By Jim Ellis
Aug. 14, 2020 — In the past several days, 14 polls in 13 competitive House districts were publicly released, and they all tell a unique story. The synopsis is below (in alphabetical order):
• GQR Research – Mitsch Bush (D) 43%; Boebert (R) 42%
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (Aug. 3-6; 400 likely CO-3 voters) went into the field to test Democratic candidate Diane Mitsch Bush versus Republican Lauren Boebert, who unseated Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) in the June Republican primary.
The result here is not particularly surprising considering that Boebert was a shocking upset winner in the GOP primary. Mitsch Bush has a huge cash advantage, but Republicans will likely rally around Boebert in a district where President Trump should comfortably win.
• RMG Research – Londrigan (D) 43%; Rep. Davis (R) 41%
After seeing the 2018 election between Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D) evolve into a 50.3 – 49.6 percent result, the pair returns for Round 2. The RMG poll (July 27-Aug. 7; 400 likely IL-13 voters), though over a very long sampling period, finds what has been clear for some time, that the 2020 edition will yield another tight race.
• WPA Intelligence – Spartz (R) 47%; Hale (D) 40%
The new WPA Intelligence poll (Aug. 4-6; 400 likely IN-5 voters) produces the opposite result of a survey we saw from the GBAO research organization in late June (June 25-28; 500 likely IN-5 voters). The latter study projected Democratic former state representative and ex-lieutenant governor nominee Christina Hale topping Republican state Sen. Victoria Spartz, 51-45 percent.
According to the current WPA data, Sen. Spartz, a Ukrainian immigrant, now holds a 47-40 percent advantage. The latter numbers are more consistent with the district’s voting history. Incumbent Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Carmel) is retiring.
• RMG Research – Hoadley (D) 40%; Rep. Upton (R) 36%
RMG conducted this poll (July 30-Aug. 6; 500 registered MI-6 voters) during the Aug. 4 Michigan primary voting period, which likely brought undue attention to the Democratic side since their competitive primary produced a close result.
Though it is not surprising they find the race close in this changing CD, seeing Rep. Upton, who has won 17 consecutive congressional elections, lagging only at 36 percent appears unrealistically low. The Democratic nominee is Kalamazoo state Rep. Jon Hoadley.
• RMG Research – Rep. Hagedorn (R) 41%; Feehan (D) 38%
The RMG data here (July 31-8/7; 500 registered MN-1 voters) finding freshman Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Blue Earth/Rochester) topping 2018 nominee Dan Feehan (D) by three percentage points counters the Victoria Research & Consulting data (July 19-23; 511 likely MN-1 voters) that posted the Democratic nominee to a two-point edge. The fact that this race is polling close is no surprise. The two men faced each other in the 2018 open seat race and Hagedorn’s victory margin was only 50.1 – 49.7 percent.
• Tarrance Group – Fischbach (R) 52%; Rep. Peterson (D) 42%
This survey produced perhaps the most surprising result of the entire polling group. The Tarrance Group survey (Aug. 2-5; 413 likely MN-7 voters) finds challenger Michelle Fischbach, the former lieutenant governor and state Senate president, leading veteran representative and House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson (D-Detroit Lakes) by 10 full percentage points.
This is the strongest Trump district in the country that elects a Democrat to the House, so the Republican number is not particularly eyebrow raising. However, considering that Rep. Peterson has won 15 consecutive congressional races here, this type of early result is unexpected. The 7th District campaign is clearly a top-tier Republican challenge race.
• GQR Research – Kennedy (D) 51%; Rep. Van Drew (R) 46%
• Global Strategy Gp – Kennedy (D) 46%; Rep. Van Drew (R) 45%
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (Aug. 4-6; 400 likely NJ-2 voters) and the Global Strategy Group (Aug. 1-5; 400 likely NJ-2 voters) were in the field within the same time frame and both produce leads for mental health advocate Amy Kennedy (D) over party-switching freshman Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City).
The 2nd District leans Republican, which should help Van Drew. After the congressman changed parties halfway through his first term in the House, it became obvious that his 2020 re-election effort would become highly competitive.
• RMG Research – Rep. Katko (R) 40%; Balter (D) 37%
This is a re-match from 2018, when Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse) defeated college professor Dana Balter, 52-46 percent. The new RMG Research survey (July 24-Aug. 4; 500 registered NY-24 voters) is in line with that result. The Upstate New York seats are volatile, and another tight congressional race is again expected here.
• DCCC Targeting & Analytics – Cawthorn (R) 46%; Davis (D) 41%
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Targeting & Analytics Department routinely surveys districts around the country, and often times their own candidates fare much better in their results than in other polling or actual ballot totals. Such could be the case here, as Republican Madison Cawthorn is expected to defeat retired Air Force officer Moe Davis (D) by more than five points in what is a safe open Republican western North Carolina district.
Cawthorn, who only will reach 25 years of age before the election, was a 66 percent winner in the Republican runoff against a candidate endorsed by both President Trump and former 11th District US Rep. Mark Meadows.
• DFM Research – DePasquale (D) 46%; Rep. Perry (D) 44%
Recent polling projects Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg) and two-term State Auditor Eugene DePasquale (D) to be locked in a close election battle. While a previously published poll found Rep. Perry leading his Democratic general election opponent by three percentage points, a new early August DFM Research survey gives DePasquale a two-point edge, 46-44 percent. Expect this contest to remain in toss-up mode all the way to Election Day.
• RMG Research – Rep. McCaul (R) 46%; Siegel (D) 39%
Veteran Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) had a close call in 2018 and sees a bit more early breathing room against 2018 Democratic nominee Mike Siegel according to the latest RMG Research poll. They find McCaul, who was originally elected in 2004, jumping out to a 46-39 percent advantage.
• RMG Research – Nehls (R) 39%; Kulkarni (D) 39%
Countering a late July poll from Meeting Street Insights (July 19-22; 400 registered TX-22 voters) that found Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (R) leading es-Foreign Service officer Sri Preston Kulkarni (D) 44-32 percent, RMG Research (July 27-Aug. 2; 500 registered TX-22 voters) finds the two candidates tied at 39 percent apiece. The district, formerly a safe Republican seat, has been moving more toward the political center so a tie at this point in the campaign seems a reasonable conclusion.
• Public Opinion Strategies – Jones (D) 41%; Gonzales (R) 40%
Navy non-commissioned officer Tony Gonzales was finally declared the winner of the July 14 runoff by just 45 votes over homebuilder Raul Reyes, but the latter man is forcing a recount. Despite 2018 Democratic nominee Gina Ortiz Jones winning her current nomination in March and raising over $4 million, a new Public Opinion Strategies survey gives her only a one-point lead in early August. This seat that stretches from San Antonio to Austin is a true swing district where the winner rarely exceeds 50 percent of the vote.