Category Archives: Primary

Palin Loses in Alaska; Walker Leads in Second Poll in Georgia, Kemp Holds Edge; Gen. Bolduc Again Leading in NH; Gov. McMaster’s SC Quest

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022

House

Former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D) wins the Alaska special election race.

AK-AL: Sarah Palin Loses Special Election — Former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin fell to Democrat Mary Peltola in the at-large Alaska special election, which marked the first full usage of the state’s new Ranked Choice Voting system.
At the end of the final counting, 60 percent of voters chose a Republican candidate, but the RCV system yielded a Democratic victor. Therefore, in a system that is designed to create a majority candidate, in this case it produced a minority vote share winner.

The finalists were Peltola, who recorded 40.2 percent of the vote; Palin, who secured 31.3 percent, and Nick Begich III (R), the grandson of former Democratic US Rep. Nick Begich, and the nephew of former US senator and ex-Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D), who captured 28.5 percent. Finishing third, Begich was eliminated from further competition, and his first-place votes were located and then distributed to the other candidates via the voters’ ranking. In the end, Peltola defeated Palin by a 5,219 votes; another 14,965 ballots were disqualified in the Ranked Choice Voting process.

Senate

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker[/caption]Georgia: Walker Leading in Second Poll — Previously, an early August Phillips Academy poll projected Republican Herschel Walker to be holding a slight 45-44 percent lead over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) after trailing in seven of eight July surveys. Emerson College released the result of their most recent Georgia survey Tuesday (Aug. 28-29; 600 likely Georgia general election voters; interactive voice response system, text, and online), which found Walker posting an almost identical 46-44 percent edge, again providing more evidence that this race is a long way from being over.

New Hampshire: Gen. Bolduc Again Leading — In mid-August, when St. Anselm College released a survey showing retired Army general and 2020 US Senate Republican candidate Don Bolduc developing a substantial lead for the Sept. 13 GOP Senate primary, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) went public in an attempt to negate his advantage. Many believe, including Gov. Sununu, that Gen. Bolduc would lose to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in November. Previously, Gen. Bolduc had accused Gov. Sununu of being “a Chinese communist sympathizer,” among other comments that created bad blood between the two men.

The University of New Hampshire (Aug. 25-29; 892 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters; online) reported the results of their new statewide survey. According to the UNH Granite State Poll, Gen. Bolduc continues to lead state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) by over 20 points, 43-22 percent, with three other candidates languishing in low single digits.

Georgia: Kemp Again Holds Advantage — The aforementioned Emerson College survey (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the Peach State governor’s race between incumbent Brian Kemp (R) and challenger Stacey Abrams (D) who returns for a re-match from their close 2018 contest. The Emerson results give Gov. Kemp a 48-44 percent edge, which appears as a consistent margin routinely found in eleven of 12 July-August polls in which the incumbent held an edge. The lone outlier poll, a Research Affiliates study that concluded on Aug. 1, found the two candidates tied at 47 percent apiece.

South Carolina: Gov. McMaster Leading in Re-election Poll — Gov. Henry McMaster (R) succeeded then-Gov. Nikki Haley (R) when she resigned her office in 2017 to become US Ambassador to the United Nations. McMaster would then win a full term in 2018, and now seeks re-election. Because of the state’s former one and now two-term limit, winning re-election this year and serving most of the next term would make McMaster the longest-serving governor in state history.

The Trafalgar Group, as part of their nationwide polling series (Aug. 25-28; 1,071 likely South Carolina general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) tested the Palmetto State electorate and sees Gov. McMaster jumping out to a 51-43 percent lead over former Congressman Joe Cunningham, who won the Democratic nomination back in the June primary. Four years ago, Gov. McMaster was re-elected with a 54-46 percent margin.

Polling Conflict in Nevada;
Dr. Oz Draws Closer in PA;
Two Polls, Different Results

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 29, 2022

Senate

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

Nevada: Polling Conflict — The Nevada Senate race is one of the most competitive and important statewide contests in this midterm election cycle, and two polls conducted within the same sampling realm report drawing opposite conclusions. Suffolk University, polling for the Reno Gazette Journal (Aug. 14-17; 500 likely Nevada general election voters; live interview), projects Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) to be leading former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 45-38 percent. Conversely, The Trafalgar Group (Aug. 15-18; 1,082 likely Nevada general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees a complete opposite picture. They find Laxalt holding a three-point edge, 47-44 percent.

It is not particularly surprising to see The Trafalgar Group with different results since their polling methodology is unique. Their accuracy rate, however, is among the best in the survey research industry.

Pennsylvania: Oz Drawing Closer — Despite what even a casual observer would perceive as Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz’s campaign going poorly, two new statewide surveys find him trailing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) by only four percentage points as the two research firms arrived at exactly identical ballot test results.

The pollsters, The Trafalgar Group (Aug. 15-19; 1,087 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and Emerson College (Aug. 22-23; 1,034 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see Fetterman leading Dr. Oz, 48-44 percent. On the other hand, the new Franklin & Marshall College poll (Aug. 15-21; 522 registered Pennsylvania voters; live interview), with a much higher error rate than the other two, finds Fetterman’s advantage to be 43-30 percent.

House

MI-10: Two Polls, Same Time, Different Results — Regular Michigan pollster Mitchell Research, again surveying for the Michigan Information & Research Service (Aug. 16-21; 429 ikely MI-10 lgeneral election voters), finds former US Senate Republican nominee John James leading ex-Macomb County prosecutor Carl Marlinga (D), by a 47-38 percent clip, well beyond the polling margin of error. The Marlinga campaign countered with a Target Insyght survey (Aug. 16-18; 400 likely Michigan general election voters) that gives their candidate, Marlinga, a slight 47-45 percent edge. The new 10th was drawn as a highly competitive district, so a close finish here is clearly on the political horizon.

Governor

Pennsylvania: Same Pattern as Senate — The three pollsters that tested the Pennsylvania Senate race, The Trafalgar Group, Emerson College and Franklin & Marshall College (see PA Senate above) the same partisan pattern is also appearing in the governor’s race. The Trafalgar and Emerson results are similar, and the F&M conclusion greatly differs, though they all agree on the race order.

In the governor’s race, The Trafalgar Group finds Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leading state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Fayetteville), 49-45 percent, while Emerson posts a similar 47-44 percent division. Like in the Senate race, Franklin & Marshall sees the Democratic performance in much better position. Their ballot test projects AG Shapiro with a stronger 44-33percent advantage. The stated margin of error factor on the Trafalgar poll is 2.9, while Emerson’s is an almost identical 3.0. The F&M error factor, however, is listed as 4.3percent.

Updated Alaska Results; First Poll From Arizona’s New 6th District; A Resolution in NY-10?

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

House

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, now running for US House Representative

AK-AL: Updated Results — Alaska officials have updated the election totals as more ballots have been received, counted, and recorded. Under Alaska voting procedure, ballots can still be accepted from the outlying rural regions until Aug. 31 as long as they were postmarked on primary day, Aug. 16.

In the special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s (R) current term, Democratic state Rep. Mary Peltola maintains the lead with an adjusted 38.9 percent of the vote. Former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is second with 31.4 percent of the vote, a total of 5,630 votes ahead of third-place finisher Nick Begich III (R). Palin has maintained this 5,000-plus vote margin over Begich for virtually the entire counting process. Second place is critical, since the first two finishers will advance into the Ranked Choice Voting round.

State officials estimate that approximately 90 percent of the votes are now recorded. This means another 20,000 ballots could be outstanding. If so, calculations suggest that Begich would have to garner approximately 73 percent of the vote pool that remains for a Republican candidate. So far, he has only received 47.2 percent of the ballots that were marked for either he or Palin. Should this standing hold, Palin would need approximately 40 percent of the Begich second choice votes to overtake Peltola and win the special election. This is a reasonable number, but her biggest problem could be the number of votes that are disqualified in the second round for mis-marking the multiple entries due to voter confusion over the new system.

Votes are also being counted for the regular House primary election where the top four finishers will advance into the regular general election. Like in the special general election, the top three finishers kept the same order, Peltola-Palin-Begich. The person currently running fourth, Republican Tara Sweeney, who has only four percent of the vote, says she will not continue if she qualifies. The Board of Elections officials ruled that when Independent candidate Al Gross withdrew from the competition after qualifying for the special general that only three would then advance. Therefore, we are likely to see a rerun of this special general election in the regular November vote.

AZ-6: First Poll, No Surprise — Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research released the first post-primary survey of Arizona’s new 6th District, the seat located in the southeast corner of the state that encompasses the largest part of the city of Tucson. The district leans slightly Republican, R+6 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization with a partisan lean index of 52.0-R – 47.1-D from Dave’s Redistricting App.

The GQR survey (Aug. 16-21; 500 likely AZ-6 general election voters; live interview) finds Democratic former Tucson state senator and representative Kirsten Engel posting a two-point lead over ex-Hispanic Chamber of Commerce official Juan Ciscomani (R), 49-47 percent. This is Ciscomani’s first run for elective office.

NY-10: Candidates May Return for General Election — Once all of the thousands of yet-to-be-counted mail ballots are finally tabulated and recorded, it is projected that attorney Dan Goldman (D) will win the crowded open seat Democratic primary. NY election officials are not releasing any new results until Aug. 31, they’ve announced, and it could take as long as just before the Sept. 9 primary election certification deadline to officially crown a party primary winner in this and other races.

Goldman, however, may face another electoral hurdle before taking the seat. He did not hold the Working Families ballot line, and this liberal political party has a slot in the general election. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who left his 17th District to run for re-election in the new 10th, failed to win the primary but does carry the WFP endorsement in his previous district. There is an argument that Jones would be entitled to the ballot line in this election.

The Working Families Party, however, endorsed state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Nioh (D-Manhattan) instead of Rep. Jones for this election, thus a dispute is beginning to arise as to who would represent the party in the 10th District general election. Having the ballot line would give one of these two the opportunity of challenging Goldman for the seat in the general election. At this point, Rep. Jones is indicating he would not pursue running in the general election, thus leaving the ballot line for Nioh.

Vance Surges in Ohio; Hill Withdraws in SC-4; Ohio Gov. DeWine With a Double Digit Lead; Term Limits

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

Senate

Author J.D. Vance, Ohio Senate Candidate

Ohio: Vance Tilts Up — After a series of polls from the end of June through early August found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) leading the Ohio US Senate general election, a second survey this week sees Republican J.D. Vance surging ahead. For the early part of the campaign, Ryan was spending heavily on advertising that Vance and his Republican allies left unchecked, thus largely explaining why the Democrat was able to build a lead. Now that Vance has countered, he has already moved past the veteran congressman.

The new Trafalgar Group survey (Aug. 16-19; 1,087 likely Ohio general election voters; multi-sampling techniques) finds Vance topping Ryan, 50-45 percent. This largely confirms the Emerson College poll released earlier in the week that saw Vance holding a similar 45-42 percent advantage.

SC-4: Rep. Timmons Catches Break — South Carolina Rep. William Timmons (R-Greenville) caught a major re-election break earlier this week when his Democratic opponent, Ken Hill, withdrew from the race. Hill said his business responsibilities, which now require him to spend substantial time in New York, make it impossible for him to continue his congressional campaign.

Rep. Timmons won a closer-than-expected Republican primary in June, avoiding a runoff with just 52.7 percent of the vote, largely due to extramarital affair allegations and related unproven claims that he was improperly using his congressional power. Now, he will run without having a Democratic opponent. Businesswoman Lee Turner (D) says she will run as a write-in candidate, however. Under South Carolina election procedure, it is too late for the Democratic Party to officially replace Hill on the ballot.

Governor

Ohio: Gov. DeWine Leading In Double-Digits — A week after a Lake Research Partners (D) survey found Gov. Mike DeWine (R) edging Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) by a slim 44-43 percent margin, the aforementioned Trafalgar Group Ohio survey (see Ohio Senate above) and an Emerson College poll (Aug. 15-16; 925 likely Ohio general election voters; multi-sampling techniques) see the governor pulling away to a pair of substantial leads. Trafalgar projects a 16-point advantage for Gov. DeWine at 54-38 percent. Emerson College posts a similar 49-33 percent spread.

House

US Term Limits’ Polling Series: Six New August Polls — The US Term Limits organization has been conducting a series of US House polls around the nation. RMG Research conducted the House campaign surveys for the group and released the results of six new polls conducted between July 31 and Aug. 15. All included 400 likely general election voters, but how the polling samples were surveyed was not disclosed.

Of the six August polls, two incumbents were ahead, two were behind, and one was tied. The other study surveyed a North Carolina open-seat electorate. In Arizona, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) leads businessman Kelly Cooper (R), 46-39 percent. Washington Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish) held a 47-43 percent edge over Matt Larkin (R), the 2020 finalist in the attorney general’s race.

The two trailing incumbents are Reps. Susan Wild (D-PA) and David Trone (D-MD). The tied incumbent is Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas). In the Allentown-Bethlehem district, GOP challenger Lisa Scheller held a 47-43 percent advantage over Wild. Maryland state Delegate Neil Parrott (R-Frederick) topped Rep. Trone, 45-43 percent, while Rep. Horsford and insurance agency owner Sam Peters (R) were tied at 43 percent preference. In the lone released open seat poll, Republican Bo Hines held a 44-39 percent lead over North Carolina state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Raleigh).

Crist Wins Florida Gov. Primary; Nadler Easily Defeats Maloney in NY; Mullin Wins OK Senate GOP Runoff

By Jim Ellis — Aug. 24, 2022

Primary Results

Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) easily wins Democrat nomination for governor to run against incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Florida: Crist Wins Gov Primary; Few Surprises — A busy night occurred around the country and particularly in the Sunshine State, as the political parties chose nominees in key statewide races and for Florida’s 28 newly drawn congressional districts. Thus, the last major primary date is now in the books.

The Florida statewide races were not in particular doubt. While Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio were unopposed in their respective Republican primaries, congressman and former governor, Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg), easily defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, 60-35 percent, to claim the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), as expected, was an easy 84 percent winner in the Democratic US Senate primary.

The competitive House primary winners were:

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R; 70-24 percent victory margin)
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean (R; 68-26 percent; created open seat)
  • Cory Mills (R; 34-21 percent; open Stephanie Murphy seat)
  • Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D; 35-25 percent; open Val Demings seat)
  • Rep. Dan Webster (R; 51-44 percent), Anna Paulina Luna (R; 44-34 percent; open Charlie Crist seat)
  • Laurel Lee (R; 41-28 percent; new seat from reapportionment), Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D; 66-29 percent)
  • Jared Moskowitz (D; 61-21 percent; open Ted Deutch seat)
  • state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D; 68-26 percent; versus Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar)
  • ex-state Rep. Robert Asencio (D; 69-31 percent; versus Rep. Carlos Gimenez)

New York: Parties Hold Specials; Reps. Maloney & Jones Lose — The very active New York congressional primary begins with a special general election win for the Democrats. In a race many believed the Republican nominee, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro would covert, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan successfully held the 19th CD in the Democratic column with a close 52-48 percent win. Ryan will now serve the unexpired portion of former Rep. Antonio Delgado’s term. Delgado resigned the seat to accept his appointment as lieutenant governor.

Curiously, Ryan will seek his re-election in the 18th District as he ran for both seats simultaneously. There, he will face state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor) who was unopposed in the open seat Republican primary. Former congressional aide John Riley won the 19th Democratic primary and now advances into the regular general election against Molinaro.

Another incumbent pairing was also decided last night. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) easily defeated Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), 55-24 percent, thus ending the congresswoman’s 30-year congressional career. Nadler had led in all polling, hence the final result is not surprising, though the size of his victory is greater than expected.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) resigned his seat to accept a position in the private sector earlier this year. The Republican caretaker candidate, Steuben County Republican Party chairman Joe Sempolinski, won the special election to serve the balance of the term. He scored a 53-47 percent win over Democrat Max Della Pia. The latter man, however, won the regular election Democratic primary and he moves into the general election.

The competitive House primary winners were:

  • Nick LaLota (R; 47-28 percent; open Lee Zeldin seat)
  • Robert Zimmerman (D; 36-26 percent; open Tom Suozzi seat; versus George Santos)
  • Lauren Gillen (D; 63-24 percent; open Kathleen Rice seat)
  • Dan Goldman (D; 26-24 percent; created open seat)
  • Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R; 78-21 percent; in general versus ex-Rep. Max Rose)
  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D; 57-23 percent)
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D; 67-33 percent; in general versus state Assemblyman Michael Lawler)
  • Brandon Williams (R; 58-42 percent; in general versus Francis Conole; open John Katko seat)
  • Nick Langworthy (R; 52-48 percent; regular election successor to Rep. Tom Reed)
  • Rep. Claudia Tenney (R; 54-40 percent)

Oklahoma: Rep. Markwayne Mullin Wins Senate GOP Runoff; OK-2 Surprise — As expected, US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) scored a landslide special election Republican runoff victory, 65-35 percent, over former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Mullin advances into the special general election where he will be favored to defeat former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D). The winner will replace resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) in January and serve the remaining four years of the current term.

With Rep. Mullin’s 2nd Congressional District being open, the primary’s second-place finisher, former state Sen. Josh Brecheen, won the Republican runoff with a 52-48 percent win over favored state Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee). In Oklahoma’s safest Republican seat, rated R+55, Brecheen is now a prohibitive favorite to defeat Democratic nominee Naomi Andrews in the general election.