move makes sense. The Green Party already has ballot status in 18 states and continues to work for more. Therefore, West has much greater initial ballot access under the Green Party label than he does with the virtually unknown People’s Party. If he gets enough attention, a West candidacy could draw from President Biden in some of the key states.

Senate

Mississippi: Sen. Wicker Challenged — GOP state Rep. Dan Eubanks (R-DeSoto County) confirmed to local publications that he will oppose Sen. Roger Wicker in next year’s Republican primary. The challenge will come from the political right since Eubanks is a conservative activist. He was first elected to the state House in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. Mississippi House members are awarded four year terms.

Sen. Wicker was first appointed at the end of 2007, succeeding former Majority Leader Trent Lott (R) who resigned. He was elected in his own right during the special election of 2008 and won full terms in 2012 and 2018. He has won comfortably with percentages in the mid to high 50s but never reached 60 percent in a general election. The senator was challenged in the 2018 Republican primary and received 83 percent of the vote. Prior to serving in the Senate, Wicker won seven US House elections beginning in 1994.

House

CA-47: Republican Baugh Leads in Dem Poll — Public Policy Polling (June 14-16; 555 CA-47 registered voters; live interview & text), surveying for state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine) to help position him for the open congressional race, released the data results. The initial ballot test favored Republican former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh by a 39-37 percent margin. After push questions, Sen. Min unsurprisingly pulled ahead, but even this Democratic poll suggests the open Orange County congressional seat battle will be intensely competitive.

In 2022, Baugh held Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) to 51.7 percent of the vote. The 47th District includes the cities of Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+6. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 52.5D – 45.5R. Rep. Porter is leaving the district to run for US Senate.

Cities

Houston: Ex-City Councilwoman Leaves Mayor’s Race — Former Houston city councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards (D) is ending her campaign for the open mayor’s position but has her eyes on Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s US House seat.

Edwards, who now endorses Rep. Jackson Lee for mayor, says she will be a candidate in an 18th Congressional District special election should the congresswoman win the mayor’s race. Edwards says she is confident Rep. Jackson Lee will be elected as Houston’s chief executive. Polling, however, suggests the leading candidate is state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) who has represented the city in the legislature since the beginning of 1973.

The mayoral election will be held on Nov. 7, 2023. If no candidate receives majority support in that contest, a runoff will be scheduled likely for a point in December.

Primary Maneuverings; Tiffany Pegged in Wisconsin; UT-2 Special Election Debates; Sununu Retiring?

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 21, 2023

President

South Carolina: Republicans Opt for Later Primary — South Carolina moving to first position is the focal point of the Democrats’ new presidential pre-Super Tuesday primary calendar, but some of the affected states are not in agreement. Georgia, for example, voted not to adopt the Democratic National Committee recommendation and New Hampshire is sure to follow suit. Michigan has agreed, and both parties will vote on Feb. 27.

Over the weekend, the South Carolina Republican Party convention delegates voted to hold the state’s Republican primary on Feb. 24. Democrats have already chosen Feb. 3. Therefore, it is likely the state will hold two primaries, one for each party. Holding separate primary days in this state has previously happened. Both Palmetto State parties want South Carolina to continue having a premier primary, so the state is likely to make scheduling accommodations for each political entity.

Senate

Wisconsin: GOP Convention Favors Rep. Tiffany — The Wisconsin Republican Party convention conducted straw polls of those who attended over the weekend, and though it was no surprise that former President Donald Trump out-polled Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (53-34 percent), much of the attention fell to the US Senate contest. Since Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced last week that he would not run for the Senate, the party is in need of a strong challenger to oppose two-term incumbent Tammy Baldwin (D) next year.

A strong plurality of party delegates are now looking to Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua), who is indicating he has some interest in the statewide race. A total of 35 percent of the delegates voted for Rep. Tiffany as their first choice to oppose Sen. Baldwin. Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was second with 19 percent, with businessman and former statewide candidate Kevin Nicholson, ex-state Sen. Roger Roth, and businessmen Eric Hovde and Scott Mayer following with 16, 11, 8 and 1 percent, respectively. None from this group are official candidates.

House

UT-2: Special Convention, Debates Scheduled — The Utah Republican Party has scheduled the special 2nd District GOP live nominating convention for this coming Saturday, June 24 in the city of Delta, which is in the geographical center of the sprawling CD that stretches from the city of Farmington, through the western Salt Lake City suburbs and then all the way to the Arizona border. Democrats are meeting in a virtual convention on June 28.

The 2nd District Republican delegates will vote among the 13 filed Republicans to send one into the special Sept. 5 primary as the official party endorsed candidate. Democrats have three candidates including the favorite for the nomination, state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights). The delegates will continue the voting process until one candidate receives majority support. This individual will automatically be placed on the primary ballot. Other candidates wishing to contest the nomination will be required to file 7,000 valid registered voter petition signatures from the party for which they are attempting to qualify.

Republican debates have also been scheduled for the special election. The northern Utah forum was held Tuesday, with the southern district event on Thursday. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), for family reasons, is resigning his seat on Sept. 15. The special general election will be held on Nov. 21. Republicans are favored to hold the UT-2 seat which the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+23.

Governor

New Hampshire: Gov. Sununu Leaning Toward Retirement — In a radio interview Monday, four-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said, “I don’t think I’m going to run again,” but indicated he would make a firm decision this summer.

Gov. Sununu is only the second four-term governor in state history; no one has served five terms. New Hampshire, along with neighboring Vermont are the only two states that have two-year gubernatorial terms. Already, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington have indicated they will compete for the Democratic nomination. In an open situation, the New Hampshire state house would be a prime Democratic conversion target.

Sen. Scott Shows Movement; Biden vs. GOP Candidates; Tight Race in Michigan; Alabama Redistricting

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, June 20, 2023

President

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R)

Sen. Tim Scott: Showing Movement — Last week we saw New Hampshire polls found Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) moving into either third place on the GOP ballot test question, or tying for that same position. Now, we see a new national poll showing similar upward mobility for the South Carolina senator.

YouGov America, polling for the University of Massachusetts (May 31-June 8; 1,133 US adults; online), finds former President Donald Trump again leading among national Republicans with a 56 percent preference figure while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails with 26 percent support. Sen. Scott, though posting only four percent, moves past the other second tier candidates for third place.

The general election pairings also show him highly competitive with President Joe Biden. While Biden leads former President Donald Trump 43-40 percent in the national popular vote question and posts a 41-37 percent margin against Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Scott falls into the same realm. Despite not being well known nationally, he actually polls the best against the president, trailing only 37-35 percent.

Michigan Poll: Highly Competitive Results — The new EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (June 8-14; 60 likely Michigan voters; live interview) again reveals a familiar pattern. That is, President Biden’s job approval rating is extremely low, yet he pulls even in the ballot test with both former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The polling sample tilts slightly Republican because the black vote is under-represented by three points when compared to the US Census Michigan population figures.

While President Biden’s job approval ratio is a terrible 29:69 percent favorable to unfavorable (nine percent excellent; 20 percent pretty good; 25 percent just fair; 44 percent poor), he still pulls even with Trump in the Michigan ballot test at 44 percent apiece. When paired with Gov. DeSantis, the president trails by one point, 45-44 percent.

The EPIC poll obviously suggests that Michigan will be a battleground state in the presidential race, but most analysts are projecting it will remain in the Democratic column when the votes are ultimately counted.

Senate

Michigan: Poll Shows Tight Race — The aforementioned EPIC-MRA Michigan poll (see Michigan president above) also tested the impending open Wolverine State US Senate race. The pollsters pitted Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), the early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig, potentially the most well known Republican. The ballot test revealed a tighter contest than expected with Rep. Slotkin holding only a 40-39 percent edge over retired Chief Craig. Both figures contain eight percent in the “lean” category for both Rep. Slotkin and Craig.

The Michigan race will likely move closer to the Democratic column as the year-long campaign evolves. There is a slight Republican skew in this polling sample as blacks are slightly under-represented. Both Rep. Slotkin and Craig are unknown to the majority of the respondent universe indicating that each will have to spend money to increase name identification. The seat is open because four-term incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring.

House

Alabama Redistricting: Court Determines Re-Mapping Calendar — After last week’s US Supreme Court’s ruling that invalidated the Alabama congressional map, the federal three judge panel assuming jurisdiction has sent the map back to the state legislature to begin the re-drawing process. SCOTUS agreed with the plaintiffs in the case that a second majority minority district can be drawn in the state. The current map yields a 6R-1D split.

The court is giving the legislature until July 21 to produce a new map for judicial review. If the legislature cannot complete the plan within that time frame, the court may step in and order a special master to manage the map drawing process.

SCOTUS will also rule on the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering and judicial power lawsuit before the end of June. That ruling could have an effect upon the Alabama case as it relates to judicial control over the redistricting process. Therefore, the situation could again change once the North Carolina ruling is made public.

Christie Gains Support; Indiana’s Holcomb Will Not Make Senate Bid; House Roundup: California, MD, Utah

By Jim Ellis — Monday, June 19, 2023

President

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

National Research Poll: Christie Shows — A new National Research poll conducted for the American Greatness Super PAC (June 12-14; 500 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters) finds former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Granite State, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drops down several points from the group’s last survey. In a surprise, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bolts into a third place tie with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at seven percent apiece.

A point the pollsters made revolves around New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu deciding not to run for president. At least in this first poll taken after his announcement, the results did not help Gov. DeSantis as expected. Instead, the pollsters indicated the Sununu support appeared to gravitate to either Sen. Scott or ex-Gov. Christie.

Senate

Indiana: Gov. Holcomb Won’t Run — Term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced that he will not enter the US Senate race or run for any other office in 2024. The governor taking a pass on the Senate race means US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the May 7, 2024, Republican primary. He will be viewed as a lock to win the general election as the Democrats have yet to produce a competitive candidate. Incumbent Sen. Mike Braun (R) is not seeking re-election in order to run for governor.

House

CA-31: Former Dem Mayor Files Against Rep. Napolitano — Community College Trustee and former Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz (D) filed candidacy documents with the Federal Election Commission for her southern California congressional district. If she formally files, the race could lead to a Democrat vs. Democrat general election under California’s all-party jungle primary system.

It is also possible that Lutz is creating a placeholder committee in case 86-year-old incumbent Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) decides to retire.

MD-6: Lieutenant Governor Won’t Run — Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D) announced late last week that she will not enter the open 6th Congressional District race. Miller ran for the seat in 2018 when it was last open, finishing second in the Democratic primary to eventual winner David Trone. With Trone now running for the Senate, the politically competitive 6th District is now open again.

At this point five Democrats and three Republicans have announced their candidacies. On the Democratic side, two state Delegates are in the race, Lesley Lopez (D-Montgomery Village) and Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County). Two-time GOP nominee Neil Parrott has not yet entered the race. Defeated GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox also claims to be considering the congressional contest but has yet to make a final decision.

UT-2: Special Election Candidate Filing Closes — Gov. Spencer Cox (R) set the special primary election to replace resigning US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) for Sept. 5 and the special general on Nov. 21. The candidate filing period has now closed. A total of 13 Republicans, three Democrats, and six minor party or Independent candidates have filed.

For the Republicans — who will be favored to hold the seat — former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, ex-state Rep. and US Senate candidate Becky Edwards, and former Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough are official candidates, and at this point comprise the first tier. For the Democrats, the leading contender is state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights).

The political parties will now call a special district convention. The delegates will nominate one candidate to advance into the special primary by majority vote. Others can still qualify for the primary through the petition signature process.