Category Archives: Senate

Laxalt Leads in Four Consecutive Nevada Senate Surveys; Many Polls, Many Results in Arizona; Hassan in New Hampshire Senate Driver’s Seat

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 26, 2022

Senate

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, current Republican Senate candidate

Nevada: Four in a Row — As the plethora of polls keep coming, we now see Republican Adam Laxalt taking a small lead over Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in four consecutive surveys. From Sept. 8-20, Emerson College, Data for Progress (D), The Trafalgar Group (R), and Insider Advantage (R) posted leads for Laxalt at one to four percentage points.

Unlike Arizona polls (see next item) that find inconsistent margin results for Sen. Mark Kelly, these four pollsters all arrive at basically the same conclusion. Additionally, the senator fails to break a highwater mark of 46 percent in any of the surveys, a bad sign for any incumbent.

Arizona: Many Polls, Many Results — During the period of Sept. 6-19, six different pollsters tested the Arizona Senate race, and the results were wide ranging. All six agree that Sen. Mark Kelly (D) has a lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters (R), but the advantage span moves all the way from one to 12 points.

Three of the research entities — Emerson College, The Trafalgar Group (R), and Data for Progress (D) — find the Kelly margin at two points (Emerson) or one (Trafalgar; DfP). Another, Insider Advantage (R), pegs the Kelly lead at six points. Fabrizio Lee (R) / Impact Research (D) for AARP, posts the senator to an eight-point edge. Finally, Arizona-based OH Predictive Insights sees the largest Kelly margin, 47-35 percent. With such a diverse polling result universe, it is difficult to accurately depict this race’s true status.

New Hampshire: Sen. Hassan in Driver’s Seat — It appears that Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and various Republican strategists and consultants were correct to forecast that retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc (R) would not be a strong opponent against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in the November election. Three polls have now been released since the state’s Sept. 13 primary election — from Emerson College, the American Research Group, and the University of New Hampshire. The surveys were conducted within the Sept. 14-19 period. All three pollsters find Sen. Hassan leading the race with margins between 8 and 13 percentage points.

House

FL-2: Closer Than Expected — When the Florida redistricting map was adopted, most agreed the incumbent getting the worst draw was three-term Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee), who saw his Tallahassee to Jacksonville 5th District split into several parts. Left with tough choices, Rep. Lawson chose to seek re-election against Republican incumbent Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) in the new 2nd District.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat that stretches from Tallahassee to the Emerald Coast as R+17. The Dave’s Redistricting App data group calculates the partisan lean as 54.5R – 43.8D.

A new David Binder Research (D) poll (Sept. 14-18; 600 likely FL-2 general election voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Dunn holding only a 49-43 percent lead, however, which is a closer result than one would expect from a district with such strong Republican base numbers.

Governor

Nevada: Sheriff Lombardo Gaining Momentum — Three polling firms have tested the tight Nevada governor’s race between incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak and Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff. Emerson College, Data for Progress (D), and The Trafalgar Group (R), all see a race falling within the margin of error.

While Trafalgar finds Lombardo holding a three-point lead, the other two research entities see the candidates at even strength. Like Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) as covered above (see Nevada Senate above), Gov. Sisolak is far short of attracting majority support. In these three polls conducted within the Sept. 8-20 period, the governor fails to break the 45 percent support level.

DeSantis Comfortably Ahead in Fla; Conflicting Results in Ga. Senate; McMullin Lead Reversed in Utah

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 23, 2022

Governor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

Florida: DeSantis Comfortably Ahead — We haven’t seen a Florida governor’s poll in weeks that showed enough change to report upon, but yesterday we two were almost simultaneously released. Both largely confirmed that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a lead beyond the polling margin of error.

Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Elections site (Sept. 17-20; 617 likely Florida general election voters; online), posts the governor to a 52-45 percent advantage over former governor and recently resigned Congressman Charlie Crist (D). Suffolk University (Sept. 15-18; 500 likely Florida general election voters; live interview) derived similar results. They project the governor’s lead to be 48-41 percent over Crist.

Senate

Georgia: Conflicting Results — Continuing the seesaw political affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), we reported yesterday that the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) finds Walker leading Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), 46-44 percent.

Later in the day, YouGov, polling for CBS News (Sept. 14-19; 1,148 registered Georgia voters; online) released their Georgia survey that pushed voters to make a Senate race choice, and found the same two-point margin but in Sen. Warnock’s favor, 51-49 percent. The exhaustive poll asked 72 questions, and while Sen. Warnock is clearly more favorably viewed than Walker, the vote continues to remain virtually even. The University of Georgia and YouGov/CBS News surveys are even more evidence that the Georgia Senate campaign will be decided in a turnout battle.

Utah: McMullin Lead Reversed — It took awhile to rebuff the Impact Research group’s early September poll that posted Independent Evan McMullin to a 48-47 percent lead over two-term Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), but we now see conflicting looks as to what may be happening in this largely under-the-radar Senate challenge. OnMessage (Sept. 13-15; 700 likely Utah voters; live interview), polling for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), reports Sen. Lee to be holding a 51-34 percent advantage, a major difference from the Impact Research survey of two weeks earlier.

Following OnMessage, Lighthouse Research (Aug. 30-Sept. 13; 509 likely Utah voters), polling for the Utah Debate Commission, sees the senator holding a similar 48-37 percent margin over McMullin. Utah’s strongly Republican voting history suggests that these two latter polls finding Sen. Lee holding a substantial edge are likely more reflective of what will happen on Election Day.

House

WA-3: GOP Rebound — In late August, Expedition Strategies released a survey (Sept. 19-20; 400 likely WA-3 general election voters) that was cause for concern among local southwest Washington GOP activists and supporters. After Republican Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez denied Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) advancement into the general election from the Aug. 2 jungle primary, ES released their survey that gave the Democrat a 47-45 percent lead in the general election.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute, (Sept. 19-20; 834 WA-3 voters; live interview & text) now projects Kent to have overtaken Perez with a slight 47-44 percent margin. The WA-3 race is a must-win for the GOP if they are to reclaim the House majority, so this race merits further national attention.

Walker Back Up in Georgia, Kemp Expands Lead; Nevada Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials; Oregon Minor Candidate’s Withdrawal Could Have Significant Impact

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Senate

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

Georgia: Walker Back Up — In what is proving a seesaw affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (Sept. 5-16; 861 likely Georgia general election voters) again detects a change in leadership. The last three polls posted Sen. Warnock to leads between four and six points, and now the AJC/UGA data finds Walker re-assuming the lead, 46-44 percent.

The bottom line is that this race is close and either candidate has a strong chance to win. Turnout will be the key factor. In the primary, Republican turnout was up an astonishing 110 percent when compared to the 2018 midterm election. Democratic participation was also up, but with a much smaller 29 percent increase.

House

Nevada: The Democrats’ “Three-fer” Commercials — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a new interesting media message approach for the three Nevada congressional districts, each of which are covered through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The tactic is to attack all three Republican candidates, businessman Mark Robertson, attorney April Becker, and insurance agency owner Sam Peters, with one message. Since the party is running a single-issue strategy about abortion, the ad hits all three candidates simultaneously for their pro-life stance.

The move is obviously an efficient use of their advertising dollars, but combining all three candidates in one message might be too convoluted for the voters to fully comprehend. The idea behind the spot is simply to associate all Republican congressional candidates with the pro-life position, thus making the message clearer.

Robertson is challenging Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) in the 1st District; Becker opposes Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in District 3; and Peters faces Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in the more expansive 4th CD that begins in North Las Vegas and stretches to the center of the state. All three are highly competitive in the general election.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Expands Lead — The aforementioned Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ University of Georgia poll (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s hot governor’s race. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been performing strongly in the polls since his landside 74-22 percent victory over former US Sen. David Perdue in the May Republican primary. The AJC/UGA numbers give the governor a 50-42 percent advantage beyond the polling margin of error over former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D).

Oregon: Minor Party Candidate Withdraws — One of the more interesting gubernatorial campaigns is found in the Beaver State of Oregon. The fact that Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, has a legitimate chance to win the race is what makes this campaign unique in the 2022 election cycle. Johnson has done better in fundraising than either Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, the former state House Speaker, and Republican former state House Minority Leader Catherine Drazan. She is also competitive with the two major party nominees in the various statewide polls that have been conducted.

Thus, with Green Party nominee Nathalie Paravicini dropping out of the race and endorsing Ms. Kotek, as she did Tuesday, Paravicini’s action actually becomes significant. The race has the potential of splitting close to evenly among the three candidates, meaning each has a legitimate chance to win. Green Party candidate Paravicini’s endorsement, even with only a percentage point or two of support, could prove significant in the final count on election night by encouraging her supporters to instead use their votes to back Kotek.

Boozman Looks to be in Strong Shape in Arkansas; Two Pollsters, Same Tight Result in Arizona; Minnesota Gov. Walz Has Comfortable Lead

By Jim Ellis — Sept. 21, 2022

Senate

Arkansas Sen. John Boozman (R)

Arkansas: Rare Data — It has been assumed that Sen. John Boozman (R) secured a third term in office when he won his contested Republican primary back in March. A Hendrix College/Talk Business Net survey, from the organizations that regularly sponsor Arkansas political polls, finds Boozman in predictably strong shape for the November election. The survey (Sept. 12; 835 likely Arkansas general election voters) gives the senator a 44-31 percent advantage over civil rights activist and realtor Natalie James (D).

Arizona: Two Pollsters, Same Tight Result — The Trafalgar Group’s new Arizona survey (Sept. 14-17; 1,080 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D) previously large lead dwindling to 47-45 percent over Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters.

Earlier in September, Emerson College (Sept. 6-7; 627 likely Arizona general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) arrived at exactly the same conclusion: Sen. Kelly leading 47-45 percent. Remembering that the 2020 Senate race closed quickly against Kelly, limiting him to a 51-49 percent victory over appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) after leading by an average margin of 6.6 percent through 21 October polls according to the Real Clear Politics polling archives, the 2022 race looks to be headed toward a very interesting conclusion.

House

IA-3: An Unsurprising Dead Heat — In one of America’s tightest congressional districts, Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) campaign just made an interesting move. The congresswoman’s political leadership yesterday released Rep. Axne’s new internal Impact Research survey (Sept. 7-11; 500 likely IA-3 voters; live interview & text) that reports she and her Republican challenger, state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant), are tied at 47 percent apiece.

The point of releasing the poll, however, is to show emphasis on the abortion issue among the respondents, which the campaign strategists believe will swing voters to the Democratic incumbent. Even when knowing Sen. Nunn’s abortion position, however, the best Rep. Axne can do is tie, suggesting that despite deep disagreements over the issue in the central Iowa region it does not appear to be bringing any more voters into Axne’s camp. Her 47 percent support figure quoted in this poll is consistent with her two 49 percent victory percentages in 2020 and 2018.

Governor

Minnesota: Gov. Walz With Comfortable Lead — In a race where the polling has been inconsistent during the past few months, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy has released a new ballot test result from their research study conducted for the Minneapolis Star Review and Minnesota Public Radio (Sept. 12-14; 800 likely Minnesota general election voters; live interview). The M-D conclusion finds Gov. Tim Walz (D) leading former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R), 48-41 percent.

The governor’s job approval score is 52:42 percent favorable to unfavorable. President Biden remains upside-down in Minnesota on his favorability index, but the number is improving. In this M-D poll, 46 percent approve of the job the president is doing and 49 percent disapprove.

Ohio: Conflicting Surveys — We are seeing places around the country where pollsters are producing very diverse ballot test results even when testing an electorate within the same time realm. The Ohio governor’s race is another such example. A Civiqs organization poll, surveying for the Daily Kos Elections site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Ohio general election voters; online) projects a close race developing between Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D). The Civiqs ballot test projects Gov. DeWine to hold only a 44-41 percent edge.

Emerson College, however, sees a much different margin when polling within exactly the same time frame. Their poll (Sept. 10-13; 1,000 likely Ohio general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) yields the governor a wide 50-33 percent spread over Mayor Whaley. The latter poll result is more consistent with other publicly released surveys for this campaign.

Conflicting Trends in Ohio; Johnson Opening Advantage in Wisconsin; Dead Heat in Pennsylvania

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

Senate

Ohio 2022 Senate candidates Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and author J.D. Vance (R)

Ohio: Conflicting Trends — In the mid-August through early September period, three pollsters found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) snatching the polling lead away from GOP author J.D. Vance. The research entities Impact Research, Suffolk University, and Fallon Research, in studies conducted during the Aug. 17 through Sept. 11 time realm, found Rep. Ryan trending ahead with margins between one and six points.

Two news polls, however, see the race flipping back to Vance. Emerson College (Sept. 10-13; 1,000 likely Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the Civiqs survey research entity, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Ohio general election voters), and in the field during the same period, see Vance now holding close leads of 44-40 and 48-45 percent, respectively.

Wisconsin: Trend Favors Sen. Johnson — Since the Aug. 9 Wisconsin primary, we’ve seen several polls conducted of the Wisconsin Senate campaign. Immediately after the nomination vote, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) opened the general election cycle with a polling lead. Marquette University Law School, a regular Wisconsin pollster, found Barnes holding a 52-45 percent advantage over Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in their Aug. 10-15 poll of 713 likely Wisconsin general election voters.

Late last week, Marquette released a new survey (Sept. 6-11; 801 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) and the law school research organization now posts Sen. Johnson to a slight 48-47 percent advantage. Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (Sept. 10-13; 780 likely Wisconsin general election voters), confirms the Marquette result. They find Sen. Johnson up 49-48 percent. Though the lead is small, the Johnson trend line is positive.

House

OR-5: Getting Closer — The Democratic survey research firm Global Strategy Group, polling for the 314 Action super PAC (Sept. 1-8; 400 likely OR-5 general election voters) finds Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) in the May primary election, leading businesswoman and former local mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), by a tight 41-38 percent margin.

GSG finds the district statistics even closer, however. They see a Democratic partisan edge of just one percentage point, even though the party has a five-point voter registration advantage. In terms of the generic congressional vote, the Republicans have a one-point lead. Under various turnout models according to the GSG research, the race changes. If the turnout model is closer to what was found in the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races (2021), a Biden+5 model, the congressional race becomes a dead heat at 40-40 percent. Under both a 2014 and 2020 turnout model (Biden+10), McLeod-Skinner would establish a 42-38 percent spread. The trouble for McLeod-Skinner, in a district that slightly leans Democratic, is that she doesn’t reach beyond the low 40s under any turnout model. This suggests that Chavez-DeRemer has serious upset potential.

PA-8: Dead Heat Developing — In what is appearing to be a classic example of a Democratic incumbent claiming independence but seeing Republican forces producing stats showing total compliance with the Biden agenda, the people of Pennsylvania’s northeast 8th Congressional District are dividing evenly.

The Republican polling entity, Cygnal, surveying for the Jim Bognet campaign (Sept. 6-8; 440 likely PA-8 general election voters), finds the two candidates, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Bognet, tied at 48-48 percent. At an R+8 partisan rating according to the FiveThirtyEight polling organization, PA-8 is the second-most Republican district in the country that elects a Democrat to the House.