Category Archives: Senate

Flip-Flopping Polls in Arizona; Fetterman Builds Lead in PA;
A Changing Race in FL-13

By Jim Ellis — August 1, 2022

Senate

Venture capitalist Blake Masters (R) — up … and down in Arizona

Arizona: More Flip-Flopping Polls — The Arizona Republican primary culminates on Tuesday, and we see another pair of closing polls projecting different leaders. The Trafalgar Group and Battleground Connect were in the field simultaneously but they see different outcomes. Trafalgar (July 25-27; 1,071 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) finds venture capitalist Blake Masters leading businessman Jim Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, 35-27-15 percent, with the remaining candidates polling at less than 10 percent support.

BC (July 26-27; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview), however, forecasts Lamon as forging a small lead, 30-28-16 percent, over Masters and Brnovich. While it appears the race is becoming a two-way affair between Masters and Lamon, the final result will almost certainly come down to the two men being separated by just a handful of votes.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Continues to Increase Lead — Fox News was polling the Pennsylvania races (July 22-26; 908 likely Pennsylvania general election voters; live interview), and in the Senate race confirms what other pollsters are seeing. That is, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), despite being absent from the campaign trail as he recovers from a stroke, continues to build a lead over Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee. The Fox numbers post Fetterman to a 47-36 percent margin, his largest advantage of any polling result to date.

Dr. Oz’s biggest problem continues to be his personal image. This Pennsylvania polling sample rated him as 35:55 percent favorable to unfavorable. This compares to Fetterman’s 49:34 percent positive image.

House

FL-13: A Changing Race — A new Florida Republican congressional poll suggests a contender is poised to usurp the race leader as we move within a month of the Florida primary. American Viewpoint, polling for the Kevin Hayslett campaign (July 24-27; 400 likely FL-13 primary voters; live interview) sees their client, who is a Pinellas County attorney, pulling to within two percentage points of race leader Anna Paulina Luna, 36-34 percent, with attorney and 2020 candidate Amanda Makki (R) dropping back to nine percent.

Since the AV last surveyed the district in late June, Hayslett has improved from trailing in a 42-19 percent margin to his current two-point deficit. It appears that Hayslett is the one having the upward momentum as the candidates enter the home stretch prior to the Aug. 23 primary election.

MI-3: Democratic Ploy Backfiring — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been attempting to influence Republican primaries by attacking certain contenders as being too conservative, knowing that such a message would help move Republican primary base voters to the candidate Democrats believe as being the weakest.

Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-Grand Rapids) campaign, however, responded in-kind. Launching his own message and highlighting the DCCC ad indicating that former Housing & Urban Development official John Gibbs is too conservative, Rep. Mejier’s ad attacks Gibbs as “Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked candidate.” The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The winner will face Democrat Hillary Scholten who is unopposed for her party’s nomination.

Sen. Warnock Still Up, Slightly, in GA; Lasry Drops out of Wisconsin Race; Maloney Trails in NY-17

By Jim Ellis — July 29, 2022

Senate

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker

Georgia: Sen. Warnock Still Up — The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (July 14-22; 902 likely Georgia general election voters; live interview), finds Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) clinging to a small lead in the US Senate race — the third consecutive published poll to project Warnock’s edge margins between three and nine points. The UGA/AJC ballot test sees Sen. Warnock holding a 46-43 percent edge over retired NFL football star Herschel Walker (R). Another poll, from Survey USA (July 21-24; 604 likely Georgia general election voters), posts the senator to a 48-39 percent advantage.

Warnock holds the lead despite the Republicans having a 46-41 percent lead on the UGA’s generic ballot question, with the right track/wrong track ratio at 10:78 percent, and President Biden reaching a 60 percent disapproval rating.

Wisconsin: Lasry Follows Suit — On Monday Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, formally ended his statewide effort. Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive and former Obama Administration official Alex Lasry then followed suit and also departed the race on Wednesday. The latter move was the more surprising since Lasry had loaned his campaign over $12 million and all polling found him placing second in the field.

In their concession statements, both Nelson and Lasry endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, which could pave the way for him clinching the party nomination and advancing to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.

House

NY-17: DCCC Chair Maloney Trailing in New Poll — Veteran Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is having trouble securing the new seat according to a new publicly released research survey.

The congressman created post-redistricting controversy when he decided to challenge Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County) in the 17th CD rather than staying in his own 18th District, thus forcing the freshman incumbent to seek re-election in a New York City CD.

McLaughlin & Associates, polling for the Mike Lawler for Congress campaign (July 19-21; 400 likely NY-17 general election voters; live interview), finds Rep. Maloney trailing his Republican opponent, 46-44 percent. The McLaughlin data also shows state Assemblyman Lawler claiming a lead over state Sen. Allessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) if she were to upend Rep. Maloney in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary. Under this scenario, Lawler would post a 47-41 percent advantage in such a subsequent general election pairing. The 17th is one of three Upstate NY congressional districts that will be hotly contested in the November campaign.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Maintains Edge — The aforementioned University of Georgia – Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey also tested the Peach State governor’s contest. Here, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) by a 48-43 percent count. The accompanying Survey USA poll shows a much closer 45-44 percent Kemp edge.

This is the 15th poll conducted of this race since the beginning of 2022, and Kemp has led in all but one. In that stand-alone survey, the two were tied. The governor’s job approval rating is 54:42 percent favorable to unfavorable. The UGA/AJC and S-USA studies are the second and third consecutive polls that place Gov. Kemp ahead in the governor’s race while fellow Republican Herschel Walker (R) trails in the Senate contest.

New Polls Lean to GOP Leaders in Missouri; Fetterman Expands Lead in Pennsylvania; Getting Close in NJ-1

By Jim Ellis — July 28, 2022

Senate

Scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens (R) trending downward in Missouri.

Missouri: New Polls Pleasing GOP Leaders — The hard-fought Missouri Republican primary is a week away, and three new late July polls are bringing sighs of relief to GOP leaders. It has long been believed that the Missouri race comes off the table if either Attorney General Eric Schmitt or US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) wins the party nomination, but danger looms for the GOP if resigned, scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens were to forge through a crowded field with plurality support.

Three polls were conducted from July 21 through 24, and the results are consistent. The Remington Research Group (July 23-24; 802 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the Trafalgar Group (July 22-24; 1,059 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; multiple sample-gathering tactics) and Emerson College, polling for The Hill newspaper (July 21-23; 1,000 likely Missouri Republican and Democratic primary voters, but the number of each is unspecified; multiple sample-gathering tactics), all arrived at similar conclusions. That is, Attorney General Schmitt seems to be developing a secure lead.

RRG sees Schmitt leading Rep. Hartzler and Greitens, 32-25-18 percent. Trafalgar finds the candidates placing in the same order, but a bit closer, 27-24-20 percent. Emerson’s numbers are better for Schmitt, at 33-21-16 percent. For the Democrats, Emerson projects philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, despite being under heavy political attack, as leading Iraq War veteran Lucas Kunce 39-35 percent with a 22 percent undecided factor.

Pennsylvania: Fetterman Expands Lead — The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling released a new PA statewide poll (July 19-21; 712 likely Pennsylvania voters; live interview) and found Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), still recovering from a serious stroke he suffered just before the primary election, expanding his lead to 49-40 percent over Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). The most recent Senate survey prior to Blueprint’s, from Fabrizio Ward (R) and Impact Research (D) for AARP (June 12-19; 1,382 likely Pennsylvania voters), projected a 50-44 percent Fetterman edge. In the governor’s race, Blueprint found Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) topping state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Fayetteville), 51-39 percent, which is also a significant improvement for him over the previous statewide poll.

House

MN-1: Republicans Have Special Trouble — State Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal Lake), who lost the special primary election to succeed the late US Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) by just 427 votes, confirms he is running to win the regular primary election. This means that former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R), who won the special primary, must continue conducting two separate campaigns through the Aug. 9 election.

In slightly different district configurations, Finstad must separately win the special general election against former Hormel Corporation CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (D), and the nomination for the regular term since the special general is being run concurrently with the regular statewide primary. With Munson competing in the regular election, the confusing scenario of having two different District 1 Republican winners could occur. With the only public post-special primary poll suggesting a dead heat between Finstad and Ettinger, so many mixed messages could yield a Democratic special election upset.

NJ-1: Surprisingly Close — According to a new Grassroots Targeting survey (July 13-19; 625 likely NJ-1 general election voters), New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden City) lies barely beyond the polling margin of error in yet another potential warning sign for Democrats.

The GT results find Rep. Norcross topping Republican nominee Claire Gustafson, 49-44 percent, despite the fact that 83 percent of the respondents said they have not heard of the GOP nominee. To underscore matters, Rep. Norcross’ favorability index has dropped to 42:41 percent favorable to unfavorable. This contrasts with his 2020 re-election margin of 62-38 percent, similar to what President Biden recorded in the district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NJ-1 as D+20, so seeing a close poll featuring an unknown Republican with little money from this district is surprising to say the least.

Another Lead Change in Arizona; Competitive Race Brewing in Illinois Senate? Trending House News

By Jim Ellis — July 27, 2022

Senate

Arizona businessman Jim Lamon (R)

Arizona: Another Lead Change — The Battleground Connect organization tested the Arizona GOP Senate field (July 17-18; 800 likely Arizona Republican primary voters; live interview) and found businessman Jim Lamon bouncing back into the lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The spread is 33-28-16 percent, which is the second time Lamon has placed first in five publicly released July polls.

The lead is seesawing between Lamon and Masters with AG Brnovich generally registering a distant third. Since April, both Lamon and Masters have each topped the field in seven published surveys. The Arizona primary is Tuesday, and the volatility in the surveys suggest we will see a close finish. The GOP winner then challenges Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in November.

Illinois: A Competitive Race Brewing? — The Victory Research organization polled the Illinois Senate contest between incumbent Tammy Duckworth (D) and attorney and conservative activist Kathy Salvi, wife of former state representative and two-time statewide Republican nominee Al Salvi. The survey (July 17-19; 1,208 likely Illinois general election voters) arrived at a much closer result than one would have expected.

According to the VR data, Sen. Duckworth’s lead over Salvi is 43-34 percent. The result is surprising not so much in the margin between the two candidates, but that the senator is so far below the 50 percent mark. It is still likely that Sen. Duckworth wins re-election in the fall, but seeing such a poll after a June 28 primary that yielded a higher turnout for the Republican Senate primary than the Democratic side suggests the Salvi campaign might receive at least a slight boost.

The same polling sample showed Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) with only a 49-39 percent spread against new GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, a Louisville area state senator.

Wisconsin: County Exec Out, Endorses Lt. Gov. Barnes — Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D), whose campaign for US Senate never caught fire, has formally withdrawn his candidacy. In his exit statement, Nelson endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is in a tight race with state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks basketball club executive Alex Lasry for the Democratic nomination. The winner of the Aug. 9 Democratic primary will face Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.

House

MI-13: Big Self-Funder Has Lead –– State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) has spent more than $8 million of his own money to attempt to win the open Detroit-anchored 13th Congressional District race. It appears his expenditures are working. A Target Insyght survey (July 19-22; 500 likely MI-13 Democratic primary voters) finds Rep. Thanedar leading Michigan Civil Right Commission member Portia Roberson and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), among six other contenders, including John Conyers, III, son of the late veteran congressman. Thanedar’s polling margin is 22-17-16-7 percent respectively over Roberson, Sen. Hollier, and Conyers.

Thanedar’s personal spending edge is 8:1 over his next closest financial rival, Sen. Hollier, but that does not count a seven-figure expenditure from the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee intended to promote the latter man.

The Michigan primary is Tuesday. The 13th District is open because Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) is retiring and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chose to seek re-election in the new 12th District, thus departing from the new CD-13.

NY-10: A Free-For-All — A new Change Research poll for candidate Elizabeth Holtzman finds the Democratic primary for this open seat turning into a race that any one of six candidates could win. This is the first poll conducted and released since former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) exited the contest because of poor performance.

The CR poll (July 19-23; 437 likely NY-10 Democratic primary voters; online) finds former Trump impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman taking first position with 14 percent preference. Holtzman, who was last on a ballot in 1993, a losing re-election effort for NYC comptroller, places second at 12 percent support.

Tied with 10 percent are NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who led the last two published surveys, state Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), and US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County). The new 10th, an open seat created when Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler were paired in a new 12th CD, encompasses Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary winner on Aug. 23 will claim the seat in the general election.

Ohio Poll Posts Rep. Ryan to Larger Lead; CT-5 Race on the Radar; Three Ties in Iowa; Lombardo Closing in NV

By Jim Ellis — June 26, 2022

Senate

Author J.D. Vance, Ohio Senate Candidate

Ohio: Progressive Left Poll Posts Rep. Ryan to Larger Lead — The progressive left Innovation Ohio organization is quoting a GrowProgress platform survey (July 5-10; 2,000 registered Ohio voters; online) that projects US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) leading GOP author J. D. Vance, 46-41 percent in Ohio’s open Senate race. The latest Impact Research firm survey (June 27-30; 816 likely Ohio voters) also found Rep. Ryan with the edge, but in only a 48-46 percent split. Impact Research, a Democratic pollster, formerly operated under the name ALG Research.

The results are not particularly surprising since Rep. Ryan is heavily outspending Vance at the present time, this GrowProgress online survey has a large error factor, and Ohio political polling typically shows tight races until the closing days prior to the election. Still, the preponderance of data suggests this is a close contest in a state that can often fall into the swing category.

House

CT-5: Race on the Radar — A just-released Public Opinion Strategies survey for the George Logan (R) congressional campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (June 29-30; 400 likely CT-5 general election voters; live interview) suggests that Connecticut’s 5th District congressional race might become competitive. The survey finds US Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) holding only a 46-41 percent edge over former state Sen. Logan.

This may become a race to watch. According to the Federal Election Commission second quarter financial disclosure report, Rep. Hayes has a huge $1.69 million to $205,000 cash-on-hand advantage. To even the financial score, however, the Daily Kos Elections Blog reports that the Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund has already reserved $1.75 million of media time for the western Connecticut market.

Iowa: Three Ties — Iowa Districts 1, 2 & 3 were cast as toss-up seats in the 2021 redistricting plan, and the most recent polling suggests that each electorate is performing as projected. In southeastern Iowa’s 1st District, freshman Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), no stranger to close elections after winning her 2020 race by just six votes, is in another predictably tight contest. According to the early July Change Research survey, (June 30-July 4; 375 likely IA-1 general election voters part of a 1,488 person statewide sample; online) Rep. Miller-Meeks edges state Rep. Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City) by just a 39-38 percent factor.

A more recent Public Policy Polling survey (July 19-20; 594 IA-2 voters) finds freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion) and state Rep. Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha) tied at 44 percent apiece in the Cedar Rapids anchored 2nd CD. In Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) 3rd CD, she and state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) are deadlocked at 43 percent in a Moore Information Group study (July 9-11; 400 likely IA-3 voters; live interview) released earlier this month.

Governor

Michigan: Badly Outspent, Tudor Dixon Maintains GOP Lead — Despite being outspent by millions of dollars, a new Mitchell Research survey (July 17-18; 501 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system & text) continues to show that online talk show host Tudor Dixon is maintaining her lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The latest ballot test finds her claiming a 28-20-15-10 percent advantage over businessman and self-funder Kevin Rinke, real estate broker and Trump activist Ryan Kelley, and chiropractor Garrett Soldano as the candidates close in on the Aug. 2 Michigan primary.

Republicans are scrambling in this race since early leader James Craig, the retired Detroit Police Chief, was forced out of the race for failing to file the legally required number of petition signatures. The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the general election.

Nevada: Lombardo Closing — The Nevada governor’s race is expected to be another close contest on election night, and two recently released surveys conducted during the same time period confirm the early prognostications.

The Tarrance Group, polling for the Joe Lombardo for Governor campaign (July 5-10; 600 likely Nevada general election voters; live interview) and Emerson College (July 7-10; 2,000 registered Nevada voters, 500 from each of the four congressional districts; interactive voice response system, online & text) both see the governor’s race already falling within the polling margin of error. Tarrance finds Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) topping Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), 46-44 percent, while the Emerson College result is 44-40 percent, also with Gov. Sisolak leading.