Breaking Polls

the-primariesBy Jim Ellis

Aug. 20, 2018 — Now with 41 states having officially moved into general election campaign mode and two more, Alaska and Wyoming, voting on Tuesday, new November surveys and a key primary election poll were all just released into the public domain.
Looking at the two Senate special elections, the just-completed Minnesota primary yielded, as expected, appointed Sen. Tina Smith (D) advancing into the general election against Republican state Sen. Karin Housley (R). The Emerson College polling institute went into the field just before the primary vote, and released their data as the voting concluded.

According to the Emerson results (Aug. 8-11; 500 likely Minnesota general election voters conducted electronically), Sen. Smith jumps out to a small 32-28 percent lead over Housley when the two are paired in the now-official general election match-up. While 40 percent are not yet professing a choice, largely because both candidates have low name identification, we can expect this race to become a top-tier Senate campaign as the time progresses towards Election Day.

In the Mississippi special election, after Triumph Campaigns (July 30-31; 2,100 likely registered Mississippi voters; 525 from each of the state’s four congressional districts) released their data posting appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) to a 41-27-15 percent lead earlier in the week over former US Agriculture Secretary and ex-Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy (D) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville), the consensus Democratic candidate released his own Mellman Group poll (Aug. 1-7; 600 likely Mississippi voters), which paints a much different picture.

According to the Mellman data, Sen. Hyde-Smith’s advantage is only 29-27-17 percent over Espy and McDaniel. Testing potential post-general election run-off scenarios, the Mellman results find Espy holding an advantage over both Sen. Hyde-Smith and McDaniel. The Espy/Hyde-Smith run-off breaks 41-38 percent in favor of the Democrat, while Espy would defeat McDaniel, 45-27 percent if those two advance.

Under Mississippi election law, the top two special election finishers on Nov. 6 will advance to a secondary Nov. 27 run-off contest if no candidate receives majority support on the first vote. Since the three candidates are all viable, it is pretty clear that the run-off election will be required.

The Wyoming governor’s Republican primary will be decided on Tuesday, and it appears a very tight multi-candidate finish is on the political horizon.

According to a new Trafalgar Group survey (Aug. 11-14; 1,775 likely Wyoming Republican primary voters), mutual fund founder Foster Friess has the slightest advantage over state Treasurer Mark Gordon, 21-20 percent, with attorney Harriet Hageman also in range with 16 percent support.

Businessman Sam Galetos trails with 10 percent, followed by retired physician Taylor Haynes with six percent, while businessman Bill Dahlin finishes last with just over two percent support.

The Tuesday Wyoming election is a plurality primary, so whichever candidate attracts the most votes will win the Republican nomination and become the prohibitive favorite to defeat the Democratic nominee, likely former state Rep. Mary Throne, in November.

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