Former President Trump Announces, Already Polling Conflicts; Republicans Clinch House Majority

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

President

Former President Donald Trump announced that he will run for president in 2024.

Donald Trump: Officially Announces — Former President Donald Trump officially announced Tuesday night from his Palm Beach, Florida home in Mar-a-Lago that he will again run for president in 2024. He becomes the first official candidate in the next presidential race.

With controversy surrounding him and being tagged as the prime Republican loser in the 2022 elections because candidates he endorsed, supported, and in some cases recruited, went on to to lose their general election bids, Trump begins his new quest in a more weakened political position than he would have otherwise. It is now clear that he will not move unencumbered through the Republican nomination process as several candidates will eventually step up to challenge him in a fight as to who will become the party standard bearer.

Polling: Already Conflicts — Expect to see a plethora of polling released into the public domain for the 2024 presidential contest, and much of it will conflict with other data. Already, such a pattern has begun. Since the election, we’ve seen three Republican presidential primary polls being released.

YouGov, for the Economist periodical (Nov. 13-15; 432 US adults; online) posts Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to a seven-point, 46-39 percent advantage over former President Donald Trump. A largely unfamiliar pollster, called Seven Letter Insight (Nov. 10-15; 542 US likely Republican primary voters) sees a similar result, Gov. DeSantis topping the former president, 34-26 percent. Morning Consult, polling for Politico, sees a much different result. Their survey (Nov. 10-14; 1,983 US registered voters) finds Trump with a sizable 47-33-5 percent result over Gov. DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence.

None of these polls should be taken particularly seriously. All are national polls, two of which have small samples and are not reflective of Republican primary voters casting ballots in state primaries.

House

Majority Status: Republicans Clinch — Late yesterday afternoon Pacific time, California US Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) was projected the winner of his 27th District congressional race, which was enough to officially clinch the US House majority for the Republicans. The Garcia victory became the 218th GOP seat and with this result, four consecutive years of Democratic control comes to an end.

Rep. Garcia had led consistently throughout the 2022 race, and the size of his lead was somewhat surprising. Running for his second full term after winning a special election in early 2020 and being re-elected by a razor-thin margin in the regular election later that same year, Rep. Garcia was viewed as a highly vulnerable incumbent in heavily Democratic California.

In this current election, however, Garcia was projected the winner when holding a 54.2 percent preference factor with 78 percent of the vote tabulated. Obviously, his margin of 13,846 votes was enough to sustain even a late influx of Democratic votes.

Colorado: Projections Coming Soon — Tomorrow, we will reach the ballot acceptance deadline in Colorado. This means that, with all ballots finally in the system, we will soon see projections being made in the state’s two uncalled races, the 3rd District contest involving Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), and the new 8th District where state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Eastlake) holds a slight 1,691-vote advantage over state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County).

Party Division: Seven Seats Remain Uncalled — With four more seats being called yesterday, the overall House count now stands at 218R – 210D, with seven elections remaining to be called. In addition to Rep. Mike Garcia’s (R-CA) victory that clinched the Republican House majority, Reps. Mike Levin (D-CA), Jared Golden (D-ME), and state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) in the new OR-6 seat were all projected as winners.

In the seven outstanding districts, both parties lead in three races, with the CA-13 contest headed to a potential seesaw ending where both candidates, state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) and agribusinessman John Duarte (R), both have legitimate chances to win.

The three Republican advantage races are the CA-3 open seat, CA-22 (Rep. David Valadao), and CO-3 (Rep. Lauren Boebert). Democrats lead in AK-AL (Rep. Mary Peltola), CA-47 (Rep. Katie Porter), and the open CO-8 new district. CA-13 is too close to call.

2024 Presidential Polls Already Emerging; CNN Exit Polling Numbers; Senate Election Turnout Stats; Sen. Kennedy Planning to Run for Gov?

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

President

Former President Donald Trump; Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R)

New Polling: Already Testing for 2024 — The House of Representatives isn’t even decided yet, and already we see a series of polls testing newly re-elected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pitted against former President Donald Trump. The WPA Intelligence polling series finds the Florida governor opening up big Republican primary leads against Trump in several important nomination states: Iowa (+11), New Hampshire (+15), Texas (+11), Georgia (+20), and of course, Florida (+20). Count on presidential fever going non-stop for the next two years.

Voting

Exit Polling: CNN Releases Results — Though exit polling has not proven particularly accurate in past elections, looking at the results of the organization’s data still has value. A quick glance at the CNN data brings forth a couple of key observations. First, the Independent vote, which polling suggested through most of the election cycle was moving toward the Republicans, came back to the Democrats at election time. Self-described moderates were breaking Democratic, 56-41 percent. Those describing themselves as Independents voted Democratic in a 49-47 percent split. Within the cell segment, Independent women moved toward the Democrats in a 54-42 percent clip.

On the other end of the spectrum, Republicans actually were making their marks with minority voters, at least according to this data. Republicans were able to attract 39 percent of the Hispanic vote, 40 percent among Asians, and 13 percent with black voters. All of these numbers are an improvement from immediate past elections.

Additionally, while all men break toward the Republicans 56-42 percent, all women prefer the Democrats, 53-45 percent. Still, CNN measures that the national vote went Republican in a 51.3 – 46.7 percent swing even though Democrats held the Senate majority and it appears House control will come down to a minimum number of seats.

Senate

Senate States: Key Turnout Stats — Now that we are seeing closer to final turnout numbers in many places, we have derived some interesting participation statistics from the most competitive US Senate states.

In Georgia, the turnout may fall just short of the 4.0 million voters who cast ballots in 2018. The Nevada turnout, projected to just exceed the 1 million mark, will be an approximate four percent increase over 2018. In Wisconsin, once the final turnout report is released will likely show the same relative participation rate as recorded in 2018.

The Pennsylvania turnout looks to be up five percent from 2018. Florida, where Sen. Marco Rubio won an impressive 58-41 percent victory over US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), who was clearly one of the strongest Democratic candidates in the nation, looks to be six percent under 2018’s total. In Iowa and Ohio, where Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) won an eighth term and Republican J.D. Vance held the open seat over US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown), turnout appears to be down just under nine percent when compared to the 2018 participation rate in both states.

Governor

Louisiana: Sen. Kennedy Releases Poll — Armed with a fresh six years in the Senate with his 62 percent re-election vote against nine opponents, Sen. John Kennedy (R) is now admitting he is considering a run for governor next year when incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term. He then released a Torchlight Strategies poll (Nov. 9-12; 800 likely 2023 Louisiana jungle primary voters; live interview & text) that posted him to a 22-18-13-7-6 percent lead over state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D), attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry (R), Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R), and fellow US Sen. Bill Cassidy (R), respectively.

Katie Hobbs Bests Kari Lake in Ariz. Gov Race; Three More House Races Called (2 in AZ; 1 in NY)

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

Governor

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Arizona — In the governor’s race, it has now become official that Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has defeated former television news anchor Kari Lake, the Trump-supported GOP candidate.

Despite trailing in polling as the race headed into election day, Hobbs was able to secure a tight 50.4 – 49.6 percent win in converting the Arizona governorship to the Democratic column. Nationally, the Democrats gained a net two gubernatorial chairs, winning in Arizona, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and losing in Nevada.

House

Balance of Power — According to the CNN Elections site, 215 seats have now been called for the Republicans as compared to 204 for the Democrats. Fox News has the Republicans at 217 — one seat away from the majority — with a tally of 205 for Democrats. Republicans are now very close to claiming the House majority.

Ten of the still outstanding districts lie in California, and it could be weeks rather than days as to when we will see conclusive results. California election officials have 33 days after the election to receive and count the ballots before certifying a winner. Considering that all mailed ballots, which is how the overwhelming number of people vote in the Golden State, are verified, the count requires an inordinate amount of time to complete.

If the Republican leads hold in the races where their candidate currently has the advantage, the party division will yield a 221R-214D majority. This split would, of course, give the GOP their majority but with a far smaller margin than they had anticipated. With some prognosticators and television commentators having previously believed that the GOP majority could reach well into the 240s, the smaller majority will be viewed as a setback for the party despite them achieving the ultimate goal of wresting control away from the Democrats.

Five of the Republicans’ leads are incumbent races. California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Granite Bay/Sacramento) is the lone non-incumbent GOP leader and favored to hold his edge in his R+8 rated 3rd District.

Arizona — A trio of House races came off the board last night beginning with Arizona Republican GOP Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) who was projected as a close victor over businessman Jevin Hodge (D) in a Maricopa County district that is much more Democratic than the congressman’s previous seat.

Turning to the Grand Canyon State’s southeast corner, former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive and ex-gubernatorial aide Juan Ciscomani (R) has been declared the winner of the open 6th District, thus flipping the seat from which Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson) is retiring. Ciscomani defeated former Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel.

Along with Republican Eli Crane previously defeating Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona) in the new northern Arizona 2nd District, the GOP gains a net two seats in the Grand Canyon State delegation and will hold a 6R-3D advantage in the federal delegation.

New York — Turning to the Syracuse, NY area, first-time candidate Brandon Williams (R), a tech company executive and former Navy veteran, defeated former US Intelligence analyst and previous congressional candidate Francis Conole (D) in the seat that Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse) has represented for four terms. Katko decided not to seek re-election this year.

Senate Majority Now Decided;
House Majority Continues
To Remain in Limbo

Click on map or here to see CNN’s interactive 2022 elections results House map: CNN

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

Now, just about a week beyond the 2022 election, each major party still has a chance of controlling the US House, while the Democrats, with late victories in Arizona and Nevada, have secured at least a 50-50 ostensible Senate majority when counting the vice president’s tie-breaking vote.

Senate

Senate: Majority Decided — Just one of the 35 Senate elections still remains undecided: the Georgia race that will head to a post-election runoff on Dec.6. Once the tight Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin races were called for incumbents Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) the majority was decided in favor of the Democrats.

The Georgia race unofficially finds incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) holding 49.4 percent of the vote versus Republican Herschel Walker’s 48.5 percent. Libertarian Chris Victor taking 2.1 percent, or just over 48,000 votes, denied both major party candidates the opportunity of reaching the 50 percent plateau. Therefore, the two finalists advance to a new election.

A Warnock win would put the Senate balance of power at 51-49 with the Democrats in control and not needing the vice president to make a tie-breaking vote. A Walker win would leave the Senate without a true majority at 50-50, thus requiring Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding call on straight party line votes.

The Alaska Senate race is also undecided, but the state’s new electoral system that sends four candidates to the general election won’t be final for another two weeks.

It is obvious that contest will winnow down to a battle between two Republicans, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka. While Tshibaka leads the aggregate vote count, it has become clear that she and Sen. Murkowski will eventually advance into the Ranked Choice runoff.

Though Tshibaka is, and may remain, the vote leader, the RCV runoff system looks to favor Sen. Murkowski. Regardless of which woman is declared the victor when the lengthy process ends, the GOP will retain the Alaska Senate seat.

House

House: Majority Count Remains in Limbo — The House races are still very much undecided with 19 races uncalled. Considering that 10 of those races are in California and one in New York where it will likely take weeks to arrive at final totals, it could be quite some time until we know the ultimate outcome.

According to the CNN election site count, of the 19 uncalled races the Democrats lead in nine, Republicans eight, and two are pure toss-ups, both of which the GOP candidate has a slight count edge. Republicans, however, sitting at 212 called races in their favor versus 204 for the Democrats, need only six of the 19 to fall their way, while Democrats require 14 to claim a bare majority.

It appears the final margin may come down to just one or two seats. The GOP lead seems relatively secure in five of their eight advantage seats, which would give them 217, while the Democrats appear to have solid advantages in another seven of their nine, which puts them at 211.

Therefore, the Republican projection appears to lie in the 217-221 range, while the Democrats’ best-case scenario looks to be scoring a 218-217 slight majority. These predictions, however, are based upon rudimentary projections that could easily change once the actual votes are finally tabulated in all 19 outstanding campaigns.

Governor

Aggregate Governor: Incumbents Dominate — Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.

The 36 governors’ races are also almost complete, with only Alaska and Arizona uncalled.

In returns that defied polling and thus favor the Democrats, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) leads former news anchorwoman Kari Lake (R) in the governor’s race, and her advantage may be enough to clinch the office once the state works through its counting delays.

At this point, Hobbs holds a 50.5 – 49.5 percent lead with an estimated 93 percent of the vote counted. This translates into approximately 180,000 votes remaining to be tallied. To win, Lake would have to receive more than 56 percent of the outstanding vote to make up her 26,000-plus vote deficit, which is difficult.

In the only competitive election resulting in a partisan conversion, Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) unseated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). In races that were largely decided in the states’ respective Democratic primaries, Wes Moore and Maura Healey successfully converted Republican governorships in Maryland and Massachusetts, respectively.

Oregon, the site of perhaps the most interesting governor’s race because it featured a three-way battle, saw former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) prevail over ex-House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I). Polling correctly suggested that Johnson had dropped well off the pace but also largely projected incorrectly that Drazan was positioned for a close upset win. In the end, the election broke 47-44-9 percent in Kotek’s favor with an estimated 93 percent of the all-mail vote counted.

Alaska Republican incumbent Mike Dunleavy looks to be in position to potentially clinch re-election outright, thus exceeding the 50 percent mark within the aggregate vote and avoiding a Ranked Choice Voting instant runoff. With ballots being allowed two weeks to report from the wilderness, it will be just before Thanksgiving when all of the Last Frontier races finally conclude.

Senate Control Coming Down to Nevada & Georgia; House Majority Remains in Limbo

Click the map above to go to interactive version by AP.

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 11, 2022

Senate

Senate: Coming Down to Nevada & Georgia — With Sen. Mark Kelly (D) holding a lead of greater than 115,000 votes, he will soon be projected the Arizona race winner. This means the Senate majority will be determined in the tight Nevada contest and what appears to be a runoff contest in Georgia that will be scheduled for December 6th.

Currently, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) leads Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by just a percentage point, or just over 9,000 votes with approximately 88 percent of the vote recorded. CNN reports that over 91 percent of the vote is already counted in Clark County, where approximately 73 percent of the state’s residents live.

In the Peach State race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker CNN projects that 99 percent of the votes tabulated, and Sen. Warnock’s edge over Walker is 49.6 to 48.3 percent, a margin of just under 49,000 votes. It is now highly unlikely that enough votes remain to push Sen. Warnock over the 50 percent mark. Therefore, the secondary election will be required. If the Laxalt lead holds, the Georgia race will determine the next Senate majority.

House

House: Majority Count Remains in Limbo — Several more congressional race projection calls were issued yesterday, and Republicans now have 211 declared seats as compared to the Democrats’ 198 according to the CNN race results count. Of the 26 uncalled, 11 are clearly headed to one party or the other. The 15 uncalled campaigns that are purely undecided will put the final touches on the House majority.

At this point, it appears the Republicans will claim a very small chamber edge, likely ending between 219 and 222. Several races flipping back to the Democrats, particularly those from California with large numbers of outstanding votes, could still result in the Dems hanging onto their majority by a single vote, 218-217.

Governor

Aggregate Governor: Incumbents Dominate — Surprisingly little change occurred in the 36 Governors’ races in terms of party change. Democrats, as predicted, easily converted the Maryland and Massachusetts open seats.

At this point, Democrats are leading in the three-way Oregon race, while Republican Joe Lombardo has a discernible lead over incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak in the Nevada race. At least 12 percent of the ballots remain to be counted in the Silver State, but Sheriff Lombardo looks to be in good position to win the election. If he does, this could be the only Republican conversion election in the country.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is leading the governor’s race in her state. Her margin over former news anchorwoman Kari Lake is small, but consistent. Should Hobbs hold, she too would be in position to convert a Republican governorship to the Democrats, joining what happened in Maryland and Massachusetts. Voting machine problems have delayed the Arizona election returns, so it may be awhile before we know the final outcome.

Otherwise, incumbents had a very good night in the governors’ races despite the high level of competition seen throughout the country.