Category Archives: Senate

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.

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.

Florida, NY, OK Primaries; Term Limits Polling; Whitmer With Larger Lead

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022

Primaries

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

Florida — The Sunshine State voters also will choose their nominees today, and many important intra-party races will be decided.

Gov. DeSantis Well Ahead in Pre-Primary Poll — Florida voters will choose their general election nominees today, and a new Cherry Communications survey (conducted for the Florida Chamber of Commerce; Aug. 4-15; 608 likely Florida general election voters; live interview) projects Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as well positioned for re-election. The CC poll results find the governor leading US Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) 51-43 percent, while his advantage over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is a similar 50-43 percent. This, in a state where Republicans traditionally under-poll. Crist, the former governor and multi-time statewide candidate who has run, and lost, under the Democratic, Republican, and Independent banners.

After recent polls found Florida Crist falling into an increasingly more competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign with Fried, a new St. Pete Polls survey, on election eve, finds the congressman and former governor now ahead in a landslide. The St. Pete Polls survey (Aug. 20-21; 1,617 likely Florida Democratic primary voters; interactive voice response system) projects Rep. Crist to be holding a major 59-30 percent lead, far above any advantage he has recently posted. The Democratic winner will face Gov. DeSantis in November and will face an uphill battle against DeSantis in a campaign that will become a national event.

The Senate nomination contests in both parties, while leading to a competitive general election, are set. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) will be defending his seat against US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), the former Orlando police chief. Recent polling has tightened, but voting history suggests that Sen. Rubio has at least a small lead.

A large number of US House races feature competitive nomination battles beginning in northwestern Florida’s 1st District where controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach) is in a serious campaign with former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo. Gaetz’s highly publicized legal trouble is front and center in this race as well as Lombardo charging that the congressman’s national activities and profile have taken his attention away from serving the local district. This is certainly a race to watch, and a Lombardo upset is possible.

Florida gained a new seat in national reapportionment, and the state’s 15th District has been created. The district stretches from Lakeland into Tampa and leans Republican but we can expect some competition in the general election. Both parties feature five-person candidate fields. Polling suggests that former Secretary of State Laurel Lee has the inside track for the Republican nomination over state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and state Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa). The leading Democrat appears to be former news anchorman and two-time congressional nominee Alan Cohn.

New York — When the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ordered the congressional districts and state Senate map redrawn, a second primary was scheduled just for these races. The original NY primary was held on June 28. The congressional and state Senate nominees will be finally decided today, and many US House contests are in a competitive mode.

Oklahoma: Close Result on Tap for Tonight in OK-2 — When Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville) opted to run for the Senate, his open eastern Oklahoma congressional district drew a crowded 14-candidate Republican field. In the June 28 regular primary for the strongest GOP district in the state (R+55 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization), two candidates advanced into today’s runoff election even though they finished with less than 30 percent of the aggregate primary vote combined.

State Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee) topped former state Sen. Josh Brecheen (R-Ada) by just 757 votes to secure the first runoff position. Brecheen then claimed the second slot over former Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee by an even lesser 616-vote margin. In all, the top five candidates finished within 2,892 votes of each other.

Polling finds that the race still remains tight. The wrap-up Sooner Poll (Aug. 11-17; number of likely voter polling respondents undisclosed) projected Rep. Frix holding the lead, but with only a 43-35 percent margin. While Frix apparently enjoys a small edge, this race is still anybody’s game.

Rep. Mullin has enjoyed large leads in his bid for the Senate in post-primary polling up until the latest release. Immediately after the June 28 primary election, where he easily topped former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, 44-18 percent within a field of 12 candidates, Rep. Mullin was seeing average leads of 18 percentage points among three polls conducted from July 25 through Aug. 15.

The latest study, however, from the Sooner Poll, which is an add-on track from their Aug. 11-15 survey that ended on Aug. 17 (322 likely Oklahoma Republican runoff voters), shows the congressman’s statewide advantage at only 53-47 percent over Shannon. Tonight’s special runoff winner will advance into the general election against former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D).

Governor

Michigan: Whitmer With Larger Lead — Countering last week’s published Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) teamed Michigan governor’s study (Aug. 8-14; 1,365 likely Michigan voters; live interview & text) that projected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to be leading online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) 51-46 percent, Democratic pollster Blueprint Polling (Aug. 15-16; 611 likely Michigan general election voters; live interview) posts the governor to a much larger 51-39 percent advantage.

Ohio: One-Point Lead — Democratic pollster Lake Research (Aug. 4-9; 611 OH likely general election voters; live interview) released their latest survey that finds Gov. Mike DeWine (R) holding only a narrow one-point, 44-43 percent, edge over Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D).

This result is not particularly surprising. First, the Ohio electorate typically polls close and then one candidate significantly pulls away in the campaign’s last two weeks. Second, Gov. DeWine won his Republican primary with only 48.1 percent of the vote opposite three opponents suggesting clear weakness within his party’s base. Additionally, over one-third of DeWine voters say their support for him is “not so strong” or that they are only “leaning” in his direction. Expect the governor to soon use his strong financial advantage to put distance between he and Mayor Whaley.

Conflicting Polls in Florida; Vance Rebounds in Ohio; Fetterman Bounces Back With Big Lead in PA

By Jim Ellis — August 19, 2022

Senate

Rubio | Demmings

Florida: Conflicting Polls — A pair of polls was recently released, and each shows a different leader. The University of North Florida released their survey (Aug. 8-12; 1,624 registered Florida voters; online) and surprisingly found Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) leading incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R) by a 48-44 percent clip, the first time any poll had shown a result such as this since early May. In six polls since that time, Sen. Rubio had led in four with two dead heat ties.

Simultaneously, the Center Street PAC surveyed the Florida electorate (Aug. 12-14; 610 likely Florida voters) and found a completely different result. This poll projects Sen. Rubio to a 52-41 percent likely voter advantage, and a smaller 46-39 percent edge among the larger pool of 996 Florida registered voters. These two polls, conducted within the same relative time frame, show the volatility in the current race, which is typical for Florida election polling. Republican votes are also usually slightly under-counted in Sunshine State polls, as well.

Ohio: Vance Rebounds to Lead — After seeing a series of six statewide polls that projected Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) to be holding a small lead over author J.D. Vance (R), the new Emerson College survey sees a GOP rebound. The Emerson poll (Aug. 15-16; 925 likely Ohio general election voters) finds Vance reversing the field to claim a three-point 45-42 percent edge.

The results are to be expected. Rep. Ryan developed a lead when spending $7 million-plus on early advertising with no counter from Vance or Republican outside groups. Now beginning to promote their message, we see a new survey reflecting Vance in a better position. Typically, the Ohio electorate polls close until the final weeks when one candidate pulls away, usually the Republican, and wins the race going away.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Returns With Big Lead — Still recovering from a major stroke suffered right before the May 17 Pennsylvania primary, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman returned to the campaign trail late last week. This week, a new poll shows him expanding his lead over Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). Public Opinion Strategies released the results of their new August survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Works Together organization (Aug. 7-10; 600 registered Pennsylvania voters; live interview) that posts Fetterman to a 52-36 percent lead over Dr. Oz. This 16-point spread represents the largest polling margin of this campaign.

House

VA-7: Rep. Spanberger Holding Edge — RMG Research, conducting their series of polls around the country for US Term Limits (July 31-Aug. 6; 400 likely VA-7 voters) finds two-term Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) leading Prince William County Supervisor Vesli Vega (R) by a 46-41 percent margin, suggesting we will see a highly competitive campaign effort from both sides throughout the remaining part of the general election cycle. Though upside-down in job approval in the 7th CD, President Biden’s ratio is better than in most places, 48:51 percent positive to negative. The Biden factor should be less of a drain on Rep. Spanberger than it may prove on certain Democratic candidates in other places.

Governor

Pennsylvania: Shapiro Up, Too — The aforementioned Public Opinion Strategies survey (see Pennsylvania Senate above) also tested the open Pennsylvania governor’s race. The ballot test on this contest favors Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro over Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Fayetteville) by a strong 51-37 percent margin, slightly less than the Senate Democratic spread, but more than enough to secure a comfortable victory.