Category Archives: Primary

Greitens Gets Help in Missouri; Jones Shows de Blasio the Money in NY;
MI Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling

By Jim Ellis — July 15, 2022

Senate

Former Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Gets Help — A Super PAC called Missouri First Action PAC, which the Daily Kos Elections site reports that Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus principally funds, is spending $820,000 on a closing media buy to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens against the recent attacks that have displaced him from the polling lead.

The text of the first ad claims the attackers are doing so because “he’ll work for us and see President Trump’s America first agenda through.” The principal attacker, however, is Greitens ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, who details the physical abuse her son endured from his father. The open Missouri primary is Aug. 2. Attorney General Eric Schmitt and US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) are Greitens’ top GOP opponents. The seat is open because Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is retiring.

House

NY-10: Rep. Jones’s, de Blasio Report Fundraising Hauls — US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who decided to seek re-election in a New York City seat about an hour’s drive from his Westchester County district after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) decided to run against him, is going to report a major resource advantage over former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). The two are disclosing similar quarterly fundraising totals, Jones’s $524,000 compared to de Blasio’s $510,000, but the congressman’s cash-on-hand total of $2.8 million at the end of June dwarfs de Blasio’s $361,000.

The pair are part of a 13-person Democratic primary field for the new south Manhattan district that the court-ordered redistricting plan created. The Aug. 23 Democratic primary winner will likely claim the seat in November, but there is a potential interesting general election scenario developing.

In addition to Jones and de Blasio, the field features state Assemblywomen Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-NYC), New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, and former US congresswoman and ex-NYC Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman. Four of the 13 candidates, including Jones, de Blasio, Niou, and Rivera, are also competing for the Working Families Party ballot line. This means we could see a competitive general election if different candidates win the Democratic and WF lines.

Governor

Michigan: Gov. Whitmer Leads in Polling Scenarios — The Glengariff Group, a frequent Michigan political pollster, released their latest survey, which pairs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the leading GOP primary contenders. The poll, conducted for Detroit television station WDIV and the Detroit News (July 5-8; 600 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) finds Gov. Whitmer comfortably ahead of the top three Republican candidates, but with margins indicating the November election could become competitive.

Against GOP polling leader Tudor Dixon, an online radio show host, Gov. Whitmer is staked to a 51-40 percent lead. Her advantage is similar against businessman Kevin Rinke and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, 52-40 percent over the former, and 50-41 percent against the latter. The Michigan GOP field was upended when early race leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, was disqualified when he failed to produce the required number of valid petition signatures. With Whitmer in the low 50s in all scenarios, we can expect this race to close after the Aug. 2 primary when the GOP will choose a nominee.

Texas: More of the Same — The typical Texas polling pattern usually projects relatively close general election pairings, and the Republican candidate generally winning by a greater percentage than the data predicts. It’s likely we’re seeing the same progression emerge in the 2022 governor’s race. The latest YouGov/University of Houston poll (June 27-July 7; 1,169 registered Texas voters; 1,006 likely Texas general election voters; online) finds Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a third term, topping former US Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) by a 47-42 percent margin.

Since the Texas March 1 primary, nine gubernatorial polls have been released, with Abbott leading in each. His range roams from 42 to 56 percent, with O’Rourke placing between 37-44 percent. Expect Gov. Abbott to record a comfortable victory in November.

Lipinski Can’t Run in Illinois; Cori Bush Struggling in Missouri; Arizona Race Tightening

By Jim Ellis — July 14, 2022

House

Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D)

IL-6: Lipinski Can’t Run — Former Congressman Dan Lipinski (D) who was looking to potentially enter the 6th District general election as a “Centrist Independent” is unable to do so. Because Lipinski voted in the June 28 Democratic primary, he is ineligible to run as an Independent in the associated general election. The former congressman indicated that he would instead turn his attention toward helping form a centrist organization to promote independent candidates.

The development certainly helps Democratic Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) who just defeated Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange) in the district’s intra-party paired incumbents’ contest. Having Lipinski on the ballot could have resulted in enough Democratic votes straying to Lipinski, the former area incumbent who Newman defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary, to throw the general election to Republican Keith Pekau in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only a D+6.

MO-1: Some Weakness Detected — The Remington Research Group, surveying for the Missouri Scout political blog (July 6-7; 460 MO-1 likely Democratic primary voters; interactive response system), released their new polling results that post freshman Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) to a tepid 40-20 percent lead over state Sen. Steve Roberts (D-St. Louis) with a whopping 32 percent undecided just weeks before the Aug. 2 primary election. In 2020, Bush, commonly referred to as a “Squad Member” in the House, defeated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary. This is a primary contest to watch in the election’s closing days.

Governor

Arizona: GOP Race Continues to Close — As the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary continues to evolve into a two-way race, the margin between the pair of candidates is growing slimmer. A new High Ground Public Affairs survey (July 2-7; 400 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) sees former news anchor Kari Lake leading Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson by just a 39-35 percent margin.

Former President Trump, who supports Lake, has now scheduled an Arizona rally to build support for his candidate just prior to the Aug. 2 state primary. Last week, term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced his endorsement of Robson, which helped begin the latter candidate’s late momentum charge. The eventual GOP nominee will likely face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who is well ahead in polling on the Democratic side.

Michigan: Republicans’ New Leader — After the petition signature debacle that caused Republicans to see their early gubernatorial campaign leader, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, disqualified, a new Mitchell Research poll finds the GOP electorate coalescing around a new candidate. After flirting with businessman Kevin Rinke right after Craig’s exit, online radio host Tudor Dixon, who many believe would be the strongest contender from this present GOP field, has taken the primary lead as we approach the Aug. 2 election day.

The Mitchell poll (July 7-8; 683 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) finds Dixon posting 26 percent support, followed by real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley (15 percent), with Rinke and chiropractor Garrett Soldano close behind (13 percent). The eventual Republican nominee then challenges Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election. What was thought to be a competitive November contest, may yet become such.

Greitens Feeling Political Damage in MO; NE-2 Race Narrows; Democratic NH Gubernatorial Candidate Trails by 10 Points in Recent Poll

By Jim Ellis — July 13, 2022

Senate

Ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)

Missouri: Greitens Takes Hit in New Poll — The Tarrance Group just released a statewide Missouri Senate poll that shows former Gov. Eric Greitens (R) is finally absorbing some political damage from his opponents attacks, his own controversial ads about hunting “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only), and domestic and child abuse claims from his ex-wife.

The Tarrance survey (July 5-7; 600 likely Missouri Republican primary voters) now forecasts Attorney General Eric Schmitt with the primary lead at 28 percent, with US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) close behind at 24 percent. Greitens drops back to just 16 percent support with an upside-down favorability index within the Republican sampling universe at 39:49 percent favorable to unfavorable.

Former President Donald Trump announced that he has ruled out endorsing Rep. Hartzler, and is considering backing either Schmitt or Greitens, though the latest developments suggest endorsing Greitens is becoming unlikely.

House

NE-2: Vargas’ Edge Narrows — According to a new GBAO internal survey for the Tony Vargas for Congress campaign (June 27-30; 500 NE-2 likely general election voters), Democratic state Sen. Vargas holds a 48-47 percent edge over US Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha). While the internal poll is good news for Vargas, his standing has actually weakened since Change Research released a pre-primary poll in May that posted him to a slight 42-39 percent lead over the three-term incumbent.

The NE-2 battle will be a race to watch in the fall as Rep. Bacon may be one of the few Republican House incumbents forced into a strongly competitive race.

Governor

New Hampshire: Dem Internal Poll Cuts Sununu’s Margin — State Sen. Tom Sherman (D-Seacoast Region), who is unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, released his campaign’s internal Public Policy Polling survey (July 1-6; 601 registered New Hampshire voters) that finds the physician/legislator trailing three-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R) by a 43-33 percent margin, the closest result we have seen to date. Abortion push questions were used in the survey and Manchester Union Leader newspaper reports this total is the result after such questions were asked.

The latest non-partisan survey was released in April from the University of New Hampshire. Their findings projected the governor to a 55-29 percent advantage over Dr. Sherman. While it is likely Sherman has cut that particular margin, the 10-point deficit found in the new PPP survey is likely unrealistic.

Oregon: Another Danger Sign for Kotek — Two internal Oregon gubernatorial campaign polls have been released in the past few days, and the emerging story line suggests that the client polls are favoring their own candidate’s positioning as the individual most likely to upend former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D). The missed point, however, is that Kotek, as the Democratic nominee in this bluest of states, does not even break 33 percent support.

Republican nominee Christine Drazan, the former state House Minority Leader, released her Cygnal survey (June 28-30; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; online & text) that posts her to a one-point, 32-31 percent lead over Kotek, with ex-state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I) trailing at 24 percent support. The result counters an earlier Johnson campaign poll (GS Strategy Group; June 23-29; 600 likely Oregon general election voters; live interview) that found Kotek leading Johnson and Drazan, 33-30-23 percent.

Analyses are pointing out the difference in standing between Drazan and Johnson, but both surveys agree that Kotek is woefully under-performing. While Johnson is now running as an Independent, she previously served in the legislature as a Democrat.

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

By Jim Ellis — July 12, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R)

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

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

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

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

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

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

House

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

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

Governor

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

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

Iowa Sen. Grassley in Close Race; Kaptur Ahead in OH-9 Poll; Kahele Funding App Rejected in Hawaii

By Jim Ellis — July 11, 2022

Senate

Iowa’s seven-term US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)

Iowa: Sen. Grassley Close in Opponent’s Poll — A Change Research online poll for Democratic US Senate nominee Michael Franken, a retired Navy admiral (June 30-July 1; 488 likely Iowa general election voters; text & online), finds Sen. Chuck Grassley holding only a 49-44 percent edge. CR’s first released post-primary Iowa poll found the Grassley advantage to be an even smaller 45-42 percent. These are the only two released surveys of the Iowa race since the state’s June 7 primary election. Sen. Grassley, 88, already is the longest-serving Iowa US senator, originally elected on the same night when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980. He has been an elected official since winning his first term in the state House of Representatives back in 1958. Should he win the coming election and complete his next term, he will have served 70 consecutive years as a public official, counting his time in the state legislature, US House and Senate. We are sure to see more data on this race in short order.

House

OH-9: Rep. Kaptur Leads in Republican Poll — A new GOP poll from Info Strategy Northeast (partnering with the Knight Takes Rook consulting firm; June 28-29; 1,254 likely OH-9 general election voters; interactive voice response system) finds veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) leading Republican nominee J.R. Majewski, 47-42 percent, in a new district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+6 with a Dave’s Redistricting App partisan lean of 48.8D and 48.6R.

Majewski is an Afghan War veteran and Trump campaign activist who defeated both a state representative and senator in the primary election. Rep. Kaptur, elected in 1982, is the most senior House Democrat. Though the voter history of this newly configured 9th District should yield a competitive race, the internal dynamics already suggest that Rep. Kaptur is a clear favorite.

Governor

Arizona: Gov. Ducey Endorses — Term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R) publicly endorsed a candidate late last week to succeed him. Ducey supports Arizona University Regent Karrin Taylor Robson over the candidate backed by former President Trump, former news anchor Kari Lake. Since ex-US representative and 2000 gubernatorial nominee Matt Salmon dropped out of the race and endorsed Robson, polling suggests this Republican primary race is headed to toss-up status before the Aug. 2 primary election. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is likely to easily win the Democratic nomination.

Hawaii: Rep. Kahele’s Funding Application Rejected — The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission late last week formally rejected US Rep. Kai Kahele’s (D-Hilo) bid to obtain public financing for his gubernatorial campaign. The commission spokesperson indicated that Kahele did not file the affidavit that would commit his campaign to the program’s proscribed spending limits. Kahele was the only one of the gubernatorial candidates to apply for the available $200,000.

Rep. Kahele was elected to the House in 2020, but is leaving after one term to pursue the statewide office, but his effort has not gone well. As we reported Friday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green holds a substantial 48-16 percent lead over Kahele in the Democratic primary. The Democratic nominee will then become the prohibitive favorite to succeed term-limited Gov. David Ige (D).

Oregon: New Poll Projects Three-Way Race — The GS Strategy Group, polling for Independent gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator (June 23-29; 600 likely Oregon general election voters) finds former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) leading Johnson and ex-state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) by a tight 33-30-23 percent margin.

A competitive three-way contest could take the race in many directions. The pollster asked if the voters would favor a “socially progressive Democrat,” a “qualified common sense independent,” or a “devout Trump Republican.” The results were 41-32-24 percent in favor of the independent choice, which isn’t particularly good considering the language was slanted to produce a result favoring such a choice. Still, the ballot test suggests that this open race could become interesting.