Category Archives: Polling

Walker Under Fire in Georgia; Masters Closing in AZ & A Dead Heat in the State’s Gubernatorial Race;
A Battle in Michigan’s 8th District

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

Senate

Herschel Walker (R), former University of Georgia and ex-NFL football star, 2022 Georgia Senate candidate

Georgia: Conflicting Data — Just as the negative stories about GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s personal and family life began to appear in the media, along with his son coming forward to further the attacks, two conflicting surveys were released. The first, from Insider Advantage, a frequent Georgia pollster (Oct. 4; 550 likely Georgia voters), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) holding only a 47-44 percent lead over Walker.

Survey USA (Sept. 30-Oct. 4; 1,076 likely Georgia voters; online) has a much different take, and actually produces one of the best polls from Sen. Warnock’s perspective since late July. The S-USA ballot test gives the senator a much larger 50-38 percent advantage.

With the negative publicity surrounding Walker, we can expect the Republican prospects to take a dip here during at least the next few days. Since the Georgia Senate race has trended close for most of the campaign year, and this type of story has been previously publicized about Walker, it would not be surprising to see a GOP bounce-back before election day.

Arizona: CBS News Projects Masters Closing — A new CBS News/YouGov survey (Sept. 30-Oct. 4; 1,164 registered Arizona voters; online) sees GOP challenger Blake Masters pulling to within three percentage points of Sen. Mark Kelly (D), 51-48 percent. With Masters finally running ads from his own campaign committee, and outside organizations coming into the state to further target Sen. Kelly, we can expect this race to continue its competitive pace all the way through Nov. 8.

Sen. Kelly, one of the most prolific fundraisers of any Senate candidate, will not likely reach the $100 million-plus in spending that he needed for the 2020 special election, but approaching the $75 million mark in outlays is highly possible. As we know, Arizona is one of the key races that will determine the next Senate majority.

House

MI-8: Junge Take Lead Over Rep. Kildee — A just released internal Cygnal poll for the Paul Junge (pronounced: Young) campaign (Sept. 27-30; 335 likely MI-8 voters) sees the GOP challenger, a former news anchor and 2020 congressional nominee in the former 8th District against Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly/Lansing), pulling into a one-point 45-44 percent lead against five-term Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flushing/Flint). This campaign has not gotten much national play, but the two candidates have been very active, and the party organizations are spending large amounts in eastern Michigan to deliver negative messages.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat a R+1, while the Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean sees a 50.8 – 46.0 percent spread in favor of the Democrats. This is a national under-the-radar race destined to attract more attention.

Governor

Arizona: A Dead Heat — The aforementioned CBS/YouGov poll (see Arizona Senate above) also tested the Arizona governor’s race. Here, as other pollsters routinely find, the race between Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and news anchor Kari Lake (R) is extremely close. In the CBS/YouGov survey that posted Sen. Kelly to a three-point edge, the gubernatorial ballot test finds both candidates deadlocked at 49 percent apiece.

New Mexico: A Tightening Ballot Test — After several weeks of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) developing comfortable polling leads over Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Cygnal poll conducted for GOP Attorney General candidate Jeremy Gay (Sept. 27-29; 400 likely modeled New Mexico general election voters; interactive voice response system & text) sees the pair of gubernatorial candidates falling within a two-point margin, 46-44 percent, but still in the governor’s favor.

The sample size for this statewide poll is low, so the error factor is relatively high. Both candidates are very active, so we can expect that the New Mexico gubernatorial contest will draw further national attention before the election cycle concludes.

House Updates – Including Gerrymandering: AL, CO, NM, NJ & NY

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022

House

Alabama redistricting map

Redistricting: Supreme Court Hears Alabama Case — In one of the first cases on the US Supreme Court’s new term docket, oral arguments were heard for the Alabama racial gerrymandering redistricting case, which could result in a landmark ruling relating to future interpretation of the Voting Rights Act.

The state of Alabama is arguing its reasons for keeping the state’s congressional map, which features one strong majority minority district. The US government is arguing that a second minority seat can be drawn. The presentations consumed more time than usual for Supreme Court oral arguments, and now it is up to the nine justices to craft a definitive ruling, which will be released sometime before June next year.

In November, the high court will hear oral arguments on the North Carolina redistricting case, which will lead to a definitive ruling pertaining to judicial power over the constitutional authority of state legislatures.

CO-3: Rep. Boebert’s Slight Lead — Despite representing a relatively safely Republican western slope 3rd Congressional District, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) looks to have a competitive race on her hands as we begin the campaign cycle’s final weeks. Colorado-based Keating Research conducted a poll for the Adam Frisch (D) campaign (Sept. 28-Oct. 2; 500 likely CO-3 voters; live interview & text). The ballot test results found Rep. Boebert’s lead shrinking to 47-45 percent, down from Keating’s 49-42 percent spread detected in its July survey.

Expect to see countering numbers from either the Boebert campaign or the National Republican Congressional Committee to soon be released.

NM-2: Gerrymandered District Yields Dem a Slight Edge — The Global Strategy Group, polling for the Gabe Vasquez (D) campaign, tested the NM-2 electorate to determine the state of the race featuring freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo) and Vasquez, a Las Cruces City councilman. The GSG survey (Sept. 20-26; 500 likely NM-2 voters; live interview) sees Vasquez pulling ahead of Rep. Herrell, 45-43 percent.

The result is not particularly surprising in that the Democratic legislature and governor crafted the new 2nd CD to flip. Before redistricting, the FiveThirtyEight data organization rated the seat, R+14. Post-redistricting, we see a D+4 categorization. This district will still yield a close finish, and voter turnout will tell the ultimate tale.

NJ-7: Rep. Malinowski Internal Poll Shows Dead Heat — The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research organization conducted a congressional poll for two-term Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill), who is again in a tight battle with former state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R). In 2020, Kean held Rep. Malinowski to a 51-49 percent re-election win in a district that was more Democratic than the new 7th. The GQR survey (Sept. 20-26; 500 likely NJ-7 general election voters) sees both candidates now attracting 48 percent of the vote. The Democratic pollster, however, also detects a partisan generic party label split of 50-45 percent favoring the Republicans. NJ-7 is a key Republican conversion opportunity seat.

NY-22: Republican Breaks Ahead — The Syracuse-anchored 22nd District is open in the 2022 election cycle because Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump, is not seeking a fifth term. Ironically, the court-drawn map actually makes this district two points more Republican than the seat the Rep. Katko consistently won.

Siena College conducted an independent poll for the Spectrum News Service (Sept. 25-28; 453 likely NY-22 general election voters) and sees Republican technology company executive Brandon Williams jumping out to a five point, 45-40 percent, advantage over former intelligence agency analyst Francis Conole (D).

With the respondents believing the country is on the wrong track by a 25:63 percent margin, it is not particularly surprising to also see Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) falling behind Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) in this Upstate District. NY-22 is a must-win for the GOP in November.

Warnock Attracts Big Bucks in GA; Nevada Turning Red? Dem Leads in Open-Seat PA-17 Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

Senate

Georgia freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock (D)

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Continues to Attract Big Bucks — Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) campaign leadership is reporting that they raised an incredible $26.3 million just in the third quarter. Prior to this impending Federal Election Commission disclosure report due on Oct. 15, Sen. Warnock had outraised every Senate incumbent and challenger by at least $30 million. His new aggregate total of approximately $111 million raised for the entire campaign will certainly keep him in the financial driver’s seat. The campaign spokesperson said the Warnock committee has more than $13 million cash-on-hand available for the final five weeks.

Indiana: Another Close Survey — Back in August, Change Research released a survey that found Sen. Todd Young (R) ahead of Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott (D) by only a slim 45-42 percent margin. Most believed this survey to be an anomaly. Now, the ARW Strategies polling entity, surveying for the Indy Politics blog (Sept. 25-26; 600 likely Indiana general election voters), has arrived at a similar conclusion more than a month later. The ARW results find Sen. Young’s advantage to be only 39-37 percent opposite Mayor McDermott. Libertarian candidate James Sceniak accounts for six percent of the preference total with the remainder saying they are undecided.

These again are puzzling numbers since Sen. Young is not exhibiting any signs of political trouble in a state where his party consistently wins elections and is favored across the board in 2022. Chances are good we will see more attention from both sides being paid to this race as we move toward the campaign’s closing weeks.

Nevada: Laxalt Ahead in Sixth Consecutive Poll — OH Predictive Insights, a frequent pollster in the southwest, released their new Nevada numbers. The survey (Sept. 20-29; 741 likely Nevada general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) projects former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leading Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by a 45-43 percent margin. This is the sixth consecutive poll, from six individual research firms during a long Sept. 8-29 time frame, that forecasts Laxalt with a small lead — an average of just over two percentage points.

The most troubling aspect from the Democratic perspective is that Sen. Cortez Masto only averages 43.3 percent preference with a high-water mark of just 46 percent within this group of studies. Her performance is far below the 50 percent plateau and very low for any incumbent. It now appears that Nevada is the Republicans’ best national US Senate conversion opportunity.

House

PA-17: Dem Leading in Open Seat Race — A just released brilliant corners firm survey (polling for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Sept. 18-20; 400 likely PA-17 general election voters) containing a high disclosed error rate of 4.9 percent, posts Democratic election law attorney and college professor Chris Deluzio to a six-point, 49-43 percent, lead over GOP engineer and former local elected official Jeremy Shaffer.

The open 17th District, located in the western Pittsburgh suburbs and encompasses the territory all the way to the Ohio border, is a swing district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates D+1. Detecting a Republican resurgence around the country after Sept. 20, it will be interesting to see what more recent data might show for this campaign. This region’s voting history suggests the 17th District remains a toss-up race.

Governor

Nevada: Republican Lombardo Pulls Ahead — OH Predictive Insights also released their new Nevada gubernatorial results. The survey (see Nevada Senate above) projects Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) to be running ahead of Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) by three percentage points, 45-42 percent. This is the third consecutive poll that finds the GOP challenger topping the Democratic incumbent. It is clear that the closing campaign weeks will be hot ones in the Silver State.

Alaska’s Ranked Choice Voting System Favors Sen. Murkowski, Begich over Palin; Dr. Oz Closes On Lt. Gov. Fetterman in PA; CA-26 Race Tightens

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

Senate

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R)

Alaska: Ranked Choices Favors Sen. Murkowski — The new Alaska Survey Research firm tested the Alaska Senate race, and we again see Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) having trouble distancing herself from challenger and fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka.

The ASR poll (Sept. 25-27; 1,282 likely Alaska general election voters; online) finds Sen. Murkowski leading Tshibaka only 41-39 percent on the ballot test question, with Democrat Pat Chesboro attracting 17 percent support, and Republican Buzz Kelley garnering a four percent preference factor. Kelley has already withdrawn as an active candidate and endorsed Tshibaka, but his name remains on the ballot as one of the four finalists from the Aug. 16 primary vote.

The Ranked Choice system then kicks in to put Sen. Murkowski well ahead in the final round. After Chesbro and Kelley are officially eliminated, Sen. Murkowski would top Tshibaka, 57-43 percent, once the second and third choice votes are added to the tabulation.

Pennsylvania: Movement Confirmation — Yesterday, as well as late last week, we reported upon a trio of surveys finding Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) coming within close range of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) on the various ballot test questions. Fox News, Franklin & Marshall, and Insider Advantage found the Fetterman lead dropping to three and four percentage points.

Now, Emerson College has released their Pennsylvania statewide survey, the fourth coming to a similar conclusion within a constant time realm. The new Emerson study (Set. 23-26; 1,000 likely Pennsylvania voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Dr. Oz coming within the polling margin of error, trailing Fetterman by only a 45-43 percent count.

House

AK-AL: Poll Finds Begich Passing Palin — The aforementioned Alaska Survey Research poll (see Alaska Senate above) also tested the state’s at-large US House District campaign and it discovered two significant data points. First, in the ballot test of the four candidates who advanced into the general election, businessman Nick Begich III now moves ahead of former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin by two and three percentage points on the initial vote and first Ranked Choice Voting round.

The second finding is newly elected Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) would defeat either Begich or Palin even before getting to the second Ranked Choice round. According to the ASR poll, Rep. Peltola would achieve majority support, thus winning the election, once Libertarian Chris Bye, the fourth-place finisher, is eliminated from further competition.

CA-26: Poll Suggests New Race Bubbling to the Surface — A just-released OnMessage survey (Sept. 14-18; 400 likely CA-26 voters; live interview) surprisingly finds Rep. Julia Browley (D-Westlake Village/Ventura) leading Republican Matt Jacobs by only a 48-43 percent point spread. This poll, that even finds Jacobs leading among the self-described Independents 44-34 percent, is quite a change from the June 7 jungle primary results. In that election, Brownley topped Jacobs, 54-38 percent, with three other candidates sharing the remaining eight percent of the vote.

Whether Jacobs can become competitive to the point of unseating Rep. Brownley remains to be seen in a southern California district that President Biden carried 61-36 percent. For her part, Brownley has averaged 61 percent of the vote in her last three terms, but did have close calls in both her original 2012 election (53-47 percent) and 2014 (51-49 percent).

Hassan Leads Beyond Error Margin in NH Senate Race; Three-Way Tie in NC; Dr. Oz Moving up in PA

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

Senate

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan (D)

New Hampshire: Again, Beyond Error Margin — Though the new Suffolk University survey for the Boston Globe newspaper (Sept. 23-26; 500 likely New Hampshire general election voters) shows Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) holding a lead well beyond the polling margin of error over retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc (R) as do three other post-primary pollsters, their 50-41 percent margin is a touch closer than some of the other results.

While Republican national political organizations continuing to spend heavily will likely draw Gen. Bolduc closer to Sen. Hassan, it is unlikely that her ballot test advantage can be overcome before Election Day. Therefore, the analysis that the GOP strategists will pull their media buy from the New Hampshire race and transfer it to other more winnable contests remains valid.

North Carolina: The “Three-Way” Tie — The North Carolina Senate race has been tight for weeks, but now we see three separate pollsters all finding the race status languishing in a flat tie. The Cygnal polling organization (Sept. 24-26; 650 likely North Carolina voters), Meredith College (Sept. 20-23; 731 likely North Carolina voters), and the Global Strategy Group (Sept. 12-20; 800 likely North Carolina voters) all project tied results. Cygnal sees Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) each attracting 44 percent of the vote. Meredith College finds both with 41 percent, while GSG’s total is 46 percent apiece.

Obviously, the North Carolina Senate race is one of the closest in the nation with just over a month remaining and early voting on the cusp of beginning.

Pennsylvania: Dr. Oz Moving Closer — A trio of new surveys find Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) coming within close range of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) in their expensive battle over what is one of the most important Senate contests in the nation.

Fox News (Sept. 22-26; 827 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) finds Dr. Oz pulling to within four points of Fetterman, 48-44 percent. Franklin & Marshall College (Sept. 19-25; 517 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) and Insider Advantage (Sept. 23-24; 550 likely Pennsylvania general election voters) also see similar margins. The latter two arrive at identical ballot test results: Fetterman leading 45-42 percent. With early voting just days away from beginning since the ballots have already been mailed to the registered voters, Dr. Oz may be making his move at precisely the right time.

Governor

Wisconsin: Six Polls, Six Tight Results — The Wisconsin governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and businessman and former statewide nominee Tim Michels (R) is clearly a dead heat. Six polling firms were in the field during the Sept. 14-27 period surveying between 574 and 1,399 likely or registered voters and each sees an extremely close race.

Emerson College and Public Policy Polling find Gov. Evers leading by two percentage points. Big Data Poll and Fox News saw the race as a dead heat tie. The Trafalgar Group and Fabrizio Ward (R)/Impact Research (D), polling for AARP, project Michels as holding a tight lead. In five of the six results, both candidates drew support within the 40s. Only the AARP survey found a contender, Michels, reaching the 50 percent mark.

All About Arizona Arithmetic …

(A Katie Hobbs ad that seems to test what could be her campaign’s change in direction.)

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 30, 2022

Governor

Former news anchor and current gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R)

Arizona: Beneath the Surface — A strange turn of events coming from Arizona leads us to question some of the most recent polling and whether or not there could be a conservative backlash forming. This would explain why the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is clearly moving to the ideological right with her campaign strategy.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won the open Democratic nomination for governor with over 73 percent of the vote in early August. Former television news anchor Kari Lake (R) is her opponent, and many believed Hobbs would sweep past the latter once Donald Trump’s strong support for Lake became the central campaign issue. For the Aug. 2 primary, Lake enjoyed strong support from the former president, which helped her score a close 47-44 percent Republican primary victory over University of Arizona Regent Karin Taylor Robson.

The general election, however, has become much more competitive than many expected. Lake is running neck-and-neck with Hobbs. Lake is basically taking a Glenn Youngkin-style approach to Trump in the general election — that is, graciously accepting his endorsement but continuing to campaign individually for the office sought without making Trump a campaign factor. In the most recent polling, seven released surveys since Sept. 6, both candidates lead in three of the research studies and are tied in another.

In the three polls favoring Democrat Hobbs, her lead is one point in each survey. Of the three where Republican Lake holds an edge, her margin is four points in two of the three. During this same time-frame — Sept. 6th to the present — nine polls have been conducted and Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holds the lead over Republican Blake Masters in all with an average spread of just under six percentage points in the accompanying statewide campaign.

Seeing these Senate campaign numbers would suggest that Hobbs would feel comfortable remaining close to her Democratic base, figuring that the Kelly campaign would take the lead in driving the party turnout. Not so, when looking at her most recent ad (above).

The new Hobbs ad basically adopts Republican themes, and not the current Democratic approach. She doesn’t mention abortion, unusual for a Democratic candidate these days since the party has clearly adopted a national single-issue strategy surrounding the issue. The party candidates across the board continue along this campaign path because the strategists believe that emphasizing the pro-choice position above all else is the way toward energizing the casual Democratic voter, i.e., those who only vote in presidential elections.

Instead, Hobbs is talking about implementing a tax cut for over 800,000 Arizona families and ending the sales tax on baby formula, school supplies, and medicines. Moving to the right while Sen. Kelly has a discernible advantage over Masters even while being attacked for his liberal voting record is a surprising development.

It appears the Hobbs campaign team may have uncovered patterns and trends in their research that leads them to conclude Republicans are in considerably better political shape than the current polls suggest. The primary turnout is one clue. Some 235,000 more Republicans than Democrats voted in the 2022 Arizona primaries, thus suggesting a possible precursor to a strong election night this November.

Such a closing surge would also be consistent with the Arizona vote in the 2020 election. Then, Sen. Kelly led by an average of just under seven points through the month of October, but only defeated then-Sen. Martha McSally (R) by just two percentage points.

In the presidential campaign, Joe Biden led then-President Trump by an average of 2.5 percentage points over the final 22 polls conducted in the state, but only managed to carry the state by 10,457 votes of almost 3.4 million votes cast — or just .3 of one percent.

The Hobbs move to the right is unorthodox, but if successful will prove a Democratic candidate can win when “cutting across the grain.”

Oregon: Republican Drazan Takes Lead — A just-released DHM Research survey (Sept. 23-24; 600 likely Oregon general election voters) finds former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) taking a one-point lead over former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), with strong Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state legislator, dropping well back.

The gubernatorial ballot test gives Drazan a 32-31-18 percent edge over her two opponents. When the pollsters asked a second question just centered around the three top contenders, the ballot test actually strengthened Drazan slightly, to a 35-33-21 percent margin. The last time a Republican was elected Oregon’s governor came in 1982. In terms of the state’s status perception, just 25 percent said that the Beaver State is headed in the right direction while 62 percent replied that Oregon is on the wrong track.

Senate

Arizona: Sen. Kelly Expands Advantage — After several mid-September polls found Republican US Senate challenger Blake Masters pulling to within the polling margin of error against Sen. Mark Kelly (D), two new surveys see the two-year incumbent pulling back ahead by a more substantial margin.

Suffolk University’s (Sept. 21-25; 500 likely Arizona voters; live interview) latest study reports a seven-point spread in the senator’s favor, 49-42 percent. Marist College’s new likely voter survey (Sept. 19-22; 1,076 likely Arizona voters; live interview, text & online) found a slightly smaller Kelly lead, 50-45 percent. The Arizona race continues to be one to watch, especially considering the late GOP surge that occurred here in 2020.

Washington: Another Outlier — Yesterday, we reported on The Trafalgar Group’s new September poll that posted Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) to a 49-47 percent lead over Republican Tiffany Smiley and suggested the poll may be an outlier, since no other firm found such a close division between the two major candidates.

Now we see Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling quickly countering with a new survey of their own (Sept. 27-28; 770 Washington voters). The PPP response gives Sen. Murray a much stronger 52-40 percent advantage. In the Aug. 2 Washington jungle primary, Sen. Murray outpaced Smiley, 52-34 percent.

YouGov/CBS News Abortion Poll Results; A Suspected Outlier in Pennsylvania Senate Race; Montana House Race Closer Than it Should Be

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

Issues

YouGov/CBS News: Abortion Poll Results — The international polling firm YouGov, surveying for CBS News, released a new issue-oriented poll (Sept. 21-23; 2,253 US registered voters; 1,192 female voters; online), and its purpose was to largely test the abortion issue along with some other subject areas more likely to attract Democratic voters.

Though the abortion issue was highlighted as the central theme of the current poll, and the reported partisan segmentations only included Democrats and Republicans, thus omitting Independents; abortion as a voter turnout driver was still not at the top of the list.

The seven tested issues in common from these two isolated polls were (alphabetically)

  1. Abortion
  2. Climate change
  3. Crime
  4. Economy
  5. Gun policy
  6. Immigration
  7. Inflation

Unexpectedly dropped from The Economist poll list are the issue areas of civil liberties, civil rights, criminal justice reform, education, foreign policy, health care, national security, and taxes/government spending. The most surprising omissions were education and health care, which are included in virtually every issue matrix poll within the entire polling universe.

Though the abortion issue was highlighted as the central theme of the current poll, and the reported partisan segmentations only included Democrats and Republicans thus omitting Independents, abortion as a voter turnout driver was still not at the top of the list.

According to this latest YouGov finding, 59 percent of the respondents rated abortion as “very important” (the other two choices given the respondents were “somewhat important” or “not too/not important”), but this ranked seventh on the list of one dozen tested topics. Again, topping the grouping with an 82 percent “very important” rating was the economy. Here are the results, listed in descending order of importance:

  1. Economy — 82%
  2. Inflation — 76%
  3. Crime — 67%
  4. Voting & election issues — 64%
  5. Immigration — 62%
  6. Gun policy — 61%
  7. Abortion — 59%

While there were many differences between the female and male segments, both rated inflation as “very important” with the same 76 percent rating. The biggest chasm between the two genders was abortion. By an 18-point margin, more women (67 percent) than men (49 percent) rated the issue as “very important.” The other major differences were:

  • Climate change (women: 51% “very important”; men: 37%)
  • January 6th events & investigation (women: 47%; men: 36%)
  • Race (women: 41%; men: 30%)

The best news for Republicans on this poll: the enthusiasm gap still looks to favor them, which is also a key factor in winning lower turnout midterm elections. According to the YouGov/CBS data, Republicans have a five-point lead over Democrats among those saying they will “definitely” vote in the upcoming midterm election, 79-74 percent.

Senate

Pennsylvania: A Suspected Outlier — Several polls have been released regarding the Pennsylvania Senate race during September, and all but one has shown Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) closing on Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D).

The new Marist College poll (Sept. 19-22; 1,242 registered Pennsylvania voters; 1,043 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview & online) sees Fetterman holding a 51-44 percent advantage, but the result appears to be an outlier. Five other pollsters, surveying during the Sept. 6-24 period find the Fetterman advantage to only be slightly more than three percentage points. On the other hand, 23 Pennsylvania Senate surveys have been released since the May primary and Fetterman has been posted to a lead in all.

Washington: Another Outlier — The Trafalgar Group (Sept. 21/-24; 1,091 likely Washington general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) just released data that no other pollster has even remotely found. According to this most recent Trafalgar result data, Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead over Republican Tiffany Smiley has dropped to just two percentage points, 49-47 percent. Though Trafalgar has proven itself very accurate in the elections since 2016, this poll appears to be an outlier.

In the most recent surveys conducted during the Sept. 6-15 period from Public Policy Polling and Elway Research, Sen. Murray holds an average lead of 11 percentage points. Still, Smiley’s effort is the strongest we’ve seen from a Washington statewide Republican candidate this century.

House

MT-1: Closer Than it Should Be — While Montana’s new western 1st District seat was drawn as a Republican CD — the FiveThirtyEight data organization projects a R+10 partisan lean — former US representative and ex-US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (R) leads Democratic Monica Tranel by just a 43-41 percent count according to the latter’s internal Impact Research poll (Sept. 14-19; 400 likely MT-1 general election voters; live interview & text).

The result is not particularly surprising considering that Zinke had a close call in the Republican primary, edging former state Sen. Al Olszewski by just a 42-40 percent split. Zinke’s image is his problem, according to the Impact Research survey. His favorability index stands at a poor 39:54 percent positive to negative. Perhaps more troubling, 55 percent of the poll respondents agree that Zinke is “out for himself,” and 50 percent characterize him as “corrupt.” The new MT-1 is a must-win for the Republicans if they are to capture the House majority.